Alumni gather to remember Scott County’s only African-American school

GATE CITY — Mary Lee Cornett Watterson remembers how important an education is.

“They taught us what we needed to be successful in life.”

At the first-ever reunion of Prospect Public School alumni in Gate City, she was among the many former students whose schoolwork began with only two instructors teaching seven grades. She graduated Prospect’s seventh grade class in 1962.

“Those two teachers had to deal with all of us each and every day,” she remembers. “But they made sure that we were not leaving Prospect until we were ready for the next level.”

Prospect was Scott County’s only African-American school. It was located at the top of the hill on Manville Road in Gate City, in the communities known locally as Sticktown and Trot. The historic school closed because of…

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