HISTORY OF WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL
Woodrow Wilson High School - Origin and Development, 1917-1975
By LURA OPAL CLAY
This history of WWHS was written by long-time teacher Lura Clay. It appeared as part of a booklet published in 1976 by the Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees.
INTRODUCTIONSince February, 1975, my life has been devoted to fulfilling the assignment given to me by Miss Margaret Sullivan, President of Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees, to write a short history of Woodrow Wilson High School as part of a collection of similar writings to honor the Bicentennial of the United States of America. Accepting the opportunity with enthusiasm, I have learned that the task was larger than my abilities, though not impossible because of the interest of my fellow teachers and my former students, interested and kind in helping me.
Now that the time of writing "The End" has come, I am not satisfied but I am content, for this has truly been a labor of love. My hope is that no one will find glaring mistakes, and that all who read will overlook human errors. Please lay the blame on the author, not on those who answered questions for me.
My gratitude especially goes to these friends who have supported me with their deepest concern and strongest will power: Miss Ethel Keyser, Mr. C. G. Peregoy, Miss Ruth Larew and Mrs. J. R. Beaty. All others named on the list of sources took their time to find facts or recalled events to add to my information. My thanks go to those and many others not named.
From February to August I have lived my life as a student and a teacher over again.
I was a grade student in Beckley Seminary, passed through the upper grades, high school and normal training course in Beckley Institute, and except for the years I was in college, or three years teaching in other places, I taught in Beckley High School or Woodrow Wilson High School for my full teaching career. Living in a dream world of the rosy past, forgetting all unpleasantness, and rejoicing in the wonderful people who were once my students, I have truly appreciated and enjoyed my seventy-eighth summer performing my task.
Lura Opal Clay
The High School In BeckleyThe United States Commissioner of Education made a survey of the educational systems of the one hundred sixty largest cities of the country in 1901. One hundred forty-three superintendents of city schools responded to the request. The high school figures in the report are of interest in this history. The reader will not be surprised to learn that Boston, Massachusetts, with its fine private academies and other tuition-collecting preparatory schools established the first Public High School with a two to four years' course of study, but the date is surprising - 1821. 
Between the Civil War period of 1860-1865 and the turn of the century, 1900, the high schools in the entire United States totalled 3,007. By 1902, the number of public high schools with definite courses of study especially for college entrance requirements was 6,318 with 541,130 pupils.  In comparison, public high schools in West Virginia numbered twenty-nine. Thomas C. Miller, State Superintendent of West Virginia Schools compiled a report to be distributed at the Jamestown, Virginia, Exposition in 1907 concerning the schools in the state. Not every county superintendent of schools made a report, but perhaps all city superintendents of that era did. Mr. Miller's book reflected many improvements in the mountain schools in 1907. 
Raleigh County Superintendent at the time of the study, Mr. W. O. McGinnis, made no report. Raleigh County was organized as a system of districts of which there were seven: Town, Trap Hill, Slab Fork, Clear Fork, Marsh Fork, Shady Spring and Richmond, but there was no special city system in Beckley.
One type of school that antedated the high school concept in rural areas was the subscription school. Such a school was held in Beckley in the old Methodist Church (Southern) located on the corner where Prince Street meets Kanawha Street. The church, a frame structure painted brown, faced the corner diagonally and was surrounded by a lawn. The time was about 1880, and the instructor was probably the minister of the church. Young people came from as far as three or four miles daily on foot for instruction. It was held in the summer when such travel was most comfortable with a term of approximately two months. The courses were largely further study of arithmetic, grammar, spelling and reading, since the object of the instruction was to prepare possible teachers for the state examinations for certificates. One sister  and brother attended the school for two terms. The sister became a teacher, after receiving a first class certificate. She taught until the time of her marriage in 1890.
From the reports of school superintendents and principals in West Virginia, one learns that the citizens of the Mountain State followed the pattern of the country at large by turning private schools into public high schools. A second report by United States Commissioner of Education in 19163 shows figures for public high schools that show growth, perhaps as a result of turning private academies into public high schools. The figures given reveal that out of 13,922 secondary schools, 11,674 were public high schools, open to all students and supported by tax payers.
The history of Beckley High School is incomplete until the stories of two private schools are told. Both schools prepared students for entrance to college.
Among the many photographs that illustrate and illuminate the 1907 report on West Virginia Education by Mr. Miller  is a fine picture of Beckley Seminary as it looked at that time. The building, a white frame structure of two stories with a bell tower rising above, faced toward the main part of town. The present Institute School built of red bricks facing Park Avenue occupies the site of the old building, which was used for elementary grades of Beckley Institute, and later as a public elementary school for several years.
Mr. Bernard H. White, the principal of Beckley Seminary, also furnished an excellent written report on the school. First, he gave the location in Beckley on the newly built railroad lines into the city. He praised the beauty of the surroundings, and named the white pine trees that grew on the campus. Thirty-seven students enrolled in 1900 and were taught in rented rooms. But with the cooperation of leading citizens of the time, the new building housed nearly four hundred students, ranging from the first grade through the seminary course of study. Mr. White's second paragraph told the type of students, the abilities of the faculty, and the purpose and atmosphere of the school. He completed his statement with this important observation: "The school is unpretentious; it claims only to be a preparatory school whose work is accredited in all colleges and universities of this part of the country."2
Mr. Harlow Warren's Beckley USA Vol. I shows an attractive picture, "Raleigh County's Enrollment at Marshall College" in 1903, which reveals to one who recognizes nine of the handsome young people in the picture that their preparatory training was surely given at Beckley Seminary.  A list of the Board of Directors contains names of citizens prominent in the development of Beckley in the early century and known to the author by reputation.  Many members of Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees will be acquainted with one Beckley Seminary faculty member, Mr. W. W. Trent, who became the last elected State Superintendent of West Virginia Schools. He was awarded the office for six consecutive terms. Other faculty members recalled by former appreciative students are Miss Florence Blizzard and her brother, Homer Blizzard, who taught the third grade and coached the first uniformed baseball team,  Miss Ollie Ogden, Paris I. Lilly, R. B. Summerfield, and the music teacher, Miss Adeline Bursot.
Beckley Seminary had a short existence, 1900-1907, but the young people were taught not only school subjects, but also the appreciation of learning. The former students who are now among the older citizens of Beckley recall with pleasure and pride their school days spent in the school where Mr. White as principal was respected highly, but was judged gentle and kind to his students. One little girl remembers after seventy years Mr. White's talks to the children in which he often quoted a bit of poetry, such as this:
You will find them all the while.
If you bring a smiling visage to the glass,
You'll meet a smile.
Two Christian Church ministers in Raleigh County, the Reverend G. W. Ogden and the Reverend Ritchie Ware, who were cognizant of the policy of the national office of their denomination to establish secondary schools in areas such as Appalachia, where preparatory schools were few, set in motion a movement for the Christian Women's Board of Missions of the Christian Church  with headquarters in Indianapolis to purchase the buildings and grounds of Beckley Seminary for such a school. Negotiations were effected, and with the generosity of Beckley citizens of all churches, Beckley Seminary became Beckley Institute. Better financed, the Institute was able to enlarge the work and bring many more teachers from other states to teach. The new high school building was constructed of native stone, a favorite material for public buildings at the time. More members of the Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees will recall Beckley Institute easily.
With Miss Alma Evelyn Moore of Topeka, Kansas, as principal pro tern, Beckley Institute opened for school in September, 1907. Mr. E. W. McDiarmid, a professor of Latin in Bethany College, was sent by the CWBM to be principal in the late fall of that year. A picture of the faculty in 1908, a year later, is to be seen in Beckley, U S A, Vol. I.5 Some teachers remained, others left, and new people came in.
Many old students have recalled Mrs. Lola B. Pursley as a favorite. The three Lanier sisters became a part of Beckley since two of them married Beckley citizens and made their homes here. Mr. J. A. Sharp became a resident of this area as an accountant. The principal and his sister, Miss Ethel McDiarmid, whose father had been president of Bethany College, left a lasting memory of culture interpreted academically with their students.
But the person who really affected the lives of those she taught was Miss Bessie Lanier. She later became professor of education at Madison College, Harrisonburg, Virginia. She was a master teacher. Her recent death at an advanced age left many feeling that a landmark had gone from their lives.
Younger pupils of the Beckley Institute school probably recall other teachers as favorites. Miss Winnie Cook (Mrs. J. O. Freeman) was one of the local teachers who taught in the school. Her pupils had the fine privilege of having her as their first grade teacher, the best-loved of all. Miss Hallie Harper, whose sister, Mrs. H. E. Phipps (Lessie Harper) became the first woman to be elected to the Board of Education in Town District, was another Beckley teacher who served well in Beckley Institute.
Quoting a favorite saying of the Reverend Ritchie Ware, who was instrumental in establishing Beckley Institute in 1907 to prepare students for a college education as well as to train for other choices, one must say that the Seminary and the Institute and the Seminary "served their day and generation".
If error has not been unwittingly made in naming the members of the Town District Board of Education in 1917, here are their names: Mr. R. T. Thurman, President, Dr. W. W. Hume and Mr. M. C. Brackman, Commissioners. Men are elected to office to follow the desires of their supporters. These men accepted their responsibility and began negotiations to found a Public High School in Beckley.
Again, a sale of school building and grounds was made between the Town District Board of Education and the Christian Woman's Board of Missions, with headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. The property consisted of twenty and five-tenths acres on which a stone building used for high school and a frame building used for elementary grades were located. One stipulation of the sale was that the acreage originally donated to Beckley Institute by the Beaver Land Company, whose representative was Mr. William MacTaggart, remain in use for school purposes or revert to the original owners. Figures representing the price paid for this real estate have not been found by the writer. At the time of the fire in 1918 when the stone building was destroyed, the CWBM did not lose anything, since insurance covered their claims. Beckley High School, a true Public High School, opened for classes in the stone building on the land bought from the Institute school, and the former elementary school of the Institute was again the scene of the elementary school, now called Institute. The students were former students of the Institute plus others from the area who had not been in the private school. The date was September, 1917. Memories of two informants have given the author the names of the faculty: Mr. W. C. Woodyard, principal; Miss Ethel Keyser, English; Mrs. J. W. Givens, commercial subjects and French; Miss Anna Kate Givens, mathematics; Miss Nada Snow (Mrs. Carl Cook), Latin; Miss Pauline Hauser, home economics; and Mr. Ashworth, science. Even teachers of the time do not recall the full faculty.
The work moved smoothly until an unfortunate disaster struck the school in January, 1918, when the stone building was completely destroyed by a fire of unknown origin. Many people suspected arson, for a faction existed that did not want a free high school at the tax-payers' expense. Other staid citizens thought the fire due to a faulty furnace. The demolition of the building did not stop the classwork. Students  in school at that time are full of memories of attending classes in two buildings available in the city: First Christian Church, newly built with classrooms, and the former Deepwater Building, named for a railroad, but called by students of the period Red Cross Building, because the work of Red Cross Volunteers in the building during World War I. It is now known as Medical Arts Building, located on Heber Street, a very old stone building near Earwood Street. Because of the break in the term of school no class was ready for graduation in 1918.
Classes continued to be held in the two buildings named until the first commencement and bestowal of diplomas by Beckley High School on June 25, 1919 to eleven graduates. The Commencement Program was presented in the First Christian Church with Principal Woodyard in charge and Miss Pauline Hauser, Sponsor of this first class. Mrs. Irby Webb, formerly Miss Clara Mae Robertson, lent carefully preserved copies of school articles to the author.
