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History of Roland School
Roland School has an impressive and historical past. Nestled in the heart of the small town of Roland, Oklahoma stands the Roland School. The Roland Public School is located on a forty-seven acre site in the center of Roland. Prior to 1921-22, Roland only had a one room elementary school. It was located about 1/4 mile west of the present campus. Mr. J.H. Dodson was the principal. Mr. Dodson believed that the citizens of Roland deserved s high school education and he thought that they shouldn't have to leave Roland to get it. Through the insightful pioneer work of Mr. Dodson, Roland High School became a reality. In 1921, the high school doors were opened to the youth of the community. Mr. Dodson became the first superintendent of Roland School. Through the efforts of Mr. Dodosn and the school board, which consisted of Mr. Klingsmith, Mr. bill Lewellyn, and Mr. Wallace Clark, land was obtained for the new school form Mr. S.S. Dorcus. The building was designed by Mr. Klingsmith, and was erected by the men of the O'neal and Drake Construction Company. The new brick building consisted of eight classrooms, a library, an office and an auditorium. After working diligently from 1921-9129 to establish a good education system, Mr. Dodson resigned as superintendent at the end of the 1929 school year.
Roland School continued to expand under the leadership of Superintendents S.E. Kirk, 1930-34; Jack Kisner, 1934-36; C.J. Stanley, 1937-38; and again J.H. Dodson, 1939-40; R. Guy Scott, 1940-51; James Humphrey, 1951-68, Claude Eubanks, 1968-71, Carl Matlock, 1971-Dec. 87; Gary Lattimore, Jan. 1988-April-1988; Carl Matlock, April 1988-89; and Howard Harrell, July 1989 to the present.
During the 1930's Roland School was the addition of a gymnasium built by a bond issue and the work of the WPA. A two room rock building was constructed on the southwest corner of the campus to house the primary grades during this time. In the winter of 1938, disaster struck. A fire destroyed the brick school building. Classes were doubled up in the primary building and the dressing rooms of the gymnasium. Some classes were held in the First Baptist and Union Churches. Immediately after the fire, work began to replace the burned building with the assistance of the WPA. The new building was made of rock, and consisted of nine classrooms, a large study hall with an adjoining library, an office, an auditorium with dressing rooms, and our first indoor bathrooms. During the 1940's the faculty expanded from seven teachers to twenty teachers by the decade's end. Due to the growth, a Commerce Department was added., and later Home Economics and Shop were added to the curriculum. During most of the 40's the elementary classes were housed in converted Army barracks from Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In the early 50's, Superintendent Humphrey was instrumental in adding Choir and Band to the school's curriculum. Additional land was purchased and a new football stadium was built. Football returned to the Roland School for the 1965-66 season. In December 1967, disaster struck agian, fire gutted the rock high school building. The new metal Agriculture building (1963) was divided into classrooms for high school students as well as doubling up in the elementary classrooms to be able to continue the school year. Plans had been in the making to erect a new elementary building, but after the fire, federal funds earmarked for the elementary building were transferred to the building of a new high school. During this period, Mr. Humphrey retired and high school principal Claude Eubanks became the superintendent. Mr. Eubanks and school board completed the new high school in May 1969. Mr. Eubanks ended his tenure at the end of the 1970-71 school year. Carl Matlock became the new superintendent. The community as well as the school continued to grow and expand. Twenty-five additional acres were acquired for future school expansion. A massive building program was launched in the 70's and early 80's. Parking lots were blacktopped and tennis courts erected. Under this program several new buildings were erected across the campus. Later, additional classrooms were added to the lower elementary building (1986) and a elementary gymnasium (1988) was built. In 93-94 a bond issue made possible the construction of six primary classrooms, three classrooms and one lab to the junior high building, and a new cafeteria for junior/senior high students. New baseball fields, track and concession/dressing rooms (97-98) were built on the fifteen acre sports field on the southwest corner of the campus. With the continued growth of the community, more classes have been added to the curriculum to better serve the students. At the present time the school is accredited for 91 units. Along with the academic courses offered, the school competes in academic contests, in football, basketball, softball, baseball, golf, track, speech/debate and band. Currently (2/2000), the student population is approximately 1,295. The school serves students from early childhood (4 year old) through the twelfth grade. The school's staff currently consists of 49 support and 91 certified employees. The Roland School is proud to reflect the community in which it serves as an educational institution. As we look back through the history of Roland School, we are proud of our past accomplishments. We are excited about the future and determined to make it as bright as our past.
This page is for perpetual written accounts of historical events that have occurred in the city. Anyone who feels they have pertinent information may submit it. This includes all people in or out of Roland and could involve any interested adults or children with events or items that are of interest. Items may be submitted for publication on this page where they will remain as part of a historical archive for the city. Items of interest may include noteworthy events, special events of historical importance, information about area growth that pertains to the history of the city, and other pertinent notes. We hope to establish a large data base of information about the history of each city. Historical Societies are encouraged to open their own page on Key to the City for more extensive historical information.
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