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The 5 Oldest Schools In North Carolina Are Ancient

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The 5 Oldest Schools In North Carolina Are Ancient

On November 21, 1889, North Carolina officially became a state. North Carolina has immense beauty and fantastic food, culture, and beaches. It also has the Smokey Mountains that bring awe to visitors. This state is diverse and incredible to visit. Another part of its rich history is the schools! The oldest schools in North Carolina feel ancient, dating back to the 1800s. Do you have an interest in history? Are you simply looking for a school to send your child to? The ones on this list have an incredible history to read about. 

Finding the right school for your child can feel daunting. There are so many different options and ways to educate children. This article will cover each school's history, vision, and statistics. Read below about the incredible history of the oldest schools in North Carolina! 

Morning light illuminates the autumn foliage along the side of Grandfather Mountain from along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
North Carolina has beautiful natural attractions that are a sight to behold.


Oak Ridge Military Academy, 1852

2317 Oak Ridge Rd, Oak Ridge, NC 27310

In 1852 the Oak Ridge Male Academy got its start. Interestingly enough, two years later, it underwent a name change to Oak Ridge Academy. During this time, it allowed the admission of women. Throughout history, this school has undergone quite a bit of change. It closed during the Civil War. It also did not begin to operate again until 1875. After reopening, the school caught fire in 1914. Additionally, in 1917, it began fully operating as a military school.

Among the notable alumni of Oak Ridge Military Academy are Dale Earnhart Jr., Jennifer Childers, and Nancy Mellette. 

Vision For The School

Oak Ridge Military Academy believes that educational excellence is paramount in a person's life. Also, they strive to encourage students to look toward the future and become self-disciplined. Oak Ridge Military Academy also focuses on developing life skills. They do this by having a rigorous, challenging, and informative curriculum. 

Statistics and Ratings

Many websites offer a snapshot of statistics and ratings of schools nationwide. It is a great tool to garner the overall testing ranking, teacher ratio, and more of a school. However, many factors play a role in statistics. They should be used in addition, not alone, to decide your child's academic future. 

Oak Ridge Military Academy ranks as number five in the top boarding schools in California. It is a school that offers educational instruction to students from grades seven to twelve. In Addition, Oak Ridge Military Academy has 120 students in enrollment and an average class size of ten. Also, the acceptance rating is 80%. 

Credle School, 1891

223 College St, Oxford, NC 27565

G. Credle School became a school in 1891 by Thomas U. Faucette and his wife, Emma. They were both teachers and desired to have a place where students could come and learn. It quickly became known as the female seminary. However, this only lasted a few years before Thomas died in 1895. Upon his death, the school got its start as an elementary school. In 1901 the school officially opened as a graded school. 

A fun fact, a drum would alert the students that school was ready to start. When they heard it, students would need to march to the schoolroom. 

Vision For The School

G. Credle School has an immense focus on education. They want to be a school where all students succeed and prepare for future success. This school also offers a place where students can grow and learn together. 

Statistics and Ratings

The grades offered at G. Credle School are prekindergarten to fifth grade. There are 339 students in enrollment and a teacher-student ratio of 15:1. Additionally, they rank in the bottom 50% of testing proficiency. The reading proficiency is 20 to 24%, and the math proficiency is 20 to 24%. 

Elementary school kids running into school, back view
Elementary schools are exciting and new for students. It can be a wonderful place for kids to make new friends and develop autonomy.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Cary High School, 1896

638 Walnut St, Cary, NC 27511

Although Cary High School was not officially opened as a high school until 1896, it got its start long before then. In 1871, a two-story school began operating as Cary School. Twenty-five years later is when it began focusing solely on high school. 

Vision For The School

Innovation is important to Cary High School. The goal is to equip students for future success by encouraging innovation and critical thinking. Communication and collaboration are also very important to Cary High School. The students are encouraged to develop these important skills. 

