Southwest Middle School seeks to provide a challenging academic environment, a nurturing and safe climate, and a bridge to the community. Our firm commitment is that through the teamwork of students, staff, parents, and the community, all students will become responsible citizens who demonstrate respect for themselves and others.
An Early History
In the early 1990's, it became apparent that there was a strong need for a fourth junior high school. The existing three junior highs were filled to capacity, and in the case of South Junior High, there were about 400 students beyond the capacity of the building. Following a successful bond issue campaign and a two-year construction project, Southwest opened its doors in the fall of 1995.
Prior to the opening, the School Board hired Dr. Trish Bransky as the principal of this new junior high and also selected the name Southwest Junior High for the new school. Dr. Bransky began to have meetings with future students to help them to get to know each other and so that they could select both the mascot and the school colors. After several meetings and voting on the part of these students, the colors navy and silver were selected, as well as the Bulldog for the mascot.
The teaching staff was hired in the spring of 1995, and during the summer of that year many meetings were held with the new staff to begin the process of opening the doors to the new Bulldogs in the fall. Teachers from the entire district made up this new staff, but the largest number came from South Junior High, as did the largest number of students.
It was a very exciting time for those people who were involved in the opening of this new school. After a few minor glitches - no lockers to start the year, no tables and chairs for the science rooms, and no storage for the band instruments, school got underway and Southwest Junior High opened. It was well on its way to becoming the outstanding school that it remains today.
-Contributed by Sue Hack
~Mrs. Hack was one of the original founding teachers of Southwest Junior High School and served as the Student Council Sponsor until her retirement after the 2002 school year.
A Recent History
During the 2006-2007 school year, Southwest was expanded to include a new West Wing. The Bond Issue passed in 2005 allowed us to add 16 new classrooms, four new offices, a second gym, and an enlarged cafeteria.
Southwest earned the 2010-11 Governor's Achievement Award as a top-performing school in Kansas.
The Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators named Southwest an "Exemplary Middle School" in 2011.
During the 2018 summer break, Southwest added flexible spaces to enhance students’ educational experiences and opportunities to collaborate, create, and innovate. As well as modernizing the library media center, upgrading the school to make it more energy efficient and renovating the restrooms and locker rooms to provide increased privacy for our students. The Bond Issue passed in 2017 made this possible.