History of Lauderdale County High School
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 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.
Buildings On Our Campus
At first, the high school was housed in a two-story building (see first photo, above). This building was destroyed by fire in 1926 and was replaced by a modern one-story brick building (see middle photo, above) at a cost of $30,000, of which $17,000 was donated by the community. An elementary building (see last photo, above) was destroyed by fire in 1959 and was replaced by a modern structure. The currently standing high school building was built in 1958. The present campus has approximately fifty-two acres. It consists of two elementary buildings, a junior high building, a high school building, a science department building, an office and library complex, a cafeteria, band room, gym, and other athletic facilities. Completed in 2001, the prominent office and library complex contains the school's main office, a library media center for grades 7-12, and two English classrooms. The next addition was built in 2010 to accommodate our upper elementary students and includes a resource classroom, counselor's office, conference room, and a teacher's workroom. The newest building, opened in 2015, is home to our high school science department. It includes four classrooms, two large laboratories, and a teacher's workroom.
Classes and Leadership at LCHS
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 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), Eric Cornelius (2011-2020), and Casey Tate (2020-2022). Today, Lauderdale County High School is led by Principal Josh Jennings (2022-present) and Assistant Principals Amanda Mathis and Whitney Owens.
Notable Accomplishments of LCHS Students
Lauderdale County High School has had one student in its history score a perfect 36 on the ACT: Kerri Ezell from the Class of 1996. Kerri graduated from Mississippi State University with a 4.0 GPA 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 16 state championships for team sports...one in football (1974), one in track (1979), one in girls tennis (2023), and thirteen in girls basketball (1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016), which is a state record. 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. In 2023, Jillian Tanner and Molly Burchell won the doubles state championship for girls tennis.
Last update: June 2023
Written by Frieda Belew; Edited by Pam Tanner; Updated by Kimberly Jones and Krista Patterson