Marion Co TOC
Graphics by Rhio
By: Mary Martin
(Page 448)The Flippin school has probably been in existence well over a hundred years. There have been 74 school districts in Marion County. Flippin is District No. 26.
"SIA will shine tonight, SIA will shine;There was a membership fee of twenty-five cents. The children sold candy, cookies, etc. to contribute to the cause. The older students gave group plays. Outstanding plays still remembered by former students were The Little Clodhopper and Deacon Dubbs.
Later the PTA, a state and national organization, took SIA's place. Flippin school has been active in it for many, many years. Before all the state and federal funds became available to buy library books, maps, globes, bulletin boards. clocks, etc., funds were raised by the PTA in various way to buy them.
In 1926 Mr. G. B. Keeter came to Flippin (from Bruno) to become the superintendent. At that time the first two years of high school accredited work was put on. The next year, 1927-28, three years of work was offered with a "D" rating. By this time Mtn. View school from up Fallen Ash Valley was coming to Flippin school. Some of the older boys living near Jimmies Creek were riding horses to school. So, the school board, Mr. Keeter, and some of the patrons could see the need of more and better buildings. Many hours were spent in discussions of where to build and how to finance the building. Finally, the decision was made to move it where the school now stands. Mr. and Mrs. Joe McCracken, better known as Joe and Winnie, donated the land.
Mr. E. L. Huddleston (Hudd) drew the plans for the building and they were approved by the State Board of Education.
Now for the financial part! The Board asked for a raise in millage from 12 mills to 18 mills. What an uproar among the townspeople!! They were really up in the air, so to speak, especially the store owners in town. They even went (Page 451 Top) so far as to bring suit. The Board won it. But at this time, Mr. Keeter and all the board members except Hudd had written out their resignations. Hudd, in his firm and forthright manner, told the others that the people of the district had voted for them as leaders and that he was going to stay with it. Before the meeting adjourned, the others had torn up their resignations and were ready to go on with their project.
The cost of the first building was about $40,000 plus donations of equipment and labor. There was no state or federal aid. Many school-minded people helped from the start by hauling rock, carrying lumber, nailing, helping cut rafters, etc. Before the building was completed, some of those who had been so drastically opposed were up there donating labor. Inside work did not stop at dark. Teenage boys and girls volunteered with any type work they could do in order to get the building finished in time for the fall term of school. By this time, eight months of school went straight through from September until April.
This new building had no inside plumbing. It had seven classrooms, a large study hall and a library. These rooms surrounded the gymnasium on the south, east, and west sides. The gym had a large stage on the south side and bleachers on the north side. The whole building was heated with wood. The stoves were huge. The first year in the new building showed that the school had grown to a "C" rating and offered four years of accredited work. Subjects offered included: Algebra, geometry, American and European history, Civics, Latin and English.
Another major improvement for the school was a school bus running the main road with children meeting the bus at the point nearest their homes. A large bus made with one continuous seat from front to back on either side and one called the "straddle board" down the center was the main, or "big" bus. For shorter routes, similarly made buses were made on the beds of pick-ups. These buses were individually owned. W. E. Rose owned the largest one. It is still well remembered that when funds were not available to keep the buses rolling, W. E. personally bore the expense until money was alloted for it.
This same year some of the pupils from the No. 1 district east of Flippin were walking to Flippin to high school and paying tuition, too. There had been quite a lot of controversy over their consolidation with Flippin. Some of the board members could not readily accept the possible advantages their children would have. After all, No. 1 was the first school in Marion County and the community had its own activities, some of which would be depleted. Finally, they accepted and school buses picked up all the children and brought them to Flippin.
The first graduating class from Flippin was in the spring of 1929. Six students graduated. They were: Eunicy Pierce, Elsie McCracken, Doyne Hurst, Clyde Estes, Murphy Mears and Robert (Doc) Pangle.
By the beginning of the term of 1929-30 a new elementary school building was ready to move into. It contained four large rooms and was the first building for which the district had obtained any state aid. The amount of aid was $1,500. This year Home Economics and Agri classes were added, but they were housed in the first building. The next buildings were the Community Building and the Ag!ri building, built through the NYA program.
