The following details the history behind some Lowcountry schools' names.
BERKELEY COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Only three out of 37 Berkeley schools are directly named after noteworthy people in the community. The district has a policy of naming new school facilities in honor of people who have made significant contributions to education in Berkeley County, or after communities where the new school is located. In following the second policy, the district is home to schools such as Hanahan High, St. Stephen Middle, Goose Creek Primary and the Daniel Island School.
HOWE HALL ARTS INFUSED MAGNET SCHOOL: Howe Hall is named after the Howe family, which owned Howe Hall Plantation and donated the property for the school site.
H.E. BONNER ELEMENTARY: Bonner is named after former Superintendent Henry Bonner, who led the Berkeley school district for nearly three decades, from 1959 to 1987. Bonner died earlier this year.
J.K. GOURDIN ELEMENTARY: Gourdin is named after deceased Pineville resident John Keith Gourdin, who gave the land for the school.
STRATFORD HIGH: Stratford's origin directly comes from Stratford Forest, one of the largest subdivisions within Crowfield Plantation that was just being developed when the school was built. There is also a tie to Stratford, England, through the Middleton family who owned Crowfield Plantation.
CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT
The county school board is responsible for naming all district facilities. A committee made of a constituent board member, associate superintendent, school principal, community leaders, appropriate district staff and the executive director of facility services comes up with name suggestions, which is forwarded to the superintendent. The school board has final say in the matter. The board prefers to name school facilities for recognized geographical areas.
The district does allow schools be named for a person if the honoree is someone of 'special significance' or who has made an outstanding contribution to the school or district but it has a general policy of not naming schools after living people. The district already is in the process of naming the new North Charleston middle school as well as the new elementary school in Ravenel that will replace E.B. Ellington Elementary. Recommendations for those new schools' names could be brought to the board by late October. Neither the Charleston County School District nor the county library had a complete list of the history behind the county schools' names. If you have any additional information, please e-mail Diette Courrege at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACADEMIC MAGNET HIGH: If you have information on this school, contact us.
A.C. CORCORAN ELEMENTARY: Named for Albert Cleveland Corcoran, who was the author of the Clemson University and Stall High and former Ben Tillman schools. He was a teacher and principal for 35 years in Charleston County, serving 25 of those years as head of Ben Tillman School. Corcoran entered Clemson University at 16 years of age after winning a national competitive scholarship exam.
ALICE BIRNEY MIDDLE: named for Alice Birney, a former Charleston resident who helped found what is now the national PTA. She helped start the National Congress of Mothers in Washington, D.C. in 1897, which grew into the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and eventually the national PTA.
ANGEL OAK ELEMENTARY: Named for the legendary Angel Oak tree on Johns Island. The Angel family used to own the land where the tree is, and that's how the tree got its name.
ASHLEY RIVER CREATIVE ARTS ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
BAPTIST HILL HIGH: Named for the community where it is located: The name was changed from St. Paul's High to Baptist Hill High when the school for white students, St. Paul's High, was merged with Baptist Hill High, the school for black students.
BELLE HALL ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where it is located.
BRENTWOOD MIDDLE: If you have information on this school, contact us.
BURKE HIGH: Opened Jan. 3, 1911, as the Charleston Colored Industrial School. Renamed J. E. Burke Industrial School in 1921 in honor of J. E. Burke, prominent lawyer and long-time vice chairman of the Charleston Board of Public School Commissioners. Renamed J. E. Burke High School in 1949.
BUIST ACADEMY: Named in honor of George Lamb Buist, who was the chairman of the Charleston Board of Public School Commissioners (1896-1907), ardent supporter of public education in the City of Charleston, and a prominent Charleston lawyer.
C.C. BLANEY ELEMENTARY: Named for Claudia Carroll Blaney, a teacher and principal at Baptist Hill Elementary School. She taught for 44 years and died in her office in 1976.
C.E. WILLIAMS MIDDLE SCHOOL: Named for C.E. Williams, former superintendent of the St. Andrew's school district and spent 33 of his 43 years in education working in Charleston County. He was a former principal of St. Andrew's High School.
