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Local History Resources: Timeline - Freeport Public Schools

1820 circa

  • Freeport's first public school started in a one room school house located at the north end of the triangle formed by the intersection of Main and Church Streets


  • 37 students attended school six days a week. On Sundays, the Presbyterian Church held religious services in the school building

1843 circa

  • Professor McGee introduced grammar, geography, natural philosophy and an advancement in mathematics. He also introduced the blackboard

1850 circa

  • A new one-story school building was constructed on Main Street's west side, slightly north of Merrick Road


  • After repeated and unsuccessful attempts to get a bigger school built, a few local residents took matters into their own hands and demolished the old building. While the new school was being constructed, the district rented space from Andy Rhodes' wagon shop for three months. Rhodes was paid $8. The original building was sold to Mr. Daniel Ellison for $50.


  • 203 students enrolled. Total expenses for the year: $414.63


  • New building on the northwest corner of Pine Street and Grove Street is constructed for $3,858.75. Old structure is sold for $750

1877 circa

  • Uniform system of textbooks introduced
  • 1877 - NYS Governor Lucius Robinson vetoed a bill permitting women to serve as school officers. Robinson claimed that "the God of nature has appointed different fields of labor, duty and usefulness for the sexes."


Welch, Gaylynn. "Suffrage at the School Door." New York History Journal. Summer/Fall, 2017, (Vol. 98, No. 3/4), 329-342.


  • 1880 - NYS Governor Alonzo B. Cornell and the NYS legislature allowed women to vote in school elections and hold offices on school boards


Welch, Gaylynn. "Suffrage at the School Door." New York History Journal. Summer/Fall, 2017, (Vol. 98, No. 3/4), 329-342.


  • Caroline G. Atkinson hired as Freeport's fourth teacher (in addition to L. M. Burdick, Phebe Tice, and Louise J. Carpenter). Ms. Atkinson was a graduate of Albany Normal School (University at Albany)
  • Thomas H. Wheeler becomes a teacher in the Freeport School around 1858

See Also:

Wheeler, Thomas H.


1890 circa


  • (October 7) A motion was passed changing the District School to a Union Free School


  • Enrollment reached 528. Charles W. Oley became principal


  • (January 10) Wooden school house destroyed by fire
  • (July 2) A cornerstone laid to kick off the construction of a $30,000 brick school building 


"Freeport's Public Schools." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 23.1893, 20. Accessed August 9, 2018.


  • (March 9) Formal opening of the new school located on the corner of Pine and Grove Streets


  • Enrollment reached 445


  • (October 11) High school grade formally began


  • First high school class graduated


  • A school census found 761 school-aged children in the district; up from 641 children in 1901


"Freeport's School Census." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle.  July 21, 1902, 9. Accessed May 23, 2019.

  • A large addition was added to the school building that cost between $25,000 to $30,000


"Long Island Notes." The Suffolk County News. July 25, 1902, 1. Accessed May 7, 2024.

1911 Alumni Record.


  • 1904 - A high school football team is organized and was captained by George Morton Levy


Freeport High School Alumni Directory. 1911.

  • 1904 - Freeport High School Band organized

Source: "Graduation 2004." The Leader. June 24, 2004, 11. Researched by Regina G. Feeney, January 27, 2023.

  • Principal Eugene F. McKinley resigned in order to continue his law career. He took a position in the legal department of the New York City Railroad Company


"Principal McKinley Resigns." Brooklyn Times Union. October 20, 1904, 8. Accessed June 28, 2023.

1905 Board of Education Members

William B. Osterhout, President

Henry L. Crandell

John K. Eldridge

Charles D. Smith

Samuel R. Smith



The Student. April 1905.


  • Class of 1905 chose red and white as the school colors


Deterling, William. "An Old Diary." The Student. April 1935, 12.

1906 Board of Education Members

Samuel R. Smith - President

John B. Cartwright

Walter B. Cozzens

Henry L. Crandell

John K. Eldridge



The Student. January 1906.




