Northwest was formed over
fifty years ago by merging the McDermott, Otway, and Rarden School
Districts. Union Elementary students attended either McDermott or
Otway High School. Morgan Elementary students attended McDermott,
Otway, Rarden or Valley High School. The original school board was
composed of members selected one from each of the former township
boards of education. These men were President Glenn Shelton, from
Union township; Vice President, Glenn Emnett, Rush township ; Clerk
Homer Penn, Brush Creek township; Earl Crabtree, Morgan township ;
and Joe Reynolds, Rarden township. Berl
Haney, from McDermott, became the first Executive Head(Superintendent)
of the Northwest Local School District. Leo Thompson, from Rarden,
became the Principal of Northwest High School. Gilbert McNeal, from
Otway, became the Guidance Counselor.
the Fall of 1956, a special election was held in which the bond
issue for construction of Northwest High passed by a high percentage.
Construction by Don King Construction Co. began in March, 1957.
The first Northwest Commencement was May 13, 1959. Ohio
Governor Ted Strickland was a member of the first class to graduate
from the newly formed Northwest High School.
Thirty years later voters approved a 5.6 mill bond levy on May 7,
1991 to build a new high school and elementary. The former high
school would be renovated to house the middle school. The new buildings
would allow grades K-8 that were still located in the four townships
of McDermott, Morgan, Otway, and Union to be consolidated into one
central elementary and middle school. A total of 2,913 votes were
cast, with 2,190 votes for the levy and 723 in opposition. The groundbreaking
ceremony was conducted on Monday, April 20, 1992 for the 18.3 million
dollar construction project. The high school was occupied on April
18, 1994 - the middle and elementary buildings on August 22, 1994.
See a slideshow of the dedication booklet "Looking
to the future - Remembering our past."
For questions about the History website, email