About Us » School History

School History

Our School's History

North Davidson Senior High School: Randall B. Freeman & F. Lynn Michael (1990)  Rhonda F. Michael & Lynn S. Fritts (2014)

North Davidson came into existence in 1952 as a result of the move toward consolidation sponsored by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction (NCSDPI). Paul Evans, superintendent of Davidson County Schools, and the school board felt that the northern section of the county would be most receptive to change.

Schools in Midway, Welcome, Arcadia, and Reedy Creek were consolidated with the hope of better facilities and additional educational opportunities, particularly in the area of business. The building was not completed until December of 1952. Some of the floors were not finished, interior doors were missing, and the cafeteria and heating system were not operational until Thanksgiving. Exterior landscaping and paving were not  completed until the following spring, leaving pupils to traverse boards over the mud.  In the spring the agriculture department, under the direction of C.R. Hill, planted Holly Bushes, Red Tips, and an abundance of Pin Oaks around the campus. The original plan for the front of the school included a circular drive with Pin Oaks surrounding the inner circle.

The transitional move was presided over by Mr. W.L. Graham, who would remain as the principal until 1960. Under his leadership the school would emphasize academics from Day One. The small faculty set about the task of creating a well-rounded curriculum in a somewhat sparse facility. Mrs. Alex Hinkle, drama teacher, presented a minstrel show on a bare stage with no curtains and wrote the words for the school song; and the school newspaper. The Round Table began publishing sponsored by Maggie Lou Barney and Barbara Everhart.

The first yearbook was produced in 1953 with the school colors of black and white selected by the first senior class on the suggestion of Francis Essic, the athletic director. The colors were to be alternated yearly on the cover.  In the early sixties, orange was added to the school colors and enhanced football and band uniforms. The name of the yearbook, NORDAHI, was suggested by Miss Barney after a senior class meeting failed to render a decision. The name has been the same for forty years. It was decided that no senior could purchase a class ring until after Christmas, and then, only if she or he had enough units for graduation. This practice would continue until the late seventies.  Jim Zimmerman, a member of the senior class of 1953, designed the school seal which was used until there was a revision by Chris Reeves in 1987.  Business education classes, unavailable at the three previous schools, became part of the curriculum as did home economics "manned" by Rosa Parker.  She would remain on the staff through 1976.

Driver Education was offered in 1953-54 under the direction of Carol Stanley, who also taught home economics. The car was provided by Davis Chevrolet.

The athletic department took a major step forward in 1958, because the community, the athletic boosters and Francis Essic, a history teacher and the first football coach provided a stadium.  Don Palmer joined the staff as an assistant coach. He became the head coach in 1960.  Pete Jones joined the department in 1962.

With Mr. Graham's retirement James O. Teal became principal in 1960. He was followed by Sam Houston  (1976- 1980) William P. Steed ( 1980 -1986) and Walter K. Broom (1986-1991). Dr. Phillip R. Rapp assumed the principal ship in the fall of 1991.

Another tradition, which had its beginning in that first year, was the Junior-Senior Banquet which was one of the highlights of the social year. The banquet was restricted to members of the student body until the mid- sixties when the transition was made to a Junior-Senior Prom, suggested by  faculty members Charles and Joanne Hales. This tradition continues today but is now held off-campus.

The fine arts component began slowly but has progressed steadily.  In 1958 the school band operated on a part-time basis under the direction of Mr. Caparelli, a member of the music department at Wake Forest College. Parents bought the first instruments. The music department developed and became separate under the guidance of Charles and Joanne Hales, but it grew slowly due to a lack of funds.  Art courses were offered in 1970 with addition of Mary Lou LeGette, the instructor.  Enrollment was  minimal so Mrs. LeGette also served as Dean of Girls until 1976 when a woman counselor, Brenda Roser, joined the staff. The art department grew dramatically throughout the 1980's under the direction of Donna Beck Michael.  In 1990, Ed Dubouq was hired for the continuation of art education in Art II.  Theater became another alternative as a separate unit from the regular art department, when Sherrie Kennedy became the instructor in 1987. Assisted by several faculty members, Mrs. Kennedy continues the tradition of various student productions each year.

The school became a three-year high school in 1967 with the construction of North Davidson Junior High. In 1990 North Davidson became a four-year high school again with the addition of the new building, which had been in the planning process for twenty years. The new facilities provided office space for the administration a new cafeteria, new labs for science, new rooms designed for vocational activity, and areas for work in business classes.

The addition of these facilities, necessitated change in the landscape of the school. The old metal buildings behind the school, built as a temporary measure and used from 1969 to 1972, were finally removed.  Trailers for the vocational department were transported to the front circular drive resulting in the elimination of the Pin Oaks planted by Hill's students in 1954.  North lost a distinctive architectural landmark when the circle was removed to become a student parking lot.

