Callaghan Elementary School History"Welcome to the Greatest School in the Universe"

The 1964-65 school year marked the beginning of the new Callaghan Elementary School. Students from Callaghan, Hunter, Boys’ Home and Dunlap schools entered a new 14-classroom building constructed at a cost of $342,900. An open house was observed on November 1, 1964.

Mr. R. Lynn Graham, who had been the principal at Dunlap School since 1948, was the first principal of the new school. In that first year, Mr. Graham welcomed 416 students in grades 1-7. A multipurpose room was used as a cafeteria as well as for physical education activities and school programs.

In 1970, four additional classrooms were added to the building. Kindergarten classes were started during the 1975-76 school year. In that same year, the gymnasium building was completed. At the close of the 1977-78 school year, Mr. Graham retired and Mr. David C. Peters became the principal.

During the 1978-79 school year a Student Cooperative Association (SCA) was organized, red and white were selected as the official school colors, and a Constitution was written and adopted by the student body.

At the beginning of the 1982-83 school year the school systems of Alleghany County and Clifton Forge merged to form the Alleghany Highlands School Division. Callaghan seventh graders of that year became part of the first class of the Clifton Middle School for the 1983-84 school year.

In June 1988, Mr. Peters completed his tenth year as principal. He moved to another position in the school division and then retired in 1999. Mr. Paul D. Linkenhoker became the third principal of the school and served for five years until he was promoted to the Alleghany Highlands Public Schools Central Office.

On May 17, 1993, the Alleghany Highlands School Board named the Callaghan gym the R. Lynn Gymnasium in honor of Mr. Graham for his educational guidance, leadership, and service. On March 26, 1995, a gym Dedication Ceremony and Open House for the community was held. Approximately 200 attended to honor Mr. Graham.

In July 1993, Mrs. Nancy M. Moga, former principal of Boiling Spring Elementary School, became principal. During July 1993, Callaghan hosted the first elementary summer school for the entire Alleghany Highlands. An average of 100 students attended this 15-day morning program. In June 1995, Mrs. Daisy Hartman, Secretary for 42 years at Dunlap and Callaghan schools, retired. A community reception in honor of her years of service was held in October 1995.

Technology entered our school to enhance learning in ways in the fall of 1996: a new Computer Lab with 25 stations, a direct connection to the Internet in each classroom, and an automated library book check out system.

Mr. Graham, our first principal, died March 7, 1998. An apple tree was planted in his memory in our budding orchard on May 11, 1998. The orchard was started on May 19, 1997, with trees planted in honor of: Deputy Todd Frye, DARE Officer; in memory of Pauline B. Graham, Mr. Graham’s wife; and in memory of Archie L. Massie, Mrs. Moga’s father.

A TV and VCR were mounted in each classroom in 1998 to assist in computer instruction. The school parking lot was paved and marked with lines July 1998. In the Fall of 1998, staff members wrote a school pledge. Students first said the Pledge on October 21, 1998. It is:

I pledge to try. (Point thumb up on right hand.)
I will reach for the sky. (Point index finger up, also.)
I will listen, learn, and apply. (Now point last three fingers up and smile)

The playground basketball court was marked with court lines in August 2000. July 1, 2001 our school system once again became the Alleghany County Public Schools. The former city of Clifton Forge became a town within Alleghany County at this time. Two new schools, Mountain View Elementary and Clifton Middle, opened on September 4, 2001, and grades 6-7 from Callaghan enrolled at the new Clifton Middle School.

Callaghan currently serves a school population of approximately 225 students in grades PreK-5.  In addition to a quality regular program, the school offers special programs to disabled and gifted students and to the extent possible, all children are educated together.  Callaghan Elementary is committed to the best for the education and development of children.

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