The Class of 2000 ushered in a new era for PHS.
The district’s board of education, led by Regald Smith, Chairman, Ann Carty, Dr. Tom Hartsock, Dr. Mark Myers and Mike McCoy, worked with Superintendent Howard Wallen Jr., PHS Principal Gilbert Shely and PES Principal Jerry Waddell.
In this year, the PHS library was dedicated to Charles Spears, former principal, who stated that “Education came first.”
In 2000, there were 16 sets of twins within the Pikeville Independent School District!
In 2001, PHS decided not to have a valedictorian or salutatorian. Instead, students were grouped in rank of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude, and this decision lasted until the end of 2004.
Pikeville Independent got a new leader in 2002, current Superintendent Jerry Green stepped into his current role that year.
In 2002, PHS’s Academic Team placed first in the state All “A” Classic Academic tournament. Coach McNamee was honored as the Appalachian New-Express Pike County Football Coach of the Year, and baseball coach, Chris Lawson was vote the ANE Pike County Baseball Coach of the Year.
PHS entered the first-ever season on the soccer field on the varsity level, led by Coach Calvin Wheat. Coach Hillard Howard was honored by the Pikeville City Commission by naming the new artificial surfaced football field, Howard Field.
Pikeville High School, in 2003, mourned the loss of a former student and football standout, Brent Coleman. Brent shined on the football field and still holds two school records. A full military funeral was held at the Pikeville High School Alumni Auditorium. His service in Iraq, and to his country, will not be forgotten.
In 2004, the Alumni Association and Pikeville Independent Board of Education, in a joint venture broke ground for the Pikeville Veterans Memorial and Outdoor Classroom at Pikeville High School. The Veterans Memorial was to be erected outside of the Alumni Auditorium and dedicated that same year. The memorial was constructed in honor of PHS, Perry A. Cline, and Pikeville Academy alumni, faculty, and staff who served America during times of war.
The girls’ golf team, under first year coach, Karla Corbin, grabbed its first trip to the State Tournament in 2005. This same year, PHS and PES underwent improvements that updated the look of the buildings and enhanced safety and efficiency.
After 30 years of service to PHS, Wayne Ray retired. He served as head of maintenance for 27 years and then went to buildings and grounds to finish his tenure. Green described Ray as “Mr. Pikeville High School.”
That same year, the new administration building, on Second Street, was named for longtime Superintendent John Waddell and Dustin Combs joined Pikeville Elementary as Principal.
“You can tell this is a work in progress,” says Ann Carty, of the new Maroon and White Room at PHS. The Maroon and White Room is a labor of love to house all things PHS! The souvenirs and memorabilia on display were collected and donated by families and friends of PHS.
In 2008, PHS was named in the top 1,600 high schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Pikeville High School was named Bronze Medal School by the magazine in its 2008 listing. Twenty one schools in Kentucky received Bronze Medals.
“We’re proud of both our kids and our staff,” said Principal, Royce Mayo.
Ernie Johnson was such an important part of PHS and the community as well. Students, teachers and community leaders mourned the loss of Ernie when he lost his life in a car accident returning from a ball game in 2008.
ABC News brought 20/20 to PES in 2008 to film a segment about the DARE program facilitated by Anthony Conn, a Pikeville Policeman.
The baseball teams won district titles in 2009 and 2010. The boys’ Varsity cheerleaders won three state KAPOS championships; a record for cheerleaders at PHS! In 2011, the Varsity cheerleaders won the state title again!
In 2011, Pikeville Independent became a District of Distinction. Students must have scored in the 95th percentile or higher on the assessment to qualify.
Senior class accomplishments for 2011 included: 88 graduates earned $2 million in scholarships, six were Governor’s Scholars, one attended the Governor’s School of the Arts, eight were Booth Scholars, one graduate earned a perfect ACT score, two graduates earned perfect SAT math scores, the district ranked 12th in the state for class ranking and students completed 630 college credit hours completed!
Lights, camera, action! The multimedia classes provided students with fundamental procedures in producing a school news show called Panther Power Hour. This endeavor proved to be one of the most successful and enjoyable outlets for creativity from students.
Jessica Casebolt, a 2011 graduate of PHS, was crowned Miss Kentucky, a first time honor for a PHS graduate!
2013 brought regional championships to the Lady Panthers soccer team, the Panther boys soccer team, the PHS Boys basketball team All “A” Classic, FBLA teams and Pikeville Elementary Academic Team.
In 2014, the Panther Band, under the direction of Dr. Scott Bersaglia, earned many All District and All County honors. As a whole, the band received straight distinguished ratings at the performance assessment.
The PHS Jr. Chef team, under the supervision of Kelly Scott, won the 15th Region title, and the Jr. High Cheerleaders won the KAPOS State title.
As Pikeville Independent enters the 100th year, the High Schools began the new school year with a new, yet seasoned, principal David Thomas.
Thomas has been at Pikeville High School for 27 years.
Just recently, the Pikeville Junior High Cheerleaders won the National Title in Orlando, Florida, a huge accomplishment for all of their hard work.
Congratulations to all of those Panthers who have brought honor and respect to Pikeville High School. The story really doesn’t end here. It will be continued.
Editor’s note: Pikeville Independent School will host its 100-year reunion on July 30-Aug. 1, 2015. This is the 10th in a series of monthly articles that explore the history of the school. This article, focused on the school in the 2000s, was taken from articles written by Mary Lynn Linton Hauss for the Pikeville High School history since 1996.