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Centennial Celebration

What does it mean to go to a 100-year-old high school? Terry Sanford students share their thoughts

This year marks the 100th birthday of Terry Sanford High School, once known as Fayetteville High School. CityView asked the students of Susan Hudgins, the school’s Journalism advisor, to tell us what it means to attend a high school with such a long history.

Generations of Education By Megan Downing, 11th Grade

Three generations of my family have attended Terry Sanford. Both of my Grandparents graduated from Fayetteville High School, my dad graduated from Terry Sanford High School, and my brother graduated this past year with the class of 2012. This year is our high school’s centennial year, and it just makes me really think about all the history that runs through our hallways. Our school means a lot to me, and I did not realize until recently how much influence my family had on the school.

My great-great grandmother, Virginia Walker, owned a peach orchard in the country of Fayetteville for as long as my grandfather, Tildon Downing, could remember. He spent much of his childhood visiting her there. When she died, my grandfather’s uncle took over the property and sold it to the town to build a new school building for Fayetteville High School. Many of the trees around campus were the ones that she planted.

At that time, my grandmother, Betty Downing, was a senior in high school. My grandfather graduated the year before her. After Christmas break, when the new building was finished in 1955, they moved all the students into the new building, which was now sitting on my great-great grandmother’s old peach orchard. That year my grandmother was also voted Miss Fayetteville High School.

Later on, my father was the next to graduate from Terry Sanford in the class of 1983. During his senior year, they suffered the loss of their principal, Mr. John Sasser. My father was active in the athletics at our school. He played three years of varsity baseball, and two years of varsity football.

My brother, Michael Downing, graduated last year with the class of 2012. He was active in the Student Government Association and in the Academy of Scholars. My brother was also very active in athletics and received the honor of being player of the year.

I will be the next student of the Downing family to graduate from Terry Sanford in 2014. I know I will have many memories there over the course of my four years, just like all of my family members and each of the one hundred graduating classes. As a junior, I look forward to what surprises high school has for me. Terry Sanford’s history means a lot to me because each generation of my family has walked through our hallways.

100 Years of Change By Georgia Spires, 10th Grade

When I think of something that is 100 years old, a school is not the first thing to come to my mind. Some would usually think that something 100 years old would be dirty, broken, maybe not even there anymore, but Terry Sanford High School is the opposite. Terry Sanford has changed in many ways over the century. The high school has become more of a diverse and unique school with many opportunities for students. Thinking about how much has changed over the past 100 years, since the start of Terry Sanford, I realized how much more this graduating class has than the first graduating class.

For example, in 1913, most kids would have had to walk to school, and now they have more students driving to school than ever. Back then, they used to use chalk and blackboards, and now they use smart boards and computers! Just about everyone has a cell phone, iPod or iPad and the ability to send and receive information instantly. We have more of an educational advantage because many things have been discovered in the past century. In 1913 the faces of Fayetteville High School were the same — all white. Today, FTS is a diverse and multi-cultural school. There is a Global Studies program, that teaches our students about global issues. Terry Sanford High School students are taught about other countries, cultures, and encouraged to be open and more tolerant of others that are different from ourselves.

Our school has a long history of not only great academics but sports teams as well. I don’t know what school spirit was like in 1913, but I can tell you what it is like in 2012. It does not matter what our teams’ records are; it doesn’t matter if we win or lose. Terry Sanford High School students have always been and will always be full of Bulldog Pride!

The best thing about going to a one hundred-year-old high school is that we are having many activities and special events this year. The spirit for the school is in a large quantity because everyone expects this year to be fantastic, as do I!

Adding to the Legacy By Austin Griggs, 10th Grade

A lot of schools are newer than ours. Most of them are, actually. A lot of schools have newer stadiums, bigger lunch rooms, and nicer hallways. But what a lot of schools don’t have is one hundred years of history. That’s unique to Terry Sanford High School, and only part of what makes it a great place to go to school. There are so many memories in these halls, with each class making memories of their own, adding to the story of Terry Sanford. From the trophy cases, to the gym, to the graffiti written inside the lockers, my school is filled to the brim with character.

One obvious testament to Terry Sanford’s long existence is its trophy case. As a member of SGA, I recently had to clean the trophy case, and was truly astounded by the number and age of the trophies. There are easily three hundred trophies and awards in the case from various athletic teams and clubs. It’s a special feeling to hold a state championship trophy from fifty years ago, knowing that the hard work, dedication, and dreams of student-athletes just like me went into getting that trophy. I hope that I can add something to that case during my time at Terry Sanford.

