Rush-Henrietta History: Did You Know?
The pursuit of a quality education can be traced in Rush-Henrietta for some 200 years. Although buildings, students, and staff members have changed, a focus on student learning remains the priority. Here are some interesting facts regarding local education:
• The first school in Henrietta opened in 1809 on Wadsworth Road (now Pinnacle Road) near Stevens Corners. The first school on Henrietta’s west side was built on River Road near Maple Street (now Bailey Road) in 1810. Both schools were built of logs.
• Early settlers, including James Sperry, namesake of the Senior High School, raised money to build Monroe Academy, a boarding and day school opened in 1826. In 1870, Monroe Academy became a public school and operated until 1952. The building burned in 1974.
• The original Rush-Henrietta Board of Education included members from Rush and Henrietta. They were Raymond Bock, of Rush; William Gillette, of Henrietta, first president of the board; Jasper Howlett, of Henrietta; Eldred Koehler, first vice president of the board; and Charles Roth, of Rush. Prior to centralization, Bock served as president of the school board in Rush.
• John Parker, a district forefather who served as principal and vice principal during Rush-Henrietta’s formative years, also taught math, social studies, and coached multiple sports. The Parker Administration Building is named for him.
• During the 1946-1947 school year, the final year that Rush and Henrietta operated as independent school systems, more children were enrolled in Rush (109) than in Henrietta (69).
• Rush-Henrietta’s first graduating class was the Class of 1948. Its motto was: "Not the end, but a beginning."
• Rush-Henrietta adopted the school nickname "Comets" when 56 percent of students voted for it in 1951. With 23 percent of the votes, "Falcons" was a distant second.
• The school district has managed dramatic changes in student enrollment. After an impressive period of sustained growth in the 1960s and 1970s, the district had nearly 11,000 students. Although some estimates showed enrollment would soar to 25,000, the pace slowed. Today’s enrollment is stable at about 5,400 students.
• With the decline in enrollment in the 1970s and early 1980s, the district closed and sold Crittenden Elementary School and Gillette Elementary School based on task force recommendations. Two junior high schools were consolidated in 1985, and two senior high schools were consolidated in 1987.
• As proof of the district's growth, consider this: The Rush-Henrietta Class of 2006 had more graduating seniors than the first 10 graduating classes in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District did combined.
Our community has come a long way since the early days of Monroe Academy. The Rush-Henrietta Central School District thanks you for your continued support. Together, we are guiding student success … one child at a time.