These souvenirs consisted of a newspaper clipping of Principal Woodyard's announcement of the eleven graduates as follows:
Only one boy was in the class for graduation. Another male student, Clyde Mellon, belonging to the class died during the school year with the dreaded influenza of the World War I era.
Mrs. Webb's carefully preserved copy of the announcements sent by the class for Commencement reads:
Beckley High School
announces Commencement Exercises
June twenty-fifth, nineteen hundred nineteen
Class Motto: Amor patriae nos ducit, translated for non-Latin readers says, "Love of country leads them." The class colors were yellow and white. This event marked an important step in the development of appreciation for education in the county seat.
Attention was beginning to be centered on the idea that a good public high school was essential not only for the education of the youth of the town but also for the status of the then budding city that was reflecting a steady growth in population and in business. A sizable piece of property on South Kanawha Street was purchased by the Board of Education from the heirs of Major James Hereford McGinnis, whose sons and daughters were prominent Beckley citizens. Native stone was chosen for the construction of a new high school; masons and carpenters worked hard and carefully to get the new building ready for occupancy in September, 1919. The building housed the high school and the elementary school for the area of the city in which it was located. The formal opening was September, 1919.
Who were the teachers of the high school? Mr. A. J. Peters was the principal with a faculty of Miss Eva Keyser, English; Mrs. J. W. Given, commercial studies and French; Mrs. Carl Cook, Latin; and Miss Lura Clay, mathematics, and others whose names have been lost. Mr.' Peters was truly an organizer and administrator, as later information will reveal.
Nineteen hundred and twenty marked the first commencement in the building, which then accommodated the parents and friends for the program. Mrs. Carl Cook, sponsor of the class, as shown on a copy of the Commencement Program  for June 8, 1920, had arranged the following activity: (Roman numerals were used.)
Mrs. Carl Cook, Directress
Class of 1920
Motto: Altissima petimus (We seek the highest)
Of these students, two became excellent teachers in Woodrow Wilson High School. All were successful in good careers. One, Clarence Meadows, became the governor of West Virginia.
The Board of Education listed in the Commencement Program was made up of E. L. Kidd, M. F. O'Dell, Dr. W. W. Hume and D. D. Ashworth, Secretary. Mr. Peters was named Superintendent of Town District Schools.
Principals or superintendents making reports on the school growth in their towns or counties in Mr. Miller's book  usually gave as the crowning accolade that West Virginia University accepted their students without further study or tests. The class of 1920 of Beckley High School with twenty-two graduates was able to report that eleven or fifty percent of the class entered colleges of accredited standing in the fall term that year, and others entered later without examination or special study. Five of these entered West Virginia University and received degrees; two young men chose Virginia Polytechnic Institute and graduated. One girl enrolled in Marietta College from which she received her A.B., and two became graduates of Concord College. One girl went to Bethany College where her scholastic standing was good. This early class represented Beckley High School with good records in their chosen colleges.
Few of Nola Frenise Dalton Smith's thirteen classmates of the graduating class of nineteen twenty-one could produce a copy of the invitations sent to friends and relatives of the happy young people of that year. Mrs. Smith has favored the writer by sending a xeroxed copy of her precious memento. [10a] It reads thus:
Beckley High School
requests your presence at its
Tuesday evening, May 31st
at 8 o'clock
The second page gives the vital facts, as the earlier classes did. The class motto - "Not evening, but dawn". The Class Color - Gold and Black and the Flower - Black-eyed Susan.
Friends of these outstanding citizens of this area know that this too was a history making class of Beckley High School.
One memory that stands out in the participants' recollections is of the class play, Mr. Bob, directed ably by the class sponsor, Miss Eva Keyser. Mrs. Smith recalls the extra effort made by Miss Keyser to come to the home of Mrs. Smith, who was the leading lady, and because of illness missed some practice, to aid her in getting her part correctly. Nola recalls this kindness with fondest memory.
A picture lent by Miss Lois Edmundson, another member of the twenty-one class, shows the seniors and their junior hosts at a banquet in the old Beckley High School gymnasium decorated with streamers of crepe paper. The young people and some faculty members are seated around a circular table in the background of the photograph while in the foreground at a round table are the distinguished guests: Mr. J. M. Reedy, principal; Miss Eva Keyser, sponsor; Mr. Elbert Newton Dupuy, president; and Miss Nola Denise Dalton, secretary. A study of the full picture brings happy memories of good students, fun-loving but earnest in their work and ambitious to become the leaders of the morrow, which they did.
Nineteen hundred twenty-two was the year that Miss Eva Keyser was elected Raleigh County Superintendent of Schools. Women were voting then and perhaps were largely responsible for electing a woman to this high county office. Without official confirmation, it is believed that Miss Keyser is the only woman in the state of West Virginia who received this honor. Women received the right to vote by a Federal Law which came into effect August 18, 1920.
Miss Keyser was an efficient and capable superintendent. One helpful result of her term in office was the publication of a pamphlet called Directory of Raleigh County Schools, 1923-1924. It contained according to the title page "Names of Schools, Teachers, and Addresses of all the Public Schools of Raleigh County". The copy in the possession of the writer is interesting to read, for it contains information of interest to those at work in the schools in 1923-24. Mr. Clarence G. Peregoy was principal of the High School at Eccles.
Students of 1975 with their chic new ECHO yearbooks encased in plastic covers to protect the beautiful white embossed books, decorated with a dark red flying eagle whose wing spread is impressive and the title ECHO printed in matching color would shudder to see the first Beckley High School yearbook produced by the graduating class of 1922. This book, appropriately named PIONEER has decorations of a modified Gothic B in a wreath of laurel on one side of the title and a matching '22 in a similar wreath on the other side of the title, which is placed diagonally on a brown paper cover. The whole book is tied together with silk-like cords of white and brown.
The first yearbook  honored the first superintendent of schools, Mr. Andrew J. Peters, using his picture with a full list of his educational qualifications. This is followed by a picture of the Beckley High School on a lawn with no trees facing directly on South Kanawha Street. The Board of Education of Town District: Mr. S. M. Gilliam, President, Mr. M. F. O'Dell and Mr. U. S. Dickens, Commissioners with Mr. C. O. Dunn, Secretary, is shown next. The next entry is the faculty of both the high school and the junior high school. Mr. J. M. Reedy, Principal of Beckley High School; Mr. Benn J. Ferguson, Principal of Beckley Junior High School, and the teachers are listed:
Today, no one would expect to see the picture in the school annual of all the ministers in town. They are shown in a group as the faculty in charge of the Bible Department. These were Rev. W. H. Fogelsong, Rev. Grover J. Johnson, Rev. J. L. Lineweaver, Rev. Father Holzmer, Rev. Gerald. Culberson and Rev. B. Lacy Hoge. Since assembly was held each day with a devotional, it is believed that their teaching was given at that time. Memory does not bring to mind an actual classroom situation.
As one enters the building today, one may not find the room arrangement is the same, for changes have occurred over the decades. In 1921-22 the two rooms just inside the main entrance of either side of the hall were on the left, the principal's office, and on the right hand, the library. Perhaps it was the very next year that the library was moved to a larger room at the head of the right-hand staircase, the second floor. No room in the building was properly sized or shaped for a high school library. Miss Brilla Mae Lloyd was the next librarian after Mrs. Woods' death.
When the fiftieth year reunion was held in 1972, the man who had travelled farthest is pictured in the annual, with seven others on the Annual Staff, Harry Roberts. The six others of the staff are Ruth Culberson, Eldridge Hedrick, Howard Fisher, Wiley Bolen, Inez Smith, Ray Smith and Marie Martin. But they are not the full staff, for the following page shows Palma Meador, Peggy Phipps, Thelma Melton, J. F. Lilly, Faye Parley, Hallie Prince and the sponsors: Miss Eula Givens and Mr. A. J. Peters.
Miss Eula Ruth Givens, a graduate of Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, and a native of Monroe County, came to Beckley to be with members of her family who lived here. She first taught for one year at Mt. Hope High School and became principal of that high school the next year. Although her work was very satisfactory, the call to Beckley High School was more enticing. She became a member of Beckley High School faculty in nineteen hundred and twenty-one. In the spring of that school year, 1922, she sponsored the first yearbook, PIONEER. With the cooperation of the principal, she was successful in putting together a fine record of the year's work.
From her first success as advisor for the senior class in sponsoring the annual, and for coaching the senior play, Mrs. Milliron, as she now became, was chosen each year as class sponsor for the important task of aiding the seniors to be the best.
In a recent discussion about activities at the old Woodrow Wilson High School by three retired teachers of that hub of the universe, Mrs. E. Van Dorsey said: "Mrs. Milliron's plays were always perfectly coached. They were chosen strictly as interesting stories suited to amateur high school players, yet with ideas worthy of reflection. Best of all, they were entertaining." Mrs. Milliron's yearbooks too evoked praise. Examining several books of that period, one must concede that while the modern ones may be clever and sophisticated, the old ones tell the events, present the personalities, and serve as memory reviews for decades.
Mr. Peregoy in relieving Mrs. Milliron of the responsibility of coaching senior plays and advising annual staffs gave her a very responsible duty as official registrar and keeper of school records. She filled the requests for transcriptions of records for college entrance m t military enlistment or job application. Her duty required great accuracy. Mrs. Milliron never took a year off in her term of service in Beckley High School or Woodrow Wilson High School as did many others, who served equally long periods, for family duty or an extra year in university to add to their degrees. From 1921 to her retirement in 1961 Mrs. Roy Milliron was so constant that it is not strange that students recall her and her teaching first of all.
An addition of a new course of study for post-graduate students who wished to train for the teaching profession was made a part of the curriculum in the year 1921 Miss Gatewood Cameron, a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College, came to teach the Normal Course. Her work was popular for two good reasons: first, many young people were interested in becoming teachers, and second' Cameron was a well-trained professor of education. She practiced good teaching as well as she taught the theories. Several former students have asked that she be a part of the history of the school. Her 1924 class had a special section in the ECHO for that year. Those completing Miss Cameron s course became good teachers in the Raleigh County schools; some of them are leaders in the Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees. The 1924 group included Eldora McGraw, Edna Roberts, Basil Houchins, Lucille Pennington, Rachel Guy, Dare Keyser Alma Davenport, James Trump and Lacy Beamer. Their class colors were crimson and white; their flower the Poppy; and their class motto was: "With the ropes of the past, we will ring the bells of the future "
The course was continued after Miss Cameron's resignation by Miss Ethel Keyser at the request of Principal R. E. Langfitt. Miss Keyser was equally successful as many of her students in the Normal Training class can testify. The yearbook in which her class would be featured was not in the hands of the author, but Miss Keyser's success can be measured by her other teaching in the school. Miss Keyser's activities in the development the high school from the first made her information invaluable to the writer of this account of the changes, the new ideas, and the plain common sense of a good teacher. She taught her students to use their own minds, to think for themselves. Miss Keyser began her teaching in Beckley High School the year the school opened in 1917, and except for time for study at West Virginia University and a few years of teaching in Florida, her career was made in the local school. Her name is recalled not only by the students she had in classes, but also by anyone who met her or knew her.
