Remembering the 1973-74 School Year at St. Paul High School – Part 2

© Jerry F. Couch 2019

Jerry CouchTHE STORIES AND PICTURES YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE were compiled from original material belonging to the Clinch Valley Times and dating from the 1973-1974 school year.  This was a VERY significant year because it was the final year for the St. Paul School and the first year for St. Paul High School and St. Paul Elementary School to operate as separate entities.

Thanks to the new St. Paul High School building, overcrowding was no longer a problem.  It was modern and up-to-date in every way.  The first classes in the new building were held in April of 1974.  Former St. Paul students still recall their first days in the fine new building with a sense of pride.  The school is a testament to the prosperous “King Coal Era” when so many things were possible. 

Part 1 of this article was published several weeks ago.  It contains the complete 1974 Estonoa yearbook.  If you missed it, check our archives and take a look.  

7-B Repeats as St. Paul Elementary Champion [CVT – Mar. 7, 1974]

For the second year in a row, the 7-B boys basketball team has captured the Elementary Championship.  Last year as 6-B students, they also won the championship.  The road to victory was very exciting.  The 7-B team drew a 1st round bye but had to win 2 games to get the trophy.

In their first game, they outclassed 6-B by the score of 32 to 6.  The leading players were “Pee-Wee” Dean with 16 points and as many rebounds, and Craig Tumidiski with 12 points.

  • 7-B – Dean 16; Tumidiski 12; Clay 2; Mullins 2.
  • 6-B – McReynolds 4; Phillips 2.

The finals matched 7-A against 7-B.  7-A had beaten 5-A by the score of 32 to 5 to get into the finals.  However, they were luckless against 7-B, as they were soundly defeated.  The 7-B team played excellent defense and had a devastating fast break attack that led to a commanding 34 to 12 victory.

  • 7-B – Dean 12; Tumidiski 14; Plaster 4; Osborne 2; Clay 2.
  • 7-A – Lewis 6; Rains 2; Sneed 2; Aaron Porter 2.

The games were fast-paced and exciting with very loud and jiving cheerleading.  The tournaments were directed by Mr. Renfro and Mrs. Mullins.  There was also a trophy presented to the 7-B class for their championship.


Front row:  David Hileman, Mike Mullins, Dwayne Musick, Jeff Goodson, and Coach Roger Estep.  Back row:  John Evans, Craig Tumidiski, “Pee-Wee” Dean, Tim Meade, Tim Osborne, Danny Clay, and Mike Winebarger.  Not present for the picture:  George Plaster, Mike Johnson, Ronnie Barnette, and Randy Wright.

As The Band Played On [CVT – Oct. 18, 1973]

NimoFilm_1255 SPHS BAND


Students of the St. Paul Elementary School were entertained with a performance of “The Dollygoggs of Lansbert,” presented Tuesday morning by the Highland Players, members of the Clinch Valley College Drama Department.

In the three-act play, the bad queen received her deserved defeat, while the princess married a handsome young man and lived happily ever after.  There were 12 actors in the cast.

The play, produced and directed by Dr. C. W. Lewis of Clinch Valley College, is being presented at schools throughout Wise County and in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

NimoFilm_8311 SPHS PlayCVC Drama Department students entertain at St Paul School


New SPHS Building Under Construction [CVT – Feb. 22, 1973]

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CONTEST WINNERS [CVT – Apr. 18, 1974]

Three students at St. Paul School won first, second, and third place prizes in the VPI Extension – Lenowisco sponsored “Lend a Hand – Save Our Land” cartoon contest recently.  They are, left to right Janice Wright, first place; Janet Gordon, third place; and Jackie Domby, second place.  The winners will receive $10, $8, and $6 respectively.



The Wise County School Board held part of its April meeting in Wise last Thursday, then adjourned to St. Paul, where its members had lunch and a tour of the new St. Paul High School building.


During the morning meeting, board member Harold Ringley asked that the board approve the expenditure of approximately $10,000 to erect a dressing room facility at the Coeburn Athletic Field.  The board approved the request.  Construction on the project will be done by members of the Job Corps.

