Walker High School (Atlanta)

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Walker High School was a DeKalb County, Georgia high school, on 1804 Bouldercrest Road SE. Atlanta, GA 30316 Southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. It was built in 1964 - and named after Southern Civil War Georgia General William Henry Talbot Walker of Augusta Georgia who was shot from his horse and killed on July 22, 1864 in the Battle of Atlanta. Walker High School was a "full five year" senior level high school - with their first graduating class - 8th through 12th grades - in 1969. Classes were first attended in the fall of 1966 and the class of 1969 attended Gordon High School using "split sessions" in 1964. Students graduating in 1967 were the first Walker High School graduating class. The students were from other schools that were in overflow, like Gordon High School, East Atlanta High School and Southwest DeKalb High School. The first class attending Walker High School from 8th grade to graduation (12th Grade) was the class of 1970 (335 graduates). Walker averaged about 3,500 students total - from 1967 to 1980 - with graduating classes of about 350 - 400 students per year.

The first printed annual was called The Astur and was first printed in 1966. The school paper was called The Talon and the school's colors were crimson and silver. The school's alumni from 1967 - 1987 are proudly known as the Walker Warhawks and collected state championships in baseball(1968),[1] wrestling (1967 - 1971),[2] and track and field. Their mascot was THOR a Warhawk (a red tailed hawk) that lived in a 20 by 40 foot cage inside the "senior courtyard" for about 2 years. The "senior courtyard" was an open area in the center of the school and was for graduating seniors only. Unfortunately, THOR accidentally froze to death in late 1968. Thor has been preserved - in flight - and is still held by the Class of 1973.

Walker High School had a baseball, football, wrestling, soccer and track field - and the baseball field and track were used for competitive sports. Panthersville Stadium was used for all football and soccer home games and Columbia High School's swimming pool was used as Walkers "home" pool. Basketball was played at the school's gym.

Walker High School is no more. During the mid-to-late 1980s - the area that Walker High School served - went from white middle-class neighborhoods to black middle-class neighborhoods. Since Walker was named after a Southern Civil War General - it was deemed appropriate to rename the high school. The school was renamed McNair High School in 1987 - (There are 2 McNair High Schools and 2 McNair Middle Schools in Atlanta) after the black astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who died in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986 (McNair was from Lake City, South Carolina and is entombed there.) The school colors and mascots were changed from the crimson and silver Walker Warhawks to the Red and Silver McNair Mustangs.

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Coordinates: 33°42′17″N 84°19′23″W / 33.7046°N 84.323°W / 33.7046; -84.323