Gibsonville High School — Gibsonville, North Carolina

Gibsonville, N. C.

Gibsonville High School was located in Gibsonville, NC. The town of Gibsonville was chartered in 1871 and is almost evenly split between Alamance and Guilford counties.

There are a bunch of Gibsonville photos on (all may not be Gibsonville, N. C.).

Here’s the website for the Town of Gibsonville.

Gibsonville High School

mascot: Yellow Jackets
colors: Gold & Black

— See the info in the Comments section that sheds light on the questions I had when I wrote this.

I wasn’t able to find a history of Gibsonville High School. I don’t know when it opened, but I found an obituary of a man who graduated from there in 1918. For most (all?) of its life, Gibsonville School housed all twelve grades. The only thing I could find about the school colors was somebody that described it as “that awful mustard yellow”. Since the other 9,999 schools with Yellow Jackets or Yellowjackets as their mascot have colors of Yellow & Black, I went with that for the colors.

Below is sort of a hodge-podge of information I found about Gibsonville High School. If you have more/better info, please leave us a comment. Better yet, I’m sure there’s an alumnus out there who could write a history of the school. Write it up and we’ll post it here!

A 1915 report of N.C schools shows Gibsonville with a white school-age population of 431 children, but only 275 were enrolled in school and the daily average attendance was only 216. The school had 6 white teachers and 2 black teachers (7 women, 1 man). The black children were apparently counted with the rural Guilford County schools. They showed a school-age population of 2,926 with 2,152 enrolled in school, but only 1,505 attended school on an average day.

A 1924 city map (large pdf) shows “Gibsonville Central School” on Church Street at Joyner and Gibsonville Colored School about 1000 feet northwest of the intersection of S. Railroad Ave. & Cayuga (off the map).

Around 1938, somebody took a movie camera and filmed people working, playing and attending school in Gibsonville. The 10-minute YouTube video shows the entire student body of Gibsonville School filing past for the camera. If you’re from Gibsonville, you should recognize places in the background.
Reunion Apparel for Gibsonville High School

A 1961 report states that Gibsonville School held 835 students in grades K-12 with 30 teachers.

The annual yearbook was called the YELL-O-JAK.
(May Memorial Library in Burlington has a collection of Gibsonville High School yearbooks.)


The last class graduated from Gibsonville High School in 1974. I couldn’t determine if the building continued to house elementary or middle school grades. Someone reported that the building was demolished in 2005 or 2006, but this is another place I got confused. This Google Street View of Gibsonville Elementary School looks very similar to the school in the 1938 movie. Am I confusing two different buildings?

There’s an active Gibsonville High School group on Facebook.

Everyone I saw on Facebook who had to change schools in 1974 graduated from Eastern Guilford High School. EGHS opened in 1974. Was it a replacement for Gibsonville? Did other schools consolidate with Gibsonville to form EGHS? (I saw a reference that said Guilford County, Greensboro and High Point schools were consolidated in 1992. How was that related to EGHS? Just curious.)

(This has nothing to do with Gibsonville High School, but Gibsonville alumni might find it interesting. Eastern Guilford High School was destroyed by fire in 2006. The students were split up by grades and attended classes in various locations for the remainder of 2006. From the Fall of 2006 through most of 2009, they attended school in a “pod village” which was a bunch of pre-fab buildings temporarily set up on the school grounds. Their new school building was finally ready in May of 2009 and students moved in when they returned from Spring Break. Here’s some photos taken during and after the fire.)

Gibsonville native Kay Yow (Class of ’60) was an all-state player at GHS, once scoring 52 points in a game. After college, she coached for 4 years at Allen Jay and one year at Gibsonville High School, posting a combined 92-27 record. Between 1975 and 2005, she coached over 1,000 games at NC State. She is enshrined in the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame, the Raleigh Hall of Fame, the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the national Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Kay died in January, 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer. Both of Kay’s parents had played basketball at Gibsonville. Both of her sisters were exceptional players for Gibsonville High School and went on to successful athletic careers. Debbie Yow was inducted into the Guilford County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Debbie coached at Kentucky and Florida before becoming the Athletic Director at the University of Maryland. Susan was a 2-time collegiate All-American, coached in the WNBA and has been a successful college head coach at several colleges.
Here’s the audio of an interview with Kay Yow.

Fred Wagoner (Class of ’40) was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in 2008.

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9 thoughts on “Gibsonville High School — Gibsonville, North Carolina

  1. I am a 1965 graduate of GHS. My father, Henry Tickle was a 1931 graduate of GHS. I not sure when Gibsonville School began but I know that the class of 1924 had the main sidewalk done that went up to the main entrance of the school. I also know that it began as a one room school that was located close to where the new Elementary school was built around the time that Eastern Guilford High School burned. The original High School building is still standing as well as the Home Economics Building and the Gym. When I began school in 1953, the school cafeteria was located in the basement of the main building. A new building was built to house the cafteteria and the 1st and 2nd grades and was opened around 1955. In the 1980’s another building was built and attached to the original building this building along with the cafeteria building was torned down when the new elementary school was built in the 2000’s. As for Eastern Guilford High School, it replaced Gibsonville as our high school and was opened in 1974. No other schools consolidated with us but to have enough students for Eastern, students were pulled from Southeast and Northeast High Schools. When Eastern was built, Gibsonville became an Elementary School for classes K-5 grades, As for the black school and if my memory serves me correctly, there was a school located somewhere off Carmon Road and then there was Sedalia High School that was a black only school until the 1960’s and then it became a Elementary school that was no longer black only and this school was located on Highway 70E and west of Gibsonville. I know that my father would have been able to answer your questions about Gibsonville however he past away in 2007. As for our school colors they were Black and Gold and our mascot was the Yellow Jacket.
    Thank you.

    1. The Gibsonville School(a brick 3 story building (located on the corners of Church and Joyner Streets
      was built about 1923) and replaced a wooden school called The Green School(located on the site of the current Gibsonville Elementry and the old School Cafeteria) The green school burned a year after the brick structure was built. Photographs of these schools can be viewed in the Gibsonville Museum and Historical Societys’ Exibit located at 119 East Main ST. Gibsonville. The museum does not have regular hours ,but is open during major events such as the annual fall festival check out their FACEBOOK PAGE for more info. Prior to the green school students learned their 3 R’s in the yellow school.(named because of the color painted.Early classes were also held in the Old Masonic Lodge located on W. Main street. The Colored School you refer to had a little over 300 students in the early 1920s while the Gibsonville School served about twice as many students. The exact address of this school is unknown to me but I have been told the location was close to where you described. hope this info is useful.

        1. Excellent question, Bill, and, to my surprise, I have an answer.
          An Act was passed in the 1897 session of the General Assembly of North Carolina, to wit: “That the part of Alamance county lying within the corporate limits of Gibsonville, North Carolina, shall be and is hereby made a part of the school district of the town of Gibsonville.”

          1. This was factual. I had school friends that lived in Hill Top and out toward Altamaha, all well into Alamance County. City or County boundaries meant nothing to me at the time but I remember the boundary sign in town. I guess common sense was more prevalent in the government/schools back then when it came to accommodating students and parents.

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