Statistics and Ratings

Cary High School offers grades ninth through twelve. There are currently 2,071 students in enrollment. Also, the teacher-student ratio is 17:1. The overall testing proficiency of Cary High School is in the top 20%. Math proficiency is 57%, while reading proficiency is 64%. Additionally, the graduation rate is 87%. 

Cary High School in the News

On June 2, 2023, ABC 11 reported that Cary High School's Imp Mascot had entered into the final four in a national competition to determine the best mascot. The mascot was originally created in the 1930s, receiving a redesign in the 1960s. The mascot's design has stayed the same ever since, speaking to the history of the school and its athletics program. Voters were able to decide which mascot they wanted to move forward in the competition. The Cary Imp ultimately won the competition.

Roanoke Rapids High School, 1921

800 Hamilton St, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870

The start of Roanoke Rapids High School began with the intention of being one of the finest schools in North Carolina. The cost to build was higher than the average school at the time. The design was done by Hobart Upjohn, focusing on the vision of Sam Patterson. The outcome did not disappoint! Roanoke Rapids High School was a sight to behold. It quickly became the town center, fully equipped with a pool and an auditorium that seated 2,000 and more. 

Apart from the beauty, the educational philosophy was and still is student-focused. 

STEM students
High schools have amazing opportunities to explore a variety of subjects.

©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Statistics and Ratings

Roanoke Rapids High School offers grades ninth through twelve grade. There are 702 students in enrollment and a student-teacher ratio 15:1. The overall testing rating is in the top 50%. In addition, the reading proficiency is 35 to 39%, while the math proficiency is 50 to 54%. Also, the graduation rate is 87%.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1795

216 Lenoir Dr, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has an incredible and rich history dating back to the 1700s. The early start gave the University of North Carolina the privilege of being the only school that would award degrees in the 18th century! Also, many notable alumni have attended this university, including: 

Vision For The School

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prides itself on being a top research institute. It strives to encourage students toward educational excellence. Creativity is also a value that this school possesses. They want to be a place where all students can thrive, and education is accessible to future generations. 

Statistics and Ratings

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is ranked number seven of the top universities in the United States. It currently has 18,931 undergraduate students, making it an incredibly large campus. The top majors studied are Communication, Biology, and Psychology. The acceptance rate at this school is 20%, making it reasonably competitive. 

Average SAT scores range between 1140 and 1380. Average ACT scores are 22 to 27. Also, the student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the News

On July 22, 2023, Keeping it Heel reported that UNC has made some changes to its basketball coaching lineup in the wake of new rule changes. UNC hired Marcus Paige as its new director of team and player development. Both Paige and Pat Sullivan, the team's director of recruiting, will be working as in-game coaches going forward thanks to the aforementioned new rule changes. UNC is possibly looking to hire a general manager for its basketball team in the near future.

On the same day in a different article, Keeping it Heel reported that rule changes in college football could impact UNC's program. These upcoming rule changes aim to increase the speed and efficiency of games. These changes are going to have a great impact on the UNC football team's strategy going forward, especially the change to the stopping of the clock after a first down is achieved. Previously, the clock would always stop after a first down was attained. Now, the clock will only stop when a first down is achieved in the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

Happy young university students studying with books in library. Group of multiracial people in college library.
Amazingly, North Carolina colleges allow students to focus on their educational journey, look toward the future, and find new passions.

©Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com


Regarding schools in North Carolina, the options are vast and plenty. Not only is North Carolina a beautiful place to visit with an incredible cultural life, but the schools here also have a rich history. 

Whether you are trying to decide between sending your child to one of these schools or just curious about the history of North Carolina, there's no doubt about it; these schools are full of character! 

When it comes to deciding which school to send your child to, there are many options available. The decisions and questions can feel quite overwhelming. However, lists like this make it easier to garner precisely what the vision of the schools is and the statistics. Regardless of your decision, one thing is sure; North Carolina has fantastic opportunities!

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