1970: Where It All Began
The history of Pickens Academy dates back to the year 1970. Jimmy and Peggy Gentry and other parents from the community discussed opening a private school in Pickens County. Many other parents also expressed interest, and the Pickens Academy Foundation was established.
After establishing the Pickens Academy Foundation, a fifteen-member Board of Trustees was elected from foundation member families. Each family would have one vote. Families from each school district were elected by their own trustees, proportional to the number of family memberships in each district. Jimmy Gentry was chosen as the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees. These trustees would meet weekly until school met in September.
Many people contributed to the development of Pickens Academy. John Tyler McShan purchased and donated the land on which the school was built. Bubba Wade and Bill Martin offered sound financial advice. Judge Robert Hugh Kirksey, Buddy Kirk, and Pep Johnson provided the legal guidance. Jamie and Laurie Rainer and Martha and Buddy Crocker were Reform area representatives for the school’s development. Harold McCool and Jack Howell represented the town of Gordo. These people, along with Elisabeth Smith and Jessie Winborne, were crucial to the school’s beginning. Pickens Academy will forever be indebted to the pioneer developers of our school.
205.367.8144 | 225 Ray Bass Road | Carrollton, AL 35447
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