Spaulding High School was named for Jacob Shedd Spaulding (1811-1880), principal from 1852 to 1880 of the Barre Academy, the private school that occupied the site from 1852 to 1885. Spaulding was a graduate from Dartmouth College and a successful teacher at the Bakersfield Academy in Vermont before coming to Barre. He was a respected Vermont educator of "sound morals and religious principles."
On August 15, 1891, former Academy graduate and Barre businessman Charles A. Smith declared the cornerstone, "a fine specimen of Barre granite," to be "well laid." The new school, dedicated in September 1892, contained nine large classrooms, a chapel, a chemical and physical laboratory, a library and two teachers' rooms; it housed high school and younger students.
As other schools were constructed around the city, the earlier grades moved out, leaving grades nine through twelve in the building that was renamed Spaulding High School in 1895. In order to serve Barre's expanding population, an annex containing six new classrooms, an auditorium and a gymnasium was built in 1914 to complement the original facility. In 1964, a new, larger high school building was constructed on Ayers Street and the old school began to serve grades six through eight. In 1995, a new K-8 facility was built on Parkside Terrace, consolidating the functions of the neighborhood schools scattered around the city. The Spaulding School building then stood vacant.
Today, Spaulding High School is the oldest and longest-operating high school in Vermont. We celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2015, and we serve nearly 750 students from Barre City, Barre Town, and the surrounding area. Our student body comes from a wide range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
Because we share a campus with the Central Vermont Career Center, Spaulding students have access to a wide range of outstanding academic and career-oriented courses. We strongly encourage our students to take advantage of the many opportunities they have right here at both institutions; as well as other “Flexible Pathway” options such as Dual Enrollment, Early College, Work-Based Learning, and other opportunities designed to enrich their educational experience. We believe that this strong combination of rigorous academics, including a large number of on-site Advanced Placement courses, fosters student engagement both here at the high school, and in the career/life paths our students choose.
We also take a great deal of pride in the exceptional level of school spirit we see displayed every day in our hallways, on our athletic fields, and at our extra-curricular activities. We offer a wide range of athletic teams, numerous clubs and activities, and one of just three Junior ROTC clubs in the state.
From cheering at football games to marching with the high school band to attending our seasonal drama productions on opening night, Spaulding students not only get involved, but build lifetime friendships that follow them into the community, and their careers. As more than one alumnus has told us: Tide Pride is Forever!
Spaulding High School was originally located in the old Spaulding School Building in Barre. The building now serves as the Barre Historical Society.