Apollo, Elders Ridge, and Apollo-Ridge School Districts

A Brief Time Line of Apollo, Elders Ridge, and Apollo-Ridge Schools

  • 1810:  Earliest records of a school house built in Maysville.
  • 1822:  Log school house built on land owned by Benjamin Schirmer.  Building was owned by Robert and David Wray.  Students ranged from five to 20.
  • 1839:  Elders Ridge Academy was founded by Rev. Alexander Donaldson.
  • 1848:  Apollo incorporated two log school houses.  Old State Road above Riverview Cemetery.  Second near Owens Farm.
  • 1850:  School house built at PA and South Third Street.  Purchased by Alexander Henry for $100 and eventually converted into a home.
  • 1857: The Shady Plain School House was built on Shady Plain Road in Kiski Township. The school closed in 1952.
  • 1863:   Apollo Public School built. It had to be expanded due to increase in enrollment.
  • 1876:  The area had 13 school houses.  Average student body was about 370.  Nine male teachers, four female teachers.  Average school year was five months.
  • 1901:  Eight room school built.  Apollo Grade School built behind the Apollo Public School.  The cost was $9,559.
  • 1913:  Apollo High School built.  It was a two-story school that had nine rooms.  The cost was $30,000.
  • 1931:  Apollo Area High School was built across the street.  North Second and PA Avenue.
  • 1933:  Elders Ridge High School built.
  • 1950:  Apollo, North Apollo, and Kiski Township formed the Apollo Area Joint School System.  North Apollo paid $2,960 per year, while Kiski Township paid $6,190.91 per year.  Mr.  Herbert Schneider served as principal until 1958.   Mr.  Charles Davis replaced him.
  • 1959: New Elementary School opens on Rt. 56.
  • 1959:  Kiski Township tried to secede from the system.  PA Supreme Court denied request. 
  • 1969-1970:  Elders Ridge merged with the Apollo Area Joint School System.
  • 1973:  Construction began on the new high school in Spring Church.
  • 1975:  Students began at the new high school.
  • 1988:  Middle school opens next to the high school.
  • 2004:  New elementary school opens in Spring Church, thus having the entire school district on one campus.
Here is a partial list of Kiski Township one room school building closings.

Various school buildings through the years…

The slideshow below features the Shady Plain schoolhouse, built in 1857 in Kiski Township. Many of the photos are undated. There is a photo of Mrs. Bertha Ridenour Donaldson who was born in Maysville, Armstrong County, PA. The early part of her life was spent in that place. She received her common school education in the Maysville school, later attending Eldersridge Academy. Her career as Public School teacher began in 1891 at Hilty’s school. She taught five years in Armstrong County, including one year at the Shady Plain school, and two years in Westmoreland County. The Shady Plain school closed in 1952 and is now a privately owned building being restored.

There were three Horrell School buildings. The 2nd & 3rd are pictured below. The third built in 1952, is along School Road in Kiski Township and is now Hilltop Workshop.

Below are photos of school buildings through the years…

Above is a slideshow of the Jackson School located along Old State Road in Kiski Township

Above is the Luxemburg School and the North Apollo Elementary School.

Elders Ridge Academy

Special Thanks to Chad Danka, Apollo-Ridge Elementary School History Teacher, for the video linked above!