The PanthersCarver-Hill High School
The Carver-Hill School began in 1915 and was a segregated school for African-American children. The school was created by Julius Rosenwald, a philanthropist who set up well funded schools for segregated schools meant for African-American children. The school became known as the Carver School, after George Washington Carver, and then became the Carver-Hill School after the Reverend Edward Hill, who fought for well funded schools for African-American schoolchildren.
The school officially opened its doors as the Carver-Hill School in 1954 and serviced schoolchildren from kindergarten to high school. Up until 1962, every black high school student, seventh through twelfth grades, in the county had to attend Carver-Hill school. When the school opened it had 12 classrooms, 18 teachers, a gym and auditorium. “It was hands-on. The teachers were hands-on. They’d push and push you. I don’t think I’d be where I am or what I am today if it wasn’t for those teachers”, are a common statements made by many Carver-Hill School students.
The school was able to educate black schoolchildren during a time when schools segregated for African-American schoolchildren were abysmal. It performed this task until Okaloosa County fully desegregated their schooling system in the 1968-1969 school year.
The city honors the history and mission of this school with the conversion of the school into the Carver-Hill Museum. The museum documents the history of this school with several exhibits and memorial dedications. Interestingly, many of the former students of this school usually volunteer at the museum.
Carver-Hill High School was named in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver and Reverend Edward Hill.
Reverend Dwight Dewitt Baggett and Mrs. Novella Sylvania Lee Baggett
Two students, after completing college returned to teach at Carver-Hill School. Many of them can help give narratives of the times they lived in and how the school helped the community.