Atherton Community Schools

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Atherton Community School
Mid West
United States
Type Public
Motto Wolverines!
Established 1836
Superintendent John Ploof
Grades K-12
Number of students 1,050 approx.
Color(s) Black, Grey/Silver, Red and White
Mascot Wolverine
President Craig Lanter
Vice-President Bette Bigsby

Atherton High School is a public school in Burton, Michigan. Atherton Community School District is one of five public school districts serving Burton Genesee County in the U.S. state of Michigan and in the Genesee Intermediate School District. Atherton School District runs three schools: Atherton High School, Atherton Middle School and Vern Van Y. School.[1] The total school district has about 1,025 Students. There are approximately 61 teachers that are employed there.


Atherton opened as a one-room log schoolhouse at Atherton and Center roads corner in 1836 within the then newly formed Flint Township, Michigan (later Township of Burton, now City of Burton) for the Atherton Settlement just founded a year before. The school district is named after the first teacher, Betsey Atherton, daughter of Adonijah Atherton—one of the town’s first settlers. Betsey died a few months later. The district in 1878 had funding of $1,832, 17 teachers and eight schoolhouses.

Four elementary schools eventual replaced the eight schoolhouses: Fisk, H.W. Medler, Metzger and Herbst. Those elementary schools operated until the late 1960s. Fisk was on Manor Drive and is currently a daycare. The remaining two, Metzger on Sitka Street and Herbst on Clarice Street, were demolished. Medler became the high school which graduated its first class in 1954. The current Atherton High School was built in 1965 next to Medler. Medler then became the middle school until 1969 when the middle school opened south of the high school. Medler then held sixth grade students only. Medler was hit by lightning in the early morning hours in the summer of 1977, causing the back half of the building to burn down. H.W. Medler was on Genesee Road and is currently a charter school.[2] On December 9, 2003, a consolidation vote for the three all Burton school districts took place with Atherton and Bentley voters in favor of consolidation and Bendle voters not in favor. In 2003, a plan of merger was accepted by the State Superintendent of Education between Atherton and Bentley School Districts,[3] which subsequently failed at the election. The School District celebrated their 175th year in 2011, making the school about 1 year older than the State of Michigan itself. In February 2013, a discussion arose among Board members about closing down Vern Van Y Elementary School. This is because of financial problems as well as decline in student count. Van Y was closed at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 school year. Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, the district operates as a two school district. Atherton Elementary (formerly Atherton Junior High) houses grades K-6. Atherton Junior/Senior High (formerly Atherton Senior High) houses grades 7-12.


Atherton High School
School Atherton High School
Conference Genesee Area[4]
Michigan High School Athletics Blue[4]
Athletic director Stacey Watson
Location Burton, Michigan
Varsity teams Girls Volleyball, Boys & Girls Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Track, Football, Girls Basketball, Tennis
Football stadium Middle School gymnasium, High School gymnasium, track, football field.
Nickname Wolverines[4]
Fight song On Wisconsin
Colors Black, White, and Silver[5]

Atherton High School is a class C school district.[4]

League Start 1836 End
independent 1952 1954
County C 1954 1960
County B 1960 1976
Mid-Eastern Eight 1976 1978
Genesee Eight (Genesee Area 1999–Present) 1978 Present

Board of Education[edit]

2013 Board Members

Name Title
Craig Lanter President
Bette Bigsby Vice-President
Sandra Talbot Secretary
Scott Hynes Treasurer
Paul Hildreth Trustee
Donald Embury Trustee
Mark Kalandyk Trustee

Steven Vowles is principal Atherton Junior/Senior High. Susanne Carpenter is principal of Atherton Elementary School.