School History

Winship School is located about ten miles south of the town of Meridian, adjacent to the Sacramento River, and is one of the oldest school districts in the county. In 1863, the Winship family joined together with other families in the area and bought property to start a school for their children. The original school was built that same year, and there has been a school on this site on South Meridian Road since that time. Members of the Winship family still live in the area, although none of them are farming on the original land.

The present school is the fourth school building on the site. The original school was a simple, unadorned building with an area in the front for the horses of the school children. Then there was a building erected in the 1920s with two classrooms, a multipurpose room with a stage, and restrooms. The current school was built in the mid-1970s after residents passed a bond to build a school that would have a gym. For many years, it was the only small school on the west side of Sutter County with a gym large enough to play basketball and volleyball.

Oak trees on the property have been estimated to be around 300 years old, and one has a basketball hoop grown into the bark about 8 feet off the ground. The grounds also boast 17 mature walnut trees, the proceeds from which enrich the coffers of the Student Fund yearly.

The school has been flooded several times. In the early 1940s, there was about 3 feet of water in the school. Before the building was torn down in 2001, the water line was clearly visible on the heavy velvet curtains that covered the stage.

In January 1997, during winter break, the school was again flooded when the Sutter Bypass levee broke to the east. The water rose to 3 feet inside the building. From January until October, the students used the First United Methodist Church in Yuba City as temporary quarters while the school underwent extensive remodeling.    

In 2003, another remodel added a new office to the front of the building. The old school (circa 1920s) was torn down, and a new bus barn and parking lot were added.

Winship got its mascot, the Vikings, from one its students, Guy Harris, who still lives in Meridian. In the late 1970s, teacher Mrs. Karin Jelavich helped the students produce the school’s first yearbook. Guy and his friends liked the Minnesota Vikings, so they made the Vikings the school mascot.

Mr. John Leal became a teaching superintendent/principal around 1963. In 1965, Mrs. Jelavich was hired as a teacher, and taught multiple grades for the next 34 years, retiring as superintendent/principal in 1999. She was succeeded by Gavin Huffmaster and then Tom Reusser.

In July 2005, the district grew when it acquired Robbins School through a reorganization process with Yuba City Unified School District. That fall, Mr. Reusser left the district and Mrs. Jelavich returned as an interim Superintendent. The following July, Gary Hexom was hired, and resigned in March 2008. Kathy Anderson, a teacher at Winship since 1994, became the superintendent.  
In July 2014, Dr. Laurie Goodman became the Superintendent for the Winship-Robbins School District.