Central High School, formally Lowndes County Training School, was founded in 1913 in the heart of Alabama's Black Belt in the center of Lowndes County. There arose in the minds of some of our energetic leaders, the necessity for a better school for African-American boys and girls. The school was formed from a consolidation of three grammar schools: The Charity Industrial School, Gordonville Grammar School and Mosses School. The original board of trustees consisted of Mr. Bob Chisolm, Mr. Will Carner, Mr. John Paige, Mr. Robert McCord, and Mr. John Pugh.
This group of concerned and energetic men went to the late Judge J.C. Woods and Superintendent H.K. Williamson for approval. Their plan to build a school providing more than the primary grades was readily accepted. Mr. and Mrs. Robert McCord consented to sell the board seven acres of land, presently the site of Central Elementary School.
It was an interesting story how the materials were secured. All of the people of the community were very cooperative. Men made long trips in wagons to Letohatchee for the materials. A portion of the funds for the materials was raised in the local community and the state matched this fund two to one. From these materials was constructed a two story frame building. This building contained five rooms for instruction. Mrs. Mary F. Edwards served as first principal, and then came Mr. S.T. Wilson as principal. Under his administration the vocational department and teacher living quarters were added to the school. Upon the resignation of Mr. Wilson, Mr. C.P. Everett, the vocational agriculture teacher, was promoted to principal. During his administration the vocational building was renovated. The teacher living quarters was destroyed by fire and rebuilt the following year. Because of failing health, Mr. Everette offered his resignation in 1937. His unexpired term was carried out by Mr. L. R. Gesham.
In 1938, Mr. Wayman R. F. Grant became principal. During his administration, through the N.Y.A., an elementary building was erected. After Mr. Grant was called into the armed service, Mr. James Jenkins was appointed principal. He carried out the unfinished term and an additional year. During his administration the vocational building was destroyed by fire.
In 1944, Dr. R.R. Pierce became principal. Seeing the need for renovating or replacing the administration building, Mr. Pierce launched a drive to assist in rebuilding the Agriculture building and to replace the administration building which was condemned. Before the drive was completed, fire destroyed the administration building.
Under Dr. Pierce’s administration forty acres of land was purchased. On this site, an athletic building and an athletic field was constructed. A new annex was added in 1963, which housed the science department, home economics department, and two general classrooms. This was constructed at an approximate cost of $75,000. In 1963, the school served twenty or more communities.
Later, a complete new high school plant was under construction at a cost of well over a half million dollars. This structure was used for grades seven through twelve, including courses in agriculture, home economics, commerce, reading laboratory, and a complete science laboratory. Dr. R.R. Pierce was succeeded by Mr. Walter Sellers in 1975, Mr. Johnny Stanford in 1990, Mr. William Walker in 1992, Mr. Franklin Perry in 1995, and Mrs. Leola Bell in 1998. Under the leadership of Mrs. Bell, one hundred percent of the Class of 2003 graduated.
Mr. A.C. Foster assumed the role of principal of Central High School in August 2003. During the 2003-2004 school years, a major renovation project was undertaken at Central High School. Central heating and air replaced the coal heating system, new seating was constructed on the football field and the main entrance was remodeled on the exterior. New columns and floor tile were placed in both front entrance interiors. The cafeteria was completely remodeled to include new lighting, flooring, paint scheme, and a glassed in cafeteria line. The ceilings were lowered and the walls were painted throughout. New exterior doors and classroom doors were installed. The library has received new carpeting, shelving, and the ceiling was lowered. A distance learning lab was constructed enabling Central High School to render and receive instruction to and from other educational institutions and school systems. Beginning in the 2003-2004 Central High School became a member of the National Honor Society and to date is the only public high school in Alabama’s Blackbelt to be affiliated with the national organization. The class of 2004 was the first class to be required to pass five parts of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam and ninety percent of the students passed all parts and graduated. Central High School has been recognized by the Southern Governors Association as a rural school of choice. Central High School partnered with Wallace Community College to offer a dual enrollment program. This program allows students to earn college credit while still in high school. As a result of academic progress, Central High School was one of the few schools in Alabama's Black Belt to meet its Average Yearly Progress as required by the Alabama State Department of Education.
Mr. K.E. Fair assumed the role of principal of Central High School in the fall of 2005. During the 2005-2006 school year, Central High School received, for the first time in its history, accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
As of the fall of 2008, Ms. Peggy Grant assumed the leadership of Central High School as principal. Under her tenure, academics have had the highest priority at Central High. Students may choose to pursue an Advanced, Standard or Occupational diploma that can include a career technical endorsement. Students may also elect or pursue dual enrollment credit through Wallace Community College-Selma.