George Washington Elementary / High School Museum
On January 21, 2008, the grand opening celebration for the George Washington Elementary / High School Museum, located at 303 Peters Street, was held. The museum was established to ensure awareness about the legacy of George Washington Elementary / High School, and sustain awareness for future generations about the school's rich heritage. Principal Emile Twine wanted the community to know the importance and significance of the WHS Museum. It is a legacy of historical milestones that clearly demonstrate a proud legacy for the entire Port St. Joe Community.
The museum's pictures depict a proud heritage that is traceable to individual success that took hard work, personal drive, discipline, and a "can do" attitude. The African Proverb is clearly depicted in the museum - "...it takes a village." The museum is an example of a village's collective contributions by many people in the community - the superintendent, dedicated teachers, students that wanted to succeed, and parents that helped motivate and provide encouragement.
A Wall of Honor is included in the museum recognizing individuals that have distinguished themselves in their careers and community. The showcase is a reflection of the legacy of those displayed. These individuals have achieved their Master's Degree and made great contributions to society. During their time at WHS and beyond at colleges and universities across America, North Port St. Joe has sent forth great talents that have bought "honor" to Gulf County and beyond.
George Washington High School History
The first school, a wooden building, was built in 1940, and Miss Lenora Dawson was the school's first teacher. In 1945, an additional wooden structure was built and the first principal was Emile Twine. In 1948, the school had their first three graduates and a new masonry school was built in 1952. Mr. Edwin G. Williams served as Principal of the school from 1965 to 1969, and Mrs. Lula Wilson was the third Principal serving from 1969 to 1970. From 1965 to 1970, families were given the Freedom of Choice opportunity and one-third of the student body transferred to Port St. Joe High School. In 1970, because of desegregation, the school closed.
This history was provided by Nathan Peters, Jr.