In 1908, the county court deemed it advisable to establish a County High School in White County. After a little controversy as to where it should be situated, the High School Board decided that the school be placed in Sparta, being the best locality and offering better inducements than other communities of the county.
The City School building was turned over to the High School to be used until a permanent building could be created for the High School. The White County High School started building in January 1909, with Mr. G.C. Sipple as principal.
Fourteen acres of the highest ground in Sparta were bought and a $20,000 brick building, equipped with the most modern and up-to-date furnishings, was erected.
In April 1910, the town of Sparta turned over the building and campus to the High School, offering a beautiful view of the surrounding country and affording ample room for any and all outdoor sports.
It was in 1838 that public school began in the State of Tennessee. By 1850, there were 59 schools, 59 teachers, and 2500 students enrolled in White County Schools. In 1867, there were thirty-five schools, and the school term ranged from three to five months a year.
Later, the county court approved the school for classes to run from January through June. Students could take whatever classes were available: American History, Algebra, Chemistry, English. The first graduating class for WCHS was in 1909. By 1914, there were 62 students enrolled at WCHS, and it had the highest ranking in the state.
The first building constructed to house the school burned down in 1918. Another building was erected soon after; however, it, too, burned in 1932. As a result, yet another building was erected to serve White County students.
In 1932 the new White County High School was opened and was referred to as the “School on the Hill.” The building would serve as White County High School through 1967. In 1968, White County Junior High School, serving grades 7-9 came into existence in what was previously the High School. There were forty-five teachers that made up its faculty. Because of overcrowded conditions, the Board of Education voted to move ninth grade to the new high school building in 1978. Thus, White County Middle School was established, and it served all seventh and eighth graders in the county.
By the 1990s, there was a brand new school facility built to house sixth graders, seventh graders, and eighth graders of White County. This left the old WCHS building that was built in 1933 vacant, and it was torn down. Today, on the grounds of the old high school, the building is gone, but the gym is still there and used.
The current campus of White County High school opened in 1968 for grades 10-12.In 1978 the freshmen moved to the high school campus. Over the years, the original building has had five additions, including the CTE and Career Academy buildings to add space to meet new curriculum demands.
Twenty-one principals have served the students of White County. Each has had a goal of continuing a pursuit of excellence in education.
White County High School Principals
G.C. Sipple 1909-1912
Walter Rogers 1912-1913
A.E. Crislip 1913-1914
Paul E. Doran 1914-1917
Claude Lowry 1917-1919
Joel M. Barnes 1919-1925
J.C. Fooshee 1925-1931
Walter Fowler 1931-1937
C.O. Jett 1937-1938
W.A. Walker 1938-1947
Quill Cope 1947-1951
A.C. Haston 1951-1958
James Scott 1958-1959
Everett Mitchell 1959-1961
Frank Medley 1961-1964
Charles H. Sarver 1964-1978
Charles Dycus 1978-2007
Dr. Barry Roberts 2007-2012
Grant Swallows 2012-2020
Greg Wilson 2020-present