I had a very interesting chat with Sam Treadaway the other day. A former principal of Mount Pleasant Middle School, he is preparing a lecture on the history of schools in this area.
He was describing how people identify very strongly with their local schools here, and how schools become social centers for the community.
Perhaps it is because we are located in a rural area that so many residents support athletics, appreciate the opportunities to celebrate the fine arts and take advantage of the facilities that schools offer.
Whatever the reason for this relationship, which Treadaway calls "unique," he says the history of Mount Pleasant schools is "a special thing."
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Here are some interesting facts I learned from Treadaway:
The first school in Cabarrus County was located here in the eastern part of the county, at St. John's Lutheran Church. In 1834, the town of Mount Pleasant opened two one-room schools: Tammany Hall on the north end of town, and South Boston at the south end of Main Street.
I also learned there has been a school located where the Mount Pleasant Middle School now stands since 1845.
Treadaway will share lots of interesting history like that when he gives a talk on the history of Mount Pleasant schools at the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society Museum next Sunday.
The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. and is free to museum members, teachers and students; admission is $5 for everyone else.
Treadaway hopes the program will become more conversation than lecture. He's sure folks there will know more than he about the history of our local schools and will share memories and stories.
He told me a little about "union schools," which predate busing.
They were real community schools, built within walking distance for the students, since there were no buses to transport them.
These small schools stood all over the eastern part of the county, and the changes that led to consolidation and increased influence on education from state and federal government are things Treadaway hopes to discuss.
Besides learning about the history of our local schools next weekend, there is also an opportunity to be entertained at Mount Pleasant High School.
The school's theater guild will present "Arsenic and Old Lace" on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the school's theater. Performances begin at 7 each evening. Admission is $5.
Featuring student actors Spencer Kiessling, Lainee Gibson, Katy Morris, Kelly Swanson and Kenan Durham, this comic play is the story of two sweet little old ladies who take it upon themselves to help sad people to a better life by poisoning them.
In the course of the play, their nephew discovers his aunts' murderous ways, a long-lost and rather sinister sibling returns home, and the sanity of the entire family is questioned.
As director Tony Villar describes it, "Hilarity ensues."