Paris Elementary History

The following information is from the reunion booklet "Parisian Remembered! 1930-1960," published after a class reunion July 16, 1988, held at Paris Mountain State Park. 
Front of Original Paris High School
Paris School is perhaps the most unique in location of any school in South Carolina. The school is located in the midst of a former army campground - Camp Sevier. The entire 30th Division of World War I fame was trained here. This division was also known as the "Old Hickory Division".  It was at Camp Sevier in the spring of 1918, that South Carolina experienced the first serious outbreak of influenza, and by mid-October, there were over 30,000 reported cases of the flu.
In the early part of the twentieth century Paris School was known as "Mountain Academy". It was a small, two room wooden structure situated in the vicinity of the Mountain Creek community of today. In 1912, the present site was donated by Mr. C.A.Green. When the school was moved to this site, the name was changed to Sandy Plains. After a few years passed, the name was changed to Paris School. It is believed to have been given this name because of its nearness to Paris Mountain, which was named in honor of Richard Paris (Pearis), one of the first white settlers in this area. He was a great hunter and was a Tory Captain. 
Richard Pearis
from Upstate History Museum

At the outbreak of World War I, Paris School had to move, vacating the site for the center of Camp Sevier. The school was moved to the intersection of Paris Mountain Road and Mountain Creek Road. Here it remained until the close of the war and then was moved back to the present location.

In 1926, several new rooms were added. This was the bricked two story building that held all of the classrooms. Mr. R.I. Barton was the superintendent of Paris School and remained so until 1933.

 

 

 

 

The first class was graduated in 1930. It consisted of seven students, one girl and six boys. The entire school consisted of approximately 235 students and 10 teachers. In 1933, Mr. Ira B. Lever was elected superintendent and in 1939, a high school building was added. Up until 1947, Paris School consisted of eleven grades. In 1947, the 12th grade had been added. This was also the first year that lunch was served at school.

 

 

Mr. J.M. Dean became superintendent in 1948, and in 1951, the new primary building was added. The last graduating class from Paris High School was 1960. In the fall of 1960, the high school students were moved to the new Wade Hampton High School on Pine Knoll Drive leaving the elementary grades and the Junior High School at Paris. In 1965, the Junior High students were transferred to League Junior High School on Twin Lake Drive. This left only the first six grades at Paris School.

 

 

 


1954 Paris High School Yellow Jackets
In 1971, Mr. Dean retired and Mr. Anthony Hester became principal. The 6th grade was moved to the new Sevier Junior High School. Paris School then consisted of kindergarten through 5th grade. In 1975, Mr. Jack House became principal.

In 1976, the old Paris School building, including the auditorium, was torn down. Fifteen new classrooms and a new media center were built.

On January 3, 2004, the school moved into a new facility, behind the location of the old school building, at 32 East Belvue Road in Taylors, SC under the leadership of principal, Mrs. Sue Ann Link.  The new school has two stories and has a total of 82,271 square feet, including 30 classrooms, science lab, computer lab, multipurpose room (gym), media center with a production room for our morning news, and a beautiful cafeteria with a stage.  In 2008, Mrs. Link retired, and Mr. David Wise became principal.

 

The 2011-2012 school year marked the 100th anniversary for Paris.  A commemoritive sidewalk was built on the side of the building which included engraved bricks from alumni, staff, and students. The celebration in April, 2012, was attended by about 900 people and included a History Parade presented by fifth grade students. The History Parade walked through the decades of history and the history of Paris. Photos can be found here.

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Paris Elementary is part of the Greenville County School District, the largest school district in South Carolina and 51st largest in the nation.

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