County schools to host 50-year reunion

Published 1:38 am Saturday, October 10, 2015

There will be a Warren County School reunion Oct. 17 beginning at 10 a.m. at the City Park Pavilion for anyone who attended any of the six county high schools: Culkin Academy High School, Redwood High School, Jett High School, Oak Ridge High School, Jefferson Davis High School and Bovina High School. The last three high schools, Culkin Academy, Redwood and Jett stopped acting as high schools 50 years ago in 1965. Individuals did not have to graduate from one of the schools to attend the reunion, they just had to attend one before they converted to elementary schools and junior high schools in 1965.

“Back in 1916, the decision was made to create the six schools,” Annie Warnock of the Culkin Academy class of 1962 said. “They had probably 30 or 40 one-room school houses in Warren County at that time. Culkin Academy was the first school built in 1916.”

By the 1930s the other five schools were open, Warnock said. The schools went form first through 12th grade.

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“In 1965 they closed the doors to the high schools at the remaining schools,” she said. “In the fall of 1965, Warren Central High School opened its doors.”

Redwood is the only school still open, serving now as an elementary school.

“This is for anyone who went to those schools between 1916 and 1965,” she said. “That’s who this reunion was all about.”

Warnock said the reunions started 12 years ago at Bovina Clear Creek Pavilion but were moved to City Park Pavilion because of the handicap accessibility.

“Back in the times that they were three individual schools, there was fierce rivalry between the three schools,” she said. “We played each other in football, basketball and everything. We started having this reunion because we had known each other, we had played ball with each other and we really knew everybody.”

Warnock said the first year maybe 200 people showed up, but that number has risen as high as 450. With this being the 50th anniversary of the high schools closing, she expects a higher attendance this year.

“We’re going to recognize the 1965 graduates because they were the last classes to get their diplomas from the three high schools,” she said.

Some of the classes have special events on Friday night for their individual classes.

Warnock said her class and any others who want to join them meet at Billy and Pauline Sheffield’s home at 5207 Halls Ferry Rd.

Saturday’s reunion begins at 10 a.m. and lunch happens around 11:30, Warnock said. A brief program will also be included.

Warnock described the reunion as a picnic and sort of a step back in time.

“You didn’t have to graduate those schools,” she said. “If you went to any one of those six schools between 1916 and 1965 you’re invited to this.”

The price for the event is $7, and attendees should bring their favorite dish. Iced tea and coffee will be provided.