Students: Shellhorn was ‘best school’
Published 8:03 pm Monday, June 16, 2014
Lewis Fannin has a master’s degree, but feels he learned more inside the walls of Shellhorn School than anywhere else.
The Shellhorn School, located on Pike Co. Road 1101, closed up shop in 1992 following more than 100 years of molding the minds of students in northwestern Pike County. Fannin attended the school from first grade through ninth and remembers his time there fondly.
“That place was the best school I ever attended,” Fannin said. “I learned more from those great teachers than I did in high school and college. It was a great school and had some of the finest group of teachers that have ever been together under one roof.”
The school building is boarded up, but at one time school children of all ages roamed the campus. The school housed students from first through ninth grades, and sponsored a baseball and basketball team under the guidance of Principal Earl Fleming.
Former student William Dendy remembers when Fleming arrived.
“We had a guy before him that we really didn’t like playing for,” Dendy said. “We played for the love of the game. But we lit up like a Christmas tree when Mr. Fleming came. He was like our Bear Bryant, because we all respected him so much.”
Fannin taught at the college level as an adjunct professor and said the education he received at Shellhorn was better than many universities provide today.
“Thanks to great teachers like Ann Hook, Lois Farmer, Betty Sue Hussey, Patsy Lucas, Dorothy Green, Ora Lee Park, Ann Thompson and Mr. Fleming, we were not only taught school subject, but also manners,” Fannin said. “In my opinion, a sixth-grader at Shellhorn knew how to read, write and comprehend better than a lot of college graduates these days.”
While many of the teachers have passed away, Fannin says he still bumps in to a few of them, along with former classmates, from time to time. He remembers those years as a young boy at Shellhorn as “some of the best times of my life.”
“Every class was like having a mother in them,” Dendy said. “All of the teachers wanted you to do good, and helped you. We didn’t like going to school then, but having good folks teaching you made it all the easier. It sure was a good time.”