Among Miss Keyser's Normal Training Class were Miss Marie Worley, Miss Alyce Ballou, Mrs. Glida Leslie, Miss Mamie Marshall, Miss Beulah Snyder, Miss Edith Phipps and Mrs. Hazel Davenport. Sometime in the fifties, Mrs. Davenport was chosen by a national family magazine as the National Teacher of the Year. The honor reflected upon Miss Keyser as well as on the city of Beckley. Mrs. Davenport was a fine representative of the county of Raleigh and the state of West Virginia.
Two new teachers, Mr. Glenn Sallack and Miss Matilda Hoskins, came in 1924. Each taught special elective classes in addition to Mr. Sallack's mathematics and Miss Hoskins' English. Mr. Sallack taught instrumental band and orchestra, which led to his teaching music for full time. Miss Hoskins is best remembered by her students who acted in her many plays as a dramatic coach and speech teacher. She had two clubs in 1924: Dramatic and Debating. 
Beckley High School Becomes Woodrow Wilson High SchoolMoving to the newly constructed red brick spacious building in the fall of 1925 made a deep impression upon all involved, especially the students who would form the first graduating class from the new school. It truly became a new school, for the name Beckley High was left behind for the junior high school large enough to need all available space in the stone building up town, and the new school was formally named in honor of World War I President Woodrow Wilson.
Nineteen hundred twenty-six became a landmark for dating events connected with the school, for this was the year for the first class of Woodrow Wilson to graduate. New officers for the seniors were chosen: President, Ennis Bailey; Vice President, Donald Smith; Secretary, Gladys Walker; and Treasurer, Hans Lineweaver. The editor of the ECHO was Helen Moss. Mrs. Roy Milliron was chosen class sponsor. With such a class of excellent students, it is not surprising to find the 1926 annual which the author used for this study well-thumbed and used by many in the nearly fifty years.
Who were the persons behind this move to a new building? Mr. George H. Colebank was the Superintendent of Town District Schools, appointed by the Board of Education made up of Dr. L. A. Martin, President, with Mr. T. R. Ragland and Mrs. H. E. Phipps, Commissioners. Mr. R. Emerson Langfitt had served one year as principal in the old building and was a well-qualified school man, efficient and exact in all his requirements.
Twenty-one persons made up the faculty. One hundred and eight seniors were in the graduating class. Without official figures, one who followed the records for many years would say that this was the first class to go over the one hundred mark. Miss Catherine Gallagher, the class poet, spoke for her fellow students in her poem used in the 1926 ECHO.
Dear Old Woodrow Wilson High,The author of this rambling account, who can recall with warm personal feeling nearly every senior in the 1926 list, will attest that these people in their lives, their well-trained children, and their service to the community in many ways have well repaid "Dear Old Woodrow" and the faculty who had the opportunity to teach them.
Miss Jean Porter, English; Mr. H. P. Guy, Accounting; Mr. German Greene, Commercial; Miss Juvia Couch and Mr. C. E. Tishler, Physical Education; Miss Rebecca Johnson, Home Economics; Mr. Herman Martin, Science; Mr. E. F. Yager, Manual Arts; Mr. Paul W. Winter, Public School Music; Miss Mildred Julian, Physical Education; and Mrs. R. Emerson Langfitt, English, were the new faculty faces in the 1927 annual.
Miss Porter was the advisor of the annual staff for 1927 with a total of seventy-three graduates that year. A schedule of Commencement Week reflects the more leisurely living of that decade.
All programs listed were held in the Woodrow Wilson Auditorium. 
For the first time the Student Council of WWHS is given a full page in the annual, with the purpose stated: "To promote school spirit, to foster the desire for law and order, to provide opportunities for student cooperation in the internal government of the school, to encourage all worthy activities and to better school conditions in any way possible."
Mr. R. Emerson Langfitt, Principal, was the sponsor of this organization.
Note in the program for the last week of school the juniors traditionally gave the seniors a banquet, as begun in 1921. Later the entertainment was the junior-senior prom. The story of this change is told in another section of the history of Woodrow Wilson High School.
Not the first newspaper published by the students of Woodrow Wilson High School under the guidance of a teacher, but the first noted in a yearbook was The Spotlight with eleven newspaper people selected from the senior class. They were French Williams, Sallie Brubeck, Hayes Clay, Lillian Thomas, Grace McMillan, Palmer Parley, Athnel Lilly, Virginia McHugh, Ruby Harold, Jim Lowe and Eugene Jackson. Headlines showing faintly in the background of the pictures of these ambitious young people read: "Steinbicker to Be Coach Next Year", "P.T.A. Discusses Expenses of School", and "Band Concert Nets $430 Toward New Uniforms" reflect on both the economy and the interests of the time. The year was 1927. 
Always, a great choice of clubs awaited the interested students in the first years in Woodrow Wilson and are still available to students. In 1927 three language clubs were open: Latin, French and Spanish. Others were dramatics, book, commercial, stage crew, travel, debating, police squad, and odds and ends. Changes came with new principals, new teachers, and new students who sometimes asked for permission to form a club, such as the superstition club. Many old clubs are still active and popular today.
Mr. H. E. Carmichael became the next superintendent of the city schools in 1927-1928. The Board of Education for this period was Mr. W. E. Griffith, President; Mr. M. B. Smith and Mrs. H. E. Phipps, Commissioners. Mr. Z. R. Knotts was the new principal of Woodrow Wilson in the same year. Some new teachers were Mr. D. W. Bryson, mathematics; Mrs. H. P. Guy, biology; Miss Caroline Johnston, physical education; Miss Maud Kelly, mathematics; Miss Hazel Kendall, English; Mrs. Lucy Robertson, home economics; Mrs. Paul Steinbicker, history; Mr. Paul Steinbicker, physical education; Miss Elizabeth Stephenson, English; Miss Louise Stevenson, French and English; and Mr. John R. Skull, industrial arts. 
Each year a new group of students gave life and vitality to teachers long experienced. The curriculum grew, the equipment became better, the library flourished, but the students under the training of good teachers made the name for Woodrow Wilson High School respected wherever it was made known.
Another class whose members left lasting memories was the Class of Twenty-nine with these officers: Elinor St. Clair, President; Fred Salem, Vice President; Grace Meadows, Secretary; and Mary Ferguson, Treasurer. Miss Hettie Robertson was their sponsor. Like her own class of Nineteen Twenty, Miss Roberton's class selected white and green for their colors, but their motto showed new ideas, "Not at the top, but progressing".
An attractive change in naming the outstanding students in the yearbook for this class is a page of four photographs showing the most representative of each sex in two categories, as selected by their fellow classmates. Most representative girl, Elinor St. Clair; most representative boy, Walter Rappold; prettiest girl, Thelma Smith; most handsome boy, Orval Thompson. True, each class chosen for comment was an outstanding class, but had the author used the full fifty-two annuals, published each year, but one, from 1922 to 1975, she would have needed new adjectives to praise each group in a varied way.
New clubs were organized in 1928 - 1929. Among them were the Newswriting Club, Service Club, Nature Study Club, Puzzle Club and Tumbler's Club. Georgia Kidd, the "Best all-around girl" in G. A. A. and Howard Walls wrote the section on athletics for this annual. Girls had become more important in the new Athletic Section of the 1929 yearbook. A new feature was the Intra-Mural Volley Ball contest; it was fostered by the Girls Athletic Association. The Champions are shown in the center of a page in the yearbook with twelve active and pretty girls. 
Browsing through the annuals for the twenties, the thirties, and later is an important and fascinating pastime for a teacher whose most important life hours were spent with the young people written about. Retirement came for the author in 1962, yet these faculty members, students, and activities are important to one who lived through this period. The band, the orchestra, the plays, the parties and the clubs were good. The students were both active and studious, and the teachers, truly interested.
Principals of Beckley High School and Woodrow Wilson High School 1917-1975Mr. W. C. Woodyard was the first principal appointed for the new public high school by the Town District Board of Education. He served from the fall of 1917 until the end of the 1919 school year graduation, or the graduation of the first class of Beckley High School. He had some difficulties in the matter of supervising the class work after the tragic fire of January, 1918. Classes were held in two city building: First Christian Church and the Deepwater Building. About five city blocks lie between the two, making supervision more demanding. Students recall Mr. Woodyard as agreeable and capable, but nothing personal is remembered.
Mr. Andrew J. Peters came in the fall of 1919 to take control of the new building housing the Beckley High School and Central Grade School on South Kanawha Street. Mr. Peters was both aggressive and efficient. He was later appointed in 1920 by the Town District Board of Education to be the Superintendent of Town District Schools. The men who comprised the Board were Mr. E. L. Kidd, President; Mr. M. F. O'Dell and Dr. W. W. Hume, Commissioners; and Mr. D. D. Ashworth, Secretary. Mr. Peters held the post of superintendent until 1922.
In 1921 Mr. J. M. Reedy of Virginia became the principal of the high school, and Mr. B. J. Ferguson became the principal of the junior high school. Both were in the same building, also occupied by the Central Elementary School. Mr. Peters, as superintendent, was organizing the school into two separate divisions following the pattern of the time.
A change in the Board of Education for Town District in 1922 brought about some changes in the personnel of the school faculty. Mr. John D. Farmer, who served for only one year, 1922-1923, was appointed by the new Board of Education, made up of Dr. L. A. Martin, President; Mr. T. R. Ragland and Mr. R. B. Yaple, Commissioners. The new superintendent of Town District was Mr. George H. Colebank. An attractive Directory of Beckley Public Schools, 1923-24 was prepared by Mr. Colebank and printed with the compliments of the Beckley Printing Company. Both high school and elementary teachers are listed by schools with home addresses and telephone numbers. 
The ECHO for 1926 shows one change in the membership of the Town District Board of Education. Mrs. H. E. Phipps, the first woman in Raleigh County to be elected to the board, replaced Mr. R. B. Yaple as Commissioner. Mr. R. Emerson Langfitt became the new principal in 1924; Mr. Colebank remained as superintendent. Plans were laid by the board and administrators for building a new high school, and leaving the old building for the junior high. The wide-awake board, the wise superintendent, and the knowing principal placed the building on the land given by the Beaver Land Company for only school purposes to the CWBM which had built Beckley Institute high school department on that land. The building plans were especially well done; the red brick structure on Park Avenue was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1925. Mr. Langfitt opened Woodrow Wilson High School and remained principal until 1927.
Mr. C. C. Stalnaker assumed the office of principal in the fall of 1927, but remained for only one year, leaving in the spring of 1928.
Mr. Z. R. Knotts, a man with the human touch and a sense of humor, was the next occupant of the principal's office. He served well for four years, 1928-1932. The son of the principal, Zeiotes, named for his father, was a popular and good -student in school. The full name worn by both father and son was Zeiotes Rufus,17 reflecting family history. Both junior and senior carried the name with dignity. Mr. Knotts was pleasant, able and well-liked by both faculty and students.
The next principal of Woodrow Wilson High School was Mr. W. R. Fugitt, who moved up from the principalship of the Beckley Junior High School to the position of being the Woodrow Wilson High School head, but he was promoted the very next year to the better position of superintendent of the Town District Schools. He was friendly, affable and as proved by his advancements, very able.
The West Virginia Legislature passed a law making all schools in West Virginia a part of the County Unit System. The superintendent now became the head of the entire county. The date of change was July 1, 1933. Mr. B. B. Chambers was the County Superintendent at that time. He remained in office for his full term. After this, the superintendents were selected by the duly elected Raleigh County Board of Education who represented the several regions or districts of the county.
