Sweet Water High School was established sometime before 1870 in a log cabin, which served as a school and a church, by Mr. Edward Quinney, assisted by Mrs. Anna Jane McMillan, and a Mr. Landrum. In the early 1920's a school building was constructed on a lot near the present Sweet Water cemetery. Mr. W. E. Rhodes, a prominent educator from Iowa, Mr. W. L. White and his daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Allen, are remembered as influential teachers in this school. Mr. H. G. Douglas was the last principal in this school building.

A white frame building was completed in 1924 and was accredited in 1926. Several small county schools were consolidated with Sweet Water in the late 1920's. The Willie Ola School was brought to Sweet Water in 1924. Schools in Beaver Creek, Exmoor, and Aimwell were closed in 1927-28 and the students enrolled in Sweet Water. Dixon Mills was closed in 1950 and Nanafalia in 1961. The first principal to serve the new school was Mr. H. T. Foster. Mr. J. H. Foster followed him and a Mr. J. H. Tew followed. These principals stayed for one year each.

With the completion of the new larger building, more teachers were added and the curriculum was expanded. Mr. William Johnson organized a science department in 1927. Chemistry, physics, and biology were taught. New equipment was purchased each year and the science department became one of the best in the country. A home economics department was established in 1928 followed by vocational agriculture in 1929. In 1928 an athletic program was begun when Mr. William Johnson, who served as coach and principal, organized baseball and basketball teams. In 1930, football was added to the athletic program. The football field was equipped with lights in 1948. The commercial department was begun in the fall of 1935. A band was organized in 1939 and a student government program was begun in 1940. The library was properly catalogued in the mid 1940s by Mrs. William Johnson.

In 1960 a new brick building was erected in front of the other building. This building is now used for grades seven through twelve. In 1982 a new building was erected with eight classrooms and in 1997 another building was erected in place of the old 1924 building. It has fifteen classrooms, a library, a computer lab, a speech room, and a teacher workroom. A separate building was established for the agribusiness and home economics classes in 2001. The 1983 building houses kindergarten and first grade while the 1997 building houses the second through sixth grade. A new gymnasium was built in 1989. It has a classroom, weight room, offices, dressing room, vending area, and a gym with foldaway seating. Sweet Water has a total of 38 classrooms, 2 computer labs, a library, a distance learning lab, a band room, a home economic and agribusiness building, and a gymnasium. The cafeteria was remodeled and enlarged in 2001. All buildings are centrally heated and cooled except the 1983 building and the high school building, which have window units.


In 2006, Sweet Water High School was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.