Although a year late because of the pandemic, the Class of 1971 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary as the first graduates of Patrick County High School August 20. The class was remembered as having all 176 members graduate June 4, 1971. Members of the class were recognized for providing leadership to determine school colors and mascot, yearbook and newspaper name, class ring design and organizing the first school dance (Homecoming for graduates of the five former high schools) since 1966 outside of Junior Senior Proms.
The class members have had many accomplishments and contributions to their respective communities over the years. Some were doctors, dentists, surgeons, medical professionals, business owners, contractors, educators, telecommunication specialists, bankers, elected officials and administrators among other professions. At the time, the 1971 Senior Class did not know or understand the part of history they were making for the County of Patrick. Over the last 50 years, members of the class have been honored at PCHS Homecoming and other school events.
Carolyn Inscore Choate composed a reminiscence of the 1970-71 school year that appropriately describes the feelings, confusion and eventual melding of the students as Cougars.
Five small schools came together for one brief year, we were all “healthy rivals” in sports but in that short year, we forged a bond, a band of seventeen and eighteen-year-olds who had never ventured far from their neighborhoods of Stuart, Hardin Reynolds/Critz, Ararat, Meadows of Dan, Woolwine.
As Juniors in our small classes, we had a say in a choice of names, colors and mascot for Patrick County Cougars, new school, big changes in our lives. We seemed overwhelmed at all the space in that big building, 180 days didn’t seem to go quick enough but it went by in a blink of an eye.
Now, we’re older, hopefully wiser, more appreciative of what we were part of, we were the first! We cherish the ones still with us and miss the ones who have gone on! A wonderful time last night, laughter, good food, good music and so grateful to be with people who were with us during one of the most formative years of our lives!