TAZEWELL HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY
The yearbook is dedicated to teacher and band director, Professor Larry Zingale. G. O. McGhee is principal. Charles Spraker is elected SCA president. Yearbook editor is R. O. VanDyke Jr. THS Football Coach Castro Ramsey is again named "the Coach of the Year" after the Bulldogs complete an outstanding 8-1 season. Ralph Mullins and Jimmy Hughes are co-captains of the football squad. The boys basketball team goes 17-6 and the girls basketball team records a 10-3 slate. Active school groups include the Band, the Glee Club, the SCA, the FHA, the FFA, the Library Club, and the Latin Club. A new group, the Y-Teens, is organized with Joanne Phillips presiding as president.
The hot lunch program begins on November 1, 1951. The football team has an undefeated season and is awarded the district crown, but it is later revoked and given to Richlands High School. The THS basketball team losses the district championship to the Rich Valley Steers. Carl Deskins, Joe Neel, and Jimmy Safewright, Jr. win the state FFA livestock judging contest and go on to win the national livestock judging contest. Graduation on May 25, 1952 sees 124 seniors complete their studies.
Mr. Eugene Ross, of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is named new principal at THS. Greever Crouse of Tazewell joins the Emory and Henry football coaching staff. An influenza epidemic closes all schools in Tazewell County. The entire faculty and student body attend the inauguration of new President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. The trip is paid for by Mr. Claude Johnson. School enrollment reaches 850. Former Principal, J. L. Walthall, becomes superintendent of schools. The first golf matches for THS are played on April 18, 1953 at Marion High School and April 23, 1953 at Graham High School. The prom is held on May 15, 1953 with the theme, "Moonlight and Magnolias". Graduation is held June 8.
Golf Team is added to sports program.
THS adds a driver education course. Tiff Kiser is appointed football coach. THS holds a talent show on April 9. Shirley Mays is crowned Miss Tazewell. Ground is broken for a new high school building to alleviate the three shifts that are required in the 1931 building. The new building is to be located on the Fincastle Turnpike east of Main Street. One-hundred thirty-five students graduate on May 18.
New building under construction on Fincastle Road.
The present school building is occupied in September 1954 with an enrollment of 952 to begin the new school year. The cost of the new structure is $1,150,000 with $75,000 extra for equipment. Band students play a concert to raise money for a grand piano. Phyllis Hart, Miss Tazewell County, is named the Burley Tobacco Queen. Elizabeth Bradshaw wins the Bland Memorial Scholarship Music Contest. Six boys go to Boys State, and nine girls participate in Girls State. Dr. Adolph Zeller, a European scientist, visits the Tazewell Literary Club. Sadie Hawkins Week in the fifties is celebrated as the boys do whatever the girls tell them to do. The week is capped off by a Sadie Hawkins dance. The senior play, "The Little Dog Laughed" is the first performance in the new auditorium. The play is presented the evening of Thursday, February 24, 1955. The Peak is dedicated to Mr. James H. Rogers, assistant principal. The senior class, consisting of 143 members, graduate on June 3, 1955. This group is the first to graduate in the new THS building.
Nine Tazewell seniors enter the new Merit Program. The Virginia Public School System advises THS to remain segregated in their athletic program. Henry Tomlinson wins district forensic spelling competition, held at Bristol High School. The yearbook editor is Chase Adkins. The seniors tour Washington, D.C. and Richmond from April 10-14. Bettie Brittain, a formal THS graduate, becomes Tazewells first female lawyer. The yearbook is dedicated to Ms. Sarah Bowen. Commencement is held June 1, 1956, with 178 graduating seniors.
The Christmas pageant, Christmas, written by J. L. Walthall, is presented by student performers. Eugene Ross is principal at THS. The Peak, is dedicated to Coach Howard Quillen. John Farmer and Sam Bourne are selected to the all-county football team and 1st team all-area squad. The Future Teachers of America are an active school group. A senior directory is published. The yearbook editors are Ann Evans and Warren Williams. Homecoming queen is Faye Weaver. SCA president is Elizabeth Bradshaw. Spring graduation includes 193 seniors completing their studies at Tazewell High School.
The football team loses only one game while recording a 7-1-2 slate. Troy Ross and Linda Orender are chosen homecoming king and queen. Jo Ann Hurley is drum major while Linda Orender is head majorette. The THS Band consists of 50 members. The yearbook editor is Patty Lou Wallace. SCA president is G. D. Altizer. The yearbook is dedicated to Miss Ella Bryant Dickerson.
Tazewell High School enrollment numbers 1050 students during the first week of school. THS students form a musical group known as the T-Tones and cut a record entitled "Alone" and "Hangover." Charles R. Davis, THS graduate, directs the choirs at Emory and Henry College. A Distributive Education club is formed at THS, made up of students enrolled in the class that is being offered for the first time this year. Mrs. Dick Walthall is coordinator and Jack Bandy is the first DECA president. The Senior Class presents Thorton Wilders "Our Town," directed by Howard Crouch and Ella Bryant Dickenson, on November 21, 1958 at 8:00 PM. Homebound instruction is made available for the first time from the high school via telephone lines. The THS Band, under the direction of James Burwell, plays and marches at all football games. The Bulldog Band competes along with 60 other bands at the Southeastern Band Festival in Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee on October 11, 1958. At Bristol, the band wins the Division II, Class A trophy. The band numbers some 50 members. An outbreak of influenza in March leaves 175 students absent from school. The Bible Club presents an Altar Cloth to THS to be used during religious assemblies at the school. With Captains Jim Hughes and Howard Noakes, the boys basketball team makes the trip to the state tournaments in Charlottesville losing in the first round to Roanoke Jefferson High School. Their record for the year is 11-2 under Coach Tiff Kiser. Nine THS girls are selected to attend Girls State at Radford College July 5-11, 1959. The Senior Banquet and Awards Program are held on Wednesday, May 27. Dr. Orville W. Wake, president of Lynchburg College, is the graduation speaker on May 29, 1959. Tommy Witten, Ann McGlothlin, and Patricia Turner are named valedictorians among the 179 graduates in the class of 1959.
First Distributive Education Club at THS.
President of the SCA is Eddie Young, vice president is Todd Heldreth, secretary is J. E. King, and treasurer is Tommy Mustard. Homecoming king and queen are Buddy Lockhart and Mary Dawson. The Peak is dedicated to Mrs. Wilma Tootheman. The editor of the Peak is Reda Rasnick. Mr. Eugene Ross is the THS principal. Graduation sees 228 seniors complete their high school career in the spring of 1960.
Back to THS History Home Page