Webster Groves High School was founded in 1889. It was first only one classroom in the original Bristol Elementary building but then moved to its current address on Selma in 1906.
The school itself has undergone changes over the years. One of these changes included Webster Groves High School’s name change. It was first known as Frank Hamsher High School, named after the school district’s first superintendent, and the name stuck for 39 years before it became known as Webster Groves High School.
Students can still see the engraved name of “Frank Hamsher High” if they look above the senior entrance when entering the building.
The school building has undergone renovations and additions such as adding on the new science department, but another thing that’s changed is the way in which students act.
History teacher Jessica Pursell, Class of 1998, notes some changes she sees in students as a teacher that she didn’t see as a student.
“I think students are much more involved in the world. I know somebody asked me once, ‘What causes are you involved in?’ and I don’t think that was very common when I was in high school, and I think that’s really common here. People have causes that really mean a lot to them and they do things about,” Pursell said.
“Students really being engaged in some of their classes. I love to see how excited they get about the classes that mean the most to them, and I know they’re not always history,” Pursell said about what was the same.
Ten years prior to Pursell’s graduation, the class of 1988 walked the stage, including alumna Anne Klein.
“Friday night football games for sure. Hanging out in the hall by Roberts Gym by our lockers. We had so much fun in that hallway.” Klein said about her favorite parts of high school when she was younger.
The school itself has undergone changes, according to Klein. “Obviously the security is totally different than it was back when I was there. People could come and go at will. There’s also the new science addition. It’s fantastic compared to what we had when I was there.”
Klein also notes the changes in not just the high school but in Webster Groves as a community. “I feel like Webster in general just has a lot more happening in terms of a hub that people can come and visit. All the restaurants and shops and things it’s much more vibrant and draws in people from all over the St. Louis region.”
This will be Sam Klein’s first year on ECHO Staff, but she also made several contributions while taking journalism class her sophomore year.