Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Harry Merigis


This paper is a historical review of the past and present state of the North Wayne Community Unit School District Number 200. This study of the past reveals how the current state of development was reached.

The North Wayne School District lies in Northern Wayne County, Illinois. The district encompasses 202 square miles and has three main population centers: Cisne, Mt. Erie, and Johnsonville.

Wayne County was settled as early as 1814. The small communities in Northern Wayne County were not platted until 1852-53. The largest village, Cisne, was not laid out until 1870. The main resources over the past century have been the production of red top hay, agriculture and related industry, and oil related businesses since its discovery in Wayne County in 1937.

The first schools in Wayne County were subscription schools that were taught by traveling teachers in 1820. Public schools began to appear with the passage of the Common School Law in 1855. By 1882 Wayne County had 121 school districts and 117 public school buildings. Interestingly fourteen of these buildings were log cabins and two were brick structures. This paper examines school life, textbooks, rules, and facilities common to this early era in education. Early school funding and the public school movement is also reviewed. Each seperate community had its own elementary district and there were numerous country schools until the State of Illinois legislated many of them out of existence in 1953. The law determined that the number of the 12,000 school districts in Illinois had to be reduced and stated that schools with fewer than fifteen pupils would no longer receive state aid.

Johnsonville, Cisne, and Mount Erie maintained their school districts by absorbing many small districts during this period. In 1972 the North Wayne Community Unit Number 200 School District was formed by a vote of 454-94. On July 12, 1973, the North Wayne Community Consolidated Board of Education held its organizational meeting. Each of these seperate elementary districts are historically reviewed in this paper.

The emergence of the high schools in our nation is briefly reported. Johnsonville created a high school for two years, 1919-1920. Mt. Erie had a high school from 1914 until consolidating with Cisne in 1951-52. Cisne High School was organized in 1919 and operated as Cisne High School District #228 until the formation of the North Wayne School District. The Cisne High School building now serves the entire district.

Finally, the school district’s present state is evaluated in regards to its educational programs and the quality of these programs based upon the philosophy and objectives of the district. Recommendations for improvement conclude this study.

Included in

Education Commons