History of Model School

History of Model School


Taken from The Watters District Council for Historical Preservation at http://www.wattersdistrictcouncil.org/ and A Short History of The Model School

by Dr. Nevin Jones


Model School, under its present name, dates back to 1900 when the Georgia Legislature adopted a resolution to appropriate funds to build in each congressional district a model school. In addition to the basic tool subjects, home economics and industrial arts were to be taught in these schools.

The Rome Women's club decided to sponsor this school in the Seventh District and one of the outstanding citizens of the district, Mr. W. T. Watters, deeded to Floyd County a three acre tract of land near Shannon. It was here that the first Model School was built and it consisted of three buildings, a shop, a classroom building and a dormitory for boarding students who could come from any part of the district.

In the early 1920's when there was a statewide movement toward consolidation of small rural schools, the Model community was one of the first to recognize this need and immediately began to move in this direction.

In 1929, the school had outgrown its quarters that a $50,000 bond issue was voted to build a new facility. A building site was donated by Brighton Mills and a bigger and better Model School was built. The school continued to occupy this site until the beginning of the 1974-75 school term. There was a short interruption in the fall of 1938 when a fire destroyed the building. The building was immediately replaced and classes resumed in the new building in September 1940. 

Until the late 1960's Model School operated as a combination elementary - high school, serving students in grades 1-12. In the late 1960's the elementary and high school grades were administratively separated, the elementary grades serving students in grades 1-8 and the high school grades 9-12. 

The high school has continued to grow in student population over the years. This has been partially due to growth in the community and partially as a result of the transfer of high school students from other attendance areas. In the late 1950's all high school students from the Celanese area were transferred to Model and in the mid-1960's, high school students from the Johnson area were transferred to Model. As a result, the enrollment in the high school grades has increased from approximately 150 in 1938-39 to 677 in 1973-74. 

Recognizing the great need for expanded and more modern facilities in several of the county's schools, the citizens of Floyd County approved a bond issue to build new facilities in 1971. As a result, the next modern structure was completed in 1974. Located on a forty acre tract of land purchased from the Homer Davis estate. 

Beginning with the 1995-96 school year, grades 6-8 were administratively separated from the high school, since these grades had been officially accredited as a middle school. Dr. Don Choate, a Model School graduate, was named the first principal of Model Middle School.

In the late 1900’s, the Board purchased additional property adjoining the elementary and high school campuses from the Davis estate for construction of a middle school facility. A beautiful new middle school facility was completed in the spring of 2002. Middle School (grades 6-8) occupied the new facility at the beginning of the 2002-2003 school year. Mr. Smith Lucas was the first principal in the new facility and Mr. Steve Turrentine and Mrs. Julie Dees were named as the assistant principals.

The Model School has a long and illustrious history.  If the past is prophetic of the future, it will continue to serve the community as a "model" school.