Woodlawn High School (Woodlawn, Virginia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Woodlawn High School
Woodlawn, Virginia 24381
 United States
Coordinates 36°43′37.4″N 80°49′07.4″W / 36.727056°N 80.818722°W / 36.727056; -80.818722Coordinates: 36°43′37.4″N 80°49′07.4″W / 36.727056°N 80.818722°W / 36.727056; -80.818722
School type private / normal institute / public secondary
Founded 1878
Status consolidated into Carroll County High School (Hillsville, Virginia) in 1969
Colour(s)           Maroon and White
Mascot Raiders
Newspaper The Reminder
Yearbook Raider

Woodlawn High School was a public secondary school located in Carroll County, Virginia, at Woodlawn, Virginia. The school's last academic year as a high school was 1968-1969. One hundred and four seniors graduated in the final class of 1969. The following year all tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade students became part of the new Carroll County High School, in Hillsville, Virginia.[1] After 138 years the Carroll County School Board voted to close the school in 2013; the historic structures and future of the campus is unclear.


The school was founded in 1878 by Isaac A. Minor as a private school called the Woodlawn Male and Female Academy. In 1898 the name was changed to the Woodlawn Normal Institute and later to Woodlawn High School in 1907. It became the first public high school in Carroll County and was among the earliest in the state of Virginia.[2]

Early years[edit]

Woodlawn Male and Female Academy was a boarding school attracting students from several nearby counties and states. While most out-of-state students were from North Carolina, one student was known to attend the school from as far away as California. There were 123 students enrolled with 25 teachers on staff in 1898. A dormitory was constructed on campus to house students but was destroyed by fire in 1903.[3]

Woodlawn High School's early, main academic building. Construction began in 1907 and the building opened in 1909.

A new three story dormitory followed in 1904 with a cafeteria, parlor, music room and rooms for boarders. At one time it also contained one of the first circulating school libraries in Virginia. This building was later used by the high school for a cafeteria, supply store and extra classrooms until it too was destroyed by fire on January 27, 1960.[4]

The Virginia General Assembly doubled the state's education budget in 1906 and passed the Mann High School Bill. This bill, named after Senator William Hodges Mann of Nottoway County, obligated the state to pay matching funds to any district that built a high school. Over the next four years, Virginia school districts constructed 285 new high schools including Woodlawn.[5]

The honorable Claude A. Swanson was governor of Virginia in 1906 when money was appropriated to establish a public high school at Woodlawn. The school also received additional funds to provide teacher training in conjunction with the high school. This was before the establishment of Radford State Teachers College (Radford University), hence there were no institutions for teacher training in this section of Virginia at that time. [6]

Construction of the high school's early, main academic building began in 1907 on twelve acres of land. Members of the Woodlawn community raised the needed funds for the project themselves without government assistance. The building opened to students on January 19, 1909. Two additional classrooms and an auditorium were added to the building in the 1930s. Four additional classrooms were added to house elementary grades in the early 1950s.[7]

First vocational agriculture classes in the United States[edit]

Woodlawn High School became the first public secondary school in the United States to offer vocational agricultural education classes under the Smith-Hughes Act. J. Lee Cox, superintendent of Carroll County Schools at the time, 1917, is given much credit for seeing the need for vocational agriculture classes. He went to the state capitol and persuaded the governor, Henry Carter Stuart, to let him develop the classes at Woodlawn.[8] Fred R. Kirby, the first teacher of agriculture at the school, was named Master Teacher of the South in 1933.[2] Kirby's successor, W.L. Creasy, was also named Master Teacher of the South in 1936.[9]

The agricultural classes greatly benefited the area around Woodlawn. A few of the noted accomplishments of the program included: the introduction of permanent pastures on area farms, the use of strip cropping to increase crop yield and decrease soil erosion,[9] an increased interest in school among young boys versus quitting school early, and helping in the establishment of a Carnation Milk plant in nearby Galax, Virginia to support area dairy farms.[10]

Home economics was added to the curriculum in 1916. A cottage was built on campus in 1924 to house this department. In 1962, the home economics department was moved to a new high school building and the cottage became the home of the high school band. It was renovated again in 1975 and currently serves as the Carroll County Adult Education Center.[11]

Construction of a new, modern high school building was begun in the summer of 1961. The building included many new classrooms, science labs, a home economics department, library, cafeteria, a business department and administrative offices. The building opened for the 1962-1963 academic year on what had been the footprint of the 1904 dormitory. That same year brought additional students, additional faculty members, an elementary/secondary band program and an expanded curriculum offering students more course choices.

Consolidation into Carroll County High School[edit]

The last year for Woodlawn High School was 1968-1969 with consolidation into Carroll County High School (Hillsville, Virginia).[12] The school became an intermediate school for grades K-9 beginning with the 1969-70 academic year. Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979, attended the school in the early 1970s.[13]

Map of Virginia highlighting Carroll County

In 1974 the school's entire physical plant was renovated. A new gymnasium, library, band room, music room, art department, vocational agriculture department, career development center and additional classrooms were added. The cafeteria was enlarged and administrative offices were expanded.

The school became a K-7 school in 1993 with the moving of eighth and ninth grade students to Carroll County Intermediate School in Hillsville, Virginia. In 2005, grade K-5 students were moved to new, expanded county elementary schools, creating Woodlawn Middle School housing grades six and seven only.[12] Woodlawn Middle School was officially closed in June, 2013. Beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, students began attending the new renovated Carroll County Middle School Hillsville, Virginia.[14]


The area of present day Woodlawn, located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, began as a land grant to James Wood of Frederick County, Virginia in 1756. His son, James Wood, served as governor of Virginia from 1796-1799.

Autumn meadow scene near Woodlawn, Virginia. Elevation 2,520 ft (768 m).

