I was interested in learning about the lives of students our age living in Williamson, and so I did some research on the high school that they attend. Until fairly recently, Williamson teenagers attended Williamson High School, but in 2011 that school shut down, and consolidated with three other area high schools to become part of the larger Mingo Central Comprehensive High School. Kids from several towns in the county attend school there.
Mingo Central is located on the site of a reclaimed coal mine along the King Coal Highway overlooking the mountains of Mingo County, and its mascot is a miner. It has approximately 60 classrooms, for about 750 students. In comparison, Arlington High School has about 1300 students. They have a dining room seating 488 students (with flat screen TVs!), a band room for 80 band members, an auditorium seating 400, a gymnasium seating 2160, and a Media Center with over 6,000 books and 36 computers.
The school has both academic and vocational programs. It offers standard classes and Advance Placement and Dual Credit courses in a variety of areas. In addition to core academic courses, there are many electives, such as Chorus, Band, Ceramics, Painting, Piano, Guitar, Dance, Life Fitness, and Weight Lifting. The Career Tech Ed program at the school offers classes in auto mechanics, building and construction, business and marketing, education, family consumer science, graphic arts, health occupations, and pre-engineering. The school is still expanding the number of programs it offers – last year, for example, it started its pre-engineering program, a ceramics class, and the first string orchestra in the county.
There are also many extracurricular activities available there. The school places a high value on its athletics programs which include baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, football, cross country, track and field, swimming, volleyball, wrestling and cheer leading. The school’s website lists several student clubs: a national organization called the Beta Club; the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; a Robotics club; an Engineering club; an instrumental music organization; and a Pep Club.
This school has a longer school day than ours in Arlington – they begin school at 7:10 and end at 2:48. Students eat both breakfast and lunch at school, and last year the school implemented a new program to provide both meals to all students for free.
2011-12 Bell Schedule
1st Bell to Report to Lockers 7:10
1st Period 7:20-8:04
2nd Period 8:16-9:00
3rd Period 9:04-9:48
4th Period 9:52-10:36
5th Period 11:40-12:24
6th Period 12:28-1:12
7th Period 1:16-2:00
8th Period 2:04-2:48
Mingo Central also has a Facebook page, which mostly has information about school events and upcoming sports games. A few interesting posts included a request for senior baby photos for the yearbook and pictures of a performer wearing a Mingo Central Football t-shirt on the David Letterman show.
I couldn’t find out that much about the online, but this was an interesting start. All in all, their school seems, as might be expected, quite a lot like ours. Hopefully we will be able to learn more about Williamson school life on the trip.
Written by Jacob Malin