Background of the Sayre Area School District

The Sayre Area School District is comprised of Sayre Borough, South Waverly Borough and Litchfield Township. The district is located on the Pennsylvania – New York State border mid-way between Towanda, Pennsylvania and Elmira, New York. It is generally considered to be an industrial-business area within a rural county.

Originally inhabited by Connecticut Yankees, the area retains much if the New England flavor. Architecture varies from colonial to modern. Homes are available in all settings – somewhat urban, suburban and rural. Within the area are churches of many denominations, which offer various religious activities. The schools provide a focal point for community activity and recreation. Situated near the Finger Lakes region of New York and the scenic Endless Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, the Sayre area offers innumerable opportunities for recreation, family relaxation and travel.

Guthrie Healthcare System, which combines Robert Packer Hospital and Guthrie Clinic Ltd. into a single medical facility, is one of the most renowned medical facilities in the Continental United States.

More than 180 persons are employed by the district with two thirds of them being professional staff members. The district budget is approximately $11,000,000 based on real estate taxes, a per capita tax, wage tax, and an occupation tax. The estimated market value of the district is about $180,000,000.

Some 12,000 persons reside in the district and two elementary buildings and one junior-senior high school serve approximately 1260 pupils.

History of the Sayre Area School District

Events in the history of the Sayre Area School District date back before the 18th Century. In the early 1800s a small log schoolhouse was the only source of education in what is now the Sayre Area School District. 

In a corner of The Rest Cemetery (Bradford and Hoover Streets) a little schoolhouse served for years as the Milltown educational institution.

District Timeline


1808 – Log schoolhouse in corner of The Rest Cemetery burned down. A new school building was built on the corner of Shepard and Cayuta Streets in Milltown
1857 – Small schoolhouse built on Keystone Ave., dedicated as “School of the Plains,” after the City of Pine Plains (now Sayre).
1875 – One-room school house built on Lockhart Street (late site of Central School Building). The First Citizens National Bank is there now.
1877 – Population of the school district numbered 33 students.
1882 – Sayre was incorporated as an independent school district February 28th of this year and the district included two buildings.
1887 – Sayre graduated its 1st class which consisted of 3 women and the first to participate in Sayre’s Commencement Exercises.
1891 – The main school building was moved to S. Elmer Avenue and is now part of the New Park Hotel. Another new high school was constructed at a cost of $30,000 and later became the Central School.
1897 – The high school was renovated and an annex costing $12,000 was added.
1901 – The Sayre School District included four primary buildings and a high school.
1907 – 1st Superintendent – J. G. Anderson 1893-1894; 2nd Irving F. Stetler 1894-1907; 3rd L. E. Delaney 1907-1933; 4th Horace H. Beach 1933-1983; 5th L. E. Delaney 1939-1946; 6th H. Austin Snyder 1946-1974; 7th Dr. Alan F. Jones 1974-1982; 8th Paul E. Kelley 1982-1992 and 9th Dr. Donald M. Houck 1992 to present time.
1916 – Two two-room portable school buildings were purchased at $2,975 each to accommodate the rapidly expanding student population.
1928 – The Sayre Junior-Senior High School was constructed on W. Lockhart Street at a cost of $500,000.
1950 – The school district was expanded under the influence of the Sayre Borough School District and in conjunction with the Parents Organization affected a jointure with Athens Township, Litchfield Township, and South Waverly Borough. The newly increased district would be renamed The Sayre Area Joint High School.
1967 – The jointure was abolished and the district became The Sayre Area School District.
1967 – A new Litchfield Elementary School was constructed and dedicated November 19th.
1969-1970 – The Sayre Area High School was renovated and an addition to enhance its facilities.
1973 – The H. Austin Snyder Elementary School was constructed and dedicated November 18th.

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