Why Choose Lake Havasu Unified School District #1
Lake Havasu City is a planned community, started from scratch in the 1960s. The first school here, Lake Havasu Elementary School, opened in 1964 and served both elementary and middle school students. Lake Havasu City Elementary was partly built by volunteer workers using donated materials, and had only three classrooms. It grew over the years and was renamed Smoketree Elementary. Our high school opened in 1969. Between 1964 and 1969, our high school students were bussed 120 miles round trip each day to a high school in Kingman, Arizona. Our first middle school opened in 1970. Until 1983, our local high school was in a separate school district. That year, Lake Havasu High School was taken into our district, and what had been Lake Havasu School District #25 became Lake Havasu Unified School District #1.
The original Smoketree Elementary is gone, replaced by a new building. More schools have been built and new wings have been added to existing schools. Our district now consists of six elementaries, one middle school, and a high school. We also have a developmental preschool. Altogether, we serve about 6,000 students. The State of Arizona classifies us as a "medium-large" school district, but we pride ourselves on our small town characteristics. As one of our high school teachers said recently, “I came here from a very small town where the teachers worked very hard. Havasu is much larger by comparison, but I was glad to see our teachers still give students small town attention.”
The original Smoketree Elementary School got a facelift in 1980 with new carpet, paint, and some work on the roof. After the work was done, a commemorative plaque was hung in the school lobby. That same plaque now hangs in the lobby of the current Smoketree Elementary which opened in 1998. The plaque contains a poem written by Norman Braatz, who was a member of our governing board in the 1980s. Here is a copy of the poem. It is titled A Place Called Smoketree, and we think it captures the spirit of our district and our community as we work for, "...goals of education tall."
The early pilgrims of our town
with their own good hand and tool
came together to build a school.
They called it Smoketree.
Through the years it has served us well,
seventeen years flew right past.
Facts and thoughts learned will always last.
The place called Smoketree.
Then the old paint began to peel,
walls crumbled and roof did leak,
floors did smell and doors did creak.
The place called Smoketree.
Dollars, concrete, and paint applied,
we dedicate anew.
Everyone says, "Looks like a new school."
This place called Smoketree.
We give today to our city,
children, citizens all
to goals of education tall
this school called Smoketree.