Pillars of History Project commemorates combination of Beaufort, Robert Smalls and St. Helena schools into modern-day Beaufort High School
By MIKE MCCOMBS
Several hundred people gathered Saturday, June 8 at Beaufort High School to celebrate the unveiling of the Pillars of History project.
The project, consisting of four informational and commemorative columns at Beaufort High, honors the 1971 formation of Beaufort High through the integration-driven consolidation of the old Beaufort High School (the Tidal Waves), Robert Smalls High (the Generals) and St. Helena School (the Eagles).
The project was the brainchild of longtime Beaufort High School track coach Herbert Glaze. Glaze began teaching at the school a year after integration in 1972 and has been there for 47 years.
“It was something I wanted to do from some time ago to let people see the significance and the history of how the three schools came together,” Glaze said.
Glaze said most students and faculty know little of the history of the three schools, including one teacher who has been at the school for 18 years ans told him she had no idea.
When integration came, the school board voted 4-3 to name the new school Beaufort High School, taking the name of the all-white school. They also voted to have the school adopt the green and white colors of Robert Smalls and the Eagles mascot of St. Helena.
Numerous faculty, staff and students from the three schools attended the ceremony.
“Many came to speak and reflected on what happened. It was very positive and very good,” Glaze said. “I think it was pretty successful. People are talking about it in a positive way. The pillars reflect the formation of the school, and I hope it is something that will stay there.
“Beaufort High is one of the unique schools in the state because of the way they came together to form one.”
Top: Three former school principals light their candles to form one unified Beaufort High School during the Pillars of History ceremony Saturday at BHS. From left are Jonathan Francis, Jr. representing his father who was principal at St. Helena School; Ellen Richardson of Robert Smalls High; Billy Dunford, principal of Beaufort High and Charity Summer, current principal of Beaufort High. Photo by Bob Sofaly
Center: Herbert Glaze unveils one of the Pillars of History during the Pillars of History ceremony on Saturday, June 8 at Beaufort High School. Seated at left is former BHS principal Jonathan Francis Jr. who’s father was principal at St. Helena School, which integrated with two other schools to form the current Beaufort High School. Photo by Bob Sofaly