Manti High School had its beginning in September 1905 as a one-year high school. Since a bond election failed to materialize early enough to provide a new building, the citizens made available the annex of the LDS Tabernacle to care for the initial class. Facilities consisted of one large room downstairs, an open stairway, and another room upstairs.
The entire first-year faculty consisted of D.H. Robinson, Edgar T. Reid, Mr. Crawford, and Ethel Nelson. The total student enrollment was somewhere between 75 and 80 students, and they came from all over central and southern Utah. Subjects taught were spelling, arithmetic, grammar, history, literature, bookkeeping, and algebra. A student body with a full set of officers was organized. The school motto, "Self-Realization," was adopted. The school colors of red and white were selected.
The new high school building was completed for the opening of the second year (1906). It was made of white brick, containing some 14 rooms, and was three stories high. On the east side of the floor, two large rooms with a sliding partition between were created for assembly programs, etc. It was here that the dedicatory service was held.
In 1905 the school was considered to be a one-year program. However, by 1909 it had expanded into a four-year high school. In 1906 Manti and Nephi were the only two towns south of Springville with high schools. The citizens of Manti of that time are to be commended for their progressive spirit towards their educational concerns.
Athletic programs were organized during the first couple of years of Manti High's existence. The first basketball suits were homemade, full dress affairs, exposing a bit of the neckline and half the arm's length. The pants fitted below the knees and had elastic around the bottom of each leg, so there was no danger of the knee pad falling out. Basketball games were played in the exhibition building, which was located on the William McFarlane lot. Track was conducted in the center of the City Building block. The dressing rooms were dug by the boys under the corner of the high school building. The First or second year Manti High was organized for basketball, it defeated nearly all opponents and placed third in the State Invitational Tournament.
The first graduation class (1909) consisted of the following members: Blanche Metcalf, Ethel Davenport (Anderson), S. Peter Peterson, Ruby Tuttle (Armstrong), Christy Crawford (Stringham), Appie Harmon (Tennant), William Henry Peterson, Leona Farnsworth, Matilda A. Anderson (Thompson), Clara Hall (Johnson), Ed Jensen, Ann Parry (Sorenson), Maggie Crawford (Keller), Bell Tuttle (McAllister), Lenore Dyreng (Hall), Frank Alder, and Carlyle Munk.
The Clarion (yearbook), still called that was created in 1908. The first class paper was published around that time. Since then, music, debate, drama, various clubs and activities have come about. Today Manti High has one of the finest curricula of any public school its size in the nation.
The second and former high school building was formally dedicated on January 6, 1923. Industrial arts and gymnasium facilities were added in the sixties. Contained in the former building was the gymnasium (where the library, central office, and biology room where later located).
In the school year 1956-57, the students from the old Ephraim Snow High School (Ephraim, Utah) were brought to Manti and consolidated into one high school. The name of the high school remained Manti High School, and students were housed in the former building on Main Street. At this time, the size of the school doubled, with each class approximately 80 students.
On Tuesday, October 11, 1977, the patrons of the South Sanpete School District passed a bond election that would help provide funds to construct the building missed this by 10 years which now houses the students of Manti High School. Completion date of the 81,265 sq. ft. building, at a cost of close to $4,000,000 was February 1980. The building is located on 30 acres on the north end of Manti, Utah, just west of the fair grounds. This demonstrates that the people of this area are still dedicated to the American way of life of providing all people the opportunities for a quality education.
By 1997-98 school enrollment approached 650 students. Additional classroom space, a gymnasium, and a common's area were completed in 1999. The enrollment for 2007-2008 was 580 a drop from the previous 5 years.
Manti High School Mascot: A Templar Knight