The Treaty of Lochaber, between British representative John Stuart (loyalist) and the Cherokee, made the land available for settlement about 1770. The original James Wood willed the land to his wife Mary who willed it to her grandsons. It is thought that none of the Wood family ever lived in Woodlawn.[15]

In the later years students at Woodlawn High School came from five main feeder schools—from the west they came from Gladeville Elementary and from the southwest Oakland Elementary. Both schools were located near Galax, Virginia. Students also came from Woodlawn Elementary, Vaughn Elementary near Fries, Virginia and from Laurel Elementary to the north.


Professor George Ivy served as principal of the Woodlawn Male and Female Academy. Everett E. Worrell was the first principal of the Normal School, followed by F. H. Combs and C.C. Carr.

E.J. Cooley served as the first principal of Woodlawn High School. In 1906, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Mann High School Act establishing the first high schools in the state.[16] WHS principals following Cooley were: S.A. McDonald, Zelma Kyle, B.M. Cox, B. M Wright, P.W. Jones, Foy E. DeHaven, R. S. Gardner, Paul Cox, James Combs and F. S. DeVault.[17]

The first full four year graduates of WHS received their diplomas in June 1910. Fourteen students walked across the stage at that ceremony. After graduation, class members, several faculty members and administrators boarded a chartered coach on the Norfolk and Western railroad for a tour of Virginia. Stops included Roanoke, Lynchburg, Richmond and Norfolk. From Norfolk they sailed to Baltimore then traveled to Washington, D.C., touring the city for several days. The group returned by way of Monticello and the University of Virginia. The entire trip took fifteen days.[18]


The Woodlawn High School Marching Raiders Band was founded in 1962. The band performed in numerous area and national parades, at special events, concerts, festivals, state and regional competitions, WHS football games and band days at Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. Each school year was capped off with the band's year end celebration—a picnic along with time for fun and games at Cumberland Knob Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Jerry Liles served as the high school's first and only full-time band director. He continued at the intermediate school after the high school was consolidated into Carroll County High School (Hillsville, Virginia).


Woodlawn Male and Female Academy had a well rounded athletic program including baseball, football, tennis and track. Football was later dropped as a sport but returned in the fall of 1967. As a high school, Woodlawn produced some outstanding basketball teams during the mid-to-late 1960s but it was baseball that became the Raiders most prominent sport.

Former WHS baseball player, Yancey Wyatt Doc Ayers went on to become a successful major league pitcher for the Washington Senators and Detroit Tigers. He gained the nickname "Doc" after he enrolled in the Medical College of Virginia, now the medical campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond. While at MCV, he bought a book on pitching. He was a catcher at WHS but when the call came for college baseball tryouts he reported as a pitcher.[19]

In 1964 the school’s baseball team began a streak of forty-one consecutive victories stretching into the 1967 season.[20] During this streak on April 21, 1966, pitcher Harry Isom recorded a seven inning perfect game. Isom not only pitched a perfect game but also struck out all twenty-one batters he faced.[21] The feat has never been duplicated in 100 years of Virginia High School League (VHSL) baseball. [22] The game was halted after seven innings under the VHSL's mercy rule. The story was picked up by the Associated Press and sent to newspapers and other media outlets across the country.[23]


  1. ^ Graduation Set for June 4. (May 29, 1969) The Carroll News, p. 1.
  2. ^ a b Worrell, A. (2009, January) Woodlawn School Tabbed for Historical Marker. The Carroll News. Retrieved from http://www.thecarrollnews.com/view/full_story/5528284/article-Woodlawn-School-tabbed-for-historical-marker.
  3. ^ Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p. 9.
  4. ^ Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p. 8-10.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia Virginia. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Progressive_Movement Time Line 1906.
  6. ^ Looking Back Over Half a Century (1962, March) The Reminder (WHS school newspaper). p. 5.
  7. ^ Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p. 12.
  8. ^ Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p.15.
  9. ^ a b Educational Pioneer Lauded by Friends, Kin. (1987, October 11) The Carroll News. pp. 1A-6A.
  10. ^ FFA Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary. (1954, February) The Reminder (WHS school newspaper). p. 1.
  11. ^ History of Great School. (May–June,1969) The Reminder, p. 1.
  12. ^ a b Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p. 22.
  13. ^ Raider 1979 (Woodlawn school yearbook) p. 25.
  14. ^ Woodlawn School Closing After a Century of Service (May 23, 2013) WXII12.com. Retrieved from http://www.wxii12.com/news/local-news/virginia/woodlawn-school-closing-after-century-of-service/20251496
  15. ^ Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p. 8.
  16. ^ Encyclopedia Virginia. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Eggleston_Joseph_Dupuy_Jr_1867-1953< para. 6.
  17. ^ Woodlawn. (2006, Spring) Vol. 25. Carroll County Chronicles. p.14.
  18. ^ Looking Back Over Half a Century (1962, March) The Reminder (WHS school newspaper). p. 5.
  19. ^ Society for American Baseball Research, Doc Ayers. Retrieved from http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/95ee682f.
  20. ^ It was Incredible, Woodlawn’s Forty-one Game Win Streak. (1983, April 11) Galax Gazette, pp. 2-3.
  21. ^ Pitcher Faces 21 Men, Strikes Them All Out. (1966, April 22). Roanoke Times. p. 32.
  22. ^ Once in a Lifetime: Woodlawn pitcher Harry Isom’s feat has never been duplicated in 100 years of VHSL baseball. (2016, April 21) The Carroll News. Retrieved from http://thecarrollnews.com/news/1453/once-in-a-lifetime .
  23. ^ Fantastic Woodlawn Exploits Hard for Anyone to Believe. (1966, May 1) Roanoke Times.

External links[edit]