East Valley School District

Brief History of the East Valley School District

By Jeff Miller, Former Principal - East Valley High School

According to the resources obtained from the archives of our high school library, the story goes something like this...

Organized in 1886, East Trent School District #63 is believed to be the first school district in the Spokane Valley. This school district would later develop ties with the East Valley School District. In 1888 the first public school house in the East Valley School District was constructed in the area now known as Otis Orchards. This one-room school house served the areas later known as East Farms, Moab and Otis Orchards. The Little White School on the Hill was built with twenty dollars worth of wood donated by Mr. William Pringle and was officially designated School District #76 by the territorial legislature. Washington would not become a state until one year later in 1889.

The more modern “Cobblestone School” (1909-1918) replaced the Little White School on the Hill and boasted its first graduating high school class in 1914. The graduation for the class of 1914 was held in the Fruit Grower’s Warehouse. A new high school wing was added to the Cobblestone School in 1918.

Cobblestone School, known for its tall bell tower, shake siding and field stone trim, was allegedly designed by famous local architect Kirtland Cutter. Cutter’s other local designs include the Davenport Hotel and many other historic buildings which still stand in the Spokane area. Aubrey L. White, a local orchard owner, was said to have designed the grounds. White had a rich history of designing parks throughout the Spokane area. The street named Aubrey L .White Parkway in Spokane was dedicated in his name.

In 1923, “Stucco High School” was built just west of Cobblestone School. When fire destroyed the old Cobblestone Elementary School in 1930, a second stucco building was constructed to house the elementary students.

With each new building, or as additional smaller school districts consolidated with the Otis Orchards School District, new school district numbers were assigned. Otis Orchards School District became #314 in 1922 after consolidation with the Moab School District. E.H. McHenry became their first official superintendent. Borden School District from Canfield Gulch consolidated with Otis in 1925 creating the new district #341. Schools in Newman Lake, Idlewild and Green Mountain also consolidated and joined with Otis between 1933 and 1938. The Washington State Legislature passed the teacher minimum wage law requiring all teachers be paid at least $100 per month. In 1943 Otis was renumbered to Otis Orchards School District #348.

In 1957, on a site just west of the old stucco schools, red brick additions of the new Otis Orchards Elementary began. Otis Orchards’ public schools consolidated with the East Trent School District #63 in 1959 forming the new East Valley School District #361 which included schools from Foothills, Pleasant Prairie, MilIville, and the remaining Spokane Bridge Schools.

Otis Orchards’ old stucco school buildings were used to house high school students until the new Trentwood-area East Valley High School could be completed. The 47th and final class of high school students graduated from Otis Orchards High School in June of 1960. Because of the rich farming heritage found in the district, old yearbooks contained many sponsored advertisements from seed companies, hardware stores, mercantile stores, dairies and even several larger private farms.

The original East Valley High School opened its doors in the fall of 1960 and had its first graduating class receive their diplomas in the spring of 1961. The original high school, located on the corner of Sullivan and Wellesley, was built with the capability to house approximately 600 students. This facility served students from 1960-1989. A bond issue passed by voters in 1986 provided funding for a remodel of the original facility. While many portions of the 1960 building still stand, the 10 million dollar expansion created a new facility designed to support more than 1600 students. Opening in 1989, the “new high school” has provided almost 30 years of service to students and community.

Mr. Harold Hoffman, superintendent of Otis Orchards Public Schools, was retained as the first superintendent of the new East Valley School District. Mr. Raymond Lee, principal of Otis Orchards High School was retained as the first principal of the new East Valley High School. Mr. Lee was the first of just six individuals to hold the title of principal of East Valley High School in the 50 year history of the school.

Principal History:

Raymond E. Lee 1959-1973

Al Latimer 1973-1981

Don Kartevold 1981-1994

Jeff Miller 1994-2013

Jim McAdam 2013-2017

Matt Stevens 2017-2023

Ryan Arnold 2023-Current