East Coweta High School

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East Coweta High School
Location
400 McCollum-Sharpsburg Road
Sharpsburg, Georgia 30277

United States
Coordinates 33°20′49″N 84°39′22″W / 33.347°N 84.656°W / 33.347; -84.656
Information
Type Public
Established 1946
School district Coweta County School System
Principal Stephen Allen
Faculty 144.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Grades 9 to 12
Student to teacher ratio 18.78[1]
Mascot Indian (Native American)
Website

East Coweta High School is a public high school located in Coweta County, Georgia, United States The school serves about 2,700 students in grades 9 to 12 in the Coweta County School System. It is the second oldest high school in the county.

History[edit]

East Coweta High School history

(Taken from "The Historical Significance of the Names of the Buildings and Grounds and the School Seal of East Coweta High School," Michael Wayne Mayhall, 1988)[2]

Early Coweta County[edit]

Education in eastern Coweta County probably began for the children of frontiers venturing into Indian territory in the early 19th century. At that time, what would become Coweta County was a lush wilderness inhabited by "squatters" seeking to establish themselves in rapidly expanding Georgia (Tranquil Cemetery near Turin has headstones indicating interment as early as 1807). Children were often sent to learn reading and writing from any nearby neighbor who had those skills. Crane, Verner. The Southern Frontier: 1670-1732. 

The county was established on June 9, 1825, following the controversial Treaty of Indian Springs (March 1825). Once the county was established, settlers entered and made homes spanning from eastern to western Coweta County. Thus eastern Coweta was the first-settled part of the county, with Kedron, Preston, White Oak, and Haralson as the leading early communities.

The wealthy settlers established privately-funded white academies almost immediately. It is believed that Preston Academy was existent in 1827. The poor of that day had to swear a pauper's oath to receive "poor school" funds for their education — few would do so. Even so, in 1833, five school districts were laid out in the county, and trustees were authorized to apportion the "Poor School Fund." It is unknown exactly which districts were formed, but they probably included Kedron, White Oak, and Haralson.

In 1836, a "common school" fund was established by the state to combine academies and poor schools resulting in free education for all. However, the funding stopped in 1839. Private academies and poor schools characterized the years 1840-1958. The major academy established in this part of the state in that era was eastern Coweta's Longstreet Institute (1849), attracting the brightest scholars and professors from throughout the area.

Few white schools continued consistently through the war years of 1861-1865 and the reconstruction years through 1870. An exception was the Methodist-sponsored Senoia Institute, which flourished from the time of the founding of that city in 1865. Also, the Freedman's Bureau established free black schools in 1865 but funded them only through 1870 (there is no record of the names of any of those black schools). Nevertheless, the Coweta County Public School System was optimistically established in 1871 with Radford E. Pitman of Sharpsburg as commissioner (superintendent). Common schools free to all the children of Georgia were resurrected in that year. However, in the three months of school offered then by Coweta schools, only 671 whites of 2055 eligible were enrolled.

Those early, shaky years gave way to an era of unbroken progress beginning in 1873. By 1879, Coweta County Schools employed 45 white and 26 black teachers, and by 1893 there were 48 white and 44 black schools. In 1898 the school year was increased to 100 days, and by 1927, Coweta was one of only fifteen counties statewide to have a full nine-month term, and ranked third in the percentage of rural pupils in high school. Hoke Smith donated the first library (circulating among the various schools of the county), in 1901.

Consolidation efforts began in earnest in 1918 when J. Marvin Starr became superintendent. The first major consolidation took place around Sharpsburg and Turin. When Starr High School opened in 1921, it was hailed statewide as the most modern and innovative of rural high schools.

In 1922, there were 32 white public schools in the Coweta County School System. At that time Senoia area schools had an independent public system. By 1926, that number had been reduced to five, and by 1937 to twelve. Yet there were still 40 black schools throughout the county.

Founding[edit]

After World War II, consolidation efforts intensified. East Coweta High School was founded on April 17, 1946 when the Coweta County School Board ordered that the Haralson, Raymond, Starr, and Senoia school operate East Coweta High School at Starr School for the ensuing year. This ended a series of ever more inclusive consolidations which had begun years earlier. By 1955, the black schools had been combined into four schools.

Total integration began in Coweta County Schools, along with the merger with the Newnan School System, in 1970. With extensive metropolitan Atlanta's growth during the 1970s and 1980s, especially in eastern Coweta County, additional construction was required.

In the fall of 1988, the high school students of Moreland, East Newnan, White Oak, Major, the traditional East Coweta area, and all parts in between merged to culminate the consolidation efforts begun so long ago.

Other consolidations[edit]

These major consolidated schools ultimately resulted in the present East Coweta High School.

  • Preston Academy - Preston Hall houses the Main Office, Guidance Office, and Attendance Office. Preston Academy was the oldest documented school in East Coweta County (1827?-1884).
  • Brantley Institute - Brantley Halls, East and West, house the English, Social Studies, and International Languages Departments. Brantley Institute of Senoia was recognized as the leading school of its day in a multiple county area.
  • Longstreet Institute of the Ebenezer/Coke's Chapel community - Longstreet Institute was the major antebellum school in a multi-county area, producing a host of outstanding alumni. Longstreet Hall is the main hall of the school, running the length of the building.
  • Starr High School of Sharpsburg - Starr Hall is the history and business education hall. Starr High School was the first consolidated high school in Coweta County.
  • Moreland High School - Moreland Hall is the science hall. Moreland High School was the major consolidated high school for south central Coweta County.
  • Haralson High School - Haralson High School was the major consolidated high school for extreme southeastern Coweta County. Haralson Hall is the fine arts hall.
  • Rock Springs Academy/School - Located in the community of Major, Rock Springs Academy/School was the most significant school in northeastern Coweta County. Rock Springs is the name of the greenhouse at ECHS.

Notable educators[edit]

Educational leaders who founded and strengthened the school system include:

  • Radford Edward Pitman (1835–1880) was Coweta County's first public school superintendent (1871–1880). He was a settler on the land on which East Coweta High School is currently located. He was the great-grandfather of Eddie Hewlette Pitman, who provided the land for the school. Pitman Hall is now known as the Media Center.
  • Hoke Smith was a lawyer, publisher, politician, educator and crusader for improving education in rural schools of Georgia. In 1901, Smith donated to Coweta County Schools its first library. Hoke Smith Reading Room is now referred to as the Career Center.
  • Sarah Fisher Brown - Brown High School of Moreland was the major black high school of its era; it was founded by and named for Sarah Fisher Brown, an innovative educator. Brown Hall is the Technology/Career Education (Vocation) hall.
  • Walter B. Hill - Walter B. Hill Industrial School was a major black area school. Walter Hill was named for the long-time state supervisor of black schools. It closed in 1954 when it was consolidated into Eastside School. Walter B. Hill Courts is the name of the school's tennis courts.

Athletic complexes[edit]

  • Broken Arrow Field - football practice field
  • Garland Shoemake Memorial Stadium - football stadium
  • Cusseta Field - baseball/softball field

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]