Starkville high school celebrates its 50th year of being fully integrated

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District celebrates a milestone.

Starkville High School is celebrating its 50th year of being fully integrated.

Students from Henderson High School transferred to Starkville High in 1971.

With several changes already taking place in the community, the class shares the historic start to their school year.

The photos may be black and white—but the memories won’t fade.

Starkville High School became fully integrated in 1971.

“It was a brand new situation for us,” said John L Young.

Young was a senior. Young says he was eager to transition to his new school.

“We didn’t have any doubts about the integration. Most of my classmates weren’t worried about it. We were ready to go and do what we should do. We had a good class coming over from Henderson and meeting a real good class at Starkville High School,” said Young.

Bill Wilkerson remembers it like yesterday.

” It just went like a normal first day of school. It went beautifully. The entire year I don’t know of any real issues of the high school stuff that happens,” said Wilkerson.

While there was a period of adjustment, classmates believe it helped the community grow stronger.

And one more thing, football.

” The success of the football team, we went undefeated. The games weren’t even close, and the football players got along. I think that set the tone for the entire year,” said Wilkerson.

” We wanted to set a good foundation. Being the first is just something happening in life. We prepared for it. We were a mature group of people, so everything went on pretty well,” said Young.

Jim Davis was a math teacher and assistant football coach.

” Administrators, the faculty, the students all wanted to make this thing successful. I think about some of the athletes, and I think about some of the coaches and teachers,” said Davis.

Now, students and educators are preparing to meet face to face. Some, for the first time since graduation.

” It’s going to be good to see some of the classmates I haven’t seen,” said Young.

The 50th Anniversary celebration is October 22, 2021.

The Class of 1971 will be introduced at the Starkville High School football game during halftime.

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