The evening of May 9, 1947 was an eventful and much-anticipated occurrence for Science Hill High School's ROTC program that was comprised of several young men and eight young ladies who served as sponsors. The required "military appearance," as specified in the military manual did not just spontaneously occur. It was carefully orchestrated by some rather stiff drill work by the school's training staff.
I occasionally come across school plays that were performed by area students. My recent one is dated Feb. 22, 1930 for Sulphur Springs School. Three dramatic productions were given as chapel programs at Sulphur Springs on Jan. 14, Jan. 23 and Feb. 5.
Third grade presents "Pandora" (dramatized): Eplmetheus (Ruth Brabson), Pandora (Florence Keefauver), Hope (Lorene Barry), Reader (Blanche Murray), Troubles (G.C. Armentrout, Anna Dale Deakins, Junior Hunt, Maz Williams).
Fifth and Sixth Grades
Fifth and sixth grades presented "Little February": January (Edith Price), February (James Ferguson), March (Otis Combs), April (Edna Green), May (Dorothy Gray), June (Willie Jordan), July (Viola Barry), August (Nola Jenkins), September (Harry Keys), October (Stella Stafford), November (Ruth Luster), December (Elmer Moore)...
Father Time (Fern Cox), Love (Mae Black), Peace (Little Jordan), Culture (Ida Payne), Freedom (Louise Cox), Courage (Frances Williams)...
The welcomed announcement came from C. Howard McCorkle, superintendent of schools and directed to several hundred parents at a special meeting the previous night. The two schools were to be independent of the other, plus have separate athletic programs that would be in competition with one another.
On Wednesday evening, November 29, 1905, Martha Wilder Elementary School announced one of its upcoming "treats" of the school year. Teachers and students jointly arranged for an evening of entertainment that proved very pleasurable and "made everyone happier for awhile."
While no admittance to the event was charged, the school conducted a fundraiser that was aimed at buying a much-needed piano. It was suggested that parents bring family and friends to assist in the effort.
In 1927, Miss Lucy Schaeffer, a former teacher at the Dorland Bell School in Hot Springs, NC addressed two missionary societies, asserting the position that no mentally dull or stupid person inhabited the mountainous districts of the Carolinas and Tennessee. Her talk, "The Land of Not Enough," put a positive spin on mountain folks.
The sixth grade was to grammar schools what the twelfth grade was to the high schools. We were the "seniors" of Henry Johnson School. Each year, both sixth grades presented a play to the rest of the school. Miss Boring was in charge of the production and wrote all of the plays. She was ably assisted by Miss Gordon Grubbs, the other sixth grade teacher. This production was a big deal for Miss Boring, as she put a great deal of effort into it.
In May 1891, local newspaper had encouraging news for residents of Johnson City; they were about to acquire two new grammar schools in an effort to reduce age and overcrowded conditions of existing ones.
Recently, my wife and I attended my 55th Science Hill High School reunion, which included the combined classes of 1959-60-61. We were the "babies" of the attendees. While many classmates go to these events faithfully every five years, others never attend or make an occasional appearance. Sadly, many have left us; some cannot be present for a multiplicity of reasons, which include health issues. At the urging of Bernie Gray, I want to pay homage in today's column to my three favorite classes by providing a brief early history of our school. I will feature more later.