|South Salem Senior High School first opened its
doors in the fall of 1954, as a three year senior high school.
All students whose parents resided in that portion of School
District 24 C J south of State Street where eligible to attend
without payment of tuition. Construction started on South Salem
in 1952. The superintendent of Salem Schools was Dr. Walter
E. Snyder at the time, with his assistant being Charles D. Schmidt.
South Salems first Principal was Carl Ashenbrenner. Neil
Brown was Vice principal, Robert Voigt was Dean of Boys, and
Mrs. Lois Brandon was Dean of Girls. Enrollment for the three
classes was approximately 1050 when South opened.
According to Jerry E. Carter, class of 1956, approximately
thirty homes were razed to make room for the new high school.
The site, currently addressed as 1910 Church Street SE, was
already the home of Leslie Middle School, which was built
in 1927. The new high school was designed by the Architectural
firm of Freeman-Hayslit-Tuft. The new building was attached
to the middle school, so that the gym and other assembly areas
could be used by both schools. Leslie Middle School has now
moved to another location, and the original school building
is now leased to the Howard Street Charter School. The buildings
are still open to one another, but the two schools no longer
share facilities. The high school added a shop area in 1973,
and is currently being extensively remodeled with interior
modifications and a new commons building, to be finished sometime
South Salems first Associated Student Body officers
were: President, Jim Anderson; First Vice President, Gloria
Andrews; Second Vice President, Jean Lidbeck; Secretary, Nancy
Owen. South Salems first Senior Class Officers were:
President, Bob Griffin; Vice President, Sybil Campbell; Sergeant-at-arms,
Harry Juul; Secretary-Treasurer, Gladys Maude.
South Salem's nickname is the Saxons, and the school colors
are Columbia blue and scarlet.
The School newspaper, The Clypian was first edited by Janice
Bishop, with guidance from staff advisor Frank Walton. The
word clypian, is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "call".
The newspaper was a bi-weekly publication that included general
school news, editorials, sports and advertising. Every other
Wednesday, before publication, members of the editorial group
worked at the Statesman-Journal preparing The Clypian. The
first edition of the school yearbook, The Sword and Shield,
was edited by Anne Heltzel, with Frank Walton again serving
as faculty advisor. The school telephone book was called The
A notable accomplishment for a first year school was South
Salem's success on the gridiron. The football team opened
the season against the Washington Colonels with a win. The
team advanced through the field, even taking the North-South
game. That victory won them their first trophy, the Mayors
Cup. The team went on to state, ending up in the championship
game. The game ended in a thirteen-all tie, with South and
Marshfield High declared co-champions. The first coaches were
Lee Gustafson and Bob Metzger. All the first year's home games
were played at Waters Park, at Twenty-Fifth and Mission, because
Bennett Field at South Salem was not completed in time for
the opening season.
South Salems first ever graduation diploma was presented
to Associated Student Body President Jim Anderson in 1955.
The school continued on for many years as a three year school,
but eventually changed to include grades nine through twelve.
South Salem High Schools 2000 school year opened with
Kris Olsen as principal, an enrollment of 2005, and a staff
Compiled and written by Yvonne Litke