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Mary Alice LaSaine mentioned in an historical article about Haut Gap High School.
Mary Alice LaSaine is mentioned in an historical article about Haut Gap High School located in Johns Island, South Carolina. The source website doesn't appear to get updated so I am posted it here for archival purposes.
added by Reginald V. Finley, Sr.
A History of Haut Gap High School
by Lillian F. Powers
Prior to the year 1950, there was no high school for the Black school age population of Johns and Wadmalaw Islands. However, this did not mean that the residents were not concerned about the future of their children. One person, in particular, was very, very concerned: Mr. Esau Jenkins.
Mr. Jenkins confronted the school district, but was told there was no property available on which to build a school. Taking this information in stride, Mr. Jenkins, inspired by others, searched for and found a tract of land easily accessible to the students of north and south Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island. The school was built in 1950.
In the fall of 1951, the school was opened to students in grades 8-10. Grades 11 and 12 were added as students were promoted. As a result of community input, the school was named Haut Gap High.
The administrators in 1951 were: Mr. G. Creighton Frampton, County Superintendent; Mr. John Wallace, Constituent Superintendent; and Mrs. Alice La Saine, Supervisor of Black Schools.
When the school opened in 1951, it consisted of an auditorium, a kitchen, boys' and girls' restrooms, and six classrooms. The first faculty members were: Mr. J. Pinckney Davis, Principal and Science Teacher; Mr. John Scott, Social Studies; Mrs. Muriel Potts, English; Mrs. Mary Guinyard, Home Economics; Mrs. Lillie F. Powers, Mathematics; and Mr. Julius Westbrook, Agriculture.
Three years after the construction of the high school, the first graduating class, numbering 5 students, received diplomas from the new school. The students were Emily Mikell, Gladys Smalls, Louise Stanley, Benjamin Stanley, and Frank Stanley. At some time previous to graduation four more rooms were added to the original structure to qualify the graduating students for State diplomas. These rooms were: a library, a science laboratory, a home economics room, and a social studies room. The total rooms now being 9 classrooms and a library.
In 1958-59, the construction of the elementary wing began. The walls to the new wing were promptly destroyed by hurricane Gracie. However, the construction was completed in early 1960. At the completion of the elementary wing, the feeder schools were closed and the teachers were transferred to Haut Gap High School. The school now housed grades 1-12 with an enrollment (at times) of more than 1200 students.
Feeder schools before 1960 were: Miller Hill, Humbert Woods, Ferry Field, Promise Land, Haut Gap Elementary, Nine Mile Fork and later Rockville (Frierson) Elementary and Mt. Zion Elementary.
Haut Gap continued growing as a successful high school until 1968-69, when the Freedom of Choice Act was initiated. Two years later, the high school was converted to a middle school, thus ending the odyssey of a great institution--Haut Gap High School.
It should be noted however, that before the books were closed, the 7-8th grade wing was added, along with a gymnasium, a structure that housed a carpenter shop, an agriculture classroom, and a brick masonry shop.
Chronology of High School Principals
1951-55 - J. Pinckney Davis
1956-67 - John Scott; Marie Levine, Secretary
1968-70 - Benjamin Brockinton; M. White, Secretary
1970-72 - James B. Coaxum - M. White, Secretary
CCSD Homepage HGMS Homepage
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