Letters to the editor for Sept 16, 2020
‘Dear Old Rustburg High’
Reference the “Forum,” editorial page for the July 27 edition of The News & Advance. In particular, note “Find a Way to Preserve Our ‘Red Devil Relic.” by beloved Tony E. Mitchell. This highly dedicated teacher taught one of our children at Lynchburg (now Liberty) Academy. That was in the days when learning — because of effective teaching — was the order of the day as opposed to entertaining/pacifying children/students.
I am a graduate of Rustburg High School, class of 1949. J. Rhea Gardner, a respected and highly appreciated educational devotee, was principal then. The school “harvested” learning as opposed to persons with diplomas. There were 21 graduates from the class of 49. The prevailing spirit on graduation night was tears of sadness for having to leave “Dear Old Rustburg High” Eight of those graduates are surviving today.
There was a spirit in that installation that was sufficient to follow those graduates around this world. The leading ingredient in that spirit was discipline. My personal testimony is extended — not to boast but to give witness for having reaped ingredients of character and duty to carry me to serve our nation on three continents — two times each.
Teachers with the caliber of Tony Mitchell were many of the foundational building blocks that motivate loyal, dedicated citizens to higher altitudes in life. Before we relocated to Florida, we lived in the New London portion of Campbell County, of which we are natives. Every time we would drive by “Dear Old Rustburg High,” located on US 501 and Virginia 24, in Rustburg — I in particular since my wife graduated from Altavista High, opened the same thought as did Tony Mitchell: “We hope its spirit and it remain a long time!”
With fresh memories.
LESTER AND JEAN TANNER
Vero Beach, FL
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