The board endorsed the county clean-up campaign, and agreed to let Wise County students out of classes early on one day of the campaign so that they can help clean up their own neighborhoods.


The suggestion to hire assistant baseball coaches for county schools was defeated by a vote, but board members will discuss the idea again next year.

The board approved the budget for the fiscal year 1974-75 in the amount of $7,519,168 and sent it on to the Board of Supervisors.

Bobby Meade, assistant coach at Clintwood for the past several years, was hired as head football coach for Pound High School for 1974-75.

Both the Wise and Coeburn Primary Schools have been accredited by the Southern Association of Secondary and Elementary Schools, it was announced.

A summer school program costing $95,210 will be held throughout the county.  The money will come from Title I federal grants.

Wise County teachers, although not in complete agreement with the suggested pay raise scale, accepted the proposal of the School Board.  The scale will raise each level at the rate of about $550 per year.


Dedication ceremonies for the new St Paul High School building will be held on Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 PM in the auditorium of the new building.  According to St. Paul High School Principal Aubrey Ward, special platform guests will include members of the Wise County School Board, Wise County Board of Supervisors, the School Trustee Electoral Board, the St. Paul Town Council, Congressman William Wampler, members of the Virginia General Assembly, representatives of the firms instrumental in the construction of the new building, and representatives of Clinch Valley College, Mountain Empire Community College, the University of Virginia, the Wise County Chamber of Commerce, the St. Paul Lions Club, the Wise County Education Association, the St. Paul Jaycees, and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, as well as Wise County officials.


The speaker will be Mr. Alonzo Monday, Supervisor of Administrative Services for the State Department of Education.  Mr. Monday is a graduate of St. Paul High School.

The public is invited to attend the dedication ceremonies and to tour the new building.


Alonzo Monday - dedication 1974
Alonzo Monday

Mr. Alonzo Monday, Director of Special Services for the Virginia Department of Education, and a graduate of St. Paul High School, was the principal speaker for the dedication ceremonies of the new St. Paul High School building on Sunday afternoon.

The program, which was held in the new building’s 350 seat auditorium, began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Eddie Neff, St. Paul Elementary School principal.  The St. Paul Deacon Band, dressed in new uniforms, played the National Anthem, and the Rev. Bill Baker, pastor, First Baptist Church, gave the invocation.  Mrs. Paul Quillen, president of the St. Paul PTA, welcomed the crowd of 200 to the ceremonies.

James D. Graham and C. P. Dorton, Assistant Superintendents of Wise County Schools, introduced special guests, and Lowell Hagy, St. Paul Guidance Counselor, presented the members of the school’s faculty and staff to the audience.

An expression of appreciation to all who had been involved in the conception and construction of the new building was made by St. Paul High School principal James Aubrey Ward.  He named many individuals who had devoted countless hours to the project, including members of the Wise County school Board and Wise County public school administrators.  He called special attention to the vision of the late W. H. Bowman, former St. Paul principal, and W. D. Richmond, Superintendent Emeritus of Wise County Schools, both of whom were instrumental in forming lasting plans for the new school.

Charles McElroy, architect for the building, presented the keys to School Board member Dr. H. P. Remines, who accepted them for St. Paul, and then presented them to Mr. Ward.

Harley T. Stallard, Wise County Superintendent, in introducing the speaker, spoke of Mr. Monday’s graduation from St. Paul School, and then outlined steps in his career following his earing of degrees at Emory and Henry College and at George Peabody University.

Monday spoke to the audience on the importance of progress and said that the most important contribution that any individual can make to society is being friends with his fellow man.  Interspersed throughout his talk was a series of affectionate reminisces of his years as a student at St. Paul High school, including anecdotes about W. D. Richmond, who was principal at that time.

In concluding his talk, Mr. Monday said, “What you are witnessing here today is the continuing improvement and strengthening of the public school system in Virginia.”

Alonzo Monday quote

The Rev. Jack Carnley, pastor of the St. Paul Assembly of God, concluded the program with a benediction.

