Mrs Vaniburg's class 1949 smith el Poppleton Teachers

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Pathway to Excellence in Education: A Series of Stories from the History of Troy’s Schools

 If you’re talking about Troy with someone who is thinking about moving here, one of the first attractions they mention is likely to be the excellence of Troy’s schools. This reputation is well deserved, and also widely-known: Troy’s high schools are ranked among the top 4% of all schools in the nation by Newsweek Magazine; six Troy schools are National Blue Ribbon Schools; and all Troy schools are Michigan Exemplary Blue Ribbon Schools. Education has been highly valued throughout the history of Troy (and Troy Township), but there have been many changes through the years.

Looking way back…The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which spelled out how territories could become states, also divided the Michigan Territory into townships and provided for property taxes to be levied for the purpose of funding schools. Michigan’s early pioneers took education very seriously. Each township contained a one-room schoolhouse, which was considered a separate district. For example, Poppleton School, built in 1877 near Big Beaver and Crooks Road, and now located at the Troy Historic Village, was District 8.

The Township’s original one-room schools each had one teacher for pupils of all ages. Today’s Troy School District has 19 schools, more than 800 teachers, 12,000 students and nationwide acclaim. Stay with Project 365 to see how we got here from there.

To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at

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