In the summer of 1966, West End High School was established. West End is a consolidation of Altoona High School and Walnut Grove High School. It is located at 4515 Elm Street in Walnut Grove, Alabama. This is on the west side of Etowah County adjoining Blount County on the west and south and Marshall on the north.
The community of Walnut Grove was settled in 1849, with its first church-related school opening in 1859. It was not until 1923, that the first high school was constructed on the present site.
Due to a fire, the original school building was destroyed. The present one-story brick building was constructed in 1941, with an additional four rooms in 1951, and four more again in 1957. In 1961, a new addition housing a lunchroom, home economics department, agricultural department and dressing rooms for athletics was built. A band room was erected in 1976 and additional gymnasium in 1985. Nineteen ninety-one brought an additional athletic facility. In 2000, a building housing a library, science classrooms, and office space was completed. In 2004, plans got underway to demolish the 1941, one-story brick building and erect a new modern facility to accommodate West End High School students for years to come. In the meantime, students were educated in 12-14 portable classrooms set up in front of the building site. The new school was completed in 2005.
The school has been directed by seven principals: Roy W. Camp. 1966-1970; Robert Cartrett, 1970-1975; Avery Thrasher, 1975-1993 (deceased 2012); Curtis Whited, 1993-1998; Terry Foshee, 1998-2006; Mark Stancil, 2006-2012; Craig Shoemaker, 2012-present.
The school has always been a focal point in the community. West End has provided an atmosphere for learning at all levels. Because of its size, everyone gets to know everyone else. Students get special attention and are less likely to “get lost in the crowd.”
The patriotic spirit of the school lives on, as many fond memories continue to be made. Hopefully, many future generations will be allowed to experience the education West End has to offer.
(written by Carolyn Garigues Lee, Teacher 1965-2000, edited)