Lawrence North High School Digs in its History
In 1974, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence broke ground in a field with intention of building a new high school. Thirty-eight years ago, the ceremony took place on what is now the site of Lawrence North High School. This year, the yearbook staff of LNHS is focusing on its origins.
As part of this year’s yearbook project, Lawrence North High School students have been doing extensive research on the history of the school to include in their publication. A yearbook is a piece of history. It is the documentation of the lives and activities of an entire year of the students’ lives. To approach this daunting task, the journalism students, photographers, and graphic design students focus on compiling as much of this information as they can track down. Many of these students are the second generation to attend Lawrence North.
Questions as to the future of the high school have been discussed over the last couple years and will continue to be explored. A proposed merger of Lawrence Central and Lawrence North High Schools would be a reuniting of these schools, but the future is not what is concerning the Lawrence North yearbook staff this year. The students are focused on the present with a look back on their school’s history – not looking toward an unknown future.
Reminiscing over the vintage photographs from the ground-breaking ceremony, the current principal of LN, Mr. Brett Crousore, was curious as to where those shovels are now. Through a little bit of detective work, they were found by the custodial staff. One of these shovels now resides in the office of Mr. Crousore. Mr. William (Bill) McColly, who retired as principal of Lawrence North in 1989 and who can still be found as a weekly regular at Bernie’s Place for lunch, looks back upon his years at LN with pride.
Mr. McColly, the first principal of Lawrence North, was at the helm at the beginning when the school opened in 1976. Mr. McColly was formerly the principal of Lawrence Central for 2 years prior to moving (as he phrased it, “turncoat”) to Lawrence North. “I was very proud of my staff and what we accomplished. It was fun for me to go to work,” said McColly. “We started with zero seniors our first year, then within 5-6 years we were ranked nationally as one of the best high schools in the country.”
The yearbook coordinator (and public relations director) for LN, Kathy Francis, sums it up well: “It’s all a learning experience. I have over 30 seniors this year who have been in my class for four years now. I know this is something that will stick with them forever, as they have not only been paying attention to what goes on at LN but documenting it, writing about it, interviewing students and faculty. The best part, of course, is when the yearbook comes out and really tells the story of the year (and shows all their hard work).”