The History of SRHS...

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Picture From The Southern Yearbook 1958 Excerpt From The Southern Yearbook 1958.....

"When Southern was first opened, it was called a "students' paradise", and we soon came to realize what this meant. Not only were we enjoying the atmosphere of an ultra-modern school, we were also given the opportunity to choose our respective curricula according to our own needs and interests. A wide variety of electives was offered as well.

 Moreover an experiment in "general education" was being conducted during our senior year. Under this system, students had the same teacher for English, history and home room. By teaching in this manner, the administration hoped to show the inter-relation between all school subjects.

As soon as we became adjusted to our new surroundings, the Sophomore class sponsored its first and most important activity--A skating party. Held at Bill's Skating Rink in Manahawkin, it was a great success largely due to the support of the entire student body."

From Humble Beginnings...
It is hard to believe that at one time there were only two small high schools in Southern Ocean County. One of the schools was Barnegat High, which served students from Barnegat, Waretown, and all of Long Beach Island. The other school was Tuckerton High School. This was where students from New Gretna all the way to Manahawkin went. Once people started to realize that these small campuses were not offering enough programs and extracurricular activities, a dream began to grow.

Districts Come Together...
Residents of Long Beach Island noticed their elementary schools were beginning to grow rapidly. From this an idea for a new high school began to grow. The six communities on Long Beach Island, along with Stafford Township, decided to form a new regional school district. The other mainland communities, Barnegat, Waretown and those south of Manahawkin, decided not to become members of the district. These other towns would be sending districts and pay tuition for their students to attend the new school.

After a great deal of searching for exactly the right spot for the new school, one was finally found. The site was in Manahawkin on Route 9, about one mile north of Route 72. This would be the home for the high school that would serve the area into the next century.

The Doors Are Opened...
After all the years of dreaming and hard work, Southern Regional High School opened its doors to students for the first time in September 1957. All of the students in southern Ocean County in grades seven through twelve were now attending a new school.

Southern Sports...
The school faced many challenges during its first year. New facilities and grounds took time to get used to. In that first year only two sports managed to make their appearance. They were baseball and basketball. However, both were boys' sports. As the years went by more sports were added. Football began in 1958, and wrestling was an immediate success when it started in 1960. Girls' had "Sports Nights" instead of competitive teams. It would not be until the 1960's when women's sports would first appear at Southern.

The Birth Of The Middle School...
A little over a decade later, with a huge population growth, the new school began to burst at the seams. Renovations had to be made to the school and in 1966 a new wing of classrooms and an extension to the gymnasium were added. But even this addition was not enough. Once again the classrooms were over-crowded. The solution was to build a new school. Construction once again began on a new middle school. This new school would be built just south of the existing high school on Cedar Bridge Road. In 1970 this school opened its doors to seventh and eighth graders.

Hello Pinelands High School...
This solved their problem for a few years. But eventually the high school had to go into split sessions due to over-crowding again. That problem was finally solved in 1979 with the opening of Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton. All mainland students south of Manahawkin would no longer be attending Southern Regional. A small addition was added to the middle school, and the ninth graders were shifted to that building with the seventh and eighth graders.

Today...
The school has since made many changes to the Southern Regional School District. In 1996 the district added more classrooms to the high school, and then in 1998, juniors and seniors walked through the doors of a new high school. This new school is known as the 11/12 house. The old high school is the housing for ninth and tenth graders, which is the 9/10 house, and the middle school is back to holding the seventh and eighth graders. June 2007 marked the last graduating class with students from Barnegat. Barnegat High School became a full 9-12 high school in September 2007.

Just as it was in 1957, Southern Regional High School has been a leader in education. Technology has been an integral part of the programs offered to its students over the past decades. As a new century dawns, Southern Regional graduates have proven themselves to be numbered among our country's leaders in all walks of life.