HISTORY OF

APPALACHIA HIGH SCHOOL

Appalachia High School came into existence for the school term of 1916-1917. Dr. J. J. Kelly, Wise County's new Superintendent of Schools, awarded diplomas at the first graduation in the spring of 1917.

What was to become Appalachia High School in 1916 began as a single building constructed in 1911 and was expanded with a second building in 1915. Both buildings burned to the ground in the 1924-25 session, but another school was constructed on the same site in 1925. This building, constructed of Wise County brick, housed Appalachia High School until 1960 when the present building came into use. The building erected in 1925 served as Appalachia Elementary School from 1960 until the completion of the present structure in 1975.

The present Appalachia High School building was erected in the late 1950s under the supervision of Dr. Frank E. Handy, Chairman of the School Board, and Mr. Walter F. Jones, Principal.

In August 1960, the doors at the present location were opened to the students. In October 1960, Mr. Jones retired. At that time, Mr. C. P. Dorton became principal of Appalachia High School, a position that he held until 1964. In the fall of 1964, Mr. James Fugate Reasor became principal and served until 1968 when Mr. C. P. Dorton returned to Appalachia High School as principal.

Throughout the 1970-71 session, Appalachia High School was involved in a detailed self-study in preparation for an evaluation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

The 1971-72 session was especially outstanding for Appalachia High School. The school received a new principal, Mr. Joseph W. Rose, gained admittance to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and won state championships in both basketball and football in Division A.

Like time, Appalachia High School marched onward. In the summer of 1973, the Appalachia Lions Club erected the structure to mark the entrance to Appalachia High School. In addition, the driving range in front of the school was completed.

Appalachia High School's own Jim Riggs began duties as the school's first assistant principal in the fall of 1973.

After the resignation of Mr. Joseph W. Rose in the spring of 1976, Mr. Robert E. Nash, Jr., was appointed to the position of principal. Mr. Nash continued to serve as principal until his retirement in the summer of 1994. After only four months of retirement, Mr. Nash was tragically killed in an automobile accident.

Mr. Gary F. Holloman, assistant principal for sixteen years, assumed the duties of principal in July of 1994, and Mr. James E. Bolling became the assistant principal.

In the summer of 1997, Mr. Bolling accepted the position of Director of Secondary Education for Wise County Public Schools. Mr. George Barton was named assistant principal.

The summer of 2001 saw the retirement of Mr. Gary Holloman.  Mr. Holloman was principal for seven years.  Replacing Mr. Holloman was Mr. George Barton.  Mr. Richard Cornett was named assistant principal.

In the late summer of 2004 Mr. Richard Cornett retired to be with his wife in California. The place of assistant principal was handed to Mr. Joseph (Buz) Akridge.

In the summer of 2005, Mr. Buz Akridge was moved from Assistant Principal  to Principal and Mr. Bryan Crutchfield came from J.J. Kelly to be our new Assistant Principal. There were 13 new teachers added to the faculty (to replace retiring teachers and vacancies) of AHS.

The summer of 2009 brought Mr. William Austin to replace Mr. Buz Akridge, who took a position in the guidance department at Coeburn High School.  Ms. Miracle Coffey left the English Department and took the guidance position left open by the retirement of Mr. Steve Shortt.  Two new teachers were added to the staff.