Breaking up was hard to do in Camden (Part III)

A consolidated Camden County High had formed in Woodbine in 1945. A year later, the experiment was over.

Thanks to an increased presence on the Camden board of education by members from Kingsland and St. Marys and some unsigned board minutes and an unlikely quorum, Camden was split. Kingsland and St. Marys split off into their own consolidated high school, South Camden, while Woodbine retained the Camden County name.

And then everyone lived peacefully … for 2.5 years.

Continue reading “Breaking up was hard to do in Camden (Part III)”

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Breaking up was hard to do in Camden (Part II)

In September 1945, the three high schools of Camden County – North Camden, St. Marys and Kingsland – came together as a single high school.

The idea of one high school sounded good to school officials because all three had been plagued with small attendance and in the case of St. Marys, no real building because of a 1943 fire. Better course offerings were seen at Camden County High, which was located at Woodbine in a building that had been housing elementary students.

Almost immediately, St. Marys and Kingsland began to believe they had made a terrible mistake.

Continue reading “Breaking up was hard to do in Camden (Part II)”

Breaking up was hard to do in Camden (Part I)

This will be a tale in multiple parts.

The point of school consolidations is to bring schools together. To combine resources, perhaps to lose an outmoded building with a declining student population.

Consolidations usually take.

Lowndes County High opened in 1959, joining together Clyattville, Lake Park, Naylor and part of Pine Grove. In 1966, it consolidated further with the addition of Hahira. Lowndes has flirted with a new high school, but has held fast for more than 50 years.

North Habersham and South Habersham combined in 1970. They are seemingly contently wedded to one another.

Not all consolidations take. Duluth and Norcross were joined for a single school year, 1957-58 as West Gwinnett, before Duluth demanded to be set free. Greene-Taliaferro, Mitchell-Baker and Tri-County all joined and split.

Those decisions are generally final. Authorities involved realized that one situation or the other was best for their student populations.

But in one county school system, that wasn’t it. They were together, then they were not. Then they were together again.

This is Camden County.

Camden is the only known county school system in Georgia to have consolidated, broken up, then consolidated again.

Continue reading “Breaking up was hard to do in Camden (Part I)”