RCTS Celebrates 100 Years
Main Page
2017 Reunion Planning
RCTS Historic Marker
RCTS In the Beginning
2015 Reunion Planning
2013 Reunion News
History of RCTS
The Years 1917 - 1939
The Years 1940 - 1949
1940 8th Grade Class
Classs of 1942
RCTS Burns Down
Class of 1943
Class of 1945
Class of 1946
Class of 1947
1948 Football Team
Class of 1949
The Years 1950-1959
The Years 1960-1970
Farewell Old Randolph
RCTS as Terry Mfg.
RCTS Reunions
Newspaper Articles
Feeder Schools
About us
Scholarships Forms
Financial Aid
Contribute to RCTSSF
DVDs and Publications
Contact Us

Clarence Jairrells, Ed.D., (Class of 1943),  stills recalls the circumstances that surrounded the burning of the school. Indeed, he was in attendance and in the building when the fire started.  He described the event in an interview for the RCTS documentary "Behind These Silent Walls."  He confirmed that the fire started on the second floor and spread quickly throughout the wood framed building. According to him, students were very concerned about preventing their possessions from being burned, especially their precious band instruments.  He recalled throwing an instrument through a window of the burning building before escaping himself, only to be informed that the instrument was not his. Foolishly, he said he returned to the building to get his instrument.[1]  

Dr. Jairrells is one of RCTS’ most accomplished graduates and was the first of its graduates to earn a doctorate.  He left RCTS as a 12th grade student to enter military service and fight in World War II. After his tour of duty, he earned his General Education Degree (GED). He graduated from AlabamaState College (B.A.), Indiana State University (M.A.) and the University of Alabama (Ed.D.).  He attributed his academic and professional success to the education he received at RCTS and spoke fondly of the competence of his teachers and the importance of classroom discipline.

First, second, and third grade RCTS students were educated between 1943-1948 at the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church located on Henry St. in the Hill City/Newtown section of Roanoke while a replacement RCTS school building was being built.

[1] Gene Thornton (’62) interviewed Dr. Clarence Jairrells at his home in Anniston, Alabama for the RCTS documentary, Behind These Silent Walls,  in January of 2005.