Education has always been important at Tipton! The first school was a two-room frame house south of town. In 1909, Tipton Schools hired Mrs. Leota Copeland and Mr. Clay W. Kerr to serve as their first teacher and superintendent. In the fall of 1910, construction began on Central Ward School, and the first classes were held in January 1911. Tipton High School's first graduating class, in May of 1917, was comprised of seven girls: Mae Hasley, Url Hurley, Januita Massey, Ola Parks, Ruth Pickrell, Oma Rhea, and Pearl Smith.
Early principals of Tipton Schools included Mr. Elmer Davis and Mr. Clarence Berry, as well as W.B. "Bill" Hutton who served at Booker T. Washington School. Mr. Jess Hanna, a legendary figure in Tipton School history, served as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent. He would not only guide Tipton School, but also the Tipton Home Grade School, and Booker T. Washington School through part of four decades. Booker T. Washington School would educate black students for over four decades until it closed following the 1965 school year. Tipton Home students became part of the district in 1928 with grades 7-12; however, Grades 1-6 were educated at North Drive School on the Tipton Home Campus through 1965.
In the fall of 1966, the Tipton Home Superintendent T.N. Putnam sent all the Tipton Home children to Tipton Public Schools, and when combined with the students from Booker T. Washington School, for the first time, all the children in the Tipton School District were being educated in one school system. Mr. Hanna was joined on the Tipton Staff by Mr. and Mrs. Northcutt coming from the Booker T. Washington School. The Northcutt's son, Thomas, was the first black student to be a Tipton graduate in 1967.
Since 1940, school superintendents have included: Lloyd Van Deventeer (early 40's), G.W. Cornelson (49-54), Jess Hanna (54-73), Dale Duggins (1974), Kenneth Anderson (75-80), Bob Drury (81-84), Rick Moss (84-88), Larry Osborne (88-99), Rick Beene (99-02), Brad Overton (02-07), Shane Boothe (07-17) and Steve Glenn (17-Present). The Manitou School District consolidated with Tipton in 1993 and Jerry Stoll joined our school board from Manitou. Manitou's SW Oklahoma Juvenile Center opened in 1996 and Tipton Public Schools provided their education until July of 2015.
A new high school was built in 1995, and the voters approved a bond for a new gym/cafeteria in February of 2000. It is named the Hanna Center after the long time Superintendent Jess Hanna and his wife Miram. Since the turn of the century, three additional bond issues have been passed, all of the school buildings have been remodeled and the old gym has been restored. Field-turf has been installed on Jim Kerbo Field at Don Royal Stadium and every student has access to the newest technology. In 2020, we finished construction of our new state of the art STEM/AG building. We officially opened the doors to the new faciltiy in January of 2021.