A man who had served two different high schools in Raleigh County as principal, Mr. C. G. Peregoy, and who had proved his ability as a capable and reliable principal in both Eccles and Shady Spring, came to take charge of Woodrow Wilson High School in 1933. He retired after thirty-three years in the work where his manner of conducting the operation of the school made it one of the excellent first class schools of West Virginia. Under his principalship the curriculum was greatly enlarged and much changed. The North Central Association of Secondary Schools accepted Woodrow Wilson into their list of accredited schools; improvements in organization, enlargement of the faculty, fresh ideas tried and succeeded, and other factors point out reasons for his thirty-three years of service. The longest any principal had remained in former times was four years. Mr. Peregoy had the respect and affection of both faculty and students. He was known well in state and national education organizations.
Upon Mr. Peregoy's retirement in 1966, Mr. Hubert Jackson, who had assisted Mr. Peregoy for some years, was appointed principal, the same year, 1966. Mr. Jackson was the first principal at the new Woodrow Wilson High School built and occupied in 1969. [JM note: The building was occupied at the start of the 1967-68 school year.] He was promoted to a post in the county Superintendent's office in 1974.
The present principal is Mr. Ross A. Hutchens, for whom the writer has had expressions of appreciation for his very satisfactory work. Like Mr. Jackson, Mr. Hutchens came from the Raleigh County school personnel. Two younger men, both products of Woodrow Wilson High School, preparatory to their college work, serve as vice principals: Mr. Emmett Hurt and Mr. Gene Hedrick.
School Activities Related to LearningHistory is ... at its deepest level the history of persons, not the history of ideas. Ideas are empty, totally empty, until someone vouches for them. Royce Gordon Gruenler 
Without question, the people who made up the whole school of Woodrow Wilson were the brilliantly clever students, not the faculty; but since the faculty supervised the activities and were in the great minority - thus more easily identified, these recorded events and actives w feature the latter. One must always remember that diamonds are of more interest and value than the machine that cut them.
"We will have these moments to remember" the poet 19 sang, and some of these simple ventures into new ways of doing things will be worth remembering of our high school days over the years from 1917 through me than five decades. Here the past is recounted by telling what some people did in those years.
The Christmas Pageant involving every teacher and every pupil in Woodrow Wilson High School m Decker 1931 was sponsored by the principal, Mr. Z. R. Knotts Several people claimed the honor of finding a color u and tradition-filled program in a popular magazine for that year that fitted the desire that each home room could have a part. A young mathematics teacher tall and able to speak well, carried the major part of Father Time Mr. D W Bryson. He was the only faculty member acting; the many parts were taken by students, so that each home room had one scene. For example, the scene from Dickens' Christmas Carol was the work of a tenth grade room, with one boy. Harry Comer tall enough to play Bob Cratchit, and one boy, Don Lilly, of the same age, small enough to play Tiny Tim.
The making of the costumes was the assignment of Ac women teachers who used the sewing machines of Mr. Esther Dorsey, Home Economics Instructor, after school. Mr. and Miss Ethel Keyser had shopped together in Charleston to buy the least expensive cloth forth costumes in the year when the depression by we strongest. The program was enjoyed by all, for all had some responsibility. No better school spirit was ever shown even on the athletic field.
The year 1932 was a very significant year in American history from the viewpoint of many thinkers because it was truly the beginning of a new style of politics and therefore, a new era in government. Miss Ethel Keyser  of the Social Science Department in Woodrow Wilson High School a very wise and clever teacher, dreamed up the idea of holding mock National Political Convene with students carrying our the action of speechmaking administration, and the setting up of delegates as done in the quadrennial assemblies of the political parties of the United States. Mr. W. R. Fugitt was the principal at the time; he heartily approved of the plan and authored he preparation. Mrs. J. R. Beaty, teaching American History to the juniors, aided Miss Keyser, whose social science pupils were the seniors, by instructing the juniors how such conventions were conducted. While the tenth grade students were not in social science classes in the program of studies then, they were given responsibilities. The entire school was involved.
Since President Hoover had served only one term of four years and according to protocol would be nominated without strong opposition by his party, the Republican, it was decided to make the convention Democratic. Miss Keyser recalled that posters showing President Hoover and other candidates of the opposing party were used as decoration with the pictures of the Democratic candidates. However, the most important news of this mock convention in May, held in a high school in the West Virginia mountains months before the real convention, was that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the chosen candidate. Many, many students took active parts; undoubtedly, present day political figures in county and state had their first taste of the value, as well as the excitement, of serving their fellow citizens as legislators, governors, mayors and other governmental offices.
In the years following, many schools including colleges and even universities used the imitation convention as a learning experiment; but in the area served by Woodrow Wilson High School, this was the original one. A second trial of this device was used in 1948, when each party enjoyed its own convention. The students, of that era benefitted, since many have followed careers in government, which their predecessors did. Students did wide research and made diligent preparation.
A similar school learning device was also initiated by Miss Keyser, aided by Mr. R. V. Martin and Mrs. J. R. Beaty of the social science department. This was a dramatization of the United Nations showing the organization and working with the General Assembly and other units of that important tool of world government in action. Everyone in school was involved in staging, acting, writing scripts, presiding, working as delegates, and, very important for tenth graders, making signs and posters. Even the faculty learned from these projects of the social science teachers.
Every program in school did not involve all pupils - some good programs received no participation from many who did not wish to take part, or whose schedules of buses or employment made cooperation impossible - but every pupil did have opportunity to be members of clubs, special activities, for a club period of once a week was provided for all. A full report on such enterprises is not feasible, but it is the hope of the writer to present some facts about the attempts of the school personnel to give pupils opportunities for working together, conducting public meetings, and enlarging their social acquaintance with pupils in school, other than their own classmates.
Mr. Glenn Sallack came to Beckley High School in the fall of 1925 to teach both mathematics and instrumental music. He carried a degree of M.E. from Syracuse University and had studied music in Eastman School of Music and Ithaca Conservatory of Music in his state, New York. From that time on through the years, his band and orchestra afforded the most popular study and extra curricula activity in school. The school benefitted greatly from the work of this outstanding music director, both locally and in state or larger exhibitions and competitions. Mr. Sallack kindly accepted the task of providing music for athletics, assemblies, parties and all school activities. What true admirer of the young people could watch them in local or other parades without a swelling in the breast and a feeling of personal pride!
The first senior class to have a senior play was the class of 1921, whose sponsor. Miss Eva Keyser, coached the ever popular Mr. Bob, which is recalled with pleasure by the students who were fortunate enough to be chosen as characters. The work of the author with the cast was very infinitesimal, but she recalls the cute persons who acted for Miss Keyser.
With the coming of Eula Ruth Givens, from her position as principal in Mt. Hope High School, the seniors were guaranteed a good drama coach, as well as an expert guide for assembling a yearbook. During her first year teaching in the local high school, she produced the play Professor Pepp with good choices for the actors. Recently, a former teacher said, "No one could surpass Eula in selecting her play, in choosing her actors, and in painstaking coaching to produce an evening's entertainment for anyone who came to watch the play". The 1922 yearbook, The Pioneer, proved the wisdom of the pupils who asked her to be their sponsor year after year. Mrs. Milliron, her new name, retained her aptitude for careful work and close attention when, later, Mr. Peregoy gave her the exacting duty of being Registrar of Woodrow Wilson High School, which work she continued until her retirement.
Miss Matilda Hoskins from Virginia was the drama coach for the year 1924. She coached two plays that year. One, a most popular play in that time, Peg O' My Heart by Hartley Manners, in which the title role was played by Elizabeth Malcolm, now Mrs. Leslie Carter. Recently, she remarked, "Miss Hoskins was charming; everything she did fascinated her students". The senior play that year was Seventeen by Booth Tarkington, which was coached by Miss Hoskins with Mrs. Milliron's assistance. Mrs. Milliron was the sponsor of the class of 1924.
During the years 1921-1930, the author of this history taught in two other schools, stayed at home one year to help her parents, and completed her master's degree at New York University. She missed many events and personalities that would be of interest here. She did not know the couple who taught in the school, Mr. and Mrs. Steinbicker, who have been named by former students, more than once, in the collecting of memories. Mr. Paul Steinbicker was football and basketball coach for the one year spent in Woodrow Wilson; Mrs. Steinbicker taught history and was a much admired drama coach. It Happened in June was Mrs. Steinbicker's choice of play for the class of 1929. Well known members of the cast were Noel Christian, Mary Ann Meador and William Shanklin. Another play coached the same year by Mrs. Steinbicker was a favorite Honor Bright. Much time and effort were required for staging a good play; the yearbooks usually give a page to the best of the year, and memories of the actors are full of the exciting experience. With high school students, "The play's the thing", as they learned when reading Shakespeare.
Related to the attractive drama coach, Miss Hoskins, was another sprightly Virginia girl, Garnet Hundley, who arrived in 1934 to teach English, coach plays and train pupils in public speaking. The juniors in English eleven read Oliver Goldsmith's ever popular play, She Stoops to Conquer. The junior English classes were taught by Miss Hundley and Miss Clay. The two, working together, selected the cast from the ten groups of students. The actors were Ross Romine, Anthony Sparacino, William Watts, John Larew, Betsy Herring, Louise Williams and Edith Frazier.
The unusual SENIOR ECHO for 1935 carries pictures of the players wearing eighteenth century costumes with silk breeches, bonnets, wigs and buckled shoes. At least the two teachers had a wonderful experience.
Mrs. Milliron and Miss Hundley staged the senior play for 1935, Suicide Specialist, with some of the actors and other talented people: Annabelle Keyser, Betty Jordan, Bob McCullough, Tony Sparacino, John Larew, Betsy Herring, Bill Ford and Thelma Vannoy. Sweetened by memory, these two plays are recalled with satisfaction.
Limited by access only to a cross section of the yearbooks put out for senior classes from 1922 to 1975, the author attempts to list plays, usually senior productions, over forty years:
Varied programs, other than dramas, were presented by the students of the high school under the guidance of such teachers as music, health, and public speaking for many young people to take part in and for the entertainment of others. Mr. Sallack's musical programs were always well attended by pupils and by the public. Mrs. Cary McClure's choral presentations were not only presented in the school auditorium, but were given, by request, for groups and organizations in the city. Seventeen, a musical version of the play, was a special production of her vocal students. The writer recalls hearing the choruses singing at the church she attends, where Mrs. McClure and her pupils were invited back many times. Mr. Sallack's variety programs, including both music and comedy, were popular with students and audiences. In all programs presented for the public, the pupils were learning through the activity.
Special Activities and Duties Assigned To Twelfth Grade Home Room TeachersAssignments for necessary special duties and responsibilities were given to any and all home room teachers of the three years: Sophomore, tenth grade; Junior, eleventh grade; and Senior, twelfth grade, but since the writer of this tale was a senior home teacher for more than twenty years, she knows the senior activities best and will try to present them.
Commencement was the high watermark of assignments, but work was done during the year besides the regular home room duty of keeping the attendance and scholastic records of the thirty to forty-five pupils assigned, explaining school requirements, making announcements, and advising pupils when possible.
Principal C. G. Peregoy should receive high rating for his ability to select the person best suited for any extra curricular work. He understood people and could assess their capacities.
