Public High Schools throughout the county were being established to take the place of private schools known as academies. These schools were giving children more opportunities at less cost to parents. Coleraine Twp.. was ready for twentieth-century development in secondary education. In the year 1906 the Public township High School was established in the building that housed Union High School for 45 years. In May 1906 the Coleraine School Board composed ofW.H. Ferguson, W.G.White, J.B. Davis, Winfield S. Byer and J. Ross Flaharty decided to appoint a committee negotiating for a public high school. The committee reported that the Union High School could be rented for $65 per year and this included the stables. This was agreed upon and carried out. Ralph F. Thomas of Phillips burgh N.J. was employed as the first principal.
A committee was appointed to visit some of the neighboring high schools for the purpose of learning the requirements first year. J.S. Simons, principal of Little Britain High School gave the entrance examination. School began in August 1906 and continued until May.
When school opened in the fall of 1907 Joseph Ferree became principal. Mr. Ferree had the pleasure of graduating the first class from the Public High School. April 10, 1915 trustees of Union High School were notified that the building would not be wanted for the coming year. Several weeks later a tract of land was purchased from Wm. Killian for $125 per acre, 3 acres and 121 perches. A contract was awarded to Wm. Blackburn and the cost $4805.59. May 26, 1915 the Board or Education, Carroll Greenleaf, Emerson Walton, a.M. Witmer, Edgar Linton, and Charles Anderson authorized the creation of a bonded indebtness of $6000. to be used for purchase of land, cost of erecting the building and equipment to furnish the building. The building would be one story and two rooms. Tax rate 7 1/2 mills for school purposes and 1/2 mill for building purposes.
J. Ross MIller was the first principal of Coleraine high School. In the fall of 1916 Mr. Miller changed the 2 year course to a three year course. In 1919, still wishing to accomplish more he changed the three year course to a 4 year program.
In the fall of 1917, Anne L. Shory was employed as Assistant Prin. Chemistry and Science was added to the curriculum
In 1926 Coloraine was giving a 4 year course with two teachers employed. State requirements demanded that a four year high school Should be taught by three teachers. Coleraine School board decided that it would not be advisable to add another room and teacher so they changed to a three year program. After graduation students could go the Oxford, Quarryville or Chocranville for the fourth year Tuition would be paid by Coleraine. The class of 1920 was the first to graduate from a 3 year high school.
Education in Coleraine Township- 1854- 1904
Before the establishment of Union High School there were several private schools in the Octoraro Valley. The Presbyterian Church was always an advocate of schools. Members or other churches, denomination also shared this interest.
Citizens of Coleraine realized what an asset a well managed school would be to their community. Residents of Little Britain township shared this interest. August 8, 1359 was the opening of Union High School and a great ambition of the community was realized. The school year was divided into three terms, fall, winter and spring.
David Cochran consented to have a room of his dwelling converted into a classroom. It provided two entrances, one for boys and one for girls. Professor Andrews had his own opinion about the mingling of the sexes. Professor Andrews, who had proved himself an excellent instructor at Hopewell Acadamy in Chester County consented to start his own private school in the village of Union. He suffered from paralysis but inspite of his handicap he taught at Union High School for 27 years. August 8,1879 a twentieth anniversary reunion was held in the Union Presbyterian Church' It was attended by 3000 persons with 350 of this number who were former students, clergyman, lawyers, educators, various other occupations as well as representatives from other schools and colleges. After the retirement of Professor Andrews, the school continued until the year 1904. Due to decreasing enrollment it became in unprofitable as the tuition fees could not pay the teachers fees