Community High alumnus and current principal, Robert Ralston, shared his “walk” with those in attendance at Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the new education wing at the school.
Ralston reflected back to 1976, when he first entered kindergarten at Community. He linked that time to the school’s continued growth over time.
He told the crowd gathered in the Community High library that the kindergarteners were then located in the boys’ locker room.
At that time, construction was taking place in front of the old K-12 building, he said, which is the site where Community Elementary is now located. “At Christmas, we got to pick up our little boxes, from kindergarten, and moved into that new building,” recalled Ralston.
That was exciting for little folks, he said. And now that part of the building isn’t even there.
Ralston said during his childhood, there were about 400 Community students in K-12. He graduated from Community in 1989; he returned in 1999, to the “new” Community High. (That building is now Community Middle School.)
Growth just continued, he said. He then took the reins over 7-12 grades with about 400 students, which then progressed upward to around 650 students. That building was soon full too, he said.
The final Community High, the current facility, was built in 2009. “It’s been a blessed to our community and programming,” the principal stated.
He added, “One thing you can say, there are good folks here and we like to produce more good folks. So our growth factor has continued. We are filled up.”
The principal said there’s finally the opportunity to add the last wing to Community High. He stressed that building the new classroom space is not just about “housing kids.” Rather, growth and new construction brings on new programs and opportunities for the students.
He said, “As I have made my way through Community . . . it has been an exciting journey. I want to say thank you that I’ve had the privilege to lead that. I’ve had great students . . . have great students and will have even more. I’ve had great staff. It’s been a blessing. So I want to say thank you.”
Some of Ralston’s parting words were: “I will go ahead and caution you, Commissioners; we will go ahead and fill it up as well.”
County commissioners present for the groundbreaking ceremony were Linda Yockey, Jason Sanders and Janice Brothers. See page 3A today for complete story and photos on the groundbreaking.