  • New school building constructed at the corner of Ocean and Seaman Avenues


  • The Tattler, a  weekly newspaper, was founded in 1908 by Freeport High School student James E. Stiles.  The newspaper focused on school news and events but was not an official publication of Freeport High School


Uhlan,Edward. Dynamo Jim Stiles: Pioneer of Progress. New York: Exposition Press, 1959.



  • The Girls' Athletic Association with the Help of the Board of Education were able to get a tennis court constructed on school grounds


"School Notes." Nassau County Review. June 17, 1910, 1.  Accessed October 29, 2018.

  • Students population by school: Seaman Avenue School, 259 pupils; Archer Street School, 225 pupils; Grove Street School, 519 pupils 


"School Notes." Nassau County Review. September 9, 1910, 1. Accessed June 19, 2019.

  • (May 1910) Over a four week period, 125 students were absent due to an outbreak of measles


Freeport Board of Education Minutes, May 16, 1910.


  • Superintendent Arthur E. Barnes fired from Freeport School District for sexual harassments allegations


Barnes, Arthur E.


  • Due to school overcrowding, many students placed on part-time schedules. Rooms rented in the Village to provide classroom space
  • Caroline G. Atkinson appointed acting school superintendent. She was the only female superintendent on Long Island


"Our School Superintendent." Nassau County Review. January 19, 1912, 8. Accessed July 26, 2022.

  • Blanche Trubenback, the only woman on the school board ballot, received only six votes in the May election.  She is the first woman in Freeport for run for school board


"Freeport Cleans House, Too." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. May 8, 1912. Accessed October 4, 2022.


  • Moxey Rigby became the first African American to graduate Freeport High School

Click here for more information about Moxey Rigby.


  • Columbus Avenue School constructed
  • Freeport BOE created the "Citizens Committee," comprised of seven taxpayers, to explore the creation of additional K-6 schools within the Freeport district and recommendations for the location of a high school building. The proposal to build a new school in the northeast section of Freeport was supported.  However, the idea to create a separate grade school for African American children, was thoroughly rejected


"Important School Recommendations." Nassau County Review. July 4, 1913, 1. Accessed November 6, 2022.

"Protest Against Color Line." Nassau County Review. July 18, 1913, 1. Accessed November 4, 2022.

"To Report About School." Nassau County Review. June 27, 1913, 1. Accessed November 4, 2022.


  • (June 30) - Former President William Howard Taft addressed graduates at the Freeport High School commencement exercises in the American Theatre


"Ex-President Taft to the Graduates." Nassau County Review. June 30, 1916, 1. Accessed August 29, 2019.


  • The Fire Council of the Freeport Fire Department agreed to use the fire whistle to alert students when th school would be closed due to "stormy weather"


"Fire Whistle to Aid School Children." The Nassau Review. January 19, 1917, 1.  Accessed July 2, 2018.


  • Agnes Earon becomes first women elected to the school board


"Announces Candidacy for School Trustee of Freeport." The Nassau Post. April 12, 1918, 5. Accessed August 7, 2017.

  • Freeport's night school proposed teaching boat building


"Night School, to Teach Boat Building." Nassau County Review. February 1, 1918, 1. Accessed June 3, 2019.

1920 circa

  • Flashings, the Freeport High School newspaper, began


  • Continuation classes started by the Board of Education for minors 14 and 15 years old who went to work before graduating.  Class took place on Saturdays between 8 a.m. and noon


  • Freeport Cemetery chosen as the site for a new school building

1923 circa

  • Grove Street School overcrowding made it necessary for the district to use space in the neighboring Engine Company No. 1 firehouse, the Presbyterian Church, the Library, and YMCA


  • New high School building on Pine Street dedicated


"Freeport to Dedicate Handsome High School on Monday Evening." The Nassau Daily Review. October 25, 1924, 1. Accessed May 2, 2022.


  • Junior-Senior high school enrollment reaches 887



Dodd Retiring as Freeport School Head. Newsday. December 14, 1960, 30.




