History of Williamsburg City School

Significant Dates:


1909 – School System established
1915 – First recorded graduating class
1925- First four year high school graduation
1927 – High school accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools
1940, 41, 46 – Williamsburg went to state basketball tournament
1946 – Football started for the second time
1955 – Williamsburg was one of the first schools in the state to racially integrate the enrollment
1964 – Largest senior class
1965 – Federal aid to education began
1969 -  Closed circuit educational television installed
1970 – Elementary school was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
1972 – Williamsburg High School won Class A Championship in Track
1974 – Girls basketball started for the second time
1978 – Architect Don Shelton began work on Main Street School plans
1983 – School occupied new building on Main Street
1992 – Building remodeled – School was designated as a “National Blue Ribbon School.”

2006 - Named an "Outperforming School District" by Standard and Poor's.
2008 – Ranked as one of “America’s Best High Schools” by U. S. News & World Report

Williamsburg City School At a Glance


Enrollment - 800

Student:Teacher Ratio - 14:1

District Assessment Ranking:

15th of Kentucky's 174 School districts

No Child Left Behind: Adequate Yearly Progress attained since 2002

Certified Teachers: 61

Student:Computer Ratio - 3.1:1

Per Pupil Spending: $9,145

Average Composite ACT Score: 20.2

District CATS Index: 89.3

Operating Budget: $6.3 million

2007 Graduates who have successful transition to College, Military, Vocational Training, or the Workforce: 94% 


School Crest


Standard and Poore 


sacscasi logo



Original WHS

 Prior to 1909, Williamsburg had four one room school districts housed on the sites of the Main Street Baptist Church, the colored schools, the home of the late Miss Emma Buchanan, and the city pool.  That year, the citizens of Williamsburg voted to consolidate the four schools into a city school system.  They agreed to select one trustee from each of the churches in the community as representatives of the Board of Education.  The original group consisted of M. J. Gross, Methodist, J. M. Blakely, Congregationalist, R. L. Pope, Christian, B. F. Rose, First Baptist, W. H. Brummett,  Main Street Baptist.  The new brick building on the site of the Anderson Building on the Cumberland College Campus was completed in 1909, and destroyed by fire in 1926.  This building was replaced by another brick structure in the same location; this site housed the district until the spring of 1983 when the school moved to its present location on Main Street.

 The first principal Fleming J. Bowles, taught all high school subjects (physical geography, algebra, latin and history).  There were three students, Miss Mabel Jones, Hoadley  Berckman and Webster Berckman.  This school term lasted eight months.  The largest number of students was in the primary grades.  The first documented graduating class was in 1915, with seven students.  Members of this class were Bernice Bush, Bertha Davis, Letha Chitwood,  Retha Taylor, Raymond Thomas, Madge Walden, and Joe Worley.


City School

The high school grew slowly until a fourth year of work was added in 1923, which caused WHS to have no graduating class in 1924.  The principal continued to do most of the high school teaching, assisted by one or two elementary teachers.  With the addition of the fourth year of schooling the school system was accredited  with a B rating.  In 1926, the school received a A rating.  In 1927, the high school was admitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and 81 years later the school is still a member.

 These early years saw a gradual growth in all departments and activities of the school. The school library was established in 1926 and contained approximately one hundred books.  Another area of growth in school activities was the beginning of the Athletic teams in 1922.  Football and basketball became an important aspect of the school community.  Between 1941-1946 the Jacket Basketball Team made four trips to the Kentucky State High School Basketball Tournament.  In 1946, football was added back to the athletic department after a 20 year break.  Since 1946, the Jacket football team has won numerous District Championships and Regional Titles.

 The school steadily grew during the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s as various academic and athletic programs provided extended opportunities for students.  In 1955, the district became among the first school system in the state to racially integrate their enrollment.


In 1970, the elementary school became a member of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges under the guidance of Principal Jack V. Foley.


Williamsburg City School

In 1983, the school moved to its present site at 1000 Main Street.  The building quickly became too small and was remodeled with several classrooms added in 1992.

Since the retirement of Superintendent J. B. Mountjoy in 1987, and Principal Jack V. Foley in 1991, the administrative staff has increased, enabling the school to comply with the fast growing curriculum and school techniques brought on by school improvement enacted by the 1990 legislature.


The school has continued to provide a quality educational experience for it’s students for almost 100 years.  The school has gained publicity through recognition that included designation as a National Blue Ribbon School in 1992, and top ranking as a district in the KIRIS testing for the State of Kentucky for the 1992-93, 1993-94, 1994-95, and 1995-96 school years.  In 2008, WHS was ranked one of  “America’s Best High Schools” by U.S. News and World Report, giving merit to the school’s motto, “Where Excellence is a Tradition.”   At present, there are more than 4,000 proud alumni around the world who serve society in roles that include doctors, attorneys, business professionals, and educators.

bronze high schools hi res