Current and former students, teachers and administrators gathered on Tuesday to bid farewell to dear old Louisa County High School.
Although the rain forced the nearly 200 attendees into the high school’s mobile cafeteria unit, the weather couldn’t dampen their spirits or their resolve to move beyond the devastating effects of the August 23 earthquake.
“This has been an unprecedented year for Louisa County,” said Dr. Deborah Pettit, superintendent. “A year in which we were shaken by an earthquake, but a year in which the community came together to beat the odds and provide our students with an education.”
She said that the school building holds many fond memories for the 72 graduating classes that have walked the walls.
“But the heart of the school lies in its students and staff,” she said.
Pettit introduced former teachers Eugenia Bumpass and Lillian Morris along Louisa County School Board member Sherman Shifflett–who also served a high school teacher, coach and administtor for 30 years.
The trio of former teachers provided those in attendance with a first-hand account the school’s storied past and some of their fondest memories.
Doug Straley, assistant superintendent, 1990 LCHS graduate and former high school teacher, athletic director and assistant principal, relived the school’s more recent academic and athletic achievements.
He said despite losing the high school building, the division would continue to provide great opportunities for its students and the community.
“It is the pride of the Lion Nation that will continue to make LCHS and the Louisa County community a great place to live, learn, work and play,” he said.
Tom Smith, first-year principal, reflected on the earthquake and the effect it had on students and staff.
“Over the next several days, and weeks and months it became clear that while our building might be cracked and broken the spirit of Louisa County High School was undamaged,” Smith said.
He recounted how students, teachers, administrators and the community came together immediately after the earthquake to offer support.
Smith also reflected on how the community helped the school transition into Louisa County Middle School before moving into modular units months later and how everyone’s support made the school year possible.
“These events reflect the spirit of Louisa County High School,” Smith said. “And while we gather together to say goodbye to our building, our sadness should be tempered with a touch of joy. Because even though we are losing our school building…we can take comfort in the fact that the spirit of Louisa County High School is as strong as ever.”