Scottsville graduates come home to commemorate school |
From staff reports
Scottsville High School alumni and their guests are expected to flock to the city of Scottsville on June 11, to commemorate the school’s closure 55 years ago. A similar school reunion was held 5 years ago, and the celebration was called “C’mon Home”. Organizers expect to see nearly 150 alumni and teachers in attendance for this year’s reunion, which has been dubbed “C’mon Home Again”.
“We’re all a little older and a little grayer, but still passionate about the school that has had such an impact on our lives,” said Tommy Stargell, who led the planning committee and graduated. in the last class in 1967. “The bonds that have been forged between students and teachers at Scottsville High remain strong and deserve to be celebrated,” he said.
The Scottsville School opened in 1871 as Virginia’s first accredited high school and was originally housed in an old factory building in Scottsville. In the 1920s, the school moved to its location at the end of West Main Street, until the school board decided to move students in grades 10 through 12 to Albemarle High School in 1967. The building closed to elementary and junior high students in the 1970s. In 1994, the building was converted to Scottsville School Apartments.
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“Scottsville High School has been such an important part of this community for so many years, and its reputation will live on long after I’m gone,” Larry Shifflett, who was one of 18 seniors who were the last to get their degree in 1967. , said. Shifflett was class president of the last class of Scottsville High School.
“There was a respect between students and teachers that you just don’t see anymore,” Shifflett said. “And on top of that, we enjoyed top-notch academics. This school laid the foundation for many successes,” he said.
After graduating, Shifflett attended Virginia Tech and later became a successful FBI agent, working for that federal agency for over three decades. Other graduates of the Class of 1967 would go on to study at the University of Virginia, Longwood University, Old Dominion University, and Radford University.
“It really speaks to the quality of education we received,” said Stargell, who himself will enjoy a 41-year teaching career. He and his wife spent most of their teaching careers at Walton Middle School in Albemarle County.
“We had teachers who were dedicated and who wanted us to succeed. Not only did my class graduates go on to further education, but that was simply the norm for many students throughout the school’s long history.
But what made Scottsville High a truly special place, Stargell said, were the friendships forged in the classroom.
“I spent 12 years in this building, from elementary school to high school,” he said. “And for those 12 years, I was in class with the same kids. They not only became my best friends, but they became part of my extended family. And that has never changed. »
On Saturday, alumni will meet in the gymnasium of the old school, which now serves as the Boys and Girls Club of James River. As part of the program, participants will be able to walk the halls and reminisce about their student days.
“To me, that’s what it’s all about,” Stargell said. “For a few hours that Saturday, we can relive those wonderful days at Scottsville High. And fortunately, we will be able to do so with most of the 1967 graduates. Of the 18 graduates that year, 16 are still with us.
After a short formal program, the planning committee made up of alumni will treat attendees to dinner, followed by a sock round. Any student who has attended the school is invited to join in the festivities.
Between the last reunion in 2017 and the upcoming reunion, Scottsville High School was designated a Virginia Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. The school has also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Not many people in Scottsville are aware of this designation, and former students certainly are,” Stargell concluded. “So on June 11, we will have an official plague unveiling ceremony that accompanies this honor,” he said.
“It highlights the historic significance of Scottsville High School and certainly gives us another reason to celebrate the school we hold dear.”
Alumni who wish to participate can call 434-960-2651.
The program will begin at noon on Saturday and end at 7 p.m.