Monday, January 19, 2009

No.4: Tupelo HIgh School

Tupelo High School moved to this site on Varsity Drive on the north end of Lee Acres in 1961. This early picture dates to the time when my generation was in high school and shows just how sparsely developed the area still was in the late 60s. The Civic Auditorium had been added by our time at the high school.

Before we were in the 10th grade, they removed the permanent walls between some of the classrooms and inserted folding walls to allow for "team teaching." I remember Mrs. Robinson teaming with Mr. Murphey for geometry, Miss Yerby teaming with Mrs. Stepp for sophomore English, and Mr. Richardson teaming with Mr. Horton for biology. Large group biology lectures were done in the air-conditioned rooms at the back of the Auditorium.

Coach Waite and Mr. Shelton were the drivers' ed teachers in the "classroom" behind the curtain at one end of the gym. When we moved from the simulators to the real cars (complete with brakes on both sides of the front seat), I had Mr. Shelton. Coach Waite's drivers got to go to Bill Bates Grocery for ice cream cones, but we just drove around and around in Lee Acres, giving hand signals to slow down or turn.

Tupelo High School moved to its current location on Cliff Gookin in 1991. If you live out of town and haven't seen that campus, you'd be amazed -- lots of buildings arranged around a quadrangle. It looks more like a junior college campus than a high school. The football stadium is on site, and it is much larger than the old Robins Field venue. But it will never have the ambiance of the old field.

1 comment:

  1. Stan Byrd emailed the following comment:

    "Do you remember the time you and me were in the backseat of the driver ed car and Mr. Shelton was showing us how to angle park when he tapped the bumper of the adjacent car? I almost went into convulsions trying not to laugh out loud."

    Stan, we had to take our laughs wherever we could find them, didn't we?