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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rock Hill Schools Birthday Facts #rockhill #rockhillschools #rhsd3

1888 - 2013
 Rock Hill Schools celebrated the 125th Birthday of public education in the Rock Hill community on Wednesday, November 20. In learning about our history, did you know that:
  •  if a teacher or other school employee dies after completing at least one year of service, the designated beneficiary will receive a payment equal to the annual budgeted salary of the member. This program, initially called a pre-retirement insurance benefit under the S.C. Retirement System, became effective July 1, 1968, and it's still in effect in 2013.
  •  the Brattonsville Academy, a replica of an 1840's one-room schoolhouse located in Historic Brattonsville, opened on Sept. 20, 1996. It provides third-graders with a historical look at a school day in the life of students who lived in the 1840's. The brainchild of former Supt. Phil McDaniel, the academy was built from donations of money and building products and required no use of tax monies.
  • The Carroll School, which opened in 2003 after a former Rosenwald School was renovated, provides fifth-graders with an opportunity  to learn how students who lived in the Great Depression era spent their day. Students learn how to can food, quilt and pick cotton (when in season).
  • District Three (now Rock Hill Schools) was the first district in S.C. to implement a School Improvement Council in each school. In 1981 SIC's were called School Advisory Councils
  • In 1888 the Trustees of The Graded School appointed a committee to make arrangements for the observance of Arbor Day, looking to the beautification of the school grounds by the planting of shade trees. About 80 students planted a variety of trees on November 27, 1888, mostly water oaks to provide shade for students and visitors alike.
  •  A number of schools have existed since 1888. These include Arcade-Victoria (1914-1952), Emmett Scott (1920-1970), and West End (1928-1972). In addition, several of our schools got their beginnings in earlier schools, such as  Northside from Manchester School, Belleview from Highland Park, and Lesslie from a two-story white, clapboard building near the Lesslie Volunteer Fire Dept. Also, at one time, Lesslie Elementary encompassed two campuses, one beside the railroad tracks in the Lesslie Committee and its current location which was originally Hillcrest School.
  • Castle Heights opened as an elementary school for black students in 1957 on Flint Street Ext. When the district began its plan to integrate the schools, a white administrator, George Hampton, was assigned to Castle Heights to serve as principal for the 1968-69 school year. Mr. Hampton stayed for half a year, and then the students attending CHES were reassigned to another black school, Edgewood Elementary, for the second half of the year. CH was closed until the fall of 1970 when it reopened as an integrated junior high with new renovations, including a gym. Its student population was comprised of 8th graders with some 7th graders. Its principal was Paul Campbell, who was the principal at Sullivan Junior High the year before. One of Mr. Campbell's asst. principals, Jim Buddin, who still occasionally helps out in the district, served as principal from 1973-1996. He was succeeded by Kelly Kane who opened the new Castle Heights facility on Fire Tower Road in 2004. The former CH facility on Flint Street Ext. was renovated in 2005 and became the Rock Hill Flexible Learning Center.
  •  the district has had Air Force Junior ROTC programs since 1971, the year Northwestern High opened. South Pointe High opened in 2005, also with an AFJROTC program.
  • York County's popular senator, Robert W. Hayes, Jr., better known as Wes Hayes, is a 1971 graduate of Rock Hill High School where he was "Mr. Bearcat." However, when he served as president of the Junior Class, he was known as "Wesley."
  • Dr. William L. Proctor, Dean of Men at Florida State University, was hired by the school board to integrate the schools. Dr. Proctor, who had no ties to the district, agreed to come for only one year (1968-1969) to write a desegregation plan that would be approved by the Dept. of Health/Education/Welfare. The plan was written and approved in the year he was in the district, and then he returned to Florida State. Soon afterward, he became the president of Flagler College in St. Augustine Florida.  
  •  the district has had three teachers to be selected as the S.C. Teacher of the Year--Hazel Joiner (Sullivan) in 1973, Bryan Coburn (Northwestern) in 2009-10, and Patti Tate (Northwestern) in 2011-12. The following teachers were runners-up or "Honor Roll" teachers for the state honor: Lillian Gilmore (Edgewood), Cynthia Carpenter (Sylvia Circle), Ann Smith (Lesslie), Tracy Craven (Oakdale), Julie Marshall (Oakdale) and Jeff Venables (Northwestern).
  •  the district has had female members on the school board since January 1970. The first female was Bess Barron, and Martha Burwell became the second.
  •  the teachers at The Graded School in 1888 were paid a salary of $25 per month.  Furnishings in the school included 106 Triumph desks, 8 recitation seats, and 4 desks for teachers, all of which were bought and paid for from a generous donation of $1000 by the Reverend James Spratt White. The seating capacity of the building was 230.  (Information supplied by William Boyce White, Jr., in his master's thesis on "A History of the Public Schools of the City of Rock Hill.")
  • Walter Caswell Sullivan, the longest-serving  Supt. of Schools, served from 1938-1965. Sullivan Middle School, which opened in 1959 as Sullivan Junior High, is named after him, as is the street between the school and Cherry Park.  Before serving as superintendent, Mr. Sullivan served as the principal of Rock Hill High from 1923-1938.
  •  the district once provided a nursery for the children of employees? It closed in June 1970.
  •  the district implemented “social adjustment classes" at the beginning of the 1971-72 school session in each secondary school?
  •  the district's Operations Center (now called Facilities Services) opened in 1981 next to the Career Development Center (now called the Applied Technology Center)? The land in front of Facilities Services (near the highway) was once the proposed site for the district office.
  •  just as some churches provide homes for their pastors, the district provided a home for the superintendent. This home was constructed on the site of The Graded School (Central) near where the ParentSmart building now stands. While other superintendents may have lived in this house, records show that the family of Supt. Richard Clyde Burts, who was superintendent from 1914-1938, did live in the home. A pencil drawing of the home, a gift from the Burts family, is in the district office.
  •  the student enrollment in 1888 was 124; in 1889-90, 192; in 1890-91, 240. Children between the ages of 6 and 16 who lived in the district paid no tuition. Pupils over 16, as well as children who lived in other districts, were required to pay $1/per month.
  •  English and Math Advanced Placement courses were implemented at RHH and NHS in 1980?
  •  the district's desegregation plan was approved in a three-year phase-in plan?
  • 1968-69 - Bond referendum approved for the construction of new schools on Highway 5 (Northwestern, York Road, Rawlinson Road, Career Development Center (now ATC)
  • 1969-70 - 12th grade at Emmett Scott High School (for black students) moved to Rock Hill High
  • 1970-71 - Elementary schools comprised of grades 1-6, junior highs with grades  7-9, and Rock Hill High with grades 10-12, all integrated. (Northwestern opened in the fall of 1971.)

(Much of the Information above taken from William B. White's master's thesis, "A History of the Public Schools of the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina, 1888-1951.)
Elaine T. Baker
Director of Information Services

Rock Hill Schools

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