By COLEMAN WELLS
Of Wakulla High School
It’s a milestone worth celebrating as the Historic Sopchoppy High School prepares to commemorate its 100th birthday in March 2024. This cherished institution holds a special place in the hearts of both its alumni and the local community, having played a pivotal role in the educational and cultural history of Wakulla County.
Constructed at a cost of $9,500 by the skilled hands of Guy Winthrop, Sopchoppy High School proudly holds the distinction of being the first high school in Wakulla County. However, the journey to its establishment was a community effort. Mrs. Edmonia Stansbury took the reins and organized fundraisers that rallied the community to contribute towards the construction costs, ensuring the school’s accreditation.
The City of Sopchoppy’s citizens and the School Board also chipped in, solidifying their commitment to education and the future of their community. As Wakulla County continued to grow during the 1930s, two additional buildings were added to the school campus, a testament to the institution’s commitment to keeping pace with progress.
In 1996, Sopchoppy High School closed its doors to students, teachers, and staff, as they transitioned to Medart Elementary. However, the school’s legacy did not fade away. The building quickly found a new purpose, becoming a thriving center for the community. The Wakulla Community Theater and the Sopchoppy Opry became tenants, hosting major events that breathed life into the historic halls. Notably, the Opry played a vital role in generating revenue to support the ongoing restoration of the school’s iconic buildings.
As the centennial celebration approaches, we look forward to sharing first-hand experiences from former students who walked the halls of Sopchoppy High School. Their stories will provide invaluable insight into the profound impact this school and its community have had on the rich tapestry of Wakulla County’s history. Mark your calendars for March 2024, as Sopchoppy High School stands ready to mark a century of education, culture, and community spirit.