Miss Lura Clay's assignment of arranging for the annual Senior-Football party early in the month of December was the first event on the calendar of senior activities. Seniors, with the supervision and cooperation of senior home room teachers, decorated the gymnasium for the party, after plans were decided upon by committees. Always, the decorations added to the pleasure of the party; sometimes the decorations were original and entertaining. Bernard Sax, artistic member of twelve C, Miss Clay's home room, made a mural, which was hung on the walls for study and inspection, of cartoon likenesses of the football players and coaches. Brown wrapping paper and crayons were the materials used. The likenesses were quickly recognized, for Bernard was good at drawing; he permitted each player to cut his picture from the line to take home. Perhaps Bernard had some help from other students, but it was his idea and his production. Those who recall the pictures give Bernard full credit for the amusing cartoons. Decorations always gave a party atmosphere; pupils labored hard to get new ways of setting the scene.
Also, two other teachers with their students were responsible for making this a good party. Mrs. Harry Watkins, Home Economics Department, always prepared the table from which refreshments were served with the aid of volunteer helpers from her classes. The tables and the refreshments permitted all to judge the hostess ability of the girls, who afterward cleaned the kitchen laboratory. Mrs. Watkins did not consider her work for the evening done until all girls had safe ways to get home. In fact, this dedicated teacher would take girls home, even long distances, if no transportation had been provided. Miss Clay recalls going with Mrs. Watkins on these trips. One evening, the teachers took a girl to her home in the Stanaford area and took another girl to her home near Glen White. Mrs. Watkins' care for her girls is still appreciated by those who benefitted.
The other "Old Faithful", in his own way, was Mr. Glenn Sallack. He was always interested and ready to direct his popular music band in a full evening's entertainment. He was pleased to be asked for special requests. Mr. Sallack considered this just a part of his teaching. Thanks and appreciation for his willingness to make the Annual Senior-Football party one to be remembered by the young people who were the party makers.
In February, the Sophomores held a party for their class alone, under the supervision of the Tenth Grade Home Room Teachers. Originally begun in 1923 by Miss Ethel Keyser who was their sponsor, it was a costume party with the costumes of the George Washington era. Parents cooperated by devising excellent outfits that helped to make the evening a replica of 1796. Later changed were made, but stories are still told of wigs, blue coats, and lace that made the girls and boys know what dressing was like in the Colonial Days. Perhaps the same parties are no longer in the mode, but fun and fellowship came from these events.
The biggest party of the year was the Junior-Senior Prom, when the juniors entertained their rivals, the seniors. Again, Mrs. Watkins was in charge of refreshments and Mr. Sallack furnished the music. The time for this last party of the year was set during the last weeks of the year, "a good time to remember." Juniors and their home room teachers planned each prom to be better than any before. Planning the decorations and getting the clothes to wear were central interests for the students involved.
A Senior custom that died out before 1962 was the Annual Senior Picnic. After Mrs. Betty Jarrell came to teach in Woodrow Wilson, she was given the duty of getting ready for this social affair. It was usually held in the gymnasium where games and contests were the entertainment, but there were no trees, grass, lake or the great out-doors. In the early thirties, the principal and teachers took the seniors by bus to interesting places, such as Shawnee Lake in Mercer County. The classes were smaller and more easily transported and catered to.
An unusual picnic was a beef barbecue in 1937. Miss Clay was class sponsor. Mr. Harvey Cook, grandfather of three students who were graduating that year, gave a beef for a class barbecue on the campus. The police of the city prepared the beef in a wooded ravine or hollow on the campus facing the building. Trees and grass with ants, insects and other picnic furnishings were there too. The contour of that area has been greatly changed by bulldozing the slopes and making a playing ground for baseball. Mr. Peregoy assumed the full responsibility for the picnic. All declared it the best ever.
Mr. Peregoy warned the writer of this story that not all senior teachers were given these special duties, such as are told in this history. Often their classroom teaching was very heavy with outside supervision for students; extra duties in the management of the school also took much extra time. This word of explanation is offered to teachers whose opportunity for these special tasks did not materialize.
One teacher, whose home room was usually a tenth grade group, was given the responsibility of flowers for the stage at Commencement time. She was both wise and artistic; the flowers were always in place. Early in her days of this duty, Mrs. L. T. Durrance received some gorgeous rhododendron blooms from a mother, and her son, a member of the graduating class. Mrs. Durrance was pleased to have the gift, and with her good taste and skill, made a fine arrangement of the great blooms for the stage. Many teachers recall the bouquets that Mrs. Grace Smith and her son, Mayo, brought. Mrs. Smith's sons, daughters and grandsons have added distinction to the list of graduates of Woodrow Wilson.
Mrs. Robert Thomson, a senior home room teacher of experience, was asked by Mr. Peregoy to relieve Mrs. Milliron of the work of supervising the school yearbook in 1950. From this year until her retirement, she fulfilled this obligation. Mrs. Thomson was also appointed Guidance Counselor for the Senior Class after Guidance Counseling became an important part of the school program. A graduate of Beckley High School, she, like other former graduates, came back to contribute her knowledge and skill to her own school.
Miss Jean Porter and Miss Elizabeth Stephenson were in charge of checking the long, long lines of graduates to insure that each person knew his place in order to avoid mistakes in the awarding of diplomas. Other teachers also aided in practice for the great hour of graduation. This practice for the marching of the seniors came at periods when the teachers in charge were free of classes of seniors. But both Miss Porter and Miss Stephenson carried other duties as senior home room teachers.
Miss Stephenson was coach for many seasons of the two important speakers for commencement: the Valedictorian and the Salutatorian. Both she and Miss Porter supervised the writing of the original speeches by the two winners of these distinctions. Mr. Peregoy once said of Miss Stephenson's ability as a speech coach: "She can take a student who seems to have little or no talent for public speaking, and make him into a speaker easy to listen to." She was greatly missed when she decided to return to her home town, Summersville, to complete her teaching years.
Miss Porter had the full responsibility of helping the seniors prepare for "Kid Day". Before her supervision, the program was often tedious and tiresome, as well as loud and unorganized. She encouraged the students to work to make the day pleasing to themselves as well as to the faculty. She trained them in stunts and sketches for an assembly program. Troublesome disciplinary problems disappeared, for nearly every senior was too busy thinking of his lines or actions for the program, to try childish tricks in classes. The costumes, too, improved in following the dressing of children, rather than looking like tramps or cutthroats. Scenes come back to the writer's mind of happy school days or fun on the playground as enacted by big people being primary kids again. The 1942 program is especially memorable, for the young men dressed in kid clothes and playing on a seesaw or eating an all-day sucker, were to be the service men of the United States for World War II, already in progress. The contrast between their boisterous fun and the uncertainty of their future caused older teachers to weep, rather than to laugh, at their monkeyshines.
Mrs. Lee Summers was the sponsor of the class which published the 1956 ECHO a dedication to Miss Porter. Miss Porter's dedication reflects the high ideals of both teachers. After the formal note of dedication, a quotation from the Bible is used:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:6 
It will be of some interest to the reader to know that both Miss Porter and Mrs. Summers, taught elective courses in Bible to students who chose the subject.
The students of Mrs. Mary Vass, who had benefitted by her training, dedicated the 1951 ECHO to her in these words:
"To Mary Vass we the class of 1951 wish to dedicate this annual.... For many years she has given her time devotedly to guide the senior classes at Woodrow Wilson in their dramatic productions. ....... We humbly thank Mrs. Vass with honor, respect, and appreciation." 
The class sponsor that year was Mrs. Juanita Sterne Perkowski. Mrs. Vass followed Miss Stephenson in preparing students for their senior commencement program. She not only readied the honored Valedictorian and Salutatorian as her predecessor had done, she went further. By the time of her period of teaching in Woodrow Wilson, the custom of asking a noted or prominent citizen to address the graduates was changed to having the graduates themselves prepare an original program of some variety based upon a theme of interest to the students. Mrs. Vass has a talent for such programs; with her guidance and help, the seniors presented their ideas and knowledge for the enjoyment of the parents and the satisfaction of doing their own work. From the faculty section of seats on the stage, one could sense the pleasure the spectator seniors felt in their classmates' performance.
The most tedious task of a senior home room teacher was having charge of the ordering of the caps and gowns which were first rented from a service company. In the thirties, Mrs. J. W. Givens had charge of caring for the distribution and collection of these costumes. Measures were taken of the members of the several home rooms and sizes entered on a prepared sheet for Mrs. Given's use. Two incidents in this annual measurement and fee collecting job are of interest. When James D. Lilly, Jr. was treasurer of Twelve C, he assumed full responsibility. He himself, measured the boys and asked capable girls to do the same for the girls; then he collected the fee and turned the reports and money in to the proper authorities. The teacher learned from this to expect the treasurer to do the same in succeeding years. Teachers learn much from students if their minds are receptive. The second memory about the gowns concerns a real football player, Buck Donahue. He was tall with a firm body to match. When he was measured, it was noted that a special new costume had to be made for him - he was college size.
On the morning after the giving of diplomas, the home room teachers met with Mrs. Givens to check, sort, and pack the gowns and caps for return to the company Oh how many tassels from the caps were found missing. But the caps were returned to the rental company with no explanations. A full half day was used for this task, but all worked willingly.
After Mrs. Givens retired, Mrs. M. G. Jarrell, a newcomer, was given this task. By this time, the school had purchased their own gowns to be used over and over. New garments were ordered each year to have proper sizes. Mrs. Jarrell made a new arrangement. Men home room teachers of juniors were assigned to assist the senior teachers on commencement evening to collect and pack the gowns and caps, with the aid of junior boys. Soon the work was completed, ready for next year. Now of course the gowns and caps made of plastic material are purchased by each student, and can be used as he wishes, for picture taking and personal wishes. Many tasks grow easier as the world becomes mechanized.
Senior class sponsors were selected by the students when they met to organize their classes for the final yea. Mr. Peregoy led the pupils to make wise choices by choosing new people who were free to carry the extra load. One could name all sponsors only by a close study of the yearbooks from 1922 to the present. The author was limited to the annuals accessible to her for this record. Many not named, produced splendidly original and impressive achievements in leading the classes.
Nineteen hundred twenty-four, twenty-six and twenty-seven are dedicated to the parents of the class of each year Since Miss Jean Porter is named on the managing staff of the ECHO for twenty-seven and is shown with the staff at work, but is not credited with being the advisor - and no one else is - it is assumed that she was the advisor for each book. To both teachers and pupils who knew Miss Porter, this appreciation of the parents is characteristic of her thinking.
No annual was made for nineteen hundred thirty-four due to effects of the severe depression of the time. Instead a special edition of the school newspaper The Eagle Dispatch, for the seniors was the substitute. This is the only year since PIONEER 1922 that this has been the practice. As a result, the seniors of that year regard this as the mark of the unusual for their group.
The school newspaper, not always called The Eagle Dispatch, has been part of the school scene for many, many years. A close study of the history of the newspapers and their sponsors in both Beckley High School and Woodrow Wilson would made a good topic for a term paper. Miss Ethel Keyser was always interested in a printed paper to circulate to the students, written and produced by the students. She was truly the first to begin such a project. Other names have been used, but the present name was selected soon after the school moved into the red brick structure on Park Avenue. Margaret Logan, a student on the early staff, suggested the title, Eagle Dispatch. Innumerable students and many teachers have produced the paper year after year. Besides Miss Keyser, other teachers have been responsible for the publication. The author is sure of the names of Miss Jean Porter, Mrs. Lee Summers and Mr. Herbert Kiser. More attention should be given to this history.