The ninth grade joined North Davidson in 1990 and the student population grew from approximately 850 pupils in three grade levels to 1, 200 pupils in four grades.  The faculty consisted of about 84 members as opposed to the former 65-member faculty.  

New athletic facilities were added, including a new gymnasium named after the legendary Pete Jones with a seating capacity of 2,000.  It replaced the old "cracker box" where Coach Jones  performed his magic for thirty years as the boys' basketball coach.  In August of 2007, the North Davidson football field was named Palmer Field in honor of Don Palmer.  In 2010 the Lady Knights Softball team, under the leadership of Coach Mike Lambros, won the state championship and was ranked #1 in the nation by USA Today.

We are proud of North Davidson High School and the academic and athletic traditions it has enjoyed for more than sixty years.  The faculty and administration welcome the challenges of each generation of students who will be proud to be Black Knights.
Professional Achievements of North Davidson High School Alumni:

Perry W. Tuttle   NDHS 1978  Clemson University   NFL- Buffalo Bills 1982-1983, Atlanta Falcons 1984, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1984      CFL  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 1986-1991      Hall of  Fame
Travis Williams       NDHS 1996   Navy   NFL- Green Bay Packers 1997-1999
Damane J. Duckett    NDHS 1999  East Carolina University  NFL- Carolina Panthers 2004, New York Giants 2004-2005, San Francisco 49ers 2006-2008, New England Patriots 2009         CFL- BC Lions  2009
Bryce Williams NDHS 2008-2011.  Marshall 2011-2012.  East Carolina 2012-2015.  2016 New England Patriots.  2016 LA Rams.  2017 Seattle Seahawks.  2017 Carolina Panthers.

Levi  B. Michael    NDHS (Graduated Early Jan 2009)     UNC-Chapel Hill   MLB- Minnesota Twins June 2011 1st  Round Draft Pick 30th Overall    FSL  Advanced High A  Ft. Myers Miracle 2011-2014,  Eastern League  AA Chattanooga Lookouts 2015-2017  2015 Winter Caribbean Ball  League Venezuela Zulia  AAA Rochester Redwings 2017 Released 2018 Picked up by NY Mets, Binghamton Rumble Ponies AA , Las Vegas 51's AAA   2018-2019  San Francisco Giants 2019- Retired 2021  2011 Pre Season All American
Tyler W. Hanover   NDHS 2008   Lousiana State University  MLB- Detroit Tigers June 2012 33rd Round  #1024,GCL Tigers Rookie 2012, NYPL Connecticut 2012 A+ , FSL Lakeland A+ 2013 , Eastern League 2014 Erie AA-,FSL Lakeland A+ 2015  Released 2016
Kelly W. Secrest  NDHS 2010   UNC Wilmington   MLB- New York Mets June 2014 10th Round #295,  NYPL Brooklyn A-, FSL  St. Lucie Mets A+ 2015-2016,2017 Binghamton Rumble Ponies AA, Las Vegas 51's AAA 2017, 2018-Present
Jordan Ramsey  NDHS 2011 UNCW  Previously drafted to Kansas City Royals-2011 and New York Yankees-2014 Drafted to Cinncinati Reds 7th round-2015 Rookie Affiliate: Billings Mustangs 2016 Midwest League Dayton Ohio Class A, Released 2016
Landon Lassiter NDHS 2012 UNC-Chapel Hill  MLB- 2015 21st Round Chicago Whitesox- Great Falls Voyagers,  2016 Kannapolis Intimidators, W.S. Dash Advanced A 2017, Released 2017
Clark Beeker NDHS 2011  Davidson College  MLB- 2015 33rd Round Minnesota Twins-  Elizabethton Twins 2015, Gulf Coast League Rookie 2016, Advanced High A Ft. Myers Miracle 2017, High A Cedar Rapids, Advanced High A Ft. Myers Miracle,  2018-Present
Austin Beck  NDHS 2017   MLB Oakland A's June 2017 1st Round Draft Pick 6th Overall   Minors- AZL  Athletics Rookie League, Beloit Snappers Class A 2018, 2021 Lansing Lugnuts A+
Josh Roberson NDHS 2014 UNCW  MLB 2017 Miami Marlins 12th Round, Present AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos 
EP Reece NDHS 2016 NC State  MLB 2019 Houston Astros 25th Round, Released 2021
Corey Joyce  NDHS 2016 NCCU  MLB 2019 Detroit Tigers 12th Round, Present AA Erie SeaWolves

David H. Mathis   NDHS  1992  Campbell University    PGA Tour Golfer   Turned Pro in 1997