Our History

How many people know the five names that Woodward High School has used and why? 

The first was The Industrial School.  In 1913, Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Guitteau proposed opening a manual training school for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade boys interested in wood-working, mechanical drawing, telegraphy, printing stenography, and typing, along with traditional academic work.  While the idea was popular, the name wasn’t, as it sounded like a reformatory.  So, the school that was destined to become Woodward High School did not start out as a high school.

In 1917, the name was changed to Woodward Manual School in honor of Dr. Calvin M. Woodward.  Dr. Woodward was an early leader in manual training education.  And Woodward became the only Toledo High School not named for a Toledo resident.  In September of the same year, 9th grade classes were added and the name was changed again - to Woodward Junior High School.  It was during this junior high period that our beloved “Tattler” was born.  The newspaper was the idea of print shop teacher Hugh Montgomery who used the newspaper as a project to interest students in the printing trade.

Girls were admitted to Woodward for the first time in 1919 and the high school grades were expanded to include 9th through 12th grades.  Woodward Junior High School changed its name for a fourth time and became Woodward Technical High School. 

In 1928, the last name change occurred.  Until 1927, The Industrial School-Woodward Manual School-Woodward Junior High School-Woodward Technical School occupied the top floor of the old Toledo Central High School (not to be confused with Central Catholic High School located on Cherry Street).  That building stood where the Main Library stands today and there is a historical marker for Woodward Technical High School on the library campus.  Toledo began building neighborhood high schools beginning with Scott in 1913, Waite in 1914, and Libbey in 1923.  Woodward Technical High School was moved into a new building at 600 E. Streicher St. in North Toledo in the fall of 1927 and became the public high school of North Toledo.  Beginning in 1927, Woodward was known as Calvin M. Woodward High School – the name that remains until today.  In keeping with the “northern” theme, the polar bear was picked as mascot. Our polar bear’s name is “Polaris” after the Northern Star.   The WHS yearbook name , “The Saga”, comes from the Scandanavian word for “stories about families”.

Interestingly, the Board of Education never registered the newest Woodward name with the State Board of Education.  This was discovered 34 years later and the new name was officially granted in 1961!  It was also during the 1960-61 school year that the big Polaris statue appeared in the front yard.

In the fall of 1969, Woodward finally had our own home stadium and in 1976 was home to the first Girls’Basketball State Champions in the State of Ohio.  A little later, in the Fall of 1976, the Skill Center opened.

Many alumni watched with mixed emotions as our beloved Woodward disappeared to make room for the new Calvin M. Woodward High School located at 701 E. Central Avenue.  It was sad to see all the halls and walls that housed so much history disappear – and yet it was exciting to see Woodward move into the 21st Century!

A big THANK YOU! to Gayle (Morgan) Schaber c/o 1968 for providing this short history of Woodward.


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