Mrs. Katherine Guy was the sponsor of the 1935 class. This was a loyal group, and, as far as the writer can determine, the first class to hold a reunion. They waited twenty-five years and had a great dinner. Mrs. Guy and her staff managed to put out an excellent and attractive small year book which sold to the students for fifty cents per copy. A member24 of the class first gave the writer the information, which was confirmed by a faculty member whose brother was one of the class members.
Mr. Ray Martin, instructor in American History for juniors, was twice selected by the seniors to sponsor them. Since the two classes were ten years apart, it is clear he was as popular in nineteen hundred and fifty-nine as he had been in nineteen hundred and forty-nine. ECHO '49 has an especially beautiful cover of maroon simulated leather with decoration and lettering in white. The great capital B in the upper left hand corner, with a flying eagle coming through the lower section of the letter, is an artistic touch of symbolism for one who still likes to say Beckley High School.
Mrs. Teresa Gilmore, sponsor of the 1947 class, is honored by the dedication for that year. She was full of new ideas. One was that the graduation ceremony be held on the athletic field to accommodate not only families of the graduates, but also their friends. The plan was repeated for 1948 also. Mrs. Ruth Summers had a ten-year space between her two sponsorships of nineteen fifty-six and nineteen hundred sixty-six. Mrs. Summers' style of putting books together shows her experience in journalism - a superior job.
Many other teachers whom students admired were honored by dedication of annuals of other years, but perhaps the most touching dedications found in the books are the two in which the sympathetic students remembered their former fellow students who lost their lives in the enemy fire of World War II. The first of these lists was in the 1943 annual, which reads:
Robert Kenneth Noel
Lew Wallace Sheffler
William Thomas Bent
Edward Blaine Kinzer
William Paul Klaus
The 1944 annual was dedicated to the diligent Mrs. Robert Thomson for her guidance in preparing the yearbook, a reminder of their joys and sorrows for the students, and for her interest in aiding them in preparing for their life's work.
In 1945, the feeling that all had not been done in respect for an in memory of the men, so recently boys in school, now heroes in their tombs, inspired the class of nineteen and forty-five to dedicate their yearbook to all former students whose lives were lost in the Second World War. The full list of names follows, in alphabetical order, not in time sequence, as the Echo 1945 shows:
Special Organizations for WWHS PupilsSoon after becoming principal of Woodrow Wilson High School, Mr. Peregoy prepared a handbook for students titled Pupil's Hand Book for Woodrow Wilson High School Students which contained the "Constitution of the Student Government of WWHS", adopted by the student body in the school year 1933-34. A student Service Club had preceded this larger organization. One of the eight aims of the document was "To promote in all ways the best interest of the school". 
Mr. Peregoy assumed the guidance of this organization for a period of years until the arrival of Mr. Frank Herrera to whom Mr. Peregoy assigned the supervision of the Student Council. A member of the Student Council was elected by each home room Those elected by their classmates were required to average C or better. No other restrictions were imposed. Usually, a very well-liked person was elected. Two faculty members, not class sponsors, were representatives. Powers were given the Council; number three was "The Council shall have the power to supervise the extra curricular activities of the school" 31 Each club or organization of the students must submit a plan for the club, including the constitution to be adopted. The Student Council thus supervised the clubs of the school.
Mr. Herrera left Woodrow Wilson to become an instructor in West Virginia University. Mrs. Wayne Reynolds was appointed the guiding teacher in 1949. She remained in that post until her untimely death in 1962.
The Visual Education Club organized by Mr. Douglas Schwank to train the members in operating the various machines for use in the classrooms was of especial help to teachers The Visual Education Club was a first only for boys but girls became members and were able to learn the skills. If a teacher planned to use a firm or film strip, or other visual aids, the club would schedule their workers who were free at certain hours to set up the machine, discuss the plans with the teacher, and be ready to show the educational material. Mr. Schwank knew how to purchase the machines that would be of the greatest assistance. Oftentimes, the operator working was a member of the class. Over the years this club operated, the classroom teacher was assured of adequate scheduling and efficient work.
Another service club, largely made up of girls who liked to work, was Mrs. George Parker's Usher Club. These students ushered at each public program of any type Trained by their sponsor in seating the guests properly, furnishing them with the printed programs, and giving them a feeling of being welcome, these girls saved time and effort of the teachers who were preparing public performances for patrons. The girls enjoyed their work and represented their school with their polite service.
Too many pages would be required to list all clubs in Woodrow Wilson, for the policy of the school was to give opportunities to all pupils to learn more than textbook for a satisfying education. Learning by doing is the key to learning what one likes and can make useful.
Dramatic productions had always been a favorite way of using talents and providing a different way of learning, from the earliest years of the high school. In 1947, two teachers who love the stage and enjoy nothing more than staging a good play, Mrs. Mary Vass and Mrs. Eugenia McCreery, organized the students interested into a drama club with national approval, Thespian Troupe Number 754. The work of the actors in this club is centered upon the Regional Drama Festival, held in this area of West Virginia at Concord College in the spring of the year. The rating by qualified judges of the work presented. Superior or Excellent, gives the play cast the opportunity to take part in the State Drama Festival at West Virginia University. Here, the honors are bestowed by judges who advise the young actors of their good and poor points. The plays are one-act, to allow time for performance of all entrants. Woodrow Wilson has never rated lower than Excellent at either school, and generally has been awarded the Superior rating.
Mrs. Vass has been assisted by other drama coaches after Mrs. McCreery resigned; Mr. John Saunders, now head of Beckley College, was a valuable assistant. Miss Linda Zorio, the present teacher of drama at the Stanaford school, joined Mrs. Vass when she first began teaching. Miss Zorio became the head of the Thespian Troupe in the school year 1968-69, after Mrs. Vass resigned. Ferry Boat was the Superior rated play presented by the Troupe in the spring of 1975. Miss Zorio says that better than winning the high rating, a rich reward, is the analysis given each student on his acting by the experienced college or university professors who judge the work.
The National Honor Society. Mrs. Millard G. Jarrell, a member of the committee appointed by the principal, Mr. Peregoy, to consider the value of establishing a chapter of the National Honor Society, in raising the scholastic achievements of the students, has kindly furnished a concise but complete statement on this organization. Her letter is quoted below:
The Woodrow Wilson Chapter was formed in the spring of 1960. The first officers were elected from the class of 1961 and included Danny Speilman, President, and David Hindsley, Vice-President, both of whom went on to graduate from the United States Military Academy. A five-member board was named to screen the candidates and to sponsor the club. The original members were Wanda Wiseman, Ruth Larew, Douglas Schwank, Eva Keyser and myself. I served as sponsor until 1965. One member was replaced each year. There have been a number of teachers on the board since that time. Miss Ruth Larew, who has been of inestimable help to the author, gave the facts about the National Merit Scholarship Foundation whose tests are administered to students of Woodrow Wilson High School each year since the beginning of the enterprise in 1955. Two tests are given in a year. The first is a qualifying test, which has been given at Woodrow Wilson recently for the present school year, 1975-1976. Four entrants qualified: Kenley Smith, Eddie Shanks, Betsy Clay and Linda Knapp. The final tests will be given later in the year. In the past, the local high school has shown good results in the first test, but since 1955, only three finalists from Woodrow Wilson have been named. They are Thomas Laqueur, Thomas Martin and John William Gray.
Beckley High School AthleticsCoach C. L. Wiseman, called by close friends and dear enemies, "Preach", gave facts for this very important report on the athletics of Beckley High School and Woodrow Wilson High School down to year 1975. A good picture of the Coach may be enjoyed if one turns to the 1962 Annual near the last page. He is pictured packing up for the year, assisted by his adoring wife, Wanda, who supports him in both successes and failures in his team's games. Mrs. Wiseman is well known as an English teacher in the school.
The 1922 annual, Pioneer, devoted eleven pages of its space to the athletic teams and activities. The 1962 yearbook, ECHO, too, uses fifteen of its pages for the coaches, teams and lettermen of four ball teams: Football, Basketball, Baseball and Wrestling. Each year the interest has grown, with more students participating, more coaches to train the players, and more fans to cheer them.
The first coach for Beckley High School was Mr. Roy B. Terry, a graduate of Emory and Henry College, from North Holston, Virginia. Mr. Douglas Bowers, who is a graduate of West Virginia Law School, was the second coach. His picture first appears in the 1927 annual. Mr. Bowers, a well-known Beckley attorney, recently attended the fiftieth anniversary at West Virginia University; his daughter, Lucy, was celebrating her twenty-fifth anniversary, and his granddaughter was a 1975 graduate of the university. Mr. Bowers was a good coach. His players respected him and won honors in their day.
Mr. Paul F. Steinbicker was the coach in 1929. He stayed for only a year, but is recalled as a good coach. He had success with the Football Team in the fall of 1928. Certainly, he had some of the best football players that Beckley has ever produced. They were darlings not only of the coach, but of the classroom teachers too. One teacher said: "I've always thought football players were strong in muscle, but weak in brain power...but these are some of my very top students". Mr. Steinbicker's basketball team was among the best state teams at Buckhannon Tournament in 1929. However, they were not state champions.
Mr. Jerome R. Van Meter, a graduate of the University of Illinois, came to Woodrow Wilson High School as coach in 1930. He had formerly coached in West Virginia in, or near, Point Pleasant. He was both efficient and inspiring in his coaching, for both students and faculty admired and trusted him. He proved himself worthy of their confidence. Mr. Van Meter's class teaching was in the mathematics field, but his greatest contribution was in preparing his teams for good playing, in fair conflict with the teams with whom they contested for a win.
Mr. C. Lawrence Wiseman was the next coach to join the staff; he became Mr. Van Meter's assistant, and they were together for many years, until Mr. Van Meter resigned. Mr. Wiseman, a West Virginia native, was trained at West Virginia Technical School and Peabody College. Together, these two men helped the Beckley teams to become champions in varied fields of sport.
Track, wrestling and baseball were added to the teams of football and basketball, requiring more coaches to carry the responsibilities. Easily recalled are Clarence Underwood, Paul Pettry, Victor Peelish, Nelson Bragg, Don Warden, Kenneth Wheeler, Pete Culicerto and Joel Hicks. Five of these were formerly Woodrow Wilson students and players on the teams, making the chances better for championships. Since the school has been moved to Stanaford, better facilities for types of sports not practiced before, invite more boys to become athletes. Athletics not only give opportunities to play a game, but are valuable in teaching how to build a good body and keep it fit.
The author of this rambling narrative knows very little about athletics, but she had the privilege of teaching some of these men in her classes, and wished she could have taught others, for all were men of whom a teacher could boast. Clarence Underwood was very good-natured, easy to have as a pupil; Don Warden was a first-class student, whose conduct reflected good home training and whose classwork measured his mentality; and Pete Culicerto's happy disposition and disciplined mind made him a favorite with his teacher.
Two men, J. R. Van Meter and C. Lawrence Wiseman, were the coaches most responsible for basketball teams from 1929 to 1975. Each man, however, served in the United States Army during the time of World War II. Their places were held by Clarence Underwood, who also served in the conflict, and by Kenneth Hunt, who was head coach during this unsettled war period.
Mr. C. Lawrence Wiseman has graciously provided the items in the following table, showing the outcomes of the final game in each state tournament in which Beckley, Woodrow Wilson High School, has won the championship in Basketball.
Football. Football successes have not been as many has have those for Basketball, but Beckley has done well, as these figures will show:
1947 - Beckley selected by West Virginia Sports Writers as best or champions
1948 - Again, Beckley Football Team selected as best by West Virginia Sports Writers
1951 - Deciding Game Played: Woodrow Wilson 26 Gary 0
1952 - Woodrow Wilson High School Team won Championship
This sport is decided by points won by total wrestling by full team.