CHARLES PINCKNEY ELEMENTARY: Named for Charles Pinckney, a signer of the U.S. Constitution and former governor of South Carolina.
CHARLESTON DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
CHARLESTON PROGRESSIVE ACADEMY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
CHARLESTON SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: If you have information on this school, contact us.
CHARLESTOWNE ACADEMY: Named for the first permanent European settlement in the Carolinas, Charles Towne.
CHICORA ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where it is located.
DRAYTON HALL ELEMENTARY: Named for Drayton Hall Plantation.
EAST COOPER MONTESSORI CHARTER: If you have information on this school, contact us.
E.B. ELLINGTON ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
EDITH L. FRIERSON ELEMENTARY: Named in honor of Edith Frierson, who spent 48 years as a teacher and principal on Wadmalaw Island. She was the sole teacher and principal in 1926 at the former Rockville School, which was housed in a room at a Baptist church. The school was renamed for her in when the district constructed a building for it in 1954.
EDMUND A. BURNS ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
FT. JOHNSON MIDDLE: If you have information on this school, contact us.
GARRETT ACADEMY OF TECHNOLOGY: Named for Gordon Garrett, a former teacher, principal and superintendent. He became superintendent of the North Charleston (Cooper River) school district in 1936. Gordon H. Garrett High School was named in his honor in 1959, and he retired in 1972.
GREG MATHIS CHARTER: Named for Greg Mathis, a former high school drop out who got his GED and became the youngest elected judge in Michigan. He is the star of Warner Brothers' show, 'Judge Mathis.'
HARBOR VIEW ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where it is located.
HAUT GAP MIDDLE: If you have information on this school, contact us.
HUNLEY PARK ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where it is located.
JAMES B. EDWARDS ELEMENTARY: Named for James B. Edwards, former president of the Medical University of South Carolina, governor and U.S. Secretary of Energy.
JAMES ISLAND CHARTER HIGH: Named for the community where its located.
JAMES ISLAND ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where its located.
JAMES ISLAND MIDDLE: Named for the community where its located.
JAMES SIMONS ELEMENTARY: Named in honor of James Simons, chairman of the Charleston Board of Public School Commissioners (1907-1919), former president of the Board of Trustees of the High School of Charleston and president of the Board of Directors of The News & Courier company.
JANE EDWARDS ELEMENTARY: Named for Jane Edwards, a black school teacher who taught for 66 years in Charleston County schools. The school, built in 1954, was for black elementary school children and replaced Burrough School, where Edwards taught for 50 years. She retired in 1945 and died in 1963.
JENNIE MOORE ELEMENTARY: Named for W. Moultrie Moore, also called 'Miss Jennie.' She was on the board of trustees for the Moultrie (Mount Pleasant) schools for more than 20 years. A group of principals of black elementary schools petitioned the board to name the new school for black students after her.
LADSON ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where its located.
LAING MIDDLE: Named in honor of Henry M. Laing, who was treasurer of the Philadelphia Friends Association which maintained responsibility for the school's major expenses, including teachers' salaries, until 1940. The school was founded by a young Quaker who was an Army nurse in the Civil War, and she was supported by the Philadelphia Friends Association.
LAMBS ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
LAUREL HILL PRIMARY: Named for the nearby Laurel Hill plantation.
LINCOLN HIGH: If you have information on this school, contact us.
MALCOLM C. HURSEY ELEMENTARY: Named in honor of Malcolm C. Hursey, who was superintendent for the North Charleston school district and worked more than 35 years as an educator. He worked as an assistant principal at North Charleston High School in 1942 and later was the assistant superintendent for business in 1952. He retired in 1976.
MAMIE WHITESIDES ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
MARY FORD ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
MATILDA F. DUNSTON ELEMENTARY: Named for Matilda 'Tillie' Forrester Dunston, a former teacher, principal and superintendent. She taught at Remount Road Elementary, which was later renamed for her.
