As I mentioned in my first post, one of my goals of is to highlight those things that make the Town of Speedway a great place to call home. One of the most important factors that makes Speedway a great place to live is the quality of the Schools.
When homes were first being constructed in the area now known as the Town of Speedway, the students attended Wayne Township schools. The first school built in the original Speedway City development was a red brick school at 10th Street and Winton Avenue in 1912 which housed grades 1 through 8.
Due to overcrowding, a new school was built which opened in 1919 at 14th Street and Winton Avenue. That original structure no longer stands, but newer buildings on that site currently house both an elementary school and the district’s only Junior High. Here are images of the school shortly after it opened in 1919, and a view of the Junior High that sits on the same site today.
In 1928, two years after the Town of Speedway was formally established, the town took over responsibility for the education of the residents of the Town. The school district which is called the “School Town of Speedway” continues to operate independently from the Indianapolis Public School District.
Here are some interesting facts about the Speedway Schools:
- There are 4 Elementary Schools in the school district, and each one is named after one of the four founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Carl G. Fisher School originally built in 1919, Arthur C. Newby School built in 1951, James A. Allison School built in 1956, and Frank H. Wheeler School built in 1959.
- The nickname for the high school is the Sparkplugs (commonly referred to as just “the Plugs”), but surprisingly the school colors are not black and white – they are brown and yellow. In 2010, the Sparkplugs were on ESPN’s list of America’s funniest football nicknames. The high school logo is a “human-like” sparkplug but as best as I can determine, the school does not have a full-size mascot. Perhaps Texas Motor Speedway may be interested in donating a mascot uniform like the TMS mascot Sparky (are you reading this Eddie Gossage?).
- According to the most recent Indiana Department of Education statistics, the 2010-2011 enrollment for all Speedway Schools is 1,528.
- Also according to Indiana Department of Education statistics, the 2010 graduation rate for Speedway High School students was an amazing 100%, which means all the freshman who entered Speedway High School in the fall of 2006 either graduated or transferred to another school. This compares to a state-wide average for public schools of 84.1%. In addition, the report indicates that 88% of the graduates of Speedway High School in 2010 intended to pursue a college education compared to a state-wide average of 77%.
- Each year, the Speedway High School marching band is the first band on the track as part of the Indy 500 Festival of Bands pre-race activities. The band’s flag corps features all of the flags used in the Indy 500. Here is a photo from the 2009 Parade of Bands.
- In 2002, the Speedway Sparkplugs won the Indiana Division 2A Basketball Championship with a 62-48 win over Bluffton High School.
- Due to the compact size of the school district, the Speedway Schools do not have a bus system.