Heisman, for whom the Heisman Trophy in the Athletic World is named, was a New York City financier, a former West Virginian. [JM note: This may be untrue.] Only in West Virginia is a Heisman Trophy given for high school athletes. In 1948, Randall Broyles, Woodrow Wilson student and athlete, excellent in both areas, added honor to his school by becoming the only recipient in athletics of such an honor in the fifty-seven years of the history of the public high school in Beckley.
The writer hopes that every coach in athletics for the full life of the school has been named in this report, for without that area of the school, things would have been prosaic. However, nothing could have taken place in this area had it not been for the boys who participated. Open any yearbook and look at the alert faces of the members of the various teams. There you will see the young men who not only worked as a team in school, but whose lives have been spent in team work in business, law, medicine, service for country and service as citizens. They are men of moral character, who have developed and supported the high ideals of American citizenship.
Senior Echo for 1939 is dedicated to the popular faculty member, Coach Jerome Van Meter. Among many good stories about him is that he selected the FLYING EAGLE as the insignia for all Woodrow Wilson Athletics. The dedication reads as follows:
It is with the highest regard for him as a gentleman and a coach that we dedicate this volume of the Senior Echo to Jerome Van Meter.
From Senior Echo 1939
Lyrics: Roy Lee Harmon
Music: Glenn Sallack
Inspired by the exciting story of the great Woodrow Wilson AAA Basketball Champions of 1962, which was told in the "Diamond Jubilee" Edition of the Beckley Post Herald August 2, 1975, the writer of these facts and fancies of the school wisely decided to use another memento of her teaching days. This is a booklet, similar to an earlier one of 1925 cited in this history, tied with maroon ribbon on white paper printed in maroon ink. The title reads "Banquet by Woodrow Wilson High School Faculty in Honor of 1962 West Virginia Basketball Champions". The date is April 11, 1962, and the place is Raleigh County Vocational School Dining Room. The menu is wittily written as the quarters of a basketball game. The food was both tasty and substantial, for the people taking courses in cooking and in serving in restaurants were doing the work, as part of their training.
Mr. Clarence Carte was toastmaster for an informal entertainment, with Coaches Lawrence Wiseman and Don Warden speaking. The listing of the team on the program is in alphabetical order as follows: Bane Sarrett, Captain. Then come David Barksdale, Roger Burns, Ronnie Cimala, Rudy Coleman, Pat Fragile, Jerry Gallaher, Buddy Gravely, Pack Hindsley, David Huffman, Mike Jackson, Bill Karbonit, Bane Sarrett, Robert Wood, with Mike Minter and Charles Garten, Managers.
Mr. White, author of the news story cited, gives facts on the futures of these good players and good students, whose lives have carried out their possibilities.
In 1962, this team played twenty-six games, lost none, and won twenty-six games. A record that is not often matched.
More MemorabiliaThe author found among her keepsakes a booklet tied with green ribbon, printed in green ink, of the dinner given by the Class of '26 for the Class of'25. The honored class was the last to graduate in the stone building as Beckley High School; the hosts became the first class to graduate in the new Woodrow Wilson High School. The menu showed dainty food; the program was typical of the day, ending in a special feature, "Dance of the Butterflies" by six dainty, pretty junior girls: Frances Malone, Helen Lloyd, Ruth Holmes, Nena Stuphin, Manetta Phipps and Carrie Lushbaugh. The officers of each class are given as follows:
The juniors planned the dinner and program under the leadership of the good president, Dorsey Biggs; the next year Ennis Bailey became president. The date of the dinner was May 27th, 1925, and the place was Beckley High School.
Throughout America social mores were becoming more lenient. By 1931 students were asking for a Prom instead of a formal dinner for entertaining other students. The class of "Thirty-two", in the new Woodrow Wilson High School building on Park Avenue, being a very active group of bright students with Miss Ethel Keyser as sponsor, defied the rules, and made their celebration the first Junior-Senior Prom of the school's history. Great plans were laid, and fascinating results ensued. For the first time, the gymnasium was completely decorated with much crepe paper in pastel shades. The entire ceiling was covered by the paper, woven strip by strip, using pins, pins, and more pins; then flowers made of the same lovely shades of paper, with butterflies also of the paper, were suspended from the iron or steel beams with wires until the room was like a fairyland garden. Standards of decoration were set the first time, and for years other students strove to outdo "Thirty-two". Guests of honor of this first prom were Mr. W. E. Griffith, President of the Town District Board of Education and his wife, adding official approval to the new way of entertaining.
Every junior class that followed vied with the first group to be original, yet beautiful. Two very different styles of decoration recalled were very modish; one was in black and white, when Mrs. Oppie Hedrick was sponsor; the other was a deep shade of blue, prepared in Mrs. John Martin's sponsorship (Miss Bille Huddleston).
In 1936, two members of the class of'37, Bill Covey and Everette Shrewsbury, made a mirror ball, about twelve or more inches in diameter to hang from the central point of the ceiling which rotated as the music rolled and the dancers twirled. The ball was made from plaster, which the two doctors' sons took from their fathers' supply, with or without permission. In this massive, sticky ball, the designers placed small pieces of mirror. Their material was taken or begged from junior girls, who, as was the custom of the day, carried small hand mirrors in their purses for quick touch-ups of their make-up. The ball added much to the enjoyment, for Mr. Sallack, with his electrical knowledge, was able to make a device which caused the ball to rotate. The story is that the ball was used several years before the point when it became passe'. The rumor was that another county high school actually borrowed it for a special event.
Mr. Peregoy acted with foresight when he produced and published a Pupil's Handbook  for the guidance of students in the high school. The date was in ,the early thirties. The book contained forty-four pages giving information on a wide variety of school topics. Some are "Requirements for Graduation", "The Curricula", "Marking System", "Building Regulations", "Fire Drills", "Illness", "Attendance", "Lost and Found", "Honor Point System", "Student-Government Constitution", "Football and Basketball Schedules", and quite a few more to aid the student in understanding his own responsibility and the purpose of the school.
Students of the thirties, forties and fifties knew well the person in the office who asked and answered questions, wrote excuse slips, gave permits and passes, and in fact, ran the mechanism of the school, Mrs. B. L. Bostick. She was the stabilizer.
Mrs. Bostick and Mr. Peregoy came as faculty members to WWHS the same year, 1933. She was a teacher of mathematics and science, which she had taught in Beckley High School. Soon, Mr. Peregoy, with his intuition in judging teachers, recognized Mrs. Bostick as best suited to act as the manager in the front office. Although both Mrs. Bostick and Mr. Peregoy had served as principal of the Eccles High School, they had not taught in any school at the same time.
In addition to her supervision of attendance, Mrs. Bostick prepared the monthly reports for the entire school, based upon the individual reports of all teachers. She was exact and always accurate. Few were the teachers who were not asked to revise some figures in their reports.
Upon Mrs. Bostick's resignation, to return to her old home in Ohio to continue her teaching career, Mr. Peregoy appointed Mrs. L. T. Durrance to assume the duties of the monthly report. Mrs. Durrance, too, was accurate and painstaking; she had help, since her husband was a professional accountant and aided her in the tedious work in numbers and percentages. Mrs. Durrance did her first teaching in the same Eccles school, under Mrs. Bostick as principal.
If changes did not come, no history would be possible. In 1957, the Congress of the United States, acting in accord with the beliefs of the people of the country, passed a significant piece of legislation, which was duly signed by President Dwight David Eisenhower. It was called the Anti-Segregation Act and was directly applicable to the school situation where, for many years, the schools had been established on the theory of separate, but equal, education for white and black students. The change affected Woodrow Wilson High School by the action of three brave, wise, black juniors from Stratton High School, who enrolled in the white high school as an example of the application of the new law. These were Francine Mitchell, Vivian Moss and Leonard B. Wright, Jr. For the first time, the 1958 annual carried the pictures, names and identification of three black graduates. History was made in Woodrow Wilson High School.
The school on the Stone Coal in Slab Fork District, named for a black educator, Byrd Prillerman, was burned to the ground in 1960. The superintendent of Raleigh County Schools, and the board, arranged for the students to attend schools near their homes. It was necessary to place the teachers in schools where openings were. That is the reason Mr. Leonard B. Wright, Sr., came to teach in Woodrow Wilson High School. He filled his position with dignity and ability. A remembrance of his work is the sight of his chair, where he sat on hall duty, surrounded by boys who had arrived from the Vocational School for class. They were getting Mr. Wright to help them with studies of all types. He was very busy helping with mathematics, English, or any subject a boy could be taking. Mr. Wright served his race and the school well until his retirement.
Growth and ChangeThe city of Beckley in Town District grew each year, from the establishment of the public high school in 1917 to the building of a modern high school on the outskirts of the city in 1967, because the school population was growing too. When Beckley High School, a stone structure on South Kanawha Street, was first occupied in the fall of 1919, there was room for Central Elementary School for all children, from first year through sixth year, in that area of town, plus the three years, seventh through ninth grades for the children in the whole town (especially for the ninth year) plus the three years of senior high school. There was no feeling of crowding. Annexes to the main building were not erected for several years. A small frame building was placed behind the main building before 1925. However, it was used only by the elementary classes. But population growth, plus an active interest in seeing that children had the equal opportunities for education, made the Board of Education aware that a new senior high school was needed.
The Board of Education at that time. Dr. L. A. Martin, Mr. T. R. Ragland and Mrs. H. E. Phipps, advised by the superintendent of schools, Mr. George H. Colebank, and the principal of the high school, Mr. R. Emerson Langfitt, as well as many citizens, planned and built the new building on Park Avenue. This more commodious school building was erected on the land formerly owned by the CWBM, from whom the first stone building was bought. The building was planned by the architect for a modern high school of 1925. The name, Woodrow Wilson High School, chosen by the Board, met the assent of the public.' The name Beckley High added the word Junior, which was agreeable to both pupils and townsmen.
The new building on Park Avenue, constructed of red brick, with the purpose of housing the full senior high school of Town District, was opened for classes in the fall of 1925. Some elementary students, an overflow from Institute School, were also accommodated in the bright, generously sized rooms. A few classrooms were located in the basement, but with full daylight lighting. Numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4, these were used principally by the manual training and instrumental music classes. The main floor rooms numbered significantly 100, 102, 103, and the like, were regular classrooms, with the principal's office on the right, as one entered the main front door. The auditorium and gymnasium were together. The use of sliding walls or partitions changed the area from an auditorium to a sports gymnasium. The seats were used for both types of entertainment. The library, located on the second floor, facing the center front of the building, was much larger than the one in the older building, but there was a fault which annoyed the Librarians very much. The changing of classes brought lines of students through the library going from one side of the building to the other. The classrooms on this floor were in the 200's. The 1926 ECHO shows the faculty to number twenty-one persons, including principal and superintendent.
To those who had taught in the old building, the new one was much roomier, more comfortable, and more attractive. One student admitted in class, after a few months of school, that she had just discovered the stairways at the rear of the building, and could make it to class on time, for they were not much used. Eventually, nothing seemed big enough in that building. This brought changes.
In 1935, it was decided to divide the ninth grade, leaving the students living in the part of town near the Kanawha Street building and the students bused into school from the surrounding areas to continue attending Beckley Junior High. Students living in the neighborhood of Woodrow Wilson High School, with bus students brought in from the areas on that side of town, were enrolled in the high school. Teachers from the junior high, and new ones, were added at Woodrow Wilson to care for the increased number of pupils. Furthermore, two teachers were assigned to a room, and the day was lengthened to make two sessions of school each day.