MCCLELLANVILLE MIDDLE: Named for the town of McClellanville, which was formerly two tracts of land owned by Archibald McClellan and William Matthews. Only one house the McClellans home existed in the area nearly until the start of the Civil War.
MEMMINGER ELEMENTARY: Opened as the Normal School for the instruction of Young Ladies in the Art of Teaching in April 1859. Changed name from the Normal School to Memminger Normal School in June 1876, in honor of Christopher Gustavus Memminger, one of the founders and a long-time supporter of public education in the Charleston. Became Memmi0nger High School in 1934 and reopened in 1954 in a new building as an elementary school.
MIDLAND PARK ELEMENTARY: Named for the Midland Park neighborhood.
MILITARY MAGNET ACADEMY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
MINNIE HUGHES ELEMENTARY: Named for Minnie Shepherd Hughes, a retired school district nurse.
MORNINGSIDE MIDDLE: If you have information on this school, contact us.
JULIAN MITCHELL ELEMENTARY: Named for Julian Mitchell, former director of S.C. National Bank, state lawmaker and attorney.
MONTESSORI COMMUNITY SCHOOL: If you have information on this school, contact us.
MOULTRIE MIDDLE: Named for General William Moultrie. In 1776 his successful defense of the fort guarding Charleston harbor against a British fleet made him a national hero.
MOUNT PLEASANT ACADEMY: Named for the area where it is located.
MOUNT ZION ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
MURRAY-LASAINE ELEMENTARY: Dr. M. Alice LaSaine was the former supervisor of Negro Schools in Charleston County, the first black supervisor in the county system. Mrs. Emily Albertha Johnston Murray, a Charleston County teacher and principal of all-black Cut Bridge Elementary for 32 years. She fought to have the five-room Cut Bridge School modernized and in 1955, her battle was won. Cut Bridge School was closed, re-modeled and re-opened as Murray-LaSaine Elementary School.
NORTH CHARLESTON ELEMENTARY: Named for the area where it is located.
NORTH CHARLESTON HIGH: Named for the community in which it is located.
OAKLAND ELEMENTARY: Named for one of the subdivisions the school serves. The neighborhood was Charleston's first completely air conditioned residential development in 1955.
ORANGE GROVE CHARTER ELEMENTARY: Named for the community in which the school is located.
PEPPERHILL ELEMENTARY: Named for the Pepperhill subdivision in which it is located.
R.B. STALL HIGH: If you have information on this school, contact us.
R.D. SCHRODER MIDDLE: Named for Robert D. Schroder, a former superintendent for District 23 schools. He was the first principal at St. Paul's High School in 1926 and became superintendent of that district in 1951. R.D. Schroder was named for him in 1964, and he retired in 1966.
SANDERS-CLYDE ELEMENTARY: Opened in 1954 on East Bay Street as East Bay Street Elementary School. Renamed in 1960 to Sanders-Clyde Elementary School, in honor of Ellen E. Sanders, one of the first black teachers admitted into the Charleston's public school system and Florence A. Clyde, respected principal of the Teacher Training Dept. at Avery Normal Institute.
SEA ISLANDS YOUTHBUILD CHARTER: Named for the community where it is located.
SPECIAL DAY SCHOOL PROGRAM: If you have information on this school, contact us.
SPRINGFIELD ELEMENTARY: Named for the neighborhood subdivision in which it is located.
ST. ANDREW'S MIDDLE: Previously was the old St. Andrew's High School campus.
ST. ANDREW'S SCHOOL OF MATH AND SCIENCE: If you have information on this school, contact us.
ST. JAMES-SANTEE ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where it is located.
ST. JOHNS HIGH: If you have information on this school, contact us.
STILES POINT ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
STONO PARK ELEMENTARY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
SULLIVAN'S ISLAND ELEMENTARY: Named for the community where it is located.
SUSAN G. BOYKIN ACADEMY: If you have information on this school, contact us.
