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Greenville High School: 50 years ago

By Carter E. Anthony

One of a seven part series


Part one

In January, 1968, armed with a major in Economics (one of two Economics graduates in the entire class) and a minor in Finance from the School of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Alabama I decided law school was not for me.

It was time to move on! I had spent the fall semester, 1967, in law school and it just didn’t click. The freshman class was the largest ever as boys tried to avoid Vietnam and as girls began to apply to law school.

Criminal Law professor Sam Beatty tried to make everyone quit. John Paine took a softer approach explaining that only a few lawyers made any “real money”. The average attorney in Alabama made $12,000 per year in 1967.

It was law school boot camp and those who survived deserve a lot of respect. Richard Hartley and Dave Whetstone were two from Greenville who survived the boot camp. On one of my first days in Farrar Hall I spotted the late Billy Earnest, a GHS grad one year older, on the back row.

Billy was a graduate of Birmingham Southern and being smarter than I, he was gone from law school before tuition was due. Billy later earned a Ph.D. in History and taught at Montevallo.

My dad kidded me that I had at least gotten in one more football season. I had part-time jobs every semester except the first one and had held the major offices in my fraternity. I was tired of the University and of Tuscaloosa. I was engaged and had, through ROTC, a four year commitment to the U. S. Air Force. It just didn’t make sense for me to stay.

When I realized I was not going to return to law school I began job hunting. It was a fairly easy decision to move home to Greenville. There weren’t a lot of options for someone who was only going to be there five months. The options that were there didn’t pay much.

My dad was a good friend of Mr. Stroud who was at the time the Superintendent of Education for Butler County. Mr. Stroud told my dad that a math/algebra teacher was leaving Greenville High School (GHS) at the semester break.

He had also learned that a civics/social studies teacher was leaving Red Level High School mid-year. Mr. Stroud suggested I make an appointment with the principals at the two schools and go through the interview process.

During my meeting with Mr. Stroud he told me things about the future of education that had occurred since that time. He predicted community colleges would grow more important as tuition at state universities became prohibitive for some.

He also predicted that there would become a partnership between high schools, community colleges and state universities whereby credits would transfer between the three. He said there would be students who would take community college courses for college credit while still in high school.  He was a smart superintendent and a very nice man.

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