Lincoln County High School
Opening in 2006, Lincoln County High School is the only high school in the county following rural consolidation. The double AA-sized school is the result of an effort to combine four smaller high schools given population declines that mirror declining tax revenue. Construction of the school began in 2004 and the school opened two years later. The closing of local high schools achieved greater economic efficiency but also eliminated important community institutions and led to divisions between residents of the community.
Backstory and Context
The construction of Lincoln County High School started in 2004 and was completed in 2006. Several of the former high schools that were closed in anticipation of this consolidated school now serve as middle schools. Guyan Valley, Hamlin, Duval, and Harts Creek High School were closes and owing to the proximity and rivalries of the latter two, many in the county remain divided about the propriety of rural consolidation.
Debates about consolidating the county's high schools dates back to the now-infamous Recht Decision in 1982 that overhauled the funding of state schools and curriculum standards. While the county soon consolidated many elementary schools and middle schools in the decades that followed the Recht decision, the four local high schools continued to operate. However, test scores became so dismal that the state decided to step in and take drastic measures, overhauling the entire county school board and leading to consolidation and the creation of Lincoln County High School.
The school’s interior is made up of all the colors of the four middle schools and the motto of the school is “Together as One.” In the first months of operation, fights and arguments were commonplace but in the years that followed a unified spirit has emerged that reflects the identity of many West Virginians who identify with a county more than a city. The school mascot is a Panther and there colors are blue, silver, and black.
As of today the school is open and continues to be the only high school in the county. The school has even experienced a bomb threat that happened in 2018. the man was William McCallister and used social media to threaten the school. He pled guilty to his sentence and is in Western Regional Jail. The high school has had many accomplishments such as their robotics team which in 2017 won the State Championship. The school's Softball Team in 2011 won the state Championship. The schools Baseball and Softball teams are the one to watch. Some of their players have had colleges after them and signed at the High School. The school has so much spirt they even Have a Pep Club. This club goes out to sports games and travels with them as well. You can see them in the Bleachers cheering their team on. The Pep Club even has a Twitter Page which is @LCHS_Pep_Club
The school has even teamed up with a Community college and shares a piece of the building with them. The Part of the building is the Lincoln Campus of Southerner WV Community and Technical college. This partnership allows the people and students of Lincoln County to take classes there and some teachers even teach there.
Though the school plans received a lot of backlash because of the shut down of the other high schools of the county it still has helped a lot. Most of the bickering was due to the Location because Hamlin was not looked upon highly by the southern part of the county. People to this day still gripe that it should have been put in a more central location. This dispute is still a hot topic in the town of Harts to the point a large number of High schoolers from there go to a high school out of the county. These students go to Chapmanville High. There is still a smaller number of Harts High school students that go to Lincoln County High School.
Reynolds, David R. 1999. There Goes the Neighborhood: Rural School Consolidation at the Grass Roots in Early Twentieth-Century Iowa. Iowa: University of Iowa Press. Triplett, Ralph D. and Triplett, Boone. 2013. Images of America: Lincoln County. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. Lincoln County Board of Education. Lincoln County Schools. http://boe.linc.k12.wv.us (accessed December 11, 2014). Harris, Amy Julia. 2012. 1982 Recht Decision: State still rumbles from aftershocks of reform ruling. Charleston Gazette. http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201205120049 (accessed December 10, 2014). The West Virginia Encyclopedia online, s.v. “Recht Decision,” http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/19 (accessed December 10, 2014). West Virginia Research Legislature Auditor. Performance Evaluation and Research Division. 2011. An Examination Of The Effects On Educational Outcomes From High School Consolidation: Lincoln County’s Experience. PE 10-21-488. http://www.legis.state.wv.us/joint/perd/perdrep/DOE_1_2011.pdf (accessed December 10, 2014). Brenda Powell (Executive Secretary Lincoln County Board of Education), interview by Heather Edwards, December 5, 2015, transcript.
Bartley, Terry. Lincoln County High School Wins at Robotics!, Welcome to the Lincoln Log. March 28th 2017. Accessed December 11th 2020. https://thelincolnlogwv.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/lincoln-county-high-school-wins-at-robotics/.
Taylor, Grant. Lincoln County wins its first title, Herald Dispatch. May 27th 2011. Accessed December 11th 2020. https://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/high_school_sports/lincoln-county-wins-its-first-title/article_cdf0b728-525c-5640-ba8c-f73366c86013.html#:~:text=With%20a%20full%20crowd%20of,at%20the%20Rosemar%20Softball%20Complex..