North Lenoir High School
In 1964 the seven all-white county schools consolidated. The three schools north of the Neuse River -- Contentnea School, La Grange School and Wheat Swamp School -- merged. Contentnea and La Grange were converted into first through eighth grade schools, and Wheat Swamp became the site of the newly-formed North Lenoir High School. Wheat Swamp was selected as the site of the high school because of its central location. Students who had attended Wheat Swamp were split between Contentnea and La Grange with U.S. 258 as a boundary. The name North Lenoir was selected by patron suggestions, and the Lenoir County Board of Education officially named the school in June 1964. The school opened Aug. 28, 1964 with an orientation and classes began three days later with just under 700 students enrolled. The school offered over 50 courses, far more than the pre-consolidated schools were capable of providing. In 1965, the school was forced to expand and added two mobile classrooms as a temporary solution. Eight classrooms were added the following year, but the school would be forced to continue to add mobile classrooms to make space as enrollment increased and integration occurred. In 1977, construction added over 60,000 square feet of instructional space. This allowed for a new cafeteria and vocational space, as well as more classrooms. After integration in 1970, the high school housed 10th through 12th grades, sending ninth-graders to new junior high schools. In 1981, North Lenoir became the home for ninth graders again. In 1987, additions to the front of the school changed the facade from that of the former Wheat Swamp School -- a two-story building -- to the one-story structure visible today. The new additions were built closer to Institute Road and the original building was torn down. Renovation on the gym took place in the late 1990s.
With over 900 students, North Lenoir is currently the largest school in Lenoir County. Although the school board has plans to eventually construct a new school -- in the distant future -- overcrowding is not currently a problem. In 2005, both the school's softball and baseball teams won the 2A state championship -- the first team state championships in North Lenoir history. The baseball team repeated in 2006 and were state runners up in 2007.
School Name: 1964-present -- North Lenoir High School.
Location: 2400 Institute Road, La Grange (former Wheat Swamp School).
Opened: 1964. Why created: Consolidation of the county schools north of the Neuse River.
Colors: Green, Black and White.
Mascot: 1970-present -- Hawks; 1964-1970 – Buccaneers.
Feeder Schools: 1964-1970 -- Contentnea School; 1964-1970 -- La Grange School; 1970-2009 -- Savannah Middle School; 1970-present -- Frink Middle School; 2009-present -- Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School.
Principals: Ramon Davis, 1964-1970; Clive Creech, 1970-1974; Hermon Carraway, 1974-1998; Doyle Brinson, 1998-2001; Dexter Sims, 2001-2007; Ian Solomon, 2007-2008; Brent Williams, 2008-2012, Gil Respess, 2102-present.
Current Enrollment: 881 (based on the first 10 days of school).
Famous Alumni: Samuel Shepherd played basketball in the 1992 Olympic Games for Venezuela in Barcelona against the Dream Team. Shepherd was inducted into the Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame this year.
Interesting fact: Only one building remains from the original Wheat Swamp School -- the former cafeteria is now used for Family and Consumer Science and Exceptional Children classes.