History of Lauderdale County High School
Prepared by Frieda Belew
Revised by Pam Tanner, Kimberly Jones, and Krista Patterson
In the summer of 1907, the Alabama State Legislature passed an act providing for a high school in each county, provided the people of the county construct a building, furnish the equipment and provide five acres of land to the state within a year. At this time, thirty-one schools were established across the state, and the town of Rogersville was chosen as the site for Lauderdale County. By virtue of being first, our school has proudly worn the county's name.
Lauderdale County High School was located at Rogersville in 1912 during the administration of General Emmit O'Neal. For several years prior to this time, a high school had existed at Rogersville but was not accredited.
The Rogersville community has shown interest in public education dating back to the early 1800's. The oldest school of which there is a record was started by a Mrs. Joshua James, Jr., daughter-in-law of one of the first Baptist preachers in the community. The daughter of Mr. James taught in this school from 1845 to 1866, The school was located on Lambs Ferry Road. It was a one room log building. The school term was three months, and the teacher's salary was $23.00 a month.
From this humble beginning, the school system grew. At first the high school was housed in a two-story building. This building was destroyed by fire in 1926 and was replaced by a modern one-story brick building at a cost of $30,000, of which $17,000 was donated by the community. The first graduating class in 1913 consisted of three members. In 1931 there were thirty-four members; by 1949 there were sixty-three graduates. Enrollment peaked in the 1970's with senior classes numbering near or over 100 students.
The elementary building was destroyed by fire in 1959 and was replaced by a modern structure. The present high school building was built in 1958.
The present campus has approximately fifty-two acres. It consists of an elementary building, a junior high building, a high school building, a cafeteria, band room, gym and athletic facilities. Completed in 2001, the prominent Office/Library Complex contains the school's main office, a library media center for Grades 7-12 and two English classrooms. The newest addition was built in 2010 to accommodate our elementary students in Grades four through six and provides grade-level access to a resource classroom, counselor office, conference room and a teacher workroom.
The principals of Lauderdale County High School since its establishment have been as follows: W.L Davis 1912-15, Earl Hodson 1915-18, L.C. Tate 1918-19, E.R. Stroker 1919-22, L.L. Leftwitch 1922-25, M.C. Sandlin 1925-35, J.R. Roberson 1935, C.P. Nelson 1935-36, J.L. Couch 1936-41, J.L. Clay 1941-56, W.C. Hannah 1956-66, E.F. Cagle 1966-77, Gerald Perry 1977-78, James Cooper Johnson 1978-93, Kenneth Ray Hester, 1993-2001, Dr. Donna Henry 2001-02, Jay Stejskal 2002-11, and Eric Cornelius 2011-present. At the present time, Lauderdale County High School is headed by Mr. Eric Cornelius, Principal; Ms. Sabrena McFall, Assistant Principal; and Mrs. Sherri Matthews, Assistant Principal.
Lauderdale County High School has had one student in its history to score a perfect 36 on the ACT. That student was Kerri Ezell from the Class of 1996. She is also the only student from the Lauderdale County school district to attain a perfect score. Kerri graduated from Mississippi State University with a 4.0 grade point and was named a Goldwater Scholar.
Our Drama Club received the following awards at the State Thespian Festival at Pelham High School in Birmingham on February 25, 2007: 1st place for Group Pantomime - Andrew Maxwell, Courtney Tully, and Andrew Crawford; 1st place for Lightning Design - Courtney Workman; and 3rd place for Playwriting: Kasmine Roach. On December 5, 2008, sophomore Reed Dudley won first place in the State Trumbauer Theater competition held at Troy University in the Female Contemporary Comedic category with the Gone with the Wind monologue she originally performed in the Drama Club's production of Hurray for Hollywood in 2006 when she was just a 7th grader.
The athletic program at LCHS has been exceptional. The school has earned 15 state championships for team sports...one in football (1974), one in track (1979) and thirteen in girls basketball (1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016), which is a state record. Records for the University of North Alabama indicate that the school then known as Florence Normal College once played football against Lauderdale County High School in the early part of the century, and LCHS won over the college team. In the 1940's during World War II, many young men were fighting, so the school played six-man football. Our golf team was runner-up in the state playoffs in 2012. Pato Lean, a foreign exchange student enrolled at LCHS, won the individual state championship for boys tennis (1A-3A) in 2003. In 2016, senior Devonta Fuqua set a state record for Class 3A shot put, throwing 48 feet, 4.75 inches.
Last update: May 2016