  • Cleveland Avenue School opened
  • Columbus Avenue School enlarged


  • Roy Leon Smith, former principal of Freeport High School, died at his home in North Adams, MA.  He was 51 years old
  • Bronze marker erected on Main Street by the Exchange Club to commemorate the site of Freeport 's first school.  Teacher, Caroline G. Atkinson, unveiled the marker


"Will Mark Old Freeport School Site Tomorrow." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 23, 1932, 2.  Accessed October 6, 2022.


  • First known published usage of "Red Devils" to describe an athletic team from Freeport High School


Huley, Frank. "Freeport Beats Hempstead Hempstead with Final Spurt 18-15." Nassau Daily Review. December 18, 1933, 12.  Accessed August 7, 2018.


  • Gold Star Mothers took the place of the Grand Army of Republic in the Memorial Day Parade

Source: "Gold Star Mothers Supplant G.A.R." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 19, 1935, 9.  Accessed April 3., 2019.

  • The Board of Education announced that Julia Grump, principal of Archer Street School, and Augusta Lovenguth, Principal of Columbus Avenue School would be replace by male administrators.  The board believed that once a school reached an enrollment of 500 students, men were better suited to be principals.  Protests from outraged women forced the board to rescind the plan



"P-T. A. to Protest Removal of Two as School Heads,"  Nassau Daily Review. May 31, 1935, 1. Accessed November 15, 2022.

"Protests Change Plans of Board; Women Keep Jobs," Nassau Daily Review. June 20, 1935, 1. Accessed November 15, 2022.



  • Junior-Senior high school enrollment skyrocketed to 1,779. Grove Street Elementary School begins housing the 7th grade
  • School District publishes a 45 page booklet entitled The School Building Needs of Freeport, Long Island
  • Dr. Dodd re-elected president of the New York State Teachers Association
  • Willard W. Jones, principal of Archer Street School, entered the Army as a chaplain.  Dana H. Smith succeeded Jones
  • Bertha Hull, principal of Seaman Avenue School retired.  Lawrence C. Lobaugh succeed Hull
  • Helen E. Ross promoted principal of Columbus Avenue School after the retirement of Augusta M. Lovenguth

1941 circa


  • (September) Freeport High School Fathers' Club was organized.  In 1947, the club reorganized and became the Freeport Fathers' and Boosters' Club of Freeport.


"E. White and Golden Get Sportsmanship Awards." The Leader. December 19, 1946, 1.  Accessed May 8, 2019.

"Fathers and Boosters of Schools Organize." The Leader. February 27, 1947, 6. Accessed May 8, 2019.



  • Budge vote for new schools in Northwest and South Area of Freeport 


Freeport BOE New Schools Proposition 


  • Long Island Park Commission gives nine acres of land north of the Cleveland Avenue School to be used as athletic fields for Freeport High School
  • Atkinson School constructed. This school was named for Caroline G. Atkinson, a teacher with over 50 years of service in the school district


  • Seaman Avenue School used as temporary school housing for over-flow classes


  • Freeport High School teachers K. Alice Hoerner and C. Sheard Parker died in a plane crash.  They were returning from summer vacation in upstate New York were they both had homes


Death of Two F.H.S. Teachers in Plane Crash Stuns Their Associates at Fall Faculty Meeting." The Leader. December 7, 1950, 1. Accessed April 2, 2024.


  • Buffalo Avenue Field House was constructed for the athletic field north of the Cleveland Avenue School


  • Freeport High School participated in the New York Herald Tribune's Forum and hosted two students from outside the United States.  The two students were Vivian Salomon from Argentina and Ibrahim Houry from Lebanon.  The students stayed in Freeport for two weeks.


Voyageur, 1958.