The group adjourned to the main corridor for refreshments and a tour of the building.

Among the special guests who were recognized during the ceremonies were E. G. King, Dr. H. P. Remines, and Roy Robertson, members of the Wise County School Board; Elmer Bates, Wise County Board of Supervisors; St. Paul Mayor George E Cain and Councilmen Allen Gregory, Cecil Hall, and Harlis Stanley; E. E. Fry, Clerk of Works on the project; Charles McElroy, architect; John Leonard, Armstrong Construction Co.; Curtis Ramsey, University of Virginia at Abingdon; Tommy Willis, St. Paul-Castlewood Jaycees; Paul Ramey, St. Paul Lions Club; Eugene Stewart, Sr., St. Paul Chamber of Commerce; Danny Ball, Wise County Commissioner of the Revenue; Mrs. W. H. Bowman, W. D. Richmond, Mr. John Richmond, former Lee County School Superintendent; Frank Cloud, Big Stone Gap Elementary Principal; J. P. Horton, Director of Federal Programs for the Wise County Schools; and Fred Stickley, General Supervisor for the Wise County School Board.

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homily 1

NimoFilm_8790 St. Paul School - old building
CVT – Jan. 10, 1974 – Big changes were on the way…

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homily 2


St. Paul’s top honor students are, left to right:  Jane Cox, David Holbrook, Jennifer Kilgore, Debbie Domby, Sharon Lawson, Ricky Blevins, Margaret Salyer, and Jeffrey Kilgore.

Kathleen Bowman, former St. Paul High School teacher, presents a $50.00 grant-in-aid to Jennifer Kilgore.  The grand was presented on behalf of the Alpha Psi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international honorary fraternity for professional women in education.  The grant is awarded to a senior girl will continue her education toward a teaching career.


The annual Awards Day observance was held at St. Paul High School last Thursday morning in the auditorium.  St. Paul High School Principal James Aubrey Ward was in charge of the ceremony, and presented many of the awards.  Also presenting awards were members of the St. Paul VFW Post No. 956.

The awards and the recipients are as follows.

First Honor Student – Jeffrey Benjamin Kilgore; Second Honor Student – Margaret Louella Salyer; Honor Students, Ricky Allen Blevins, Sharon Jean Lawson, Debora Jean Stanley Domby, Jennifer Elizabeth Kilgore, David Luther Holbrook, and Rebecca Jane Cox.

Science – Jeffrey Kilgore; History – Jeffrey Kilgore; Home Economics – Patricia Summers; Mathematics – Ricky Blevins; Physical Education – Tim Lawson; French – Jeffrey Kilgore; Geography – Hubert Fletcher; Girls Athletics – Jane Cox; Class President – David Holbrook; Commercial – Jane Cox; English (All required English courses) Margaret Salyer; Athletics – Bill Salyers; Biology – Vickie Cole; U. S. History (8th grade) Alfreda Kilgore;U. S. History (11th grade) – Hubert Fletcher; DAR Good Citizen – Margaret Salyer; Bookkeeping – Margaret Salyer and Vickie Cole (tie).

Yearbook:  Editor, David Holbrook; Business Manager, Margaret Salyer; DE Student of the Year – Sam White; Voice of Democracy Awards, presented by VFW Post No 956, 1st place Robbie Jessee, 2nd place Jane Holmes, 3rd place Margaret Salyer.  The Band Award was given to all Band Members in the form of a trophy for outstanding achievement for 1973-74.

St. Paul High School students who received the Voice of Democracy Awards presented by VFW Post 956 are, left to right:  3rd place, Margaret Salyer; 1st place, Robbie Jessee; and 2nd place, Jane Holmes.

Graduation 1974

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John Green Quote

3 thoughts on “Remembering the 1973-74 School Year at St. Paul High School – Part 2

  1. I devour every single one of the articles,o the past, in delight. Please!! Keep them coming! Fantastic works!!

  2. Fantastic article! I’m going through a bunch of these articles about the old days! Thank you for the hard work!

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