He applauds CHS alumni

Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When I graduated in 2010, the most memorable part of my high school career was how much time I was able to spend outside of class during my period as a teacher’s aide. I would walk proudly with my hall pass in tow, stopping to visit other classes along the way to the principal’s office where, when putting items into the outgoing mail slot, I would scrounge for change to secretly buy a soda from the only vending machine in the school.

Like most graduates, I looked forward to graduating because I felt I was given far more opportunity to make my own choices for what I wanted to pursue in my life.

My parents had made their choices to make sure when we moved to the area that I was enrolled in one of the best schools, and perhaps my perspective now as an adult reflects that.

Needless to say, my high school experience was different than the inaugural class of Central High School. It was most different from that of Violet Johnson Harris, the first African-American to graduate from the new school.

According to Harris, Freedom of Choice had been instituted in Lunenburg County in 1967 — the precursor to full integration between the black and white schools — which resulted in her leaving the all-black Lunenburg High School.

During the reunion the Class of 1967 held recently, Harris said that while she was wondering how it was going to be seeing her old classmates, it was good to come back to the school.

She said it was nice to see people who “weren’t necessarily that friendly to me. I had doors closed in my face; (I was) called names, but yesterday, (it) really made a difference, you know, they welcomed me. …” Harris went to the school for her senior year because of her father sending her there.

It’s obvious that Central High School graduates — from 1967-2017 — have far more enthusiasm for their school than I ever have had.

It seems the slogan is true that nothing’s larger than the heart of a Charger.

Morgan White is a staff reporter for The K-V Dispatch. His email address is Morgan.White@KVDispatch.com.