It was the first day of school in August of 1974, and everyone knew this school year would be like none other. Apprehension abounded as students from the three remaining Pike County high schools – Petersburg, Winslow and Otwell – reluctantly prepared to take the first steps toward unity.
The greatest uneasiness perhaps was among the senior class. After all, beginning at age five or six, they had started kindergarten with a relatively small group of kids and had remained with that group through the last day of their eleventh grade year. They knew each other’s names; they knew where each other lived. They were akin to family. Now, nine months before the Class of 1975’s high school graduation, the “powers that be” had thrown them all together and expected them to be classmates at the consolidated Pike Central High School.
But the apprehension of the Class of ’75 soon was replaced with new friendships and new experiences. The underclassmen experienced a similar transformation and, now, nearly 40 years later, Pike Central has graduated more than 4,500 seniors who are bound by their loyalty to the school and to the Pike County community.
Members of the Class of ’75 best exemplified this loyalty when, at their 35th class reunion, they started the Pike Central Alumni Scholarship Fund through the Pike County Community Foundation. Reflecting on those first strides in August 1974 that led the way for thousands of seniors to come, the Class of ’75 hopes that all graduates of Pike Central will unite in building this fund and thereby “give back to the community that enabled Pike Central alumni to take their first steps.”