Micro Community Celebrates School’s Past, Future

Micro High alumnus Dr. Woodrow Batten stands with his first grade school portrait at the Halls of History tour at the Micro Elementary School dedication ceremony on Sunday.

It’s evident that a sense of community runs deep in Micro, and the town is proud of its past as hundreds gathered at the Micro Elementary School dedication ceremony on Sunday.

Community members, alumni, and current students joined together to walk the Halls of History, a makeshift museum that was created by school staff and students throughout the hallways of Micro Elementary.

“To be able to see the alumni come and walk the halls and see their faces and lives on the halls of Micro Elementary has been very exciting and rewarding,” said Micro Elementary Principal Carla Withrow.

Principal Withrow and her staff met with community members, read up on Johnston County history books, and visited the Johnston County Heritage Center to build an extensive knowledge about the school’s past.

Micro Elementary fourth grade student Eli Gibbs (left) describes photos to visitors like alumnus Charles Warren (right) at the Halls of History tour.

The original school, built in 1924,  was home to students in grades 1-11. Some of the very first students who attended Micro High, including Dr. Woodrow Batten who was a first grade student in 1927, were honored guests at the dedication ceremony.

“This is a great celebration of the new school,” said Dr. Batten. “It’s so wonderful to know that the people here are providing so beautifully for the students in this community.”

Photographs dating back to the 1920’s and desks from the original school were on display at the ceremony, allowing guests to get a unique history lesson.

Following the Halls of History tour, guests attended the dedication of the school. All of those in attendance participated in a dedication litany that emphasized the importance of community and education in Micro.

Micro Elementary second grade student Alexis Higgins (right) points out a photo to her father Mike Higgins (left) at the Halls of History tour.

“I’m so glad that everyone has seen the necessity of keeping Micro Elementary in our community,” said Linda Peedin, a Micro High alumnus. “This is the backbone of our community that we want to keep going forever.”

Micro High was demolished in 1987, but North Johnston Middle was later built on the same piece of land where the original school once stood.  A new facility was built at a different location for North Johnston Middle in 2015, and the district was able to repurpose the original NJMS building and bring Micro Elementary back to the community in 2016.

The school has hung on to pieces of the past, like the school’s original colors and mascot the Black Widow. Yet the school is still embracing the future, with a newly renovated building for its students and staff.

“When the school was demolished, I think the entire community felt a sense of loss,” said Principal Withrow.  “This is the beginning of a new era for Micro.”