Class of 1958 completes 8 years at Carolina School

Published 12:45 am Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today’s column will be a continuation of the review of the Class of 1958 as they experience grades seven and eight. These grades were considered the junior high years at Carolina School with the eighth grade being the highest offered by the school. Carolina was considered a feeder school for Pleasant Home School. Falco School in the Wing area was another such school. The students being graduated from Carolina would join those from Falco and become a part of the ninth grade who had attended the earlier grades at Pleasant Home.

In the fall of 1952, my class moved into junior high school at Carolina as members of the seventh grade. The teacher for this year was Mrs. Virginia Bowman, an attractive and cheerful lady who was popular with her students. I do not remember this arrangement happening for my class, but during some years the principal and teacher for the eighth grade would switch classes with the seventh-grade teacher. One would teach math and science while the other would teach language arts and social studies. Mr. James A. Livingston, a bachelor, who had replaced Mr. H.D. Wilson was the eighth-grade teacher and principal this year.

The seventh grade was a stressful year for me personally. My mother was bed-ridden with cancer, and she passed away in January 1953. I remember Mrs. Bowman attending the funeral and my classmates being thoughtfully kind to me at the time. However, that tragedy seems to have somewhat blocked out much of my memory of that year. I do recall that being the grade when most of the boys tried out for the basketball team, but I held back on that due to my mother’s illness and fearing the challenge of making the team. Of course, some of the girls became a part of the athletic program by becoming cheerleaders. There was a lot of school pride among all the students.

Finally, our class entered the eighth grade and were the oldest ones in the school. Early in the year, Mrs. James A. Livingston taught us math and science, and Mrs. Charlie Pelham, the seventh-grade teacher, taught us language arts and social studies. After a few weeks, there were a few boys in the eighth grade who were difficult for Mrs. Pelham to handle. At that point she and Mr. Livingston kept their respective classes in a self-contained room for all subjects. Even though he was not the strictest disciplinarian, Mr. Livingston made a brave effort to cope with the trouble-makers.

Mr. Livingston was very kind to his students and encouraged them to do their best work. One assignment I recall was for students to make a booklet on some historical figure. I chose former President James Monroe for some unknown reason, which was probably Mr. Livingston’s suggestion. I always enjoyed activities such as this one, which were beyond the regular classroom routine. Mr. Livingston’s personal encouragement inspired me to be dedicated to my work and probably began motivating me to want to become a teacher. Actually, I enjoyed all my teachers and came to realize that the school environment was the one I would enjoy most.

My class’s education at Carolina was concluded in May 1954. Most of the class entered the ninth grade at Pleasant Home School at the end of summer and would complete their high school years there. I enrolled and attended the first six weeks before transferring to Straughn School for the remainder of my high school years. This was due to my dad getting married and the family moving to the Heath community.

The principal, Mr. Livingston, also left Carolina School after our eighth-grade year, and Mr. B. C. Fincher came to replace him. Mr. Fincher is remembered as being very strict and maintaining extreme order among the students. He continued as principal for several years afterwards.

The next column will be a brief overview of the years following 1954. There is limited information that will give some idea of the years until the school was closed permanently in 1972.

The source for today’s writing was the memories of a few classmates and this writer, Curtis Thomasson. Anyone having questions or additional information is encouraged to contact him at the following addresses: 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Historical Society will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Guests