North Forrest Elementary
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Situated in the northeastern corner of Forrest County, the North Forrest Elementary campus has been the site of a community school since the 1890s. NFE is home to 325 students in grades K-6 from the communities of Eatonville, Glendale, and Rawls Springs. The educational program consists of 22 regular education classes. Students in Grades K-4 are assigned to self-contained classrooms. Grades 5-6 are departmentalized, with students moving from one class to another. 
Mr. W. M. Hemeter gave 3 acres (12,000 m2) of land to the school with the stipulation that “should the school fail at any time for a period of two years as a neglect on the part of the patrons of the Eatonville school, the land revert back to W. M. Hemeter.” The original building was an L-shaped, two room building constructed from rough lumber. As there was no electricity or indoor plumbing, wood stoves provided heat and water was distributed using a community bucket. The schoolroom had a bench where students sat and recited their lessons to the principal who sat on a stage. The students used slates for writing.
Students would enter the primer class at age five, but many students began earlier as they attended with an older brother or sister. School sessions lasted four months each year. The school day began with chapel which consisted of a song, prayer, and Bible reading. The rest of the day was spent studying the subjects of arithmetic, grammar, history, physiology, geography, spelling, and penmanship. During recess time the children played in the surrounding pine forest. The boys and girls played on separate sides of the playground.
In a published report in the 1920s the school was said to have a good playground in a beautifully kept cove of trees, but lacked supplies such as desks and chalkboards. It also stated the school had no library, one map, and one teacher’s desk. The school had two pit toilets and the water supply came from a pump.
At this time there were three teachers working at the school. M. H. Bassett, Nellie Grantham, and Reta Larey. Teachers were not required to have college training, they only had to pass a state exam and the courthouse. The school had 119 students enrolled in the nine grades that were taught. domestic science and farm mechanics were taught. If a child lived more than two miles (3 km) from the school they could ride the school wagon.
In 1922 a modern brick building was constructed at this time to serve as both the elementary and high school. The trustees were L. M. Richardson, C. F. Trussell, and R. W. Knight; and J. P. Krouse was the architect.
In 1923 the school closed early due to lack of funds. These problems continued throughout the 1920s and in 1928-29 the school bus drivers were paid only half the year. The buses were then driven by students for the rest of the school year. During the 1930s the school began to have money troubles. Forrest County was one of the few counties able to pay their teachers. Many counties were giving IOUs but were never able to pay.
In 1925 the school had its first graduating class of two students, Ruby Lee Mixon and Mary Mixon Collins. There was no formal ceremony for these students, they were just given their diplomas. The following year, the gradduating class was nine students.
During the 1940s many teachers were soldiers’ wives and taught for only 6–8 weeks before moving on with their husband. In 1945 a war surplus building was placed by the gym. This building was used to house a vocational agricultural room and a dark room. This later led to the schools membership in the Film Library at Mississippi Southern.
In a report that was published in 1953-54 the school was said to consist of an elementary building, a gymnasium, a superintendent’s home, and a vocational agricultural building. There were six teachers in the elementary school with enrollment at 143; while grades 7 thru 12 had seven teachers for the same enrollment of 143. The school session lasted eight months, but the following year it changed to nine months.
- North Forrest Elementary. Forrest County School District. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- History of North Forrest School”. Sixth Grade Horizon Students. 1986.