Classes began at seven o'clock in the morning and ran until twelve thirty, to give the early teacher opportunity for five full classes, home room period and lunch. The second teacher came in at the lunch hour to assume the responsibility for her classes, beginning at one o'clock and remaining for a day equal to the morning schedule. Since each room was used by pupils taking the same class, (for example: ten junior English classes were held in room 110 each day) teachers had access to the teaching materials provided for the work taught in the room.
What was the problem? Rather, what were the problems? No place could be provided for a teacher to work on records, papers, or preparation. Hours were too long for many bus students. Periods were too short for the best results for the students. The feeling that classes lasted only half a day upset the normal study habits that students and teachers need.
The first relief came to Woodrow Wilson High School when the town of Sophia built her first high school. At that time, Sophia was in Town District; her high school students attended the full four years of the work at Woodrow Wilson. This was in 1942, a good year for Sophia residents, as well as to relieve the situation of overcrowding the local school. In that same year, 1942, the Board saw fit to enlarge the red brick building on Park Avenue. Architects had foreseen such a necessity and had planned well for an addition. The windows at the ends of both corridors on each floor became doors to new rooms added. By adding further to the rear corners on each side of the building, twelve rooms were built. On the three floors at each end of the building, six rooms were added, keeping the basic plan of the style. What a difference it made for all!
Because of the new space in each room, and following the new thinking in education, libraries were added to each room. Books were selected to aid in learning the subject taught in each room. Some space was added to the main library by moving a wall on the right, as one entered from the west side, about four feet back. Not only did it give more seating room, more book room, but also more room for passing from the west side of the building to the east. The classroom libraries popularized the reading of good books, especially in English classes.
Ten years later, in 1952, the need for more classroom space was again very clear. At this time, the faculty discussed the needs in more than one faculty meeting. Notes were made, and the new rooms added followed the recommendations of the teachers who knew their needs. Five class rooms, a large band room, and a storage room for music and band instruments were built. These were built on the rear, left, where the ground space was adequate for the extension. The building was prepared for the next ten years, but new events, in addition to the growth of the city of Beckley, brought new needs.
The Congress of the United States passed much needed legislation in 1956, called the Anti-Segregation Act, which was signed into law by President Eisenhower. The Raleigh County Board of Education, like such boards across America, began to plan for changes in the school systems. A few students, black and white, began attending the high schools in their neighborhood. This was a voluntary, individual choice. The Board wisely planned to meet the needs of the citizens. Stratton High School, formerly for black students, became a junior high school, and the former Woodrow Wilson for white students, was designated Park Junior High School, named for the street on which it is located. The year was 1967 when the really new Woodrow Wilson High School, on the Stanaford Road, northeast of the town, became the high school for all students in the area who had completed the requirements for junior high promotion.
The move to the new high school was carried out in the fall of 1967, under the principalship of Mr. Hubert Jackson and the superintendency of Mr. Charles Munson. The Raleigh County Board of Education was composed of Mr. J. A. Blackburn, President, with Mr. A. Mack Carpenter, Mr. Virgil Cook and Mr. George B. Chambers. Because of tradition and reputation, the Board decided to call the new facility Woodrow Wilson High School.
The first class to graduate in the new high school was the class of 1968. The first class to have attended the full three years in the new building was the 1970 group. Five classes have gone through the ceremony of graduation since then.
Changes in many areas have been necessary with the changing times. New teachers, with fresh methods organization of the school in step with new systems,' unusual courses of more value in modern life styles and demands - and ideas and philosophy to meet the late seventies, make this Woodrow Wilson High School a challenge to the people of today whose life preparation is done there.
APPENDIX A - A High School In Trap Hill DistrictAssigned by a committee in the Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees to write the story of the first high school in Raleigh County, the writer was amazed and amused by a telephone call to her friend, Goldie Bostick, to hear that Eccles, in Trap Hill District, had some high school work in their public school before 1917, the date that Beckley Institute, a private school preparing students for college, passed into the control of Town District Board of Education as a public high school. A conversation with Mr. D. W. Bryson and a telephone call to Mr. Sherman Trail, confirmed Mrs. B. L. Bostick's statement. Mrs. Bostick was the first principal of the Eccles High School. Calling upon Mr. C. G. Peregoy, also a former principal of the Eccles School, the writer learned, from one she considers a fountain of knowledge and a pool of wisdom, that Eccles truly had a public high school three years earlier than Beckley's Free or Public High School.
Mr. Peregoy furnished a written statement, giving the basic facts. By vote of its citizens, Trap Hill District added one year of high school studies to both the Eccles and the Lester schools in 1914. The path was not easy for a full development of a high school program in the district, but people who were aware of their young people's need for further education were able to see the fruit of their labor and encouragement to that end in a four-year high school in the year of 1929-1930. The satisfactory new high school building, with Mr. Barty Wyatt as principal, in the town of Surveyor, began with a full faculty and complete curriculum in the fall of 1930. The dream of the good citizens of having a first class high school, approved by both the state of West Virginia and the North Central Association, became a reality.
A full history of the efforts, the elections, and the discussions and persuasions remains to be told. One can see a relation between the Trap Hill High School and the Woodrow Wilson High School in the careers of some of the best people in each school. So, the writer of this account of the Beckley High School chose a title for her history quite different from the assignment, but more suitable for history.
True, Eccles had the beginnings of a public high school before the authorities of Town District entered into negotiations with the owners of Beckley Institute (a four year high school, whose graduates were admitted without question to the colleges and universities in the area). In the early years of this century, the standard of judging any preparatory school was the freedom of choosing a college of one's choice for entrance. Today, this is taken for granted, with new emphasis upon vocational training or career preparation.
Very soon after these two districts had their public high schools, the other districts built high schools for their youth, such as Shady Spring, Slab Fork, Richmond, Marsh Fork and Clear Fork Districts. 
Mrs. Goldie Bostick was also the first president of the Raleigh County Association of Retired School Employees. It was organized January 30, 1957, and is still "going strong". At present, there are about 400 members. Mrs. Serena Greene Warren is the present president.
The past presidents are as follows:
APPENDIX BList of Beckley High or Woodrow Wilson High School Graduates who returned after college graduation to teach in their own High School: 
Sources and References Used for History of Woodrow Wilson High School
1. Baxter Edwin Grant, A History of Education in the United States, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1914. Chapter XII. p. 170 ff.
2. Miller, Thomas C., State Superintendent of West Virginia Schools (1901-1907) Compiler, History of Education in West Virginia, Revised Edition, Charleston, Tribune Printing Company, 1907, p. 263 ff.
3. Calvin, Stephen Sheldon. Introduction to High School Teaching, Macmillan Company, 1920 pp. 1-8
4. Clay, Sarah Godby, Stories of the Past Told to Her Family
5. Warren, Harlow, Beckley, U.S.A., Vol. I, 1955. (a) Picture of Marshall College students from Raleigh County, p. 30. (b) Ibid, Facsimile of Mr. B. H. White's booklet, "The Beckley Seminary Company", p. 22
6. Miss Ethel Keyser Interview with Notes Taken
7. Miss Lura Clay, Childhood Memories of Beckley Seminary
8. Webb, Mrs. Irby (Clara Mac Robertson), Program for Commencement, 1919 and Newspaper Clippings, History of 1919 Class, and other mementos
9. Miss Faye Cooper, Telephone Conversation with Notes
10. Smith, Nola Frenise Dalton, Letter, April 7, 1945. (a) Xeroxed copy of 1922 Commencement Program. (b) Picture of Junior-Senior Banquet 1922 (Courtesy of Miss Lois Edmondson)
11. Yearbook, PIONEER, 1922 Beckley High School
12. Yearbook, ECHO, 1926 Woodrow Wilson high School
13. Yearbook, ECHO, 1927 Woodrow Wilson High School
14. Yearbook, ECHO, 1929 Woodrow Wilson High School
15. Peregoy C. G., Outline on Principals with Dates
16. Colebank, George H., Superintendent of Beckley Public Schools, Directory for Beckley Public Schools, 1923-24 (Compliments, The Beckley Printing Company)
17. Peregoy, C. G., High Schools in Beckley, Jan. 23, 1967
18. Gruenler, Ross Gordon, Jesus, Persons and the Kingdom of God Bethany Press, United Church Press, 1967, p. 18
19. Tobert, Allan, and Stillman, A., Moments to Remember, lyric and music (Courtesy of Mrs. Cary McClure and Mrs. Sam Thomson)
20. Keyser, Miss Ethel, Memories and Recall with Notes Taken, August 4, 1975
21. Yearbook, ECHO, 1956 Woodrow Wilson High School
22. Yearbook, ECHO, 1951 Woodrow Wilson High School
23. Yearbooks, ECHO, 1943 and 1945 Woodrow Wilson High School. Information obtained by Mrs. D. H. Singer and Miss Ruth Larew
24. Webb, Mrs. Florence Reminder and Recall
25. Keyser, Miss Ethel Conversation
26. Larew, Miss Ruth and Mr. Peregoy, Checks of List of Former Graduates Who Returned to Teach
27. Jarrell, Mrs. M. G., Letter, Dated June 18, 1975
28. "Diamond Jubilee Edition", Beckley Post-Herald, Saturday Morning, August 2, 1975, p. 47
29. Booklet, "Banquet by Woodrow Wilson Faculty for Champions", April 11, 1962
30. Wiseman, Coach C. Lawrence, Materials dictated by Telephone to Author on State Tournaments and Honors for Athletic Teams. Interviews and Conversations with the Following People: Mrs. Douglas Bowers (Lucy Ragland), Mrs. Irby Webb (Clara Mae Robertson), Mrs. B. L. Bostick, Miss Eva Keyser, Mrs. William Beverly, Mrs. Mack Meador (Thelma Dunkley), Mrs. Leslie H. Williams (Iva Cook), Mrs. Oscar Thorpe (Blanche Gilmore), Miss Faye Cooper, Mr. D. W. Bryson, Mr. Sherman Trail, Miss Edythe Clay, Mrs. J. R. Beaty, Mr. B. B. Chambers, Mrs. Harry Anderson, Mrs. L. T. Durrance, Mrs. E. Van Dorsey, Mrs. W. E. Ratcliffe (Lanier File), Mrs. Leslie Carter, Miss Caria Zorio, Mrs. Frank Vass, Mr. Emmette Hurt, Mrs. Jack Hollandsworth, and many others who gave advice or answered questions in conversations.
31. Woodrow Wilson Hand Book, Prepared by Principal C. G. Peregoy, 1934
32. Directory Raleigh County Public Schools, Prepared by Eva Keyser, Superintendent of Raleigh County Schools, 1923-1927
33. Cramblett, Wilbur H., The Christian Church (Disciples) in West Virginia, Bethany Press, St Louis, Mo., 1971 pp. 272 ft. 297, 300
Website Notes and CorrectionsPlease report apparent errors in transcription, which will be corrected, and any errors in content, which will be listed in this section.
The list of graduates who returned to teach at BHS or WWHS should also have included Robert Young ('57), who taught at WWHS from 1962 to 1964. (He returned to teach in 1981-89, although this period was after this history was written.)
Paul F. Steinbicker seems to have been the athletic coach in both 1927-28 and 1928-29.