• This section of our website chronicles the history of Vina High School.  If there are any inaccuracies or if you have photos or information to submit, please contact Patti Swinney at 256-331-2295, so she may make corrections or additions.  

The Early Years

  • 1907

         Vina's first school was a one-teacher subscription school taught at home by Mrs. L. J. Vinson, better known as "Aunt Hun."  In 1907 - 1908, a one-room wooden building was erected by public subscription on the site where the present building now stands.  A partition was placed in the building in 1909, and two teachers were employed.  Athletics began to play a part in school life soon afterward.  In 1915, the boys formed a basketball team.  The three-mill tax was voted in 1917, permitting a junior high school to be established.


         The school continued to grow.  A modern nine-room building of brick was erected in 1919, without state aid.  This gave room to take care of a consolidation with the Burleson school in 1921, the upper grades of the Coker Spur school in 1922, and a truck (bus) route toward Single Springs in 1924.  A truck (bus) route to Hodges for the senior high school pupils was established in 1929, and a route to Sparks schoolhouse in 1931.  The boys won the county basketball championship in 1919, and second place in 1920.  The "School Improvement Program" was organized in 1918, which later became the PTA in 1927.  

    Main Building   Main Building 1919


    The requisites for accreditation were met in 1926 - 1927, and the school became a fully accredited senior high school.  In order to more fully meet the requirements a home economics and shop building were erected. It was of the type required for vocational work.  Before this time, students who were senior high students attended boarding schools at Hamilton, Russellville, or Tishomingo, MS.  Ten teachers taught in the first senior high school with Jesse Richardson as principal.  The first yearbook was published in 1928 and was called "The Forrester."  Athletics were played outdoors by boys at first.   The junior basketball team defeated the Belgreen juniors for the county championship in 1931.  The girls basketball team were not defeated by a high school team in 1926-1927 or in 1930-1931.  Football began in 1926.   One of the most colorful coaches was Clifford White.  He would always boast that a Red Bay football team never defeated Vina while he coached.  Coach White lost only 3 out of 11 games in 1930.  Also during his time, two of his basketball teams went to tournaments and played in the semi-finals.  This was at a time when schools were not classed 1A, 2A, etc., but were all together in a tournament.  Some early principals in the senior high school days were:  Jesse Richardson, E.T. Bolding, D. F. Pennington, Victor Wood, P.T. Groves, and C. C. Carson.  Later principals were J.E. Williams, Opton Kelly, George Buboise, and later Carney Hughes and H. H. West.  

    Vina School 1925    Vina School 1924  Vocational Building Vina School 1925


    A group from Hodges was bused in which boosted the number of students attending Vina.  The junior play was called "George in a Jam."  The senior class had a field trip to Bald Rock and Dismals Canyon where they climbed over the rocks and hills.    The senior play was "The Ginger Girl" which was given twice because of its success.  

    VHS Class of 1939   Senior Class 1939

    Donald Flippo, Frances Hopkins, Caston Cantrell, Archie Sullivan, Roy Lee Alverson, Amy Stott, James Isham Thorn, Roberta McAfee, Goble Wilson, Evans Murphy, Robert Reid, Ellis Townsend 

    (Not pictured:  Joetee Sparks, Len Burroughs)

    1939 VHS Faculty   Faculty of 1939

    Front Row:  Miss Audrey Tomkins, Mr. Floyd Dotson, Miss Eula Thorn, Mr. George Duboise, Mrs. Jack Shotts   Second Row:  Miss Rezzie Price, Mrs. Mary Lou Baker, Miss Ambie Ellis, Mrs. Hoyt Davis, Miss Roxie Fowler   Third Row:  Mr. Opton Kelly (Principal), Mr. Clifford White 



    Around 1950 a new school building was built.   


    The vocational building was built in 1967 and included a shop and a home economics section.  Mrs. Mary Mills served as home economics teacher for 30 years.  


    On March 15,1981 the main buildings of the school including the auditorium burned.   The boiler room, vocational building, gym, lunchroom, and one building with 5 classrooms and an office were spared and are all still in use today.  See the photo gallery above to the right to view the tragic results of the 1981 fire. A new school bulding was built and situated perpendicular to the old school site.

    1983 New Building



    In 2001, the stadium was remodeled and new bleachers installed.  The stadium was named The Franklin-Hester Stadium.  In 2005 a baseball field was added and the old baseball field was converted to the softball field.  First games on the new field were played in the 2006 spring season.  The Multipurpose Building was built in 2006.  This building has a gymnasium and a stage making it useful for basketball practice, youth basketball games, assemblies, and programs.  

      Franklin Hester Stadium Scoreboard   Baseball Field   Multipurpose Building