THOMAS C. CARIO MIDDLE: Named for Thomas C. Cario, a former deputy superintendent for the district. His 33-year career included stints at Garrett High and St. John's High, where he worked as a teacher, assistant football coach and principal. He also served as the district's director of high schools, associate superintendent for Johns and James Island schools, the district's deputy superintendent and interim superintendent. He died in 1955 and the district named the new school after him in 1996.
WANDO HIGH: Named for a small tribe of the Native American of the Muskhogean family who lived on the banks of the Cooper River
W.B. GOODWIN ELEMENTARY: Named for Wendell B. Goodwin, who was a former teacher, principal and superintendent for the North Charleston school district. He was superintendent from 1943 until 1969, and the school was named for him in 1967.
WEST ASHLEY HIGH: Named after the district built a new high school in 2000 and merged St. Andrew's High and Middleton High they wanted to have a new beginning for the school and didn't want to go through issues of naming it after one of the existing schools. The name wasn't associated with either school and was easily identifiable.
WEST ASHLEY MIDDLE: If you have information on this school, contact us.
WILMOT FRASER ELEMENTARY: Opened 1956 as Columbus Street Elementary School for first through seventh grade students. In 1979, renamed Wilmot J. Fraser after Wilmot Jefferson Fraser, who had been principal of Shaw, Archer, and East Bay Elementary Schools and later worked as the supervisor of Negro Schools for downtown Charleston from 1960 - 1966.
DORCHESTER DISTRICT 2
At least six out of 20 schools in Dorchester District 2 are named after community members, including the new Reeves Elementary set to open this year. The district's policy states that the board prefers to name school facilities for recognized geographical areas, such as Oakbrook Elementary or Summerville High. But under certain circumstances, the policy allows the board to consider requests to name buildings in honor of people. The proposed name should have special significance, with the person having made an outstanding contribution to the school or school system, according to the policy.
ALSTON MIDDLE SCHOOL: The school is named after John Alston, a black doctor who donated the land for a black elementary and high school located on the corner of Cedar and First North streets in Summerville in the early 1900s. During integration, Alston became a middle school and was relocated to Bryan Street. John Alston was the great-uncle of Carolyn Howard, who has served on the Dorchester District 2 school board for 28 years.
DUBOSE MIDDLE SCHOOL: Dubose Middle is named for Charles DuBose, who served as superintendent of the school district for 15 years, from 1970 to 1985.
GREGG MIDDLE SCHOOL: Gregg was originally built in 1974 to serve as the ninth and 10th grade campus of Summerville High School and was called Summerville Intermediate School. In 1988, the school was renamed after John W. Gregg, one of the district's most established black administrators during the integration era who died a year earlier. Gregg was a teacher and principal at Alston Middle School from 1970 to 1974 and later served as an assistant principal at Summerville High School when that school was integrated.
ROLLINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: R.H. Rollings was a history teacher for several decades in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s at the old Summerville High School campus built in 1928, and even taught current Summerville Mayor Berlin Myers for four straight years during the Great Depression era. When the new Summerville High School building opened in 1969 at the school's current location, the old campus was renamed Rollings Middle School. Rollings' wife also served as a librarian at the school during his time as a teacher.
SPANN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: The school is named for James A. Spann, who served as superintendent of the school district for more than three decades, from 1912 to 1947. Several of Spann's descendants still reside in Summerville.
DORCHESTER DISTRICT 4
The rural school district has five schools, and only one school - Williams Memorial Elementary - is named after a person. The board's policy is similar to Dorchester District 2 in that board members generally are encouraged to name school facilities for recognized geographic areas, such as Harleyville-Ridgeville Elementary and St. George Middle. The board will consider requests from school and community groups to name a portion of a building, a single building on a campus or a specific area of campus for a person who is not living. The person must be dead for at least three years.
WILLIAMS MEMORIAL ELEMENTARY: The elementary school in St. George first opened as Greenleaf School in 1922 and served all grades, from first grade through 12th grade. Rev. S.D. Williams served as the school's first principal. After his death, the school was renamed as Williams Memorial in 1942.
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