Guest speaker shares history of Carver-Hill High School, museum

George Stakley

Carver-Hill Memorial and Historical Society President George Stakley speaks about the museum's history at the Crestview Public Library during its First Tuesday series.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 05:25 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Understanding a community's history and revisiting an era of academic triumph amid racial strife are important, George Stakley, the Carver-Hill Memorial and Historical Society's president, said Tuesday.

The Crestview Public Library's First Tuesday series celebrated Black History Month with a presentation on Carver Hill High School, a K-12 institution that exclusively taught black students during a period when students of different races didn't mix.

"Some people don't know how important the Carver-Hill Memorial and Historical Society is to this community," Stakley said. "If we had no history, where would we be?"

"I guess we wouldn't have anything to talk about."

Understanding Carver-Hill High School's complicated past would provide plenty of discussion topics.

The institution — 1954-1969 — on School Avenue was named after scientist George Washington Carver and the Rev. Edward Hill, a local advocate for funding black students' schools.

"He was a Martin Luther King of his day," Stakley said, adding that Hill's efforts were instrumental in the Okaloosa County School Board's decision to establish Carver-Hill High School.

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