The History of Madeira City Schools

Last Updated: 10/20/2022 12:44 PM


former board members

Pictured at the Madeira City Schools’ 100th Birthday Recognition on May 16, 2022, are past Madeira board members (Row 1 l to r): Pat Gentile, Former Madeira Superintendent Steve Kramer, Current Madeira Superintendent Kenji Matsudo, Ed Hopping, and Dr. Cathy Swami. Row 2 (l to r): Pat Shea, Jack Johnston, Andy Garman, Current Madeira Assistant Superintendent Dave Bergan, Skip Pressler, Kam Misleh, Current Madeira Treasurer Emily Hauser, Jay Groenke, Kathy Hurst, and John Gilster. Not pictured: Former Madeira Treasurer Susan Crabill.

Since the first graduating class in 1923, Madeira City Schools has been known for excellence in education.
During the 2021-2022 school year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of that excellence! 
Also please see The Faces Behind the Names

Madeira City School Buildings

Daniel Hosbrook is said to have been the first teacher in Madeira and in 1808 began teaching in a small log building located on the southwest corner of Miami and Euclid Avenues. Madeira City Hall now stands on that corner. The first school was a subscription school, supported by the parents of enrolled students. Such support usually included taking turns boarding the teacher, furnishing him with clothing and necessities, and occasionally a small amount of cash. The log building burned down around 1827 and a free public school was opened in Columbia Township the same year. Soon after school districts were combined, reconfigured, and renamed - then changed again later on. In 1821 and 1825 the Ohio Legislature enacted laws authorizing townships to establish school districts and erect school buildings and more importantly requiring the county commissioners to assess a 1/2 mill on the dollar property tax, the proceeds to go into a public school fund. Thus was a state system of public education inaugurated in Ohio.

Two new schools were built in 1839, a new stone school building in Madeira was constructed on McCullum Road (now Shawnee Run Road) for students that lived south of Euclid. It was called McCullum School, then later nicknamed The Old Stone School. The two-room schoolhouse was built primarily from stone and cost a total of $463.37 including furniture and benches. School hours were 9 AM-noon and 1-4 PM. The building still stands today on Shawnee Run Road and is privately owned. A second school for students living north of Euclid was on the northwest corner of Miami and Galbraith Roads, where St. Paul United Methodist Church stands today. School started in the fall after crops had been harvested, and ended when it was time to plant new crops in the spring as children were only allowed to attend school when not needed to work in the fields. School books were scarce and students had to purchase their own. In the fall of 1840, a 'Board of Directors' was elected: Oliver Jones (Clerk), Jacob Parker, and David Black. They proceeded to employ William Collis 'to teach an English Day School in the schoolhouse for six months or two quarters at $65 per quarter.

Concord School
In 1857 the school on Miami and Galbraith for children on the north side of Euclid was replaced by the first Concord School. It was built on the corner of Montgomery and Galbraith Roads next door to where the newly relocated Graeter's Ice Cream stands today. Children walked or rode ponies to school, carrying hay on the back of their saddles for the ponies' lunch, Teachers would usually arrive in buggies. and often brought homemade soup for their lunches which was kept hot on a pot-bellied stove. Subjects taught were farming, math, and science. The water source was an outside pump and the school had two outhouses - one for boys and one for girls. In 1938 the second Concord school was built farther north on Montgomery Road, It later became part of the Indian Hill School District.

The Old Stone School was used until 1875 when a large two-story brick school was built on the southwest corner of Miami and Camargo Pike. It was called District 6 and consisted of two rooms on the first floor for grades one through five, and one room on the second floor for grades six through eight. The school also had a belfry. Teachers received $600 a year.

no 6.     old madeira school

By 1870 the Madeira school population had outgrown the little stone school and it was fortunate that by then a state system of public education had been implemented in Ohio. This authorized county commissioners to levy 1/2 mill property taxes to finance school building construction. A site was purchased at the southwest corner of Miami Avenue and Camargo Road and in 1875 a two-story brick structure was erected. It was known as "Madeira District No. 6." The building had two large rooms on the first floor for grades one through three, and grades four and five. In a large room on the second floor, Zachary T. DeMar taught grades six through eight (Madeira did not have a high school until many years later.)


    first graduates.    
In 1912 the structure had become obsolete and was torn down and replaced by a new modern building, dedicated in 1913. It was a two-story brick school with a basement and a coal-fired furnace with four rooms on the first floor, and a large auditorium with two more classrooms on the second floor. The school was called Camargo Primary. Education only went up to eighth grade and students who wanted a high school education went to Madisonville or Withrow and sometimes had to pay tuition.

