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Students from Class of 1969 to graduate Saturday, March 3

This weekend, graduates from the Class of 1969 will finally be honored with a graduation ceremony nearly 50 years after their last days of school at Pike County Consolidated High School in Concord. The commencement ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, March 3 at the Pike County Auditorium and will include students who earned all the necessary high school credits before taking part in peaceful protests involving integration and an un-renewed principal’s contract. Graduates from the Class of 1969 include Daisy Marie Anderson, Ann Rose Blackburn, Milton Clowers, Mary Helen Colquitt, Charles Davis, John Lee Dickerson, Marie Dozier, Robert Driver, Vickie Driver, Milton Favors, Patricia Ford, Earnest Grier, Dorothy Harris, Ida Bell Horton, Robert Horton, Willie Frank Jones, Sarah King, Kenneth Leeks, Emmet Mack, Raymond Miller, Linda Mitchell, Dorothy G. Reid, Annie Bell Riggins, Samuel Starks, Mary Pearly Traylor, Ernestine Tysinger, Milton Walker, Travis Wellmaker, Johnny Weston, John Horace Williamson and Mabell Willis. Members of the Class of 1969 who have passed away but will still be honored at the graduation ceremony include Larry Alexander, Oscar Alexander, Charles Ballard, Charles Britt, Laura Colquitt, Roger Gates, Kenneth Leeks, Willie ‘D.D.’ McDowell, William Mitchell, Gary Pate, Mary Love Sanford, Robert James Walker and Elijah Williams. During integration at Pike County schools, only a certain number of teachers and students were moved from Pike County Consolidated High School to Pike County High School in order to satisfy the desegregation mandate from the state while the remainder of black students stayed at PCCHS in Concord. Many students from that school were the ones who were not allowed to graduate due to a high number of absences due to marches and demonstrations. Several volunteers and administrators went through all of the students’ transcripts to find the students who had enough credits to graduate in the first semester of their senior year. Thirteen black students were suspended after leaving class to go talk to the superintendent and as a result, many other black students missed class to show their support for their fellow classmates. According to teacher Geneva Woods, many students were also upset that the contract for D.F. Glover, principal of Pike County Consolidated High School, was not renewed. ’When they didn’t renew Mr. Glover’s contract, that’s why a lot of the students marched. The black principal was said to be more qualified than any principal they had in the county. They ended up getting a retired superintendent from south Georgia to be principal instead. The kids got upset about it because they loved Mr. Glover so they started to march and they would march from Pike Consolidated to Pike County High in Hilltop in Concord to the high school in Zebulon,’ said Woods who taught many of the students at PCCHS before she was transferred to teach at Pike County High School. She retired after 38 years of teaching in 1996 but made it her goal to make sure the students who were left out would one day receive their diploma.

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