For many years French Lick has had a high school, but its history as a commissioned school is young and its growth has been rapid. It was not until 1908 that it was really placed on a four year basis. At this time there were two high school teachers, one of whom was also superintendent of the entire system. The high school consisted of about forty pupils. During the summer of 1909 the new part of the building was erected. It contained a basement, two recitation rooms and a large auditorium. In September, 1909 F. L. H. S. swung open her doors to admit two young men who were awaiting on the threshold to enter as Seniors and pave the way for the many graduates who have followed them. During the same year another teacher was added to the faculty, the high school library was organized on a more extensive plan and French Lick's athletes made their initial appearance in the way of an energetic football team. The efforts toward success were rewarded by the school receiving its commission and in May Exum Hall and Arthur Speece marched to the graduating platform to receive the first diplomas issued by French Lick High School.
The next year eighteen Freshmen were admitted to the maiden high school and five girls entered as Seniors. However, before the end of the year the class had decreased to three members, and Iva Lomax, Mayme Lashbrooks and Stella Ballard were the second graduating class. During this year new courses were introduced into the curriculum, two compound microscopes were added for use in Botany and equipment for a Physics laboratory were bought.
The class of 1911 was composed of ten members, five boys and five girls who had remained from the eighteen of the Freshman Class of 1907-1908. The Freshmen numbers had now increased to twenty and there were over seventy pupils in the high school. Nine others entered the ranks of the autumn in 1912. it was also in 1912 that the school building was again remodeled. On account of the need of recitation rooms the auditorium was divided into four class rooms. During the year 1912-13 F.L.H.S. began to show herself a force in the high school athletic circles. Before the close of the year a number of games had been won over schools much larger than herself. Although the graduation class of this year was small, the school was steadily growing in numbers and quality. In 1914 a large class graduated, the football team was especially successful and a track team was organized. The Senior class also published "The Plutonian," the first high school annual. The same year the basement was equipped for manual training and a domestic science kitchen and dining and sewing rooms were furnished. Special teachers were employed to teach the subjects.
In 1915 a successful basket ball team appeared. In 1916 a commercial department was also added to the high school and a special teacher employed for the work. And the Domestic Science department was moved to a five room bungalow across the street from the school building which was equipped as a home. There it remained until last fall when a part of the basement was arranged to more suitably accommodate the work.
During the year from '16 to '19 the basket ball teams were especially good and the school ranked high in the country for her athletics.
Each year of the high school growth has been indeed one of progress, although French Lick has had struggles. Each year has sent forth young people of whom she is proud and who are proud to call her their Alma Mater. From the two in the first class to the twenty-three of 1920, the largest class to leave the school, the graduates as a rule are making good. And may the future years of F.L.H.S.'s life bring even more progress than the past for she aims for the highest ideals and best development of life.
Counting the graduates of this term of school, who number twenty, F.L.H.S. will have graduated one hundred and forty young men and women since first becoming recognized as a high school of a four year course.