School History

School History

Lowndes High School first opened its doors in the fall of 1966. The building was not yet completed and during those first few weeks of classes, carpenters were still putting up doors and light fixtures. The new school was the result of the consolidation of two former rivals, Hahira High School and Lowndes County High School. 1966 was also the first year of real integration in our county. (Westside High School would soon join us in the fall of 1969) So what we were faced with in the fall of that year was a difficult situation . . .an unfinished building, rivalry between the two former high schools, and integration of the races. But that year was not only a good year; it was one of the greatest.

There was a song that was popular at that time. It was written by Pete Seeger and sung by Peter, Paul, and Mary. The name of the song was "If I Had A Hammer" and the words said, "If I had a hammer, I'd hammer out the love between my brothers and my sisters." Those words describe what we accomplished that year . . . establishing a foundation for the future of our school, creating an atmosphere of harmony between blacks and whites and between former rivals of the two old schools.

But what we achieved was something more than just harmony. The 60's was a time for poets and dreamers, for visions. Under the guidance of Sonny Martin, our Superintendent, and John Feazell, our first Principal, the Viking Spirit was born . . . a spirit of pride and energy. Among those original Vikings who have been members of our faculty were Terry Wilkes, Doni Ray, Peggy Wilkes, and Janice Simpson.

As the 1960's ended and we moved into the 1970's the Viking motif grew. The yearbook was named The Munin, a bird in Viking mythology representing memory. Munin's twin brother was Hugin, representing thought, and that name was chosen for the literary magazine. The driveway coming to the school was named Valhalla Drive and the lunchroom became Eric's Place.

But a new symbol began to arise spontaneously during the 1970's. Students at Valdosta High School began to refer to Lowndes High students as their country cousins and as "Plowboys." However, the Wildcats made an error in judgment. What they did not realize was that most Lowndes High students are not snobbish and in fact are proud of living in the country and having a close relationship to the land. The "Plowboy" image was enthusiastically adopted by the student body and faculty and soon became just as popular as the Viking motif.

The 1970's also saw our first break-through in athletic excellence. Under Coach Charles Cooper and assistant Coach Jean Griffin we won the state championship four consecutive years. Our slow-moving dreams to conquer the Wildcats became a reality in 1977. The ultimate dream was achieved in 1980 when, under Coach Wilson and with a quarterback appropriately enough named Eric, we won the state championship. That same year saw us win the state championship in baseball under Coach George.

Under Billy Martin our music program has won many awards and has become legendary. By the criteria established by the Greek philosopher Plato, our school does deserve recognition for its excellence. Plato once said that the two most important elements in a young man's education are athletics and music. Athletics would make him strong and music would make him sensitive. And, so, let us continue with the original dreams and the vision that gave birth to the school. Let's remember the words from "Bridge Over Troubled Water, "Your time has come to shine. All your dreams are on their way. . . . See how they shine." (from an article by Jack Webb, 5/19/86)

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