BCHS Early History

Delmar High School and
Bethlehem Central High School

Some Early History

Source: Cliff Lamere

An Editorial in the 1929 yearbook has the following to say. "1929 will be an important date in the history of this school. It marks the graduation of the first class from Delmar High, and it also marks the first edition of THE ORIOLE. It was taken for granted that a class would graduate in 1929, but the establishment of a Yearbook was not so certain."

The yearbook cover for the school year 1928-1929 shows that the school was called Delmar High School at that time.  The same name appeared on the covers of the first five year books (1929-1933) [Source]. Starting with the 1934 yearbook, the name changed to Bethlehem Central High School.


There was a total of 13 students in that first graduating class.  During the 1928-1929 school year, the Delmar High School had a total faculty of just six teachers and a principal (see next photo). It is interesting that there was a Girl's Basketball Team, but apparently no physical education classes. If there was a Boy's Basketball Team, it was coached by someone who was not part of the faculty.

There were seven teachers and the school Principal for the 1929-1930 school year
and 13 students graduated.

There were again seven teachers and the school Prinipal for the 1930-1931 school year.
14 students graduated.

No faculty photograph was shown for the 1931-1932 school year, but the faculty members were named. There were 13 teachers, a principal, a nurse, a librarian, and a secretary listed. 31 graduating seniors were pictured in the 1932 yearbook. The size of the faculty and graduating class more than doubled from the previous year.

The first class to graduate under the name of Bethlehem Central High School was the class of 1934 whose yearbook cover shows that name for the first time. According to the school district's official website, "The Bethlehem Central School District... was formed in 1930." [ Source ] Apparently, the high school did not change its name immediately. The graduating class of 1934 numbered 39 seniors. There were 24 teachers on the faculty.


1934 Yearbook

The first yearbook cover to mention Bethlehem Central High School

The 1939 yearbook listed 29 teachers at Bethlehem Central High School, more than four times the six teachers of 1929, just 10 years earlier. The graduating class had swelled to 109 which was more than eight times what it had been in 1929. The last yearbook scanned by volunteers for the Bethlehem Public Library that is available on the internet was from 1989, 60 years after the first one.