South Side High School opened its doors on September 11, 1922. During the 1996-1997 school year, the school celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary year as a secondary school. The class of 2003 was the 82nd to graduate from South Side.
At the time South Side opened, it was the largest one-story school building in the United States. It was also one of the very first school building in the nation to use a series of ramps instead of stairs.
As the school population increased, additions to the original structure were made in the late 1930’s, the late 1950’s and in 1970-1973. The 1970-73 addition included several classrooms, a new media center and a new auditorium. A new physical education facility was completed in January, 1981, and recently South Side has completed a 39.5 million dollar renovation which includes Fort Wayne’s only Olympic-sized swimming pool. South is now an academic gem in the FWCS crown.
South Side High School has been for over 60 years a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a Special First-Class Commissioned High School by order of the Indiana State Department of Public Instruction. In the spring of 2000, South Side received full accreditation in the Performance Based Accreditation system of the Department of Education.
From 1963 to 1966, from 1968 to 1974 and again from 1976 to the present, South Side has been privileged to be a member of the prestigious College Entrance Examination Board of New York City which serves the colleges and secondary schools of the nation. In 1982, South Side was elected to permanent membership in the College Board - one of only thirteen Indiana high schools at that time to be so honored.
Five principals have served the school in the past: Robert Harris, 1922-1926; R. Nelson Snider, 1926-1963; Jack E. Weicker, 1963-1990; and Jennifer Manth, 1990-2001. Thomas Smith (2001 - 2010) Carlton Mable currently serves as the principal of South Side. Ninety-five individual staff members have served the school for twenty-five years or longer.
South Side High School has had as its philosophy since 1922 the idea that it is a school’s task to help students acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to do better in those endeavors they pursue. As the school continues its second half century, this philosophy will enrich and strengthen the lives of all the young people who leave South Side High School to take their places in the community, in the nation and in the world.