•      1916 Freshmen

                            (Photo: Freshmen Class, 1916 Tuba) 

        The first public school classes were held in the old Methodist Church
    in the 1860s. The church was located on what is now Ewald's Bar-B-Q's parking lot near the corner of East North and North Spring Streets. The teacher was Patrick Monoghan. 

       In 1867, the center part of the first public high school building was erected. This building, which consisted of 3 rooms, was located at the corner of Magnolia and West North Streets. The first two students to complete a course of study were Fran Luckey, who went on to become a physician in Perryville, and James Burgee in 1885. 

    1867 Building

                            (Photo: The 1867 Perryville High School Building, 1933 Tuba)

       The first 2-year Perryville High School class was graduated in 1893 and included J.E Bey, Ida Hooss, May McCauley Moore, Frannie McAtte Mattingly, Anne Armour Luckey and William Smith. Professor Frank Williams had two teaching assistants, Mr. Watkins and Mr. Macon. They offered 20 subjects - United States History, civil government, physiology, drawing, reading, spelling, writing, artithmatic, geography, English grammar, rhetoric, algebra, physics, geometry, bookkeeping, American literature, psychology, botany and literary works. They issued hand-made report cards. 

       In 1917, a new high school was built next to the existing building which was then converted to a grade school. This building was used as the high school until 1938. M.E.A. Wiley was superintendent and C.E. Cooper was principal.
    1940 Old Senior High
                             (Photo: The 1938 Perryville High School Building, 1940 Tuba)

        The high school building located at College and Edwards Streets – now called the Old Senior High School
    - was completed in 1938, the same year that the Farm Engineer's Building located behind the Old Senior High (which now houses the maintenance department) was built.

       Total enrollment at the high school was 348 with grade school at 193. There were 13 teachers at the high school and 7 at the grade school in 1938. PHS faculty includes superintendent V.L. Lohmann, principal Esther Huber, and teachers Paul Haman, Alfred Hilpert, O.O. White, Evelyn Pollock, Effie Grant, Flora Bergman, Clark Caruthers, Miriam Ganahl, Melvin Leimer, Grover Crites and Edwin Mecker. Secretaries are Mildred Buck and Doris Bergmann and August Schoen is the janitor.


       In 1945, a kindergarten program was added to the grade school. In 1952, the district added a cafeteria, band and music annex near the Farm Engineer's Building. Three years later, the PHS Booster Club hosted the first football homecoming celebration. Miss Ann Kiefner was crowned as the school's first homecoming queen.
    Home Ec 1964


                               (Photo: Home Economics Class makes Christmas Candy, 1964 Tuba)

       From 1960-1966, nineteen small school districts within Perry County
    are annexed into District 32. Lohmann's Cafeteria becomes The Pirate's Den in 1962, serving over 700 hamburgers a day - at a cost of 25 cents each.


       A library with classrooms underneath were added to the junior high school building and used for the first time during the second semester of the 1965-66 school year. During the same time, two other projects were completed. A new building was added to the complex that housed the cafeteria and the music department. The cafeteria had a seating capacity of 400 and was designed to serve 200 students in 7 minutes.


       The elementary school was then constructed on the southwest corner of the campus. It was composed of two round pods. The dedication ceremony was held Nov. 13, 1966 with Mayor Wallace Gagnepan serving as Master of Ceremonies. Robert A. Lorenz, senior sales representative with Trans World Airlines, delivered the address entitled “He Who Dares To Live Must Never Cease To Learn.”

    PES 1967
                              (Photo: New Elementary School, 1967 Tuba)

        In 1966, Perryville Elementary has 22 faculty members, 482 students, 7 cafeteria staff, 2 custodians and one secretary. In 2015, this building houses Perry County Middle School
    with the fifth grade located in a separate building behind the pods.

    The new Vo-Tech building was completed in 1975 at a cost of nearly $130,000. This all-metal Butler building was ready for classes in mid-January 1975. In 2015, this building is home to Early Childhood Education.


       In 1975, voters approved a $1.25 million bond issue to build a new high school. The facilities opened in April 1976 and eliminated a number of trailers used as classrooms. The new high school housed English, social studies, math, science and special services rooms. Administrative offices, guidance offices, resource centers, a cafeteria and commons area are also included. In 2015, this is the Perryville Elemetary School.


       After Christmas break, the kindergarten is moved from Elizabeth Ann Seton school buildings in Brewer to classrooms in the Junior High School annex.


       In 1991, Board of Education President Orville Schaefer appointed a committee of 25 community people to study the needs of the growing district. The committee reported its findings in January 1992 and from their recommendations, the district developed a construction plan. In February 1993, voters approved an 18-cent increase in the operating levy and the debt service was reduced by 18 cents to leave the tax rate at the current amount.


       An escrow deposit agreement between Perry County School District 32 and Mercantile Bank of St. Louis was authorized and executed covering the current school bond indebtedness. A lease/purchase agreement was made in March 1993 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, remodeling and renovating certain campus sites, buildings, furnishings and equipment. The total project is valued at $4.4 million.


       Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on June 13, 1993 with Penzel Construction serving as general contractor and KRJ Inc. as architect. The plan moved the elementary classrooms into the high school; the high school students into the junior high and the junior high classrooms into the elementary building. Vocational classes remained in their current locations.

    In October 1993, Phase 2 was approved by voters using a second lease/purchase plan to fund an additional $2.2 million in construction and improvements. A new $769,700 kindergarten center was constructed beginning in March 1994. A junior high multipurpose building was also added. All buildings and renovated areas were dedicated on October 8, 1994.
    During the same period, fundraising efforts generated $80,000 for a new track and fitness facility, which is open to the public. In 2014, the track underwent a complete resurfacing renovation, and remains open for public use. 
    In 2004, District 32 earned the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Distinction in Performance Award. To earn this recognition, a school district must meet 13 of 14 criteria which include MAP test scores, graduation rate and other factors. District 32 earned this award again in 2011 and 2012. (This award no longer exists.) 

    In March 2012, Perryville High School unveiled its renovated weight room with equipment purchased through a $10,000 grant from Pirate Athletic Club.

    In 2014, the District campus saw a number of improvements and renovations, including the renovation of the track, security updates across campus, and a $100,000 technology project to improve Internet access. 
    The Perryville High School gymnasium remodel,which began with the replacement of the gym floor in 2012, continued in 2014 with replacement of old windows with new, energy-efficient windows, and the installation of air conditioning.
    Also in 2014, a new road was added at Perryville Elementary School to facilitate smoother traffic flow before and after school. In December 2014, the District began a comprehensive sidewalk plan to link all buildings on campus for safer student traffic.