High Point Central- 30 Years Later

Home is where you live, it’s where you grow up, it’s where memories are made.  Home for me is High Point, born and raised!

My graduation in 1988. My boys will be the class of 2021 and 2022!

And now High Point is my children’s hometown.  My youngest son just “graduated” from Ferndale Middle School and will be attending High Point Central as a Freshman, joining his brother who is a Sophomore. They will graduate from my alma mater, like I did 30 years ago (which I think is pretty cool)!  This is the first school they will go to that I attended because of school lines changing. They didn’t go to Johnson Street or Griffin, where I went, but now they get to walk the same halls I did…long ago.

A little history on Central:

High Point High School, as High Point Central was first known, was built in 1927 and designed by Greensboro architect, Harry Barton and Charlotte landscape architect Earl Sumner Draper and sits on 42 acres in an area of High Point known as Emerywood.  The building blends historic English Gothic with progressive Art Deco details to produce a new style known as “Neo-Gothic”.  In 1931, the campus was completed by the addition of High Point Junior High School, now Ferndale Middle School, which incorporated design details from the high school so that it maintained a campus theme.  This campus was ahead of its time and considered a masterpiece in school systems around the state.  High Point Central is the oldest high school in Guilford County.

During that time, the other high school in the area included William Penn High School, located on Washington Street.  It opened in 1923 and was the only African American school in the city.  It was named to honor the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn.  The Quakers were the first to settle in this area and they believe all should have an education, no matter the sex or color of their skin- all are created equal.  In 1968 the school closed and T. Wingate Andrews was opened, ending the era of school segregation in High Point.  High Point High School was renamed High Point Central High School.  William Penn High School was used off and on for various purposes through the years and in 2003 became the high school for Penn-Griffin School of the Arts.  This building holds a rich history for our city and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

When I was in school, Central and Andrews were the only high schools and were a part of High Point City Schools. Southwest was part of the County School System and all other schools in Guilford County made up the Greensboro School System.  In 1993, the three school systems merged to form the Guilford County School System. There weren’t many school choices in High Point then. But today we have our wonderful public schools and multiple private school choices. There is something for everyone’s educational needs in High Point.

An outtake of our Senior picture.

A lot of things have changed over the years, but Central has not, which is one of the great things about our school.  It stands as a piece of history that transports its graduates back in time.  Shoot, my old Geometry teacher, Mrs. Cline, is still there and she was my son’s Math II teacher this year! It makes me feel even more nostalgic that 30 years later there are still remnants of “my Central” left and my boys will get to experience it as well.  Listen, I know they roll their eyes every time I tell a story (the appropriate ones) about “when I used to go there”. But I think there is a little part of them that takes pride in our shared history. Of course, they will never admit it, but I know this is where their memories will be made which they will reminisce about 30 years later!