In the early 1960s, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh M. Cummings, III donated 77 acres of land to the Burlington City Schools as a site for a Junior and Senior High School. Under the leadership of Dr. L. E. Spikes and Dr. Brank Proffitt construction began on what is now Broadview Middle School in 1968. One year later the Senior High School was built.Cummings Senior High School opened its doors on August 25, 1970 with Mr. J. A. Freeman as principal. This marked the first time that Burlington ever had a fully integrated two-high school system. During his first year, Mr. Freeman and his staff successfully led the students through the transition of adjustment and initiation. From the very beginning, Mr. Freeman's goal was to inspire a sense of pride in both staff and students. This theme of "Pride" helped build dignity and self-worth in the students and staff.Since all of the Burlington freshmen attended Jordan Sellars, Cummings was only a three-year high school until 1981-1982. Since then the ninth grade has been a part of Cummings. During the same year, a joint effort of parents, community, and school made possible the opening of the present football stadium. The stadium was designed for the showmanship of competitive sports and marching band. Before 1981, all games had to be played in the city stadium at the Williams campus. In 1985, the first four year Cavaliers graduated from Cummings High School.Over the years, Cummings has achieved excellence in many areas. Two Cummings faculty members have been recognized as North Carolina Teachers of the Year -- Linda Lee and Donna Oliver. In 1988, Donna Oliver achieved the singular honor of becoming the National Teacher of the Year, carrying the message of education and Cummings High School throughout the nation.The school welcomed Governor Jim Hunt for the first time in 1980 when he toured the school and spoke about the importance of education.In 1990, after 20 years as principal, Mr. J. A. Freeman was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of the Burlington City Schools. Mr. Robert Logan became the second principal of Cummings High.In 1993, Ms. Chloe Dean McPherson became the first female principal of Cummings High. She had previously taught mathematics and served as an assistant principal at the school.Governor Jim Hunt returned to campus in 1993 to review the Technology Lab which served as a model for other labs across the state.In 1995, the faculty and administration initiated the block scheduling concept. Under this plan, students take four, ninety-minute classes a day. During the second semester, students take four new courses. This gives students the opportunity to take advantage of the numerous electives in the curriculum.Cummings High was part of the Burlington City Schools until the merger with Alamance County Schools in July 1996 when the two systems became Alamance-Burlington School System.In October 2000, the school honored the first principal by officially naming the gymnasium, the John A. Freeman Gym.In 2003, Mr. Roosevelt Perkins became the fourth principal of Cummings High.In 2005, Dr. Charles Monroe became the fifth principal of Cummings High.In the spring of 2006, the school system announced that Dr. Meg Sheehan and Ms. Lynn Briggs would be taking over as co-principals for the next school year. This transition period also included having teachers re-interview for their positions in order to guarantee that all faculty were here to improve the school. Teachers were also given an additional week of paid training in the summer to rebuild team camaraderie.The 2006-2007 school year had many changes (including the removal of all lockers); however, it was the most successful year for athletics. While many high schools are not even able to claim one state championship, this year's teams claimed the state championships in football, basketball, women's indoor track, and women's outdoor track.At the end of the 2007-2008 school year, Dr. Meg Sheehan announced that she had accepted a position in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County administration and would be leaving Cummings.New bleachers were installed in the J. A. Freeman gym during the summer of 2008.In December of 2010, Ms. Lynn Briggs announced that she had accepted a position at the Department of Public Instruction and introduced Mr. Emmet Alexander (then an assistant principal) as the eighth principal of Cummings High.Construction began on the Nall Athletic Center in the fall semester of 2010, and Principal Emmet Alexander recognized the Nall family for their generous donation that achieved this goal at the 2011 varsity football game against Western Alamance.When the ABSS Career & Technical Education Center (CTEC) opened in February 2012, Cummings High students had additional opportunities to learn about subjects that could benefit them on the job. Initial course offerings included: Culinary Arts & Hospitality, Digital Media, Computer Programming, and Allied Health. Students can take morning or afternoon classes at CTEC and are bussed from Cummings to the center.For one week in September 2012, Cummings High classes were held in the afternoons (from noon to 3:30 p.m.) at Broadview Middle School next door due to damage done by a flood in the sub-basement. Cummings staff and students displayed their adaptability and tenacity as they persevered with academic learning despite the new environment.Until June 2012, graduation festivities had been held in the gymnasium; however, due to student requests, the ceremony was moved to the football field for the Class of 2012.Aeron Sizemore was named the ABSS Teacher of the Year in September 2014. She is still a member of our Social Studies department.Due to the possibility of inclement weather at outdoor ceremonies and the need for larger facilities, the graduation ceremony moved once again to the sanctuary at Lamb's Chapel in Haw River in June 2015.During the summer of 2016, many changes were done to the physical structure. Five new classrooms were constructed and a new gym floor was installed in the J. A. Freeman gym as well as an upgrade to the scoreboard at the football stadium.During the summer of 2017, a new tile floor was installed in the Media Center to replace the carpeting.The fall semester of 2017 proved to be very successful for our school. The great news started when Principal Emmet Alexander announced to the faculty and staff on September 13th that our school had the second highest growth rate for all schools in the state of North Carolina. This continued when the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium named Cummings a "Signature School" for the year. Just a couple days after that announcement, the Alamance-Burlington School System named Mr. Alexander Principal of the Year.After being informed by central office administration that Lamb's Chapel would no longer be an option for the graduation ceremony venue, the graduation committee spent time exploring other options and polling seniors and their parents for their input. In the spring of 2018, it was decided that the ceremony would be held at the Fieldhouse in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.At the end of the 2018 school year, ABSS selected Principal Emmet Alexander as the new Assistant Superintendent of School Administration and Student Services. On July 19th, it was announced that Ms. LaTasha Fonville (who had been an assistant principal) would be the ninth principal of Cummings High School.The philosophy of Cummings High School is to provide an environment for maximum learning as well as to strive for excellence in education. This philosophy is exemplified through the cooperative efforts of staