LeCroy has touched our lives

Published 12:01 am Sunday, January 25, 2009

This past Sunday morning Chris Johnson reminded me at church that Tuesday was going to be the 40th anniversary of what is now W.A. “Bing” LeCroy Career Technical Center in Clanton. Our discussion led to fond memories for both of us and, by the way, made both of us late for Sunday School.

Chris, a former student and now instructor at the career center, had more to smile about than being a graduate of the center. He was the first student to sign up for the classes at the multi-class facility. In fact, he still has his tuition receipt that is numbered 001.

On the career’s official anniversary, Tuesday, Chris shared with our readers his involvement with the school over the years and his understanding of how much the center has meant to his life. If you missed Chris’ article, you can read it at www.clantonadvertiser.com

By the time I moved to Chilton County in 1975, the career center — or as many people call it “the high school trade school” — had already been training students for more than six years. I remember my first visit to the center included a guided tour by the late “Bing” LeCroy who served as its director.

While Bing was proud of the masonry, electronic, nursing and other classes offered at the center, I believe he was most proud of what his horticulture class had accomplished. For several years the school made flowers and other plants grown by the students available to the general public.

The campus also provided classroom space for adult basic education courses and served as a night campus for George C. Wallace Community College. The center directly touched my life through my wife, Peggy, who completed a computer course there at night; my son, Shane, who completed George C. Wallace college classes there before moving on to Troy University; and my daughter, Allison, who took typing classes there.

LeCroy Career Technical Center has touched many of our lives over the years in a positive way. I am thankful to those who conceived the idea for the center 40 years ago and for all those who have made it a success through the years.

– Mike Kelley is the publisher of The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears on Sundays. He can be reached at mike.kelley@clantonadvertiser.com.