Lanier Middle School is closing due to low enrollment in June.
Upon hearing about the final decision to close what was known as Lanier Jr. High School in the 1980's, alumni Keithon Robinson ('85), Greg Price ('86), Pamela Campbell-Lott ('85), Nate Turner ('83) and Jocelin Keglar ('84) organized a Farewell to the Lion's Den Party and Group Picture Day to reunite all alumni.
As the word spread through Facebook, middle school friends were excited about seeing some of the people with whom they had shared an important transition.
Lanier has never been a failing school and always provided a well-rounded education for students. Alumni met their well-respected band teacher, Joseph Nelson, who took many students to band competitions to visit historical black college in the southern states. His discipline, tough love and willingness to expose us to colleges – by taking us to perform in band parades – planted a stay-academically-focused seed in the band members, majorettes and flag girls.
Coach Shirley McCray shared with alumni her book, "Coach McCray." She is the first woman coach to coach an all-male football team at Lanier. Many of her former players joined her on stage as she spoke, thanking her for her tough love and dedication to the team during those middle school years of football.
The Lions also paid respect to classmates who are no longer here.
An alumni committee has been birthed to support our middle school. We encourage more Lanier Lions to join us in future events. The plans for Lanier's student body transition has not been completed.
(Jocelin Keglar is an alumni from the class of '84. Photographer Julius Carr is an alumni from the class of '79.)