Our school began in the late 1970s with the combining of sixth through eighth graders from Altamahaw-Ossippee Elementary and Elon Middle Schools. The first principal was the educational visionary Wilma Parrish. Mrs. Parrish treated the school like her second home and her students and staff like an extended family. Under Mrs. Parrish's leadership, the school gained attention in national education circles for being a place where innovation combined with great teaching, an active community, and motivated youngsters.
From the environment in our school came our school motto "Creating the Future Together." Teachers and schools cannot do it on their own, after all parents are their children's first teachers. The Western Middle School staff continue to acknowledge the pivotal role that families play in the educational and overall success of our students.
After her retirement, Mrs. Parrish continued to provide inspiration and encouragement to Western Middle School through the veteran teachers that worked under her leadership. To recognize the impact she made on Western Middle, the staff voted to name the newest wing to our school "The Wilma Parrish Wing." In the spring of 1999, the school board approved this request.
Sadly, Mrs. Parrish passed away on Friday, February 11, 2000.
Mrs. Parrish was employed in education for 32 years in the Alamance County School System. She was our school's first principal. While she was principal, Western Middle was named one of the top four middle schools in the nation.
Mrs. Parrish was awarded the Principal of the Year Award in 1986. Other recognition she received includes: Regional Principal of the Year, the Allen Keith Lucas Friend of Children Award from the N.C. Child Care Association, and the C. Kenneth McEwin Distinguished Service Award.
This portrait adorns the entranceway to the Wilma Parrish wing of Western Middle. This wing is a lasting legacy to the great educator that lead our school in its first years and oversaw the designing of the main building.