Preserving a key part of history
In a recent article, you reported on the naming of the new auditorium at Zebulon G.T. Magnet Middle School, “James E. Shepard Auditorium.” The middle school location is on the site where the former all-black James E. Shepard School, grades 1 through 12, was located.
During this time period, Shepard School was the only high school for blacks in eastern Wake County. Some students, living in Franklin, Nash, Wilson and Johnston counties on the periphery of Wake County, also attended Shepard School.
The Shepard School former students and alumni are very proud, happy and appreciative to any and everyone who aided in creating the opportunity for preservation of almost lost memories with the naming of the auditorium for James E. Shepard, Shepard School’s namesake.
The Shepard School Alumni Association sponsors and conducts year-round activities and fundraising efforts to promote and provide funds to support the following major purposes:
▪ To raise the awareness of black Americans’ contributions to the American experience through a black history contest in the school with cash awards;
▪ To promote and encourage academic excellence and determination by awarding several college scholarships each year to deserving students;
▪ To participate in and promote community service for the elderly and the young with gifts and aid to the needy and elderly, mentoring, guidance and moral support to the young.
▪ To preserve the integrity of the memory and legacy of James E. Shepard School by making positive contributions to the community through ongoing projects.
Many of you aided in some way in the project to name the auditorium after James E. Shepard. We wish to thank former principal Dalphine Perry and current principal Dr. Stephanie Smith and the staff of Zebulon G.T. Middle School for all the cooperation and effort given to the success of this project; the Wake County school system and Wake County Board of Education and board Chairman Tom Benton for their cooperation in giving approval to this project; Zebulon town planner Matt Watterson and the planning board for handling this project expeditiously and; finally, the community and all former James E. Shepard School students, alumni, relatives and friends, home and away, who worked so diligently raising and donating funds to finance and contribute wholeheartedly to the overall success of this project.
Editor’s note: The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the story. The writers are the president and vice president, respectively, of the James E. Shepard School Alumni Association.