  • Freeport High School constructed on the marshy land between the Village of Freeport and Baldwin


  • (April 30) Dodd Middle School is dedicated


  • (January 14) Leo F. Giblyn School dedicated


  • Cleveland Avenue School was closed
  • Undefeated Freeport High School Football team wins the Rutgers Cup.  Bill Ashley retires as football coach after the winning season

Click here for more information about Bill Ashley


  • Seaman Avenue School was converted to an administration building
  • Freeport-Roosevelt NAACP presented a citation to the Freeport School Board for their unanimous decision to eliminate racial imbalance in the Freeport Schools.  Dr. John Henry Martin, Freeport Superintendent, was awarded "Man of the Year," for his "contribution to the American Dream"


"Dr. Martin Man of the Year," The New York Amsterdam News." January 25, 1964, 22. Accessed November 25, 2022. ProQuest Historical African American Newspapers.

  • A technology based reading program, called the Edison Responsive Environment system, was introduced to 20 kindergarten students as a pilot project by the State Education Department


"Kids Learn to Read Without the Teacher," New York Amsterdam News. July 18, 1964, 21. Accessed November 25, 2022. ProQuest Historical African American Newspapers.


  • Freeport leased classroom space from the First Presbyterian Church for 209 first and second graders while $60,000 in renovations were made to Archer Street School


"Church Leases Space to Archer School Students." The Leader. October 14, 1965, 13. Accessed June 1, 2018.

"Jewish Group Objects to Church-School Ties." Newsday. November 5, 1965, 15.


  • In order to maintain racial balance, the Freeport School Board adopted a plan to conduct annual surveys of the racial makeup of the schools. Modification to the distribution of students amongst the schools was employed to maintain diversity. It was believed that Freeport was the first district to adopt such a policy on Long Island.  The plan was praised by the NYS Education Commissioner and Freeport-Roosevelt NAACP
  • Columbus Avenue School became the district's kindergarten center. This decision was made in order to correct the racial imbalance of the school.  At the time, Columbus Avenue School's enrollment was 66 percent African American


"Freeport's Racial Rx: Annual Checkup." Newsday. March 24, 1966, 4.


  • (October 7) Fire burned the Grove Street School


  • Sterling Keys elected to the Freeport School Board.  He was the first African American elected to the Freeport BOE


"Sterling Keys Wins School Board Post." The Leader.  The Leader., May 16, 1968, 1. Accessed November 6, 2022.


  • Addition added to Freeport High School
  • Harding M. Morgan was hired as an assistant principal of Freeport High School.  He became one of the first African American administrators in the district.  He later was appointed principal of Dodd Junior High School


"Former Dodd Principal Dies." The Leader. June 17, 1993, 11. Accessed November 9, 2022.

Mason-Draffen, Carrie. "Harding M. Morgan, Trailblazer for Black Educators," Newsday. June 11, 1993, 41. Accessed November 9, 2022.

  • 75 high school students from Freeport, Uniondale, and Hempstead took part in a 10-week African American history and cultural program at Hofstra University.  The Afro-American Winter Project was sponsored by Hofstra's Organization of Black Collegians


"75 Students Take Free Afro-American Lessons," Afro-American. February, 1969, 12. Accessed November 25, 2022. ProQuest Historical African American Newspapers.

  • In an effort to address racial tension in Freeport High School, Principal Albert Renken brought together a committee of 15 Black and 15 White students.  After a four-hour meeting, the students presented a list of recommendations that included: hiring of more African American teachers and guidance counselors and the teaching of Black history in all grades


Barrett, Brian. "Pupils Offer Biracial Plan," Newsday. January 24, 1969, 5.  Accessed November 25, 2022.


  • Helmeted police officers were posted at the entrance of Freeport High School and Junior High School as a precautionary measure following a brief clash between police and students


"Helmeted Cops Ring Freeport High, Jr High," New York Amsterdam News. June 6, 1970.


  • (April 21) March of Dimes, Nassau County Department of Health, and the Freeport Public Schools held an immunization clinic at Columbus Avenue School for rubella (German measles). Vaccinations for rubella became mandatory for New York State school children in 1970


Planning Immunization Day. The Leader. April 15, 1971, 14.  Accessed May 11, 2022.

  • The Black Educators Committee in Freeport was established by Harding M. Morgan. The purpose of this committee was to promote the hiring of black educators and to advocate for minority children


"Former Dodd Principal Dies." The Leader. June 17, 1993, 11. Accessed November 9, 2022.

Mason-Draffen, Carrie. "Harding M. Morgan, Trailblazer for Black Educators," Newsday. June 11, 1993, 41. Accessed November 9, 2022.


  • Freeport acquired the title "Math Capital of the United States"


"Freeport is Proud of its Mathletes." Newsday. Oct 13, 1972, 2A


  • George Emma was named athletic director of the Freeport School District


"George Emma Dies; Students and Adults Mourn." The Leader. May 19, 1983, 3. Accessed October 26, 2018.


  • Freeport High School football team returned to Freeport Stadium after six years of playing at Hofstra University while the Stadium was undergoing renovations.


"FHS Football Back to Stadium." Village News. Freeport: NY. November 1974, 1.

  • (September 29) - John W. Dodd Junior High School, Phase I Addition Dedication


Dedication Program

  • The University of Liberia Choir performed in Freeport.  They attended classed and spent the night in the homes of members of the Freeport High School Chorus


Williams, Pat. "Suffolk Signs In," New York Amsterdam News. May 18, 1974, C2. Accessed November 25, 2022. ProQuest Historical African American Newspapers.


  • Freeport High School junior, Lisa Tolliver, was the recipient of an Alpha Kappa Alpha Domestic Travel Grant award.  The award included a tour of several cities of historical interest to African Americans


"Winner Travels on Tour," The New York Amsterdam News. July 16, 1975. Accessed November 25, 2022. ProQuest Historical African American Newspapers.


  • Freeport High School's men's basketball team won the Nassau Class A title


"George Emma Dies; Students and Adults Mourn." The Leader. May 19, 1983, 3. Accessed October 26, 2018.


  • 1986 - Russ Cellan, became the football coach for Freeport High School at the age of 29


Nataly, Nadya. "FHS Football Coach is a Hall of Famer." The Leader. October 19, 2017, 1. Accessed February 1, 2023.


  • Athletic field at Freeport High School was named in honor of George Emma


Benza, A. J. "Keening a Coach's Memory Alive." Newsday. January 3, 1988, 27.


  • District celebrated its centennial


  • Dual language program introduced in Freeeport schools


Anzalone, Phillip J. "Dual Language Program Begins with a Lottery," The Leader.  July 16, 1993, 3. Accessed November 15, 2022.

Braine, William. "Freeport Schools Propose Dual Languages in Place of ESL." The Leader.  May 27, 1993, 3. Accessed November 15, 2022.



  • Flashings, Freeport High School's newspaper, fought censorship over an article it wanted to publish about the arrest of the track coach


  • New Visions School of Exploration & Discovery, Freeport's first magnet school, opened


  • The William "Bill" Ashley Memorial Sports Complex was dedicated at the Cleveland Avenue Field in Freeport


Freeport Report, November 2007.


  • Archer Street celebrated 100th anniversary


  • (October 6) Elinor Smith was awarded a Freeport High School Diploma posthumously


  • Columbus Avenue School and Archer Street School are given historic roadside markers by the Freeport Landmarks Preservation Commission


  • 2017 - Russ Cellan, Freeport High School football coach, inducted into the Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame 


Nataly, Nadya. "FHS Football Coach is a Hall of Famer." The Leader. October 19, 2017, 1. Accessed February 1, 2023.


  • Freeport High School football team won the Long Island Conference One championship



  • Harry Mohrman retired after 57 years of service as a physical education teacher and coach.  Mr. Mohrman beat Miss Atkinson's record of 52 years with the Freeport School District


Farghaly, Mohamed. "Superintendent's Day Conference Returns." Freeport Herald. September 15, 2022, 3.