History of Gretna Middle

The land deed for the original school was written on October 5, 1903. It was purchased from T. C. Creasy and E. L. Creasy. The school, Pittsylvania Industrial Normal and Collegiate Institute, was a private boarding school with grades 1-11. It was supported by black Baptist churches in the county.

Dr. G. W. Goode was the principal from 1903 to 1933. In 1925 the school became a joint private and public school. The county paid the salary of one elementary teacher, Mrs. Mattie Jones. The school enrollment was small. Graduating classes never exceeded five students until the year 1931. The class of 1931 produced nine graduates.

Mr. R. L. Jones, a graduate of one of the earlier classes and a teacher at the school, became principal in 1933 and remained in that position until 1948. The Pittsylvania County School Board purchased the land from the churches in 1936 and made it a public school.

Pittsylvania County Training School became the new name of the school. In 1947, the school adopted the twelve-year program. In 1949 the school’s name was changed to Northside High School. Mr. Albert Tippitt was principal from 1948 until 1968. Mr. James H. Harris, Sr., became principal in 1968. In 1969 the school was integrated, and the name was changed to Gretna Junior High School. Mr. Paul L. Martin became principal in 1986.

In the fall of 1988, the name was changed to Gretna Middle School. Mr. Clarke C. Scott was appointed principal in 1992 and served until 1996. Mrs. Sandra McKenzie was appointed principal on July 1, 1996 and remained principal until 2000. In 2000, Mr. York Pinckney became principal and served until spring of 2003.

In 2003, the present Gretna Middle School building was opened under the leadership of Mrs. Vera F. Glass. Mrs. Glass served as principal until her retirement in 2017. Mr. Carter W. Lowry was named principal in 2017 and began serving in July 2017 until October 2019, when he transferred to a position at Central Office.

On October 14, 2019, Mr. Eric A. Moon was appointed principal and still currently serves in that position. A list of prior Assistant Principals who served at the new Gretna Middle includes Mrs. Kim Haymore, Ms. FreAnda Glass, and Mr. Carter Lowry.

Mrs. Kirsten Harper was named Assistant Principal of Gretna Middle in 2017 and served until 2018. Mrs. Christie Dawson was named Assistant Principal in 2018 and served until 2019. Mr. Thomas Takacs was named Assistant Principal in 2019 and still currently serves in that position.

As the school year begins, we are very excited to celebrate each success and overcome every challenge. The teachers and staff are committed to achieving excellence in all instructional and student endeavors.

Although there have been many changes over the years, the mission of Gretna Middle school remains the same: “To use life experiences and acquired knowledge, to promote higher order thinking to become lifelong learners, and to be successful in an ever changing world.” The vision of allowing each child to reach his/her full potential continues to be shared by the faculty, staff, and administration.

Alumni Honors Early Black Education
In Pittsylvania County 1903-1969
at the former Gretna Middle School location


See close ups below: