About RCOE | History
The emerging role of the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools
On March 11, 1893, California Governor Henry Markham signed the bill that took 7,090 square miles from San Diego and San Bernardino counties – two counties in disagreement over many issues – to form the new County of Riverside.
San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse, built as an adobe building in 1856, is distinguished as the first school in the territory that became Riverside County. The original schoolhouse accommodated 25 to 40 students from grades one to eight and served the pioneer families as well as the temporary students of work crews on the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Well-documented history of Riverside County schools begins with the establishment of the county and consequent appointment of Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Lyman Gregory on May 9, 1893. Gregory’s office in 1893 was located in the original courthouse on the corner of Eighth and Lime streets in downtown Riverside. During the time of Edward Hyatt (1903), the new County Courthouse on Main Street was built. At that time, the superintendency remained an elected position, but the office was part of county government until it gained fiscal independence in 1975.
The Riverside County Office of Education has grown to nearly 2,000 employees working at offices in Riverside, Murrieta and Indio and with a budget of $257 million.
With the appointment of Kenneth M. Young as the 11th Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, enrollment in Riverside County schools has surpassed more than 400,000 students at 434 sites under the jurisdiction of 23 local school districts. There are more than 36,000 teachers and other school employees working in Riverside County.