To fully understand the current successes of White House Middle School, one must consider its history. Beginning in 1920, and for approximately eighty successive years, Sumner County and Robertson County jointly educated students in the White House community. Interestingly, the community is divided by a county line, which is generally thought of as U. S. Highway 31 W, a north-south two-lane road.
Initially, the community was small and totally rural; and both counties agreed to purchase land for one school. Area citizens provided funds for erecting a six-classroom frame building, constructed on a parcel of land centrally located and in Sumner County. The property was adjacent to Highway 76, an east-west road traversing all of Robertson County and part of Sumner County (to Portland). Highway 76 also intersected right at the location of the school property.
In 1932 on the same parcel of land, an elementary school (grades 1-8) was built. The people of White House built a gymnasium at this location in 1933, and in 1940 a high school building was erected to replace the original six-classroom frame building. All White House students (grades 1-12) attended school in the two-building complex, which later became the municipal governmemt building and police department. In 1953, the first section of White House Elementary School was opened. It was located in Robertson County, about one-half mile west of the existing school complex and just one block south of Highway 76. Robertson County provided the facility, which educated grades 1- 6; Sumner County educated grades 7-12.
Between 1953 and 2002, the grades taught by each county fluctuated, based upon enrollmemts (e.g., fifth and sixth grades shifted between counties). The opening of the high school at its current location, Tyree Springs Road, occurred in 1976; and the old high school building became White House Junior High. A new middle school building was opened in 1988 on Meadows Road behind the high school. At this time, the old junior high building (previously, high school) building ceased to be a school; it became the White House municipal building, housing local government offices and an office of Middle Tennessee Electric Cooperative.
The rapidly increasing White House student population necessitated additional space for younger students. In 1993, Woodall Primary School (grades K-3) opened, thus relieving part of the burden borne by the Robertson County elementary school. Increases in enrollment eventually necessitated numerous school enlargements. Four separate additions were made to the elementary school (grades 4-5); one, to the middle school (grades 6-8); and one, to the high school (grades 9-12). Both counties cooperated to maintain the unique agreement to educate the students of the White House area, and agreement which was successful for most of eighty years.
Throughout the years, both school systems have followed the Sumner County calendar, mainly because the middle school received students from two other Sumner County elementary schools. This meant that the same buses transporting Millersville Elememtary and Oakmont Elementary students also transported White House Middle and White House High students. Twelve Sumner County buses and seven Robertson County buses transported elementary students (grades 4 and 5) and primary students (K-3) from those schools in Robertson County. Fourteen Sumner County buses and seven Robertson County buses transported middle school and high school students from those schools in Sumner County. Any change from the joint-calendar would create problems for other Sumner County schools.
During the past eight decades, the White House community has grown tremendously and changed drastically. The opening of Interstate 65 at White House on December 15, 1972, made the community more attractive to workers commuting to Nashville. The transformation from being just a rural community to being a suburb of Nashville effected great and rapid change, including change in the education of the community's children. School enrollment has increased 3500%, from 100 students in the 1920's to about 3,500 students currently. Due to differing needs of the Sumner County and Robertson County school systems, both agreed to separately educate students according to their county of residence. Although many community residents opposed the dissolution, school system leaders made it a reality by the end of the 2001-2002 school year.
The separation created new challenges for both White House Middle School and White House High School. Middle school enrollment suddenly decreased by 325 students. The dissolution did not occur until a new elementary school (H. B. Williams Elementary) was built in Sumner County on South Palmers Chapel Road. It opened in August 2002 and now educates approximately 700 students in grades K-4. It is the main feeder for White House Middle School. Oakmont Elementary and Millersville Elementary also send sixth-graders to White House Middle School.
For two and one-half years after dissolution of the dual-county agreement, White House Middle School remained at the Meadows Road location (opened 1988). The building was full, but no longer did portable classrooms need to be used. Because of overcrowding at the high school, which was just a few hundred feet from the middle school, because of the need to locate the middle school more centrally, and because of expected enrollment increases, the current new state-of-the-art middle school building was opened in January 2005. At the present time, enrollment is 820 students (June 2013). The Meadows Road building then became the White House High School Annex and houses 9th grade students.
During all the change, White House Middle School has remained a grade-A school, with achievement scores near the top in the state of Tennessee. The school is part of a progressive and successful county system, and leads most of the middle schools in the areas in which they are graded, especially academics.
With this new and accommodating building and campus, White House Middle School continues to successfully educate the children of our changing community.