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Look Back ... to schools in the news, 1946 and 1996

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The spring of 1940 brought upon many Americans the dawning realization that national defense and the defense of our allies was of daily importance. A rise in the training population at Fort McClellan was part of this movement, as this front-page story from May 23 relates.

May 23, 1946, in The Star: Honor rolls for the year were announced this week at Calhoun County High School in Oxford. These 10 students had an all-A academic record for the entire year: Jean Ann Kilgore and Myra Ann Smith, 7th grade; Patty Cox and Evelyn Spradlin, 8th grade; Betty Jean Currie, 10th grade; Donald Pitts and Ann Lloyd, 11th grade; and Frances Gamel, Jessie Louis Williams and Helen D. Jones, 12th grade. Also this date: The Blue Mountain School held its closing exercises this week at Blue Mountain Baptist Church. Miss Nackie Jirels, principal, awarded diplomas to the graduates.

May 23, 1996, in The Star: Johnston Elementary School will hold classes as usual this fall, despite its dilapidated condition. That’s due to delays in getting a court’s approval for the Anniston Board of Education to close the aging facility — it opened in September 1951 as Johnston Junior High School — then reassign its faculty and students to the remaining six elementary schools of the Anniston system. Court approval is needed because the city schools remain under a 1973 federal desegregation order.