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The Journey Begins

Submitted by Charlie Napier

As a young man, I, Charles Edward Napier,knew I would head to the classroom when I graduated high school in 1967. The big factor for me was my poor economic status that may not allow me to make it in the doors of a college. Jean Gentry, guidance counselor at Brodhead High School, alertly pointed me to Charles Eddie Hurt. With those two on my team, I would start my journey never to look back until now. I graduated in 1971 from Eastern Kentucky University. I had to pinch myself to see if it was real.

Needing a job to keep from starving, I asked Charles B. Parsons if he thought I could get a job. He said if I would take Johnetta in Brushcreekfor one year and stay, I was in. In getting this job, history was already in the making. This would be the last year for the one school in Rockcastle County and the first year of my 33 year career.

I had thirteen students, and I want ever forget any of them. When I took over, I was the teacher, principal, PE teacher, cook, janitor, and health nurse. It didn't take long to know I needed lots of help. You know it wouldn't come from school, but it came from the children. The oldest girls told me one day they could cook us a good meal if I would give them a try. I was hungry too... Vickie, Eva, Pam, and Elaine kept the lunch program in great shape. Since there were four grades, we decided that working in some common areas like spelling and English would serve everyone best. So we had hands on learning even back then. The boys kept water carried up since our supplies were tainted with heating oil. Here we had one of America's finest ONE SCHOOL'S and A PATH. Yes, we had two outside toilets. I see these students often as most of them live in the area. My fifth grader has been my family doctor since the beginning of her practice. Dr. Karen Bullock Saylor is one of Rockcastle's very best family doctors. This is enough to give any teacher a since of pride. Today at my house you'll find a 16 X 24 picture of this school. My journey will rest here a spell, but we'll be back.