TAZEWELL HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY
The Virginia Constitution of 1870, also known as the Underwood Constitution, finally establishes universal, free public education in the Commonwealth. Tazewell High School is established in October of 1872. The first term at THS is completed in the spring of 1873 with a small student body. Professor A. D. Walthall is the first principal. Mrs. O. E. Witten, Mrs. J. L. P. Spotts, and Miss Louisa Todd Coulling are the first teachers. The original school board is made up of W. W. Peery, A. J. May, Isaac E. Chapman, George W. Gillespie, Zachariah S. Witten, A. J. Tynes, and Jonathan Lyons. The first graduating class completes their course of studies in the spring of 1879. The principal this year is W. A. Evans. The first graduates are H. Peery Brittain, Sproll Lyons, Ida Gillespie, and Annie Miller Stuart. Graduation ceremonies are held on June 14, 1879. The commencement exercises are known as "exhibitions" during these early years. During this first decade the school term runs for five months and the four teachers on the staff are paid a salary of $20.00 per month. Subjects offered during this period include advanced studies such as trigonometry, astronomy, and calculus. Classes during the early years of the schools existence are housed in the Tazewell County Courthouse. Professor W. A. Evans is named the second principal at THS.
Tazewell County Courthouse which housed the first THS classes in 1873.
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