May 22, 2013 — It was a hot, bittersweet evening Saturday as former students, teachers, and administrators gathered to say farewell to the old Carter school building.
The native stone building has served the small community since 1939 and the elementary students who last occupied it will move into a new building this fall.
School board member David Jesse was on hand for the celebration. He was instrumental in keeping the new school in the community and also is a graduate of CES.
“You remember your first day in this building when you walk in the doors,” Jesse said as he addressed the crowd of more than 300. “I remember my first basket in this gym and losing my first tooth in Miss Kiser's class. She was my first teacher. It's a sad day and great day at the same time.”
Baxton McGlone, who served as a teacher, coach, and principal at Carter, shared some of his memories with the crowd.
“I could have filled a 1,000-gallon water tank with my memories here,” McGlone said. “I used to walk three miles to the bus stop and I remember thinking this place was way too big for me after attending a one-room school. I am grateful for the opportunity I had in education, which started here. Where would we be if we hadn't come here?”
James Kiser, a former basketball standout at old Carter High School, told a story which showed the essence of a community.
“I went to work cutting and housing tobacco but one of my friends told Coach Harold Holbrook I might be a pretty good basketball player,” Kiser said. “If Coach hadn't contacted me, I wouldn't have finished high school or gone on to college. Through him, I got a college scholarship.”
After 74 years of service, the old school building will no longer serve the students of Carter City. Its fate is uncertain but the community will continue to thrive in the new school location, just a short walk down the road.
Leeann Akers can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 474-5101.