This Week in History: Jan. 15

January 14, 2014 

At age 8, Austin Boyette smiles after convincing his grandfather Grady Creech to rig a plastic sled to the back of a Gator for some fun during the first snow of 2004.

2004 FILE PHOTO

Here’s this week’s installment of This Week in History, where we administer your daily dose of antiquity with news stories from 10, 25, and 50 years ago.

In 2004, residents were recovering from the effects of an unanticipated snowstorm that left many scrambling to adapt. In a slight political hiccup in 1989, upset parents caused the Wake County Board of Education to reconsider their decision to replace East Wake High’s principal Barbara Rogers. And in 1964, students were invited to participate in a career day.

2004

The cold, we have plenty of. All that’s missing this year is the moisture.

In 2004, the Triangle received a snowstorm when residents were told to expect a flurry. Cable went out, schools were closed and determined commuters found themselves sliding along roads and barreling into other motorists.

The Jan. 9 snowfall caught eastern Wake motorists by surprise, fooled experts, and kept emergency crews busy handling wrecks and fires.

What was predicted by local weather forecasters to be only a “light dusting” of snow turned into significant accumulations for parts of eastern Wake County. Poole Road was transformed into an icy trap for commuters using the major artery to get to Raleigh and points west. Fire officials said they were dispatched to six separate wrecks that took place inside a four-mile radius on the roadway within an hour. One firefighter said he actually saw another accident happen behind him while he was clearing one in front.

Despite the heavy snowfall covering road surfaces, officials said it appeared as if motorists had all but ignored safe driving practices on major thoroughfares.

1989

In preparation for the merger between East Wake and Zebulon High Schools, the Wake County Board of Education voted to have East Wake High principal Barbara Rogers replaced with a more neutral party before the merger had even taken place. As the board quickly learned, however, upset parents weren’t shy about making their feelings known.

Altering a decision handed down last month, Wake County Superintendent Dr. Robert E. Bridges announced Friday that Barbara Rogers would finish out the year as principal of East Wake High School.

On Dec. 19, 1988, the Wake Board of Education voted to replace Dr. Rogers with assistant superintendent of personnel Charles Rose effective Feb. 1. Following protests from parents and school officials, and a meeting with the mayors of Zebulon and Wendell, Bridges reconsidered. He met with Dr. Rogers Friday morning and the two agreed she should remain in office until June 30.

Bridges had proposed the change to the board so that an unbiased party would be in place to facilitate the August merger of Zebulon and East Wake high schools. Students, parents, local officials and school board member Linda Johnson of Zebulon argued the move would disrupt the school year as well as the merger process. Johnson said Friday that she welcomed the news of Dr. Rogers’ extension.

1964

As far back as 50 years ago, educators were thinking about the need to teach children about career possibilities.

Students from Shepard and Wakelon Schools in Zebulon will be invited to participate in a Career Day project recently adopted by the Raleigh Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Parley A. King, chairman of the project, announced that the event will be held in Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh April 6-8, 1964, and will involve more than 4,000 high school students from 20 schools in Raleigh and Wake County. King stated that this will be the most comprehensive program of this type ever presented to students in this area. County school officials have expressed their approval of the project and have pledged their support and cooperation.

Approximately 40 booths representing major vocational fields will be set up in the auditorium. They will be staffed by representatives of firms, associations, industries and governmental agencies sponsoring the exhibits and will be equipped with literature, displays and audio visual aids to assist students in exploring vocational opportunities.

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