My sister, Laura, is in this year’s graduating class, the 100th graduating class. I know that this must be a special feeling, and even though I envy her, I’m still very happy that she gets to be a part of something so unique and special. What a feeling it must be for her, to follow in the footsteps of so many before, and in such a significant year. When I graduate, I hope that I have added to the Terry Sanford story, and contributed memories like the past hundred years of students. I’m proud to be a Bulldog, and a student at this wonderful school.

A Family Tradition By Will Canady, 11th Grade

Attending Terry Sanford High School has become a tradition in my family. Three generations of Canadys have lived in Fayetteville and been educated at Terry Sanford High School, reaching back to when it was known to locals as Fayetteville High School. My grandfather, both of my parents, several older cousins, siblings and I have all experienced walking in its halls and learning within its walls. With the schools one hundredth anniversary rapidly approaching, it is safe to say that good old FTS has definitely made a positive impact in Cumberland County and in the lives of many students, teachers, staff, and administrators.

School spirit is as important as ever this year at school. The athletic teams know that extra pressure has been put upon them to perform well, and they show that in their games. School spirit and participation is at an all-time high, and a new energy is running through the students and staff. One hundred years can sure do a lot to help bring a school together and establish camaraderie amongst students and faculty.

Recently, I was speaking to a Terry Sanford teacher who had done some digging around in some old boxes and had discovered a very old yearbook and an even older diploma. It was pretty incredible seeing the life achievements of people who had passed through those halls long before I did, knowing that they went on to become leaders in this community or others.

In my opinion, FTS is the most important and influential high school located in the city of Fayetteville. This is not because we have a superiority complex, but because we have educated thousands of future leaders and our school is a cultural landmark in our city. I am proud to be a Bulldog. I can guarantee that my fellow students are, too.

Historical Impact By Brynne Burlingame, 11th Grade

In my family, we have a love for Fayetteville and it’s history. My mother knows much of Fayetteville’s history, from simple trivia, such as how Babe Ruth hit his first home run here, to great stories like that of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald. Of course, this meant that the Centennial Year of Terry Sanford High School was more than an anniversary to us; it signified the official induction of Terry Sanford into the history of Fayetteville.

One of the most surprising historical facts I discovered about Terry Sanford was that the school is even older than Fort Bragg; the school outdates the base by five years. In a military town like Fayetteville, it is hard for residents to imagine the city without its martial partner. Its influence is especially evident within Terry Sanford, with our strong JROTC Program and patriotic spirit. Many students have a parent in the military, and therefore many students arrive from different military bases around the world. However, this works in the opposite direction as well; many students leave to go to places like Texas and Germany. As a result, our student body has a diversity that is difficult for other high schools to achieve. Our student body is always changing, and in spite of the changes (or perhaps because of them) both the students and teachers of Terry Sanford have formed a tightly knit community. This is evident in the smooth interactions between students, teachers, and other personnel in the school. Together, we have made multiple clubs dedicated to things such as helping the environment, creating music, appreciating foreign culture, supporting other students in their athletic endeavors and supporting political parties. Together, we have made a community that produces great people. This year signifies the entry of these great people into history. This year signifies the entry of a strong community entering the history of a strong city.

Go Bulldogs! By Kristopher McMurray, 11th Grade

Terry Sanford High School, formerly known as Fayetteville High School, is celebrating its one hundred year anniversary. How cool would it be to be able to say that the school you are going to is one hundred years old? Well, I can. Who can say that at least one of your grandparents has gone to the school you go to? I can. Who can say that your parents and siblings have gone to the same school you have? I can. I can’t say this for everyone at Terry Sanford, but I’m proud to go to Terry Sanford High School.

Attending Terry Sanford is exciting because you get to see different things every day. My freshman year, I discovered that in my World History class, the ceiling tiles are painted different flags from different nations. My sophomore year, I discovered that in one of the storage rooms underneath the stadium there are boxes and boxes of trophies and plaques from when Fayetteville High existed and won championships.

Walking the halls is as exciting to me as attending a Friday night football game, or a boys’ soccer game when they play a rival school. This is because of all the school spirit. Most schools have to have spirit day; every day at Terry Sanford is spirit day. Not a single day goes by where there aren’t at least a hundred students are wearing a “FTS Bulldogs” shirt or dressing up for the game that they play in, no matter the sport. I’m certain that Terry Sanford has to have to most supportive students of their school. Students are not ashamed to say where they go and will go to almost any extent to show support for their school. I’ve seen everything from red and blue hair at a football game to a giant banner at a soccer game.

If only everyone knew what it was like to attend Terry Sanford, they might show more respect to the school and maybe the students at other schools would appreciate their schools more. I’m not saying that Terry Sanford is the best school ever; however I’m saying it is one of the best. I’m absolutely thrilled to attend Terry Sanford and I, personally, would not want to attend any other high school in the county.