Our pioneer ancestors, a few of whom established their homes as early as 1795, and many more who settled in the very early years of the next century, were concerned about the education of their children. They built log or frame school buildings haphazardly over the area.
As early as 1826 the township trustees made an attempt to systematically divide the township into twelve school districts. This distributed the school population more evenly and served the area for many years. Most of these schools were one-room, one-teacher type. Several had two rooms, one teacher with a classroom downstairs, the other with a class on the second level.
A number of schools were located in the area now served by Turpin High School. Union Bridge or Uniontown School was constructed in 1826 on Beechmont Avenue near the flood plains. In 1882, it was replaced by a school built on Clough Pike near the intersection of today's State Route 32. Additional schools included Newtown School, erected on Debolt Road in 1861, District Nine School on Little Dry Run, District Eight on Clough opposite Wanninger Lane, and District Seven School, also on Clough near State Road. Later this school was moved to Clough Pike opposite Berkshire.
Other schools constructed in the area include; Number Thirteen on Beechmont opposite Salem, and more recently Newtown, Wilson, and Sherwood Elementaries. The latest addition, Turpin Middle School, was dedicated on April 21, 1974. The Turpin campus is located on land purchased by Ichabod Benton Miller in 1796. Miller built a log dwelling which still stands on Clough and Bartels Roads and is now operated by the Anderson Township Historical Society.
Turpin is a well known name in this area. Phillip Turpin was the first resident owner of the entire Crittenden Survey of . His two sons, Ebenezer Smith Turpin and Edward Johnson Turpin, added to these acres by purchasing additional land in the surrounding surveys. Much of this land is in the same survey in which the school is located. In a document relating to District Ten School, eight of the sixteen signatures are Turpin by either birth or marriage. Descendants of the Turpin family still reside in the community.
The need for a new high school in the school district to alleviate the overcrowded conditions of Anderson High School became apparent in the early 1970s. A bond issue was placed on the ballot in November 1973. Upon passage of this 5.7 mill issue, architects Thomas J. McClorey and Associates were retained to design a functional school for the district. Ground was broken on the Turpin campus on November 28,1974.
Turpin High School, a multi-level, semi-open building containing three major wings, has of space. Much of this brick facility was constructed using pre-cast concrete frames. This helped expedite construction and at the same time kept the cost of the building to a minimum.
Total cost of Turpin High is approximately 6.5 million dollars. Outstanding features of the building include a spacious media center with a capacity of 15,000 volumes and seating for 200, large laboratories, shops, and classrooms. The building is kept comfortable year-round by a combination of forced air and radiation. The heat source is water heated in an electric boiler. Zone air-conditioning is utilized throughout most of the structure. Most areas are carpeted. The gymnasium/ pool complex also includes a small indoor running track on the balcony. Seating capacities are 1,500 for basketball contests and 275 for swimming events. Outdoor facilities include tennis courts, practice fields, a baseball diamond, and parking lots.
Conservation of energy was given a high priority when Turpin High School was designed. As a result, there is very little glass in the building. In addition, insulation has been placed between the brick and block of all exterior walls to insure a minimum of temperature change.
Turpin's first graduating class was in 1978, consisting of students who had been moved from Anderson High School to the new school as juniors for the 1976-77 school year. Turpin's overall student body now consists of approximately 1,050 students.
Turpin offers twelve Advanced Placement courses.
Turpin students take a college preparatory curriculum that requires four years of English, three years of math, three-and-a-half years of history, and three years of science. In addition to core subjects, a year of physical education and a half-year of health are required.
The Performance Index Score of 110.7 indicates that many Turpin students are performing at the advanced or accelerated level in all five test areas – math, science, social studies, reading and writing.
Marching band, cheerleading, dance team, and academic quiz team are also offered at various times throughout the school year.
On August 31, 2001, at a varsity football game, an incident occurred in which racial slurs were said by Turpin students to students at a diverse school, Walnut Hills High School. The students were quoted shouting, "You niggers do not belong on our football field," from the grandstands. Following the incident, Turpin made a formal apology to Walnut Hills and the issue was resolved.
However, three years later, on September 3, 2004, a nearly identical incident happened at Turpin when, at a varsity football game, racial slurs were hurled at African American students from Walnut Hills. An apology was once again issued.
In October of that school year (2004), some of Turpin's band members shadowed Walnut Hills students for a day. In September 2005, the two marching bands performed The Star-Spangled Banner together in a combined performance prior to a Turpin v. Walnut football game, held at Anderson High School. No further incidents have since been reported.