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Thursday, February 15, 2018

South Carolina High School Graduates from Class of 1967 Celebrate Their 89% Graduation Rate, Despite the Segregated Turbulent Times of the 1960’s

By Dr. Charles L. Singleton and Mr. Isreal T. Singleton, editors and publisher of “The Family Journal USA” and the “Alston High School Garnet and Blue 1964 Journal”

Alston High School, class of 1967

Graduates from Alston High School, class of 1967

Nationwide — Thinking back in reflection of seniors, graduates and teachers of Alston High School (AHS) in Summerville, South Carolina, Class of 1967: Among these 10 students above, others were recognized as Albert A. Glover, Dorothy E. Benson, Edward “Mully” Samuels, Catherine Haynes: Zenobia Brown, 10th grade teacher (1929-2018), Johnnie G. Mazyck, home economics teacher, Alston High School Alma Mater originator, Marshall W. Ketchens Sr. (1925-2007) and historian Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), who have all just wrote another story for African-American History.

A few months ago, Saturday, November 25, 2017, Alston High School (AHS) Class of 1967 celebrated their 50th Reunion Banquet in neighboring, Lincolnville, South Carolina. Needless to say, a grand time was had by all who attended, which included AHS 1967 seniors class members, spouses, relatives, friends and several former high school teachers. At the banquet, celebrants enjoyed immensely, a most wonderful fellowship, good food, ageless music, two class songs and a plethora of remembrances, dating back to their “golden days” of high school.

Alston High School 1967 (AHS1967) still lives historically. Just looking back: Amazingly, AHS 1967 is the 56th graduated class of our school since its inception in 1910, North Cedar and West First North Streets, in downtown Summerville, SC.

AHS 1967 is also the 13th senior class to successfully graduate from 500 Bryan Street, Summerville, South Carolina. Dear Alston, over the many years, you have exceeded the goals and expectations of the futuristic conversations shared among yourselves repeatedly, while sitting in the library and study halls; walking to school, riding the school bus, sitting in the auditorium; eating in the cafeteria, standing in the halls, aisles, and breezeways of AHS 50 years ago. And to this day, historian, Carter G. Woodson would be so proud of ALL Your Life’s Achievements. Furthermore, welcome to the pages of African-American history: Richard Sumter, assistant superintendent, John W. Gregg, principal, Olin Russell Holly Sr., legendary industrial arts teacher, H. B. Middleton, counselor and choral music director, Johnnie A. Devore, band director, Alma A. Devore, home economics teacher, Jimmy Greene and Lonnie C. Holman, educators and coaches, Beverly Fishburn Emanuel, physical education instructor, Eartha Lee Argro, English teacher, A. B. Mitchell, French teacher, Betty Willis, librarian, Addison Willis and Armstead Leon Salters, chemistry and physics teachers: Edward ‘Big Jeff’ Jefferson, mathematics, Samuel M. Jacobs, social studies, economics, L. W. Bellinger, English, Willie Mattison, science, athletics; plus many others.

Also, historically noteworthy, both Alston High School senior classes of 1964 and 1967 achieved a successful graduation rate of 89% respectively. And, the dropout rate was remarkably constant at 11%. AHS 1964 graduated 80 of 90 students and AHS 1967 graduated 104 of 117 students for a combined two-class total of 184 of 207 students or (89%). An aggregate total of 23 students who attended AHS in 1964 and 1967 did not receive their high school diplomas from Alston High School (23 of 207 or 11%). Thus, the “graduated life expectancy range” for both classes predictably speaking could be 71 to 89 years of age. Interestingly, after 50 plus years, various statistical studies on aging concluded that the graduation rate was extremely important in predicting longevity. Remarkable However: Let it be known 132 of 184 or 72% of AHS graduates are still living productive lives today.

In memoriam, 19 AHS fellow members of 1964 and 33 AHS 1967 classmates are deceased (52 of 184 or 28%).

“Therefore, my friends ‘Keep on Living’ AHS Tigers! Remember, And here we stand, oh Alston High with praises that shall never die. To pay to you sweet tribute true, Alston High, dear Alston High.” — Marshall W. Ketchens Sr. 1943, Alston’s Alma Mater: and AHS Song Contributors, verified by Gladys Simmons AHS 1942-43 and Jordan Simmons III, AHS 1964, Pidgeon Bay, Summerville, South Carolina, USA.


Dr. Charles Singleton

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