60th Anniversary Timeline

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MSD Wayne Township Historical Timeline


1852: First school established in Wayne Township.


1892: First high school opened on the site of today’s administration building.


1915: The original high school building was replaced by a more modern high school.


1932: Original Bridgeport Elementary built (8650 W. Washington Street).

1937: The third high school building was built at 6200 West Morris Street which included junior high.


1955: Westlake Elementary opened.

1955: Rhoades Elementary opened.

1956: Robey Elementary opened.

1958: Sanders School built.

1959: McClelland Elementary opened.


1961: Fulton Junior High School built.

1962: Residents of Wayne Township vote to establish the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township. (May)

1962: Court order creating MSD of Wayne Township signed by Marion County Circuit Court Judge John Niblack. (June 11)

1962: Marion County Circuit Court Judge John Niblack appoints five Wayne Township residents to serve as MSD of Wayne Township’s Board of Education. Those members were: Mr. Theodore M. Wilkes, Mrs. Evelyn G. Abbott, Mr. Dewey Hoss, Mr. Parker Dunn, and Mr. Paul R. Barz. (June 11)

1962: Dr. Harmon Baldwin becomes first superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township.

1963: Chapelwood Elementary opened.

1965: The current Ben Davis High School at 1200 N. Girls School Road built.

1965: Ben Davis High School relocated to the new building; the previous building becomes Ben Davis Junior High School.

1967: Dr. Sidney Spencer becomes second superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township.

1968: MSD Wayne offers tuition-free kindergarten classes to district five year olds. (September)

1968: Maplewood Elementary constructed.


1970: Garden City Elementary constructed.

1971: South Wayne Junior High School built.

1971: Wayne Township Adult Education program started.

1973: U.S. District Judge S. Hugh Dillin ordered the busing of pupils within Indianapolis Public Schools boundaries and to surrounding suburban schools, including those in the MSD of Wayne Township.

1975: District hires first African-American teachers, Richard Bishop (Ben Davis High School) and Amelia Mays (North Wayne Elementary).

1978: Dr. Edward Bowes becomes third superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township.

1978: Area 31 began as a vocational district; the area district operating agreement was signed for the first time in 1982.


1981: MSD Wayne receives its first students from within IPS boundaries as a result of desegregation order.

1986: MSD Wayne Board of Education increased from five to seven members; John Patterson becomes first African-American board member.

1988: Wayne Enrichment Center built.


1994: District names first African-American elementary principal (Gwendolyn Boyd, McClelland Elementary).

1995: Dr. Duane Fleener becomes interim superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township.

1996: Dr. Terry Thompson becomes fourth superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township.

1997: District’s Language Assistance Program started, and Beth Cano (Weed), first LAP teacher in district, hired.

1998: Lighthouse Schools initiative begins to introduce networked PCs into classrooms.


2004: New Bridgeport Elementary opened (9035 W. Morris Street).

2005: Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center opened in the renovated former South Wayne Junior High School.

2007: Ben Davis University/Wayne Township Preschool open. District names first African-American secondary principal (Sheryl Garrett, BDU).

2008: Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center opened in the renovated former Fulton Junior High School.


2011: Dr. Jeff Butts becomes fifth superintendent of MSD Wayne.

2014: Wayne Enrichment Center renamed Wayne Preparatory Academy.

2016: Indianapolis desegregation order ends.

2018: Solar Farm built on campus of Ben Davis High School.

2018: Immigrant Welcome Center branch opened at Ben Davis University High School.

2020: District closes schools March 12, shifts students to remote learning for remainder of the year, and most of the 2021-22 school year, due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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