High School

The Great and Legendary
Washington High School
The Blue and Red Falcons

Hall of Fame Inductees
Washington High School
Est. 1962-1970

The former High School is now
Washington Center

Alma Mater

Washington, dear Washington
the pride of all our hearts
Washington dear Washington
to thee we'll never part
we will love and cherished thee
as long as we shall live
so, give three cheers
to our dear school,
dear Wash-ing-ton.

Washington High School History

Originally called "Happy Hearts" elementary and high school, it was later officially named Washington Elementary and High. In 1971, the building was abandoned as an elementary and high school. For many years afterwards it served as a school providing special education services for handicapped children. The building is currently unoccupied.

The first to graduate was the 1961-1962 class and the last to graduate was the 1968-1969 class. In January of 1970 students from Washington would integrate into other schools in Greenville County as would many of the Teachers and Administrators. Mr. J. Wilbur Walker was the Principal and Mr. Jesse C. Beck would serve as Assistant Principal.

Washington was the last of the 17 school projects to be completed in 1961. It replaced the old Brutontown School and was built to take some of the load from Sterling High School. Some students came from nearby Lincoln High School. Originally Washington had 36 teaching stations, including 14 elementary and 22 high school classrooms. It was planned for 1020 students. In addition to the traditional studies, the school provided classes for drafting/ welding, industrial arts and auto mechanics. Later, additions would be made to the school to expand the elementary and high school areas and completion of new sections to accommodate classrooms for music, cosmetology and electronics. Long after the school closed, many continued to achieve much in life built on the education and skills taught and learned at Washington. Also, the school had an Adult Education Program designed to help adults take their places adequately in a complex society.

The school served the surrounding communities and the people of the communities took even greater pride in serving and supporting Washington High School. A PTA was quickly organized to promote child welfare, to raise the standards of living, to secure legislation and to develop intelligent co-operation between parents and teachers in meeting the children's needs. Organizers moved quickly to adopt the School Alma Mater, to select a Mascot and to choose the original school colors as red and gray. Later the school would use a combination of red, white and blue. Another purpose for the building was for it to be designed in anticipation of use as a community center. Years later it was briefly used as a summer recreational facility. During the early years parents made some of the Cheerleading and Majorette uniforms and helped in other ways to outfit the Band until uniforms could be purchased.

Many teachers and students have gone on to many noteworthy accomplishments after Washington officially closed. While at Washington, Eddie Jones served as coach, teacher, athletic director and department head. Coach Jones was inducted into the First Piedmont Association Athletic Hall Of Fame in 1992. He would become the first head football coach at Eastside High School and later would serve as both Assistant Principal and Principal. Throughout his career in the Greenville County School District he would serve as a motivator and demonstrate a degree of caring and understanding of the problems many of the students faced because of their environment and economic conditions. In 1989 he was nominated for the William B. Harley Administrator of the Year for Outstanding School Administrators.

Reverend James W. Johnson taught English and Social Studies at Washington High School in addition to being Director of Student Activities, Advisor to the Student Council, and Chairman of Homecoming parade and activities. Reverend Johnson retired as a Guidance Counselor from the Greenville County School District with 30 years of service. He was given Special Recognition by the PAA in 2009 for his achievements and outstanding service.

Dr. Margaree Crosby taught elementary school at Washington and her adult years have been filled with achievements. She was a full professor of reading and language arts at Clemson University. She received the first South Carolina Women of Achievement award given by the Miss South Carolina Pageant and she was the first female of any race to be appointed to the Greenville Hospital Board of Trustees. Dr. Crosby was a pioneer of the civil rights era. She was one of several students whose protest led to the integration of the Greenville County Public Library System.

In its brief existence Washington would excel in several sports. Boys completed in Football, Baseball, Basketball and Track and the girls competed and participated in Basketball, Track and Cheerleading. The 1968-69 Falcons would reach the pinnacle of success by winning the State 1A Football Championship with victories over schools in North Carolina and South Carolina, Also, two members of the Mighty Falcons Football Team, Roy Kirksey and Willie Belton attended Maryland State University and later played in the National Football League. The Girls Basketball Team captured the 1965-1966 District AA Championship.

From the beginning until the final days of operation Washington had Great Marching and Concert Bands under the direction of Mr. Cleodis Brown. The band participated in several Christmas and Homecoming Parades. One member of the band, James Thompson (class of 67-68), was one of three students from South Carolina invited to participate in the Macy's Day Parade held annually in New York.

If you happen to drive past Washington High School on a cool autumn Friday night near the vicinity of Poinsett HIghway, Rutherford Road, or Pleasantburg, and you look and listen closely, you might see the bright lights and hear:

Oh Red and Blue you look so good to me!

Fly Strong, Fly High, Fly Proud, MIGHTY FALCONS!

The Marching Falcons