Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Watauga County May Get a High School, But Should It Be Two Years or Four? 1907

From editorial page of the Aug. 22, 1907, issue of the Watauga Democrat, R.C. Rivers, Proprietor

Last Monday the Board of Education met to discuss and consider the high school proposition. Representatives from Cove Creek, Walnut Grove, Valle Crucis, Blowing Rock and Boone were present asking for the school. Each of these places seems to be prepared to entertain it, but on account of one question the matter was left open—Does the local tax and the funds from the State all have to be applied to the High School instruction?

The law provides for all students having completed the public school course. Due regard must be given to advantages, such as location, buildings, teaching force and general equipment. There are only two things for the Board of Education to consider as we see it. One to put the funds together locate the school in the center of the county, and open it to the entire community; the other, make two schools of second grade and put one in the east and the other in the west. The Board of Education is somewhat inclined to make two schools, and wherever the school goes, the people must raise $250 by local tax or private subscription.

The Appalachian Training School does not give free tuition to any student who does not agree to teach two years in the public schools. There is one other feature, the teacher in the High School must have a High School certificate. The certificate is not issued by the county superintendent but by the Examining Board of the state.

Perhaps the list of subjects required to be taught would be of interest to some of us:

First year: Arithmetic, Algebra, English History, English Grammar and Composition, Latin, and Introduction to Science.

Second year: Algebra, Ancient History to 800 A.D., English Composition and Literature, Latin, Physical Geography.

Third year: Algebra, Plain Geometry, History, English Composition and Literature, Latin, one Modern Language, and Physics.

Fourth year: Geometry, American History and Civics, English Composition, Rhetoric and Literature, Latin, French or German, Physics or Agriculture.

The above is an extensive course. While we are willing for our town to get the school, we are not making any fight for it. Unless the whole county would see it best to create only one school and put it in the center, we think the Board of Education ought to make two schools of lower grades. They would mean the course mapped out in the first two years above, and to each of these school a smaller amount of money could be given.

Finally, we have no preference about the matter. We shall be delighted to see it located anywhere. There is no room for division in Watauga.

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