A century in the making: Thompson High School celebrates 100-year anniversary

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, October 7, 2021

By WILLIAM MARLOW | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER — Alabaster City Schools celebrated the 100th year of Thompson High School on Sunday, Oct. 3, marking the centennial anniversary with a dedication at the high school featuring school and community members.

Over the last 100 years, Thompson High School has educated thousands of students with the school first opening its doors on Oct. 3, 1921.

On Sunday, Oct. 3, the school system noted the day’s significance with a ceremony on the front steps of the high school, while guests got to peruse historical artifacts from the school’s 100 years.

Alabaster City Schools Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers reflected on the school’s history and its importance to the community, including for his own family, noting that his two sons were some of the high school’s most recent graduates.

“From humble beginnings in 1921 until this very moment, Thompson High School has been a source of pride for countless graduates and members of our community, including my own family. My sons are proud Thompson graduates, class of 2015 and 2009,” he said. “When we dedicated this magnificent facility in 2018, it was an ultimate example of promises made and promises kept. Moreover, it is an ongoing commitment to this generation and the next one.”

Vickers continued and noted the school’s recent dedication in 2018, and said that the school and the educators within the building enable Alabaster’s youth to face any of life’s challenges. He added that the school ultimately prepares students for the world that awaits them after graduation.

“(The high school’s) mission was to provide opportunities for all students,” Vickers said. “We also wanted a facility that set us apart and matches the level of excellence that our students give us each day. We all agree that our students are worth every cent of our investment.”

Even though ACS has only existed as a school system since 2013, Vickers said the school’s ongoing mission to educate Alabaster’s next generation remains timeless, and that much of the day’s festivities were just as much about preparing for the future as honoring the past.

“All along, we were careful to never forget where we came. Excitement and pride are evident in many generations of graduates,” he said. “From those who attended the first campus a century ago to our youngest orders  just beginning the journey in pre-K. Each has a real story about Thompson High School, which unites us.”

As such, several historical artifacts from the school’s past were on display during the event, including the school’s first bell, which was presented to Vickers.

Vickers ultimately described the school as more than a building, but as an institution that fosters community and concluded his remarks by reciting the school’s alma mater.

“When I arrived in Alabaster back in 2013, I was told time and time again that Thompson Warriors are family,” he recalled. “That remains true today.”

Following the ceremony, tours of the facilities were provided, and the school’s jazz band performed as a cake was presented to community members.

Among other school and city leaders in attendance were ACS Board President Adam Moseley and other members of the Alabaster City Schools Board of Education as well as Alabaster City Councilor Rick Ellis and City Administrator Brian Binzer.

Two former Thompson High School principals, Ron Graves and Jim Elliot, were also recognized during the ceremony.