Howard Middle School students said their final farewell to friends and faculty. The institution will be closing its doors permanently, ushering in a new era in Jefferson County.
Former Howard Middle School principal George Pittman, Sr. is thumbing through an old yearbook reflecting on memories formed at Howard, a school that provided an education for African-American children before segregation.
George Pittman says, "It meant a lot to the parents and the citizens in this county to enhance education and achievement level for the black students in this county."
The institution provided more than just academics; it became part of their history and their lives.
Jim Norton, a former student, says, "At that time it was a predominately black school and it was the only one we knew about, where we made friendship everlasting. There were 66 in my graduating class; two have passed on, and we still get together every three years."
Now the middle school will be closing its doors forever, and to make the transition easier students are busy packing items that will be shipped to the site at the new Jefferson High School.
Principal Juliette Jackson says, "I understand the feelings are what they are, that the community has about the school, but change is difficult, but the bottom line is whether it's good for the kids and this move will be a good move for all the kids here in Jefferson County."
It’s a move the community now supports, but it's a difficult transition for them knowing this school held so many memories and created so many dreams.