Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 19: Students
1949 GRADUATING CLASS OF PMSSThis was the last class to graduate from Pine Mountain Settlement School during the Boarding School era. The School closed the Boarding School in 1949 and the institution sought a new direction.
The 1949 Pine Mountain “Notes” describes the closing of the high school:
For the first time since its founding thirty-six years ago, Pine Mountain Settlement School is operating without boarding students. They are missed in many ways; the quiet of the campus after the last school bus leaves; absence of student chapel services on Sunday; the passing of a student labor program which did so much to make our community life run smoothly.
But Pine Mountain has not lost its vitality. One has only to step into the School House on any school day to realize that!
The considerations leading to the change from a boarding high school to a consolidated elementary school were various. Trustees have been alarmed at the necessity for using capital funds to maintain a boarding school at present-day high costs. They felt too, that Pine Mountain had a definite responsibility toward the younger children of the immediate community. Several one-room county schools had three or four emergency teachers a year with long breaks between. Such teaching failed to prepare pupils for high school at Pine Mountain and few of the children close to us had enough interest in more schooling to come.
The Board asked three well-qualified men to survey our situation and give their recommendations. This committee was composed of Dr. William Jesse Baird, president of Morehead State College; Dr. L. E. Meece of the Department of Education of the University of Kentucky; and Dr. Howard Beers of the Department of Rural Sociology of the University of Kentucky. After studying their report the Board took action last April with the following results.
Berea College was asked to sponsor our administration, leaving Pine Mountain to operate under its original articles of incorporation. Pine Mountain’s new Board of Trustees is composed of nine members of the Berea College Board. Berea does not assume any of the financial load. The budget must still be raised by Pine Mountain School. Five one-room county schools have been consolidated at Pine Mountain. The Harlan County Board of Education pays the five teachers and the bus drivers and furnishes buses to bring in the children.
President Hutchins and members of the Berea staff have been of the greatest help during these days of reorganization, not only with suggestions and advice in their specialized fields but in the locating of needed personnel. This is a year of pioneering but the zeal of the staff, the enthusiastic help of our Berea colleagues, and the heartening cooperation of the County school board and our neighbors give us great hope for the future of our work. [PINE CONE 1949. Volume XXIV, NOVEMBER 1949, Number 1.]
Class of 1949 [22 students]
Ray Bird, President
Earl Brown, Vice-President
Christine Irvin, Secretary
Correna Cornett, Treasurer
Margie Faye Bennett
Ora Mae Boggs
Bobbie Jean Johnson
Bonnie Faye Reynolds
GALLERY: 1949 GRADUATING CLASS
PINE CONE 1949 – This student newsletter contains a schedule of Senior events.