By 1921 the possibility of establishing a high school in Madeira was being seriously considered. It was first hoped some of the neighboring districts might join Madeira in establishing a Madeira Union High School. When it became clear this objective could not be attained, the Madeira Board of Education resolved that Madeira would 'go it alone' and establish its own high school independently. In June 1922 Fletcher Hawk was chosen to head the school. Madeira High School was launched in September 1922 with a freshman class made up of the eighth-grade graduates of 1922, and the sophomore, junior and senior classes made up of students who had been attending Withrow High School on a tuition basis. For the school year of 1922-1923, high school classes were established on the second floor at this Camargo School. The first graduating class of Madeira High School consisted of five graduates: Harold Demar, Julian Nelson, Alma Slagle, Bernice Surran, and Lloyd Wilson. This was the first graduation from Madeira High School and it was held at the Presbyterian Church in June 1923.

camargo primary     camargo perin       perin.           

There was an addition made to Camargo Primary on the north side of the original square building around 1959, a breezeway-type connection between the old school and the new auditorium/gymnasium. In 1974 the school was renamed James C. Perin School and housed students in grades Kindergarten through fourth grade. It later became the Board of Education. The gymnasium remained standing for a long while after the school was taken down and was used by rec teams.

In the early 1930s overcrowding was again a problem and plans were started for a new junior/senior high school across the road on Miami Avenue. The new building was completed in 1937 and housed 200 seventh through twelfth graders. A major addition was made in the late 1940s and another in the early 1960s. This was Madeira High School, then Camargo Elementary for grades four through eight - and eventually became W. M. Sellman School in 1966. The building was in use by the district until it was torn down so the current Madeira Middle School could be built on the site that was completed in 2006.


 Madeira Middle School was built on the site in 2006.

miami hills.     JF Dumont School

In 1952 the Madeira Board of Education voted to exempt the district from the jurisdiction of the Hamilton County Board of Education and become an Exempted Village School District. As the board then assumed full jurisdiction over the schools in the district, they could appoint a Superintendent of Schools and select W. Marshall Sellman. 

From 1950-1968 school enrollment jumped from 700 to 2,300. There was a need for 50 new classrooms and 55 teachers. Another elementary school, Miami Hills, was completed in January 1954 in the Northern end of Madeira and housed K-6 students. For about 26 years there were two elementary schools in Madeira, one at each end of the district. Students attended based on which side of Miami Avenue they lived on. Around 1979 Miami Hills was renamed John F. Dumont Elementary School. The building was torn down in 2004 to make way for the present Madeira Elementary School which was dedicated in 2006.

hsded    walkjrsr high


The construction of a new high school was authorized by the voters in the school district by their approval of a bond issue of $825,000 in May 1956. A second bond issue of $503,000 was approved in February 1958 which provided funds for the construction of the physical education building, two additional classrooms, and equipment. The new campus-style Madeira High School on Loannes opened for instruction in 1958 and was dedicated in March 1959, and is still the site of Madeira High School.

Madeira High School's Media Center was named in honor of James Perin in 1977 and a science lab was added in 1998. Renovations to the building were made followed by a dedication and grand opening on April 23, 2006.

plc.      plc2
In January 2015, a first-rate, 21st Century facility was introduced to the Madeira community. The new Perin Learning Commons - formerly Perin Media Center - was planned as part of a needed HVAC replacement, and financed through the Board of Education’s long-term permanent improvement strategy. An aging HVAC system was replaced with an energy-efficient geothermal solution that will pay itself back in 8-10 years featuring high-efficiency geothermal technology that heats and cools the learning center and nearby guidance wing, skylights that maximize daylight harvesting into the interior of the room, four collaborative group rooms with flat-screen displays, whiteboards, outlets, outlets, and more outlets for flexible grouping opportunities and device charging, a smartboard presentation wall, LED high-efficiency lighting, room for 20 + hard-wired computers, increased wireless capacity, security cameras, and new furnishings.

courtyard.      courtyard
In the summer of 2015, a courtyard was constructed by community volunteers outside Perin Learning Commons adding additional meeting/learning space. 

.athletic center      athletics

In the fall of 2016, thanks to the monetary, physical, and manual donations of parents, alumni, staff, students, and community members, a new Athletic Center opened at Madeira High School. Featuring over 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, new weights, ellipticals, exercise bikes & treadmills that look out a wall of windows. With high ceilings, an artificial turf agility area, state of the art sound and video systems in a bright and healthy environment, student-athletes and physical education classes were then able to train year-round. A community dedication to thank the volunteers was held Friday, February 3, 2017, and students began using the center.

In 2014 the Planning Commission recommended to the school board that the MHS Commons Building wing be updated after its study that looked into current needs, usage, similar schools’ facilities, and the feasibility of renovating. The Commons Building renovation project was added to the Permanent Improvement Plan the following year. Construction began in the summer of 2020 and in 2021 the Commons Building reopened with a new fully operational kitchen, cafeteria, art and music areas, and Medert Auditorium. For photos and details see MHS Commons Renovations.


boe.  boe.     
old boe.  
In the early 1960's a one story Board of Education Office building and two classrooms were constructed at the corner of Miami and Camargo Road as Madeira's enrollment continued to grow. In the third picture, the gymnasium of Perin School can be seen to the left.
The Board of Education later relocated and today is on the same campus as Madeira High School.

 The community passed a bond levy in 2004 that allowed the district to build two new facilities. In the fall of 2006, the new Madeira Elementary School and J. F. Dumont Media Center were opened, as well as the new Madeira Middle School and W. M. Sellman Media Center. Updates at Madeira High School included energy conservation measures to help manage operating costs including light retrofitting occupancy sensors, HVAC controls, and geothermal installations.


Compiled by Diane Nichols with additional information from:

• Steve Kramer, Former Madeira Superintendent
• Carol Heck, Librarian/Archivist of Madeira Historical Society
• 'Madeira Milestones - A cataloging of People, Events, and Trivia That Have Made our What it is Today' (1985)
• Images of America - MADEIRA. by Stephan Johnson and Cheryl Bauer
Please contact Diane Nichols at 513.985.6070 with any corrections or additional information

Madeira City Schools' Superintendents
   Not pictured: Fletcher Hawk (1922-1924), W.H.Harlan (1924-1927), Luther Warren (1927-1928), Eldon A. Hutchinson (1928-1933)

dockumpatrick   sellman  HDerricks     morgan    Rahehockney  hummelkramer.   MATSUDO

City of Madeira
Madeira Manor
city hall     

first bus stop     

madeira theater


John F. Dumont Elementary School

.    JFD ART.    
Steps leading down to elementary school cafeteria/gym
jfd special ed

 jfd kdg.  
Inside entrance to Kindergarten rooms through Library.

Cafeteria/gym at Madeira Elementary School

Phys Ed office (up) and Before/After School Office (lower)

  mr and mrs dumont   
Mr. and Mrs. John F. Dumont 

mr and mrs dumont   
Mr and Mrs Dumont
       MES Cornerstone

W. M. Sellman Middle School

Steps up to the upper grade level rooms    

Music room - steps going down into it

steps to preschool WMS   

Preschool in basement of Middle School

 preschhol at WMS.    

Preschool in basement of Middle School

preschool hall wms.          

Preschool in basement of Middle School

sellman gym
Gym at Sellman Middle School - doors in back go out to front entrance

WMS Farewell
Before Sellman School was torn down  

WMS Farewell.   
Before Sellman School was torn down
 WMS Farewell
Before Sellman School was torn down

Harry and Rita Adler


Madeira High School
This was Madeira High School, then Camargo Elementary for grades four through eight - and eventually became W. M. Sellman School in 1966. The building was in use by the district until it was torn down so the current Madeira Middle School could be built on the site that was completed in 2006.

Old Library - entrance off walkway our of commons building

   MHS Perin media Center.  
Media Center
mhs art room.    

Former high school office, now Counseling Office
 mhs cafeteria

mhs temporary                

'temporary classrooms" at MHS