2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the historic split of the former Lakota High School into separate, but identical, high schools, Lakota West and Lakota East.
It’s a feat in Southwest Ohio that hasn’t since been repeated.
Here are 5 facts you may not know about Lakota Local Schools:
1. Nine leaders in 60-year history
Lakota Local Schools have had nine — not counting interim leaders — superintendents in its 60-year history. New superintendent Matt Miller, who was hired in the spring, will become full-time superintendent Aug. 1.
2. A one-schoolhouse district
The district used to have a single school — Union Township School, which opened in 1917 in Olde West Chester’s Cincinnati-Dayton Road.
The school was demolished last year and will be the site of the new West Chester and Liberty Boys & Girls Club.
3. Historic enrollment jumps
In the early 1990s the once rural community was deluged by the first of soon-to-be-many waves of young families with children moving into its rapidly expanding suburban subdivisions.
The enrollment jumps were historic — often averaging more than 500 new students per year — equivalent to an entire new school’s total enrollment annually.
4. Mascot split into two
The former Lakota High School mascot — Thunderbirds — was split into hybrid mascots for the two high schools opened in 1997. Lakota West was given the Firebird mascot and Lakota East the Thunderhawks moniker.
MORE: Butler County home to big high schools: What you need to know
5. Rivalry accounts for largest prep sports event in Butler County
The annual Lakota West and East football game, which in the past has drawn crowds of 10,000, is annually the largest single prep sports event in Butler County.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s the intense rivalry game was held at the long-gone Galbreath Field in southern Warren County’s Kings school district to accommodate the crowd.
Later the game was played in Miami University’s 24,000-seat Yager Stadium.
In recent years the game has been rotated between Lakota West and Lakota East stadiums.