In the forties two more rooms were added to the elementary building (Page 45 Top Photos: Flippin Cardinals in 1928-29. This team won the All District Championship three years in succession. Inez Henry, Pauline Marshall, GB Keeter (Coach), Mary Linck, Ester Mears, Eula Keeter, Zena Huddleston, Elsie McCracken and Artha Barnett & 1941 State Champions, Flippin High School Cardinals. G.B. Keeter (Coach), Versa Lea Hurst, Pauline Huddleston, Bonnie Burch, Twila Ruth Phillips, Johnnie Keeter, Betty Joe Butler, Beatrice Parnell, Nedra Lee Huddleston, Betty Lou Wooton, Bonnie Jean Parnell, Imogene Johnson, Ivon Burch and Jimmie Wilson) (Page 453 Top with restrooms in the basement. Then the lunch room and indoor plumbing were added and the Home Economics cottage was built where it now stands.
Mr. Keeter stayed with the school as superintendent for fifteen years. He had done much for the school and the community. He had seen the first graduating class of 1929 grow into graduating classes of twenty or more while he was there. After the depression hit and banks were closed, he stayed on. Often he took other work to help keep his family going. Sometimes the warrants that were issued to the teachers were sold at discount, used to pay taxes or kept two or three years before school money was available to pay off in cash. The teachers taught for $50.00 a month in warrants and until after WW II they were still teaching for less than $100.00 per month.
Basketball and baseball became the major sports. Mr. Keeter had coached each year. He had good teams, Especially worthy of mention were the girls' teams of 1928-29, 1929-30, 1932-33, 1933-34, 1940-41 and 1941-42 groups of Cardinals. And let's not forget the girls of 1944-45 who won four great trophies and entered the state AAU. The boys were named Bulldogs and won some trophies, too. They were great!
Interested patrons managed through those drastic depression years to support their youth. They washed (rubbed on a washboard and heated water in wash kettles) and patched clothes and sometimes toes went to school shining through worn-out tennis shoes. Teachers did not stop either; any worthwhile project for raising funds for the school was sponsored by the teachers.
Other schools consolidating with Flippin during the forties and fifties were Concord (part of district), Rea Valley, Hand Valley, Buffalo, Bird Cole, Fairview, Midway and Newton Flat. With this increase plus the families moving here to help build the Bull Shoals Dam, the faculty had to be increased to take care of the number of students and Flippin school received a "B" rating.
On a cold, windy, rainy night February 13, 1951, the first building was burned to the ground. A PTA meeting, with the third grade doing honors to a monthly program, had been held earlier that evening. Apparently the stoves had overheated. The present main building was built on the same foundation site. Then the gymnasium, with an approximate cost of $34,000, was built. State aid was available for both of these buildings. However, it did not nearly cover all expenses needed for refurnishing, modernizing, etc. Increased millage helped with this.
Succeeding G. B. Keeter as superintendent have been Guy Berry, James Holland, John Q. Adams, Exel Smith, W. E. Hayes, 0. H. Burns, K. K. Richardson, Kent Butler, Harry Morrow, Laverl Cheek and Wallace Sneed.
It was during K. K. Richardson's time as superintendent that the school recieved an "A" rating which it still has. He was with the school system for six years.
While Laverl Cheek was superintendent (1964-1972), two Federally funded programs became part of the curriculum. Headstart, a program designed for pre-school children from low income families, was started in the summer of 1965. Later, it became, and still is, a full school-term program. The Follow-Through program, a follow-up of Headstart, was started in 1969. Both programs have brought more parent involvement in the school. The supportive services, such as medical and dental care, psychological care, (Page 454) Top and social services, are noticable assets. These programs, plus access to factory work, brought in more families and more children. A four-room building was made to house Kindergarden through second grades.
Since Mr. Sneed has been superintendent, a lounge, an office and four more rooms have been added to the new building. This entire building now houses Kindergarden through third grades.
Let us not forget the long and tiring hours that school board members have put in "free gratis" for the betterment of the school and the oommunity through the years from 1895-1976. A special vote of appreciation should be given Mr. E. L. Huddleston, who served on the Flippin School Board for more than thirty years.
Let us also pay tribute to the many PTA officers who have served so faith fully through the years and, also, to the Room Mothers who have contributed time and refreshments for the little parties that helped to make school days more interesting and memorable for their children and others in their classes.