Message from the Principal
Dear Parents and Students:
Welcome to the Cleveland High School website. On behalf of the faculty and staff, I would like to thank you for visiting our website and hope you will find this useful in your search for information about our school.
With the support of the Blount County Board of Education and Central Office Staff, we want to provide opportunities for our students to grow intellectually, academically, and athletically. We look forward to providing opportunities for our students to become active participants in our school and community. One of our goals is for every student to have a productive, responsible, and rewarding school year.
We recognize the importance of providing a safe learning environment, and our goal is to provide the safest learning environment possible for our students. We look forward to this school year, and please continue to visit our website for new information.
Cleveland High School History
The citizens of Cleveland have always shown an abiding interest in educating their children. During the early pioneer days, most children learned at their mother's knee. The very basic rudiments of the three "r's" were the extent of most children's education.
Among the first houses built in Cleveland, then known as Dry Creek Crossroads, was one for the school teacher, Mrs. Sarah Beavers. Loyd and Sarah Beavers had entered land in the area in 1855. Loyd Beavers also purchased land from John Anderton and it was on this parcel of land at the crossroads (intersection of highways 1, 231, and 160) that the first school building was erected. The Confederate census tells us Sarah Beavers was teaching school there before 1862. The school was primitive, built of pine logs and had a dirt floor. The cracks were not filled between the logs and it had no windows. In cool weather, a fire would be built on the ground in the center of the room and smoke could be seen seeping through the walls. Desks were built around the walls and benches were simple, backless slabs of wood with peg legs.
With the migration of new settlers, it became necessary to build a larger school. These new settlers brought the establishment of businesses and the settlement took the name of the store owner, John Blackwood, becoming known as Blackwood's Crossing. Another early school stood at the location of the present town hall and fire department. The post office called Anderton after early landowner John Anderton, was located a mile and a half away, but in the late 1880's moved to the crossroads. At this time, the area became known as Anderton. It is interesting to note that there were 70 white and 6 black schools in the county at this time. A teacher's salary was $17.52 a month. It is not known when the school moved to this site, but according to court records, M.D. and Nancy Mince donated land for the purpose of building a school at Anderton in 1886.
In 1905 the school moved to its present location. The community name had changed by this time. W. A. Ellis, an industrious supporter of President Grover Cleveland, had petitioned for the community name to be changed. Post Office archives show the name changed on January 9, 1890. The school building erected was an impressive two-story structure with a bell tower. Cleveland was one of the four largest schools in the county.
In 1925 this school was torn down and a new wooden school and auditorium were built on the site the high school occupies today. In 1939 wings were added to the rear and renovation enabled a lunchroom to be established by 1941. Some early principals of the school were W. Yancey Adams, Grover Williams, Saul J. Cox, Sam Ingram, John Wesley Ellis, E. A. Davis, J. L. Baswell, W. A. Morris, and J. P. Johnson.
Up until 1937, students wishing for a high school diploma had to travel to Blountsville or Oneonta to get a degree. During the 1936-37 school year, Cleveland took steps to become an accredited high school and in May 1937, five students received the first degrees from Cleveland. In 1949, a large brick building was erected for the Agricultural and Home Economics departments. The aging white building that was erected in 1925 was replaced in 1963. The modern brick building that was erected is still occupied today, with gym and classroom additions and lunchroom added in the 1960's. A separate elementary building was erected and more classrooms added in the late 60's and early 70's. A growing community necessitated another elementary building be added in 1997. Principals at Cleveland High School since the 1950's include, Eugene Self, Drew Collier, Everett King, Robert Harris, Gene Vinson, Bob Ellis, Ben A. Hays, Allen Hargett, Rodney Green, Denise Martin, Chris Lakey, and Brannon Smith.
Written by Jane Pass Longshore