The history page of the website explains how Pinecrest got its start and how the school used to be in the early years up through the current year. This is my graduation project paper and it covers anything from sports, clubs, events, students, staff, etc.


Pinecrest High School : 1969-2007/2008
By Brittany Cullifer

They say high school is supposed to be the best years of one's life. What makes them the best years? Is it the friends, teachers, sports, clubs, the classes, the typical teenage drama or is it just the school in general? Pinecrest High School has certainly seen some of the best years since it was opened in 1969. Throughout the years many changes have occurred to improve and make Pinecrest an exceptional school. Pinecrest was built to merge students from seven high schools. By merging the students to one school, it brought them all together as one student body instead of many. The students and staff at Pinecrest for the past thirty-eight years have all made an impact. Each year, each decade, has left its own imprint and changed the school to make it the school it is now.

"From the day the theory of Pinecrest came about in 1966 or 1967, there were mixed feelings of having a school that was integrated, innovated and consolidated." (Crumpler, V.) Many students as well as parents were unsure of having a school that combined seven different high schools, four that were white and the remaining three black. "All the schools had been rivalries for a long time, and it was hard for the students to get used to being one student body and getting along." (Crumpler, P.) One man, Voit Gilmore who was all for the integration and building of the school, donated the land upon which Pinecrest was built. The road to Pinecrest was named Voit Gilmore Road in honor of him. When the school was opened in 1969, J.R. Brendell Jr. was the principal who took on the challenge of Pinecrest. This project is in honor of John Raymond (J.R.) Brendell Jr. for helping get Pinecrest started and on its feet. Before the school started Mr. Brendell chose several teachers and administrators to travel with him around the United States to find the best program to run Pinecrest. They found the perfect program in Florida (Cullifer). Brendell also worked with the Pinecrest High School Student Committee to come up with the school colors, mascot, class rings, clubs, student council, and special activities. They agreed on olive green, old gold and rust as Pinecrest's colors and being the Pinecrest High School Patriots (Life Lived on Silver Screens). Brendell remained principal from 1969 until 1971 and in 1972 Guy Swain took over the position of principal. During this year, a racial riot broke out. The first few years had seen no racial problems, but all of a sudden problems arose. (Let Me Rise) "Pinecrest was closed for a week, and then each grade level, starting with the seniors, were brought back to the school, one at a time. The whole town was on edge and curfews were set at seven-o-clock pm for everyone to prevent more problems." (Crumpler, V.)

Aside from the riot, Pinecrest was only the second school in the United States to consolidate and integrate schools. The school saw the most changes during the 1970's because of the challenges of getting the school started and making it successful. When the school was first opened the facilities were not completed. There was no cafeteria, gym or football field. The classes were in small and large groups on certain days. These were called open classes and in 1973 actual class rooms were built in and the school went to a traditional six class schedule. Before the traditional schedule, the students were on a modular schedule which was that the students got to make their own schedule each week depending on the classes they were taking. If they completed a class then the next week their schedule would have to change.

Something that was hard to get the school started was making only one Board of Education. "Everyone from each school board wanted to be in control and this caused bad attitudes towards the opening of Pinecrest." (Capel) This obstacle was finally overcome and one Board of Education was elected. A paper was distributed once a month to the students called The Courier to inform students of sports, upcoming events, and opinion articles. The name was changed in 1978 to The Patriot which the Quill and Scroll found more appropriate considering the schools mascot. (Spectrum) As the 70's came to a close Pinecrest had seen a lot considering its short time of being open. What would the 80's bring to the school?

When one thinks of the 80's pictures come to mind of big hair and tacky clothes. Pinecrest certainly saw its share of big hair and tacky clothes along with some other changes to the school. 1980 can be considered the first real year of Pinecrest because all obstacles and kinks had pretty much been worked out and the school could actually function as a normal school now. In 1982, the school came under a new administration that was centered on a more traditional operating mode. They increased attention towards student pride, parent involvement, participation in extracurricular activities, community awareness and academic excellence. Two new sports were added in the 1980's, swimming and men's soccer. (Spectrum) Also, in 1980 the Foreign Language Department added German as a language for students to learn besides Spanish or French. (Spectrum) 1981 brought American History to be taught as an Advanced Placement or AP class which would challenge students more than a regular class. In 1986, Pinecrest was awarded the School Bond Referendum which provided $2,500,000 for the construction of a new auditorium and other facility improvements. (Website) The Robert E. Lee auditorium was built in 1989 and was completed in July of 1990. The auditorium was to hold classes for all music classes and theater classes. The Tech Prep program began in 1988 which was for students who wanted to go to college but not attend a four year university. (A Different Angle)

The SIMS program also came in 1988 and 1989 which was a major technical advance at Pinecrest to keep attendance and other school and student information electronically. A new class was brought to Pinecrest in the 80's called WPHS Closed Circuit T.V. It was a class that aired a live show daily and gave summaries of sports, news, announcements, weather and interviews. Students and faculty found this entertaining and enjoyed the show. (The Best of Times)

Drugs came into the scene at Pinecrest and soon came under control. One way to make sure all drugs were kept out was by taking out all smoking stations. Many students were unhappy about this along with some senior privileges being taken away. The first security came in 1989 and only consisted of one officer, Sammy McNeill. He was the only officer at Pinecrest and all other twenty-three schools in Moore County . Pinecrest survived the crazy 80's with all the hair, clothing, drugs, and new policies, but how would the 90's and 2000's change Pinecrest?

The 1990's were very eventful years for Pinecrest because many modern technologies and programs were brought to the school that are still used today. Pinecrest was always very much into the new technology that came out. "The school was one of the first schools to get computers and have computer generated schedules," said Vernon Crumpler, "which made things much easier for teachers." So it was no surprise when computer labs were added to the media center in 1990. Also, in 1990, tragedy struck the Pinecrest community when Athletic Director Coach John Williams was killed in a car accident. He was a valued teacher and coach at Pinecrest and students and faculty both suffered a tremendous loss. (Challenges)

The Teen Life Center and program came to the school in 1990 to help students get through rough times they were facing. Another help group was added in 1991 which was the Peer Helpers. This allowed students to interact and help fellow students through problems. Unfortunately, tragedy struck Pinecrest again when yet another beloved teacher, Jean Cable, was killed in a car accident. As students and faculty pushed through these deaths many good programs were coming to the school. The "school within a school" program was started in August of 1992. (Website)The program separated the freshmen from the upperclassmen to allow an easier adjusting time. 1992 also increased security at sporting at sporting events, mainly football and basketball. Metal detectors were used at games to prevent problems at big rivalry games. (McNeill) In 1998 a new police force was created to be just for schools. The School Resource officers or SRO's were assigned to a school to help prevent problems and crimes.

1998 brought big academic advances with the new IB program. Along with new academics, three new clubs were formed: Superfans, a school spirit club, Take Back, a religious club and the Quill and Scroll was brought back. Building four was built for the increased need of more classrooms. (Pandemonium) As the millennium was brought in the students of Pinecrest didn't know what to expect next. The Pinecrest High School Sports Hall of Fame was established in 2000 as a way to honor all the great athletes that went to Pinecrest and had already graduated. Many people were inducted a few being: Mike Antle, baseball, class of 1979; Ann Hundley, golf, class of 1986; Charles D. Waddell, football, class of 1971.(The Big Deal)  New things were coming just as the students predicted. Already new learning cottages were being built to have more classrooms for the increased number of students. Once again more security was added to Pinecrest in 2005 when new cameras were installed around campus. (Organized Chaos) " "The cameras help cut down on crimes because the students knew they were being watched and it made things easier on the SRO officers at the school to see what was going on," said Sammy McNeill, the head of Moore County Special Police. Pinecrest had seen three different principals from 2004 to 2007/2008, Dr. Beverly McAnulty, Gary Evans and now Joel County . In 2006 a decision was made to build the Freshmen Academy to separate freshmen from the upperclassmen and put most of their classes into one building.

Pinecrest has certainly its share of changes through out the years. It's had ups and downs but has managed to stay a strong, united school. "I love Pinecrest!" exclaimed Paula Boyer, an English teacher for 22 years. Everyone loves Pinecrest even if they don't admit it. Pinecrest has received the North Carolina School of Excellence numerous times and has had many successful men and women graduate. It continues to be one of the best and notorious schools in North Carolina .

  In the first years Pinecrest was open, there was no football field, gym or any other sport facility for that matter. Pinecrest had to play sports at the middle schools or elementary schools before the football field and gym were built in 1976. The only sports played in the beginning were football, basketball, cross-country, track, tennis and golf. Pinecrest sports were unstoppable and everyone knew they were the school to beat. Many black students were involved in the sports and were the future leaders, and now many of these men are successful coaches and pro players. Some black students who were and now remain prominent sports figures are: Greg Gordon, Jeff Capel Jr., Earnest Clark, Charles Waddell, Thaddeus Jones Jr., Maurice Waddell, Willie Harrington and James Baldwin (Capel).

In 1971 the Varsity Boys Basketball team was the 3A State Champions. This win began a series of wins for Pinecrest throughout the years. 1977 the girls Varsity Basketball team was the 4A state champions as well in 1992. This seemed to be winning year because in 1979 the boys Varsity Baseball team was the State Champions, girls track was the state champions and girls Varsity Tennis was also state champions. A new softball field and practice field were added in the 80's.  1986 became the year Boys Varsity Soccer went to state playoffs and made it to the quarter finals. Every year since then the boy's soccer has been awesome. 1987 seemed to be the year the football program began to decline. Girls Varsity Volleyball became conference champions led by well-known teacher and coach Barbara Foxx. In 1990 the Girls Varsity Basketball team won the Chandler Lee Motors Holiday basketball tournament. In 1992, the Varsity Volleyball team became state champions; as well in 1992 the girl's soccer program got started at Pinecrest. In 1993 Girls Volleyball were state champions again and so was the Boys Varsity Soccer. Pinecrest continues to succeed in sports other than football. The football program is starting to come together again under a new coaching staff. Everyone has faith that Patriot Football will dominate high school football once again in the near future (Crumpler, V.)

Who's to say what the future holds for Pinecrest? The school always has and will remain a school of excellence in academics. As for sports, Pinecrest remains on top except for the football program which will hopefully bounce back to be number one. Fellow students and faculty can already see the improvements the team has made. There will always be those classes students love to hate, the drama of being a misunderstood teenager, the games, the friends and most of all the memories of high school. "Bottle of water in the cafeteria: $1, Parking sticker: $15, Senior fees: $45, an education at Pinecrest: Priceless. There are some things money can't buy. For everything else there's memories of Pinecrest." (PC Illustrated)