CUMBERLAND COUNTY, ILLINOIS
THE SEPARATION OF THE
ELEMENTARY & HIGH SCHOOLS
In 1909 high
school was organized and
a suitable building erected at a site on the east edge of Neoga.
This site has remained throughout the years. This marked the beginning
of Neoga township High School. The first graduating class from the new
building was in 1911.
On October 28.
1922. the building was
destroyed by fire. Students were housed in churches and other locations
until replaced by a larger three story brick building.
school was by
horseback or horse and buggy. A building housing the animals was behind
the school This building holds many memories for the boys who sought to
prove their skill at fisticuffs during the noon hour. Later
transportation was by car and students from out-lying areas formed car
In 1929, the
juniors and seniors
chose a design for a ring, unique to NTHS. This practice continued for
17 classes and was discontinued in 1946.
The school colors
were purple and
gold until 1935, when they were changed to red and gray. The tradition
of exchanging the wooden shoe with Teutopolis at basketball games
preceding Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations began some time between
changes brought about
many changes beginning in 1948. The school became known as Neoga
Community District No. 3 and included territories in Cumberland. Coles
and Shelby Counties. One-room schools in the area were being
At a dedication on
November 1, 1953,
the following changes were included: 4 additional classrooms from the
old study hall to house the junior high; a community room, cafeteria,
music rooms and a farm shop revamped from the old gymnasium; and a new
modern physical education plant. There were 32 on the faculty and a
fleet of 11 school buses transported the students.
In 1960, the
junior high moved to the
new elementary school located on West Sixth Street.
THE NEOGA ELEMENTARY
AND JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
The dedication of
the new school was
Sunday September 24, 1961 The Supervisory personnel was as follows:
Louis K. Voris, Unit
Superintendent, Jean H. Manuel, Principal, Mrs. Vera T. Queen,
Assistant Principal and Mrs. Dortha Greeson. Secretary and Lunch
Supervisor. There were twelve
teachers on the elementary staff and eight teachers listed on the
junior high faculty.
Many changes and
made in schools. Busing and food served in the cafeteria became common
practices. Additional changes are given in this time-line.
the pre-school DIAL
screening of Neoga Elementary. Children three years or older are tested
for school readiness.
Tolch Queen retired
from Neoga Elementary after 47 years as an educator. Robert Schwindt
was named as her successor.
Fundamental) This program was financed by both Federal and local funds
to provide all elementary children with free books. Students receive
books three times per year. This program is continuing today and is
directed by Mrs. Marilyn Rennels.
program begins for Neoga
students. elementary students attend computer classes at Eastern
Illinois University. 1986-Preschool testing became the Brigance
1986- Project HELP
Children age three to five are eligible students. Teacher is Donna
Nelson with instructional aide Carla Sylvester.
age for school
children changes to September 1.
Elementary school begins
all-day kindergarten program. Teachers for the program are Mary Sur.
Mary Lou Matthews. Carolyn Hayden and Lisa Sutherland.
purchased for the
Pioneer attendance center and the Neoga Elementary. Kindergarten
through sixth grade learn basics of computers as well as computer aided
The education of
is an integral part of our total school program and several special
education programs are available. The Neoga Community Unit School
District offers the following programs: speech therapy, learning
disabilities, programs for the educable mentally handicapped, trainable
mentally handicapped, and early childhood education for ages 3 to 5. It
is necessary to have help outside our district. This help is available
through the Eastern Illinois Area of Special Education (EIASE).
Greene, Superintendent of
Schools in 1985, in keeping with the School Reform Act, and with the
aid of the teaching staff developed "OUR MISSION" a statement. "Neoga
Community Unit School District #3 is committed to educating all
students to be responsible, competent, and confident citizens who will
make a positive contribution in our changing world." A plaque with the
statement and goals for all students is posted in the schools.
Beginning in 1977
school has an ECO (ecology) team that competes with area teams. Awards
are given by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
In 1991 the high
school maintains a
consistent graduation of above 90%—well above the State average of
78.0% and the national rate of a lower amount.
supplied by Mr. Robert
Schwindt, Elementary Principal with certain facts recorded in previous
NEOGA SCHOOLS -
Community Unit School
District #3 was created in 1948 by uniting several one room elementary
schools and the Neoga Township High School. By 1968 the Pioneer School,
four miles east of Neoga on Route 121, served grades one through five
on two floors. Elementary students grades also grades one through five,
then six through eight were educated at the in-town facility two blocks
cast of the Jennings Park. Secondary students worked toward their
diploma at the three-story Township High School building on the east
side of town.
changes for Neoga
students began in the Sixties and continued into the Seventies. The new
Neoga Elementary School, on West Sixth Street, opened in 1960. In 1978,
the seventh and eighth grade students began attending a new one- floor
junior-senior high school which was constructed on the site of the old
Township High School.
significantly influenced both curricular and extra-curricular
activities in the Seventies and Eighties. More students began driving
to and from school. Both parents in many families were working, and
many older students were holding down part-time jobs. The teachers
association negotiated their first written contract with the Neoga
Board of Education. The Girl's Athletic Association was replaced by
girls' teams in volleyball, basketball and track. The addition of
calculators, electronic equipment and personal computers in classrooms,
labs and school offices resulted in new coursework and record keeping
reforms dictated changes
ranging from consolidation talks to higher graduation and college
admission standards to formalized school improvement planning. The
schools struggled to video presentations by installing satellite and
cable television systems offering educational programming via the
Submitted by Dave Carpenter,
Principal Neoga Community High School
Source: Cumberland County 1843-1993
Photo contributed by James Winnett