• 68°

End of an era: Enochville Elementary looks back on 85 years of history

ENOCHVILLE — People got the chance to stroll through the halls of Enochville Elementary School on Saturday for some nostalgia before the school closes its doors for good.

This will be the school’s last month. Built in 1936, the school has local alumni that span generations. About 250 people — a mix of former staff, students and parents — signed up to take the tour.

Taken through by faculty members in groups, the tours started in the old front of the building. What used to be the front office area is now classrooms, but the auditorium looked familiar to everyone. The location of ceremonies and assemblies over the decades, most of the room is still original with vintage chairs, floors and curtains still in place.

The addition containing the current front office was built in 1996, and the school’s latest addition, a covered outdoor classroom space, was built in 2020. 

A stuffed owl in glass has been the school’s mascot at the front office for decades. The bird was killed in a car accident and is housed at the school via special permit from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The tours snaked through the buildings and eventually arrived at the school’s gym, where yearbooks were laid out for former classmates to pore over.

The tour ended in the cafeteria where commemoratives were on sale along with T-shirts celebrating the school’s history on sale at cost.

Sue Pressley remembered when the kitchen was in a different part of the cafeteria, when the food was made from scratch and cartons of milk cost 2 cents.

Pressley went to Enochville more than 60 years ago. She attended first through seventh grade at the school and started before kindergarten existed. She started school a bit early at five years old.

Pressley’s sister, Linda Vanwieren, said the school used to be filled with the scent of homemade yeast rolls baking in the kitchen.

Students would sneak out through the front windows during lunch and pick up snacks from the next-door convenience store. For the sisters’ birthdays, sometimes their parents would pick up donuts from the nearby Winn-Dixie and drop them off to share with the class.

The sisters said they are glad they had the chance to visit the school and saw people they had not run into for years.

Pressley said she understands things change, but it still hurts to see the school close. She hopes the building is not torn down.

Sally Blalock, the school’s data manager, said the people she saw filtering through the media center had history to share, finding themselves in stories and photos published by the Salisbury Post and shared stories about the friendships they made.

“Everybody’s been really happy because they’ve reflected on their memories,” Blalock said.

Late in the morning, a large group of former employees and retirees visited the school. Enochville teacher Scott Burris said he did not know if there was anything he could tell the group, some of whom taught him how to teach.

Alice Clement spent 20 years at the school as a kindergarten teacher assistant and another five as a reading tutor.

“I hate to see Enochville School close down because I think it’s a wonderful neighborhood school,” Clement said, adding there was great camaraderie between the teachers and parents.

Her three daughters went to Enochville. When her last daughter started at the school, she was asked to come on as an assistant.

“I didn’t have to apply or anything. They just called me and asked me,” Clement said. “I was here all the time anyway.”

Holly Lowder was a fourth-grade teacher at Enochville for eight years. Her three boys went to the school, too. She remembers decorating the school to look like a cruise ship and students coming in to do activities at night.

“We had a lot of fun,” Lowder said.

Comments

Local

Pedestrian hospitalized after being struck by police car

Local

Torch Run returns to Rowan streets, raises money for Special Olympics

Crime

Fish arcade company drops suit against Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

Crime

Man faces kidnapping, assault charges after woman escapes at Webb Road Flea Market

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline