Rankin High School — Greensboro, North Carolina

Rankin Elementary School, Greensboro, NC
(click for Google Street View)
Rankin Elementary School, Greensboro, NC

Reunion Apparel for Rankin High School
Rankin High School

1511 Spry Street
Greensboro, NC
Guilford County

nickname: Rockets
colors: Garnet & Gold
Opened in 1924, Rankin School was built on land donated by J. “Al” Rankin. It housed grades 1-12 until the late 1950’s. The last graduating class from Rankin High School was in 1962. The site is now the home of Rankin Elementary School. Only the gym remains from the original Rankin High School.

In the 1950’s, Rankin played 6-player women’s basketball. 1960 Rankin alumni Ann Johnson still holds the NC State Records for most points in a season by a Freshman and by a Sophomore and is second on the list for her Junior year. She is second among the all-time career scoring leaders. She holds two of the top five records for single season scoring. In 1959, in two games against Ledford, she scored 72 points and 76 points. That same year, she scored 82 points against Nathaniel Green. To prove it wasn’t a fluke, she scored 82 again against Sumner.

Country singer Billy “Crash” Craddock got his nickname while playing on the football team at Rankin High School.

Herbert G. Waters (1895-1982) was the principal of Rankin for 36 years.

There are over 100 Rankin alumni on Classmates.com.

We would like to know more about Rankin High School.
When and how did it change from grades 1-12 to a high school?
Why was it closed in 1962?
What happened to the existing student body when it closed?
Who are some of its prominent alumni?
What happened to the building?

Please leave a comment below with any additional information you know about Rankin High School. Your fellow alumni will appreciate it.

20 thoughts on “Rankin High School — Greensboro, North Carolina

  1. I found this site while looking for info for Rankin Elementary. I attended from 1961 to 1967, and I remember Frank Burton as being principal(or was he assisstant?). A lot of good memories in that school. By the way I still have my group class picture of Mrs. Sykes 2nd grade. Rick Clymer

  2. Thanks for the memories, Rick. It would be great if you could scan the picture and pass along any names and memories associated with it. We could post it here.

    Your comment about Mr. Burton being the principal in 1961 prompted me to do a little looking around. According to the following story, Mr. Waters retired about 1961. That would seem to indicate he was the first principal in 1924-25 and possibly stayed until the high school closed. (Maybe somebody can clear up the dates a little for us.)

    In 1962, Joseph McLaughlin wrote a story about his days living in Pacolet, S.C. between 1909 and 1915. At that time he knew Prof. Waters as the Principal of the school in Pacolet. Mr. McLaughlin shared these memories of Mr. Waters:
    “I was out of school by the time Waters came to Pacolet. He roomed at Mrs. Bryant’s and taught in the new schoolhouse, and built an enthusiastic following. He went from Pacolet to Jonesville, where he married Isma Gault. Later they moved to Greensboro, N. C. to the Rankin High School. He and Mrs. Waters taught there for 25 years. When last year he retired, his patrons presented him with a latest model Chevrolet to show their love. The Waters continued to live in Greensboro at 1510 Spry Street.”
    The complete story is here: http://glendalesc.com/1909story.pdf (it’s a large download).

  3. We have a request from someone looking for a photo from the Rankin High School yearbook. Any year that would contain this photo will be appreciated, but she’d really like one from the 1950 yearbook. Here is the request:
    “My mother was a graduate of Rankin High School. I am trying to obtain a yearbook page or some proof that my mother did graduate from Rankin in 1950. If there is anyone that can direct me to find this information, I would greatly appreciate it!”
    If you can help her out, leave a comment here or email me at principal@classicschools.com and I’ll put you in touch with her.

    1. Go to Guilford County Schools on Franklin Blvd., Greensboro, NC They have old records. Should have old report cards and other info.

  4. I have a ring; it is a beautiful classring from 1940 so all I am doing is trying to find out a little bit about who it belongs to. It is a Herff Jones ring and the initials inside it are MV. If anybody could help it would be great

  5. Rankin had all grades through 12th until it became an elementary school at the end of the 1961-62 school year. The middle school and high school grades merged with other schools to become Northeast Middle School and Northeast High School in Guilford County and students from those grades at Rankin attended the new schools. (I was a member of the last graduating class in 1962.)
    Several of the ’62 graduates who live in the area meet quarterly for dinner to keep in touch. We also have class reunions every five years.

  6. Hi Rankin Alumni,

    I’m Melinda Shrewsbury and the principal of Rankin Elementary. This will be my second year at Rankin. I love hearing about the history of the school. I would love for some Rankin Alumni to come to the school to serve as Rankin Reading Buddies. It would be to simply read with a student one day a week. Please email me if you are interested. mshrewsb@gmail.com

  7. My family went to Rankin school. My Aunts Mildred and Margret went there in the 1940’s. They found my Aunt Marg’s trombone when they were tearing down the old auditorium. The old school had a big columned front porch. My Uncles Raymond and Hurley went to Rankin also. They went there in the early and mid fifities. My Uncle Raymond was in the in the Class of ’55. My dad, Larry, was their class mascot. The Class of ’55 was spray painted on the side of the gym for many years. My dad attended Rankin for grades 1-8. He went to N.E. High in 1963 after the county closed many of the smaller high schools. My great aunts and uncles attended Rankin too. My Great Uncle Ernest was in about the Class of 1931. We have some pictures. I am sure some of the other family members may have some too. My dad has many fond memories of Rankin School. Go Rockets!

  8. I remember going to watch my brother Raymond play high school football in the field behind the school. He was the starting Quarterback in 1955. He went on to play in College as well. The high school coach was Coach Coble. Their biggest rival was Bessemer High School. There was almost always a fight after the game. I attended Rankin 1st through the 8th grade until the merger and NE High School was opened. My first grade teacher was Mrs Randolph. I had some great times there. I do remember the kissing hall just off to the right of the Gym. A lot of quick kisses were shared their with all the pretty girls I could get to go down the hall. Actually I got my first paddling in the first grade for kissing a girl. I have always been a good kisser. You can ask my wife Jane of 42 years. ha!

  9. I attended Rankin for one year, until NE high was completed. Mr. Burton was principle then and his wife taught there too. I remember it as the first two story building I went in.Started band there under Mr.???

  10. I went to Rankin Elementary School approximately 1970 1971. Mrs Sykes was my first grade teacher. I remember learning to read my first grade Reader Books… Dick and Jane. I also, remember the big ice freezer in the hallway where they kept ice cream for snack time.That’s basically all I remember. Did anyone ever remember Mrs Sykes?

  11. I attended Rankin for eleven years before going to Northeast in 1963. I still remember all my teachers from the first to the eighth grades..Mrs MacNeily, Mrs Sykes, Mrs Miller, Mrs Ayers, Mrs Johnson, Mrs Hopkins, Mrs Salter, and Mrs Johnson My most memorable high school teachers were Mr. Holt, Mr. Varner, and Mr Elwood. Also Sam Alvis and Coach Coble left an impression. All my older siblings attended Rankin ..Della, Janelle, and Johnny (Bomba)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *