A petition was received from Murdock McLeod and others asking for the formation of a new school made up from lands contained in part from Ashfield, Mayfield, and Prosperity school districts.
There were about 80 children of school age residing in the area being petitioned for, and the nearest school was nearly 3 miles from the site proposed (SW 12-13-5E).
The Arbitrators appointed were: George Miller, Judge George Patterson, Murdock McLeod, A.L. Young, and Chris Johnson. Their report was dated May 25, 1912 and after careful examination the petition was granted by Award of Arbitration. The formation date was effective June 1. 1912.
The full corporate name of the school was to be “Highland School District No. 1628”.
The 6-13-6E was detached from Prosperity S.D. No. 1375, Sec.7 and 18 in 13-6E and the E 1/2 of 13-13-5E were removed from Mayfield S.D. No. 1473. The remaining boundary of Sec. 1,2, 11, 12, 14, and the W 1/2 of 13-13-5E were taken from Ashfield S.D. No. 428.
A debenture was eventually raised to erect a school building and stable, and classes commenced in the spring of 1913 with an enrollment of 39 boys and 18 girls. The first teacher of Highland was lsabella Calder. The Sec. Treas. was Murdock McLeod, The trustees were: George Bruce, Malcolm McLean and Stanley Jablonski. Stanley was chairman of the first Board of Trustees.
By Aug. 1918, the Highland School was undergoing repairs and extensions. Soon a second room was added to the one-room frame building. By Christmas of 1919, a
concert and dance was held in the school with recitations, dialogue, songs and drills. Over 90 children took part, many of them being under 10 years of age. Under the
guidance of the principal Miss Ellen Martin and her assistant Miss Kate Livingstone, the festivities were enjoyed by all. The Reeve of St. Clements Hugh McLennan, chaired much of the concert. After the program, Piper Murdock McLeod piped in the gentleman
with the white beard and red costume, Santa, who distributed gifts. Then the ladies of Highland served a lunch fit for a King. Dancing broke out in lull after refreshments.
The boundary was adjusted by March 1924, (by-law No. 251) by adding the most Easterly one mile of Lots 88 to 95 inclusive from Kitchener. The school taught moral
principles, the 10 Commandments, and school was often closed by prayer. They planted 11 trees in 1954-55 to enhance the grounds,
During the war years, Highland was very active in support of the war effort and contributed greatly toward the Red Cross work of the district. The residents knit and
sewed, wrote letters, packed Christmas bundles and bought Bonds and War Savings Stamps. They held concerts, raffles and dances, to generate funds not only for the school but for the welfare of those overseas and in the service.
In the 1920’s the residents of Highland were raising funds for the “Boys and Girls” Clubs of the area. About mid 1920 they held a Dance and Social at the Highland School and the music was provided by the Witwicki Brothers of East Selkirk. This musical group were always in great demand. Of course, Piper Murdock McLeod could always be encouraged to blow a tune and he nearly always did at all the Highland Socials.
ln Jan. 1956, the school was destroyed by fire. Immediately, the trustees passed bylaw No. 1-56 to authorize a debenture debt of $ 14,000 for the purpose of building a new 2 room school together with a general purpose room and teach rage. (Total cost of the project $24,500) Some of the money needed would be covered by fire insurance and the reserve funds of the district. The $14,000 debenture would be recoverable in 15 years at 4.20% interest, (15 equal payments of $1,303.59).
The vote was taken on June 1, 1956 and summed up June 4, 1956, showing that 56 voters attended the poll and 42 of them were in favor of the debenture and 14 against.
In Aug. 1956, the new Highland School was ready for Classes.
Sec. Treas. over the years were: Murdock McLeod from 1912 to 1923, John McLeod from 1923124 to 1930/31. Then the books were looked after by Mr. Ross K. Mills from 1931 to the time when Mr. Walter Wasney took over in 1945. Mr. Wasney remained in the position a total of 2l years and handed in the final treasury report and audit at the time of Consolidation, in 1966.
Some of the School Trustees since l9l2 were: George Bruce, Malcolm Mclean, Stanley Jablonski, Murdock McLeod, John McLeod, Ross K. Mills, Walter Wasney, Peter Burbella, Walter Lotecki, Mike Kayer, John Mlodzinski, W. Bodnaruk, P. Wasney, Jack Bruce, T. Marshall, and John Lotecki.
The teachers who taught at Highland are listed here for your interest and we include some photographs which should bring back some memories\:
Isabella Calder 1913
John A. May 1914
Alexander Todd l9l4-1916
James Connaghan 1916
W.H. Woodward 1917
Montague Shore 1917-1918
Ellen Martin 1918-1920
Kate Livingstone l9l8-1923
Marie Rankin 1920-1921
Mabel B. Dickie 1921
Lillian Blanche Moar 1922
Ellen Fraser 1922-1923
Edith M. Deacon 1923-1925
Mildred J. Brown 1924-1925
Evelyn D. Woods 1925- 1926
Elsie Dorothy Turner 1925-1927
Lila Rae Stephens 1926-1928
Jean Anne Mitchell1927 -1928
Violet E.L. Hark 1928-1930
Blanche Clarissa Hark 1928- 1930
Blanche Clarissa Wolfe 1930-1931
Richard Jeffreys Wolfe 1930-1931
Emily Goodchild 1931
G.W. Graham 1931
Lillian E. Plewes 1932
Dorothy Ruth Matheson 1932
Florence Isabel Sheldon 1932-1933
Jean Beryl Matheson 1932-1933
Hymie Litwack 1933- 1934
William James Swirsky 1933-1938
Peter Tony Stefaniec 1934- 1936
John Dubas 1936-1941
Paul Harry Rudiak 1938-1939
William Nazeravich 1939-1941
George E. Yachnicki 1941-1942
William Kereluk 1941
Nellie Sozanski 1942
Anne Margaret Zalubniak 1942-1943
Nellie C. Rowe 1942-1943
Clara J. Kososki 1943-1944
Nellie C. Meade 1943-1946
Evelyn Merle Findlay 1944-1945
Mary Donliski 1945-1946
Felix J. Kulyk 1947-1948
Helen E. Kulyk 1947-1948
Helen Rose Osiawy 1948-1949
Helen E. Koltalo 1948
Helen Elaine Witko 1949
Sonia Susan Kowalchuk 1949- 1950
Margaret Theresa Black 1959- 1950
Annie Marjorie Shalay l950-1952
Alice Julia Shalay 1950-1954
Alexander Wlm. Shalay 1952-1957
Matt Parypa 1953-1954
Walter Stayko 1954-1959
Sidney Norman Tether 1957-1959
Myrtle Barnett 1959- 1961
Rose Doroschuk 1960-1963
Highland School Grades 5 to 9, 1949/50.
Miss M.B. Budz 1961-1966
Mrs. Florence Hatton 1964
Sharon Packer 1964-1965
Sharon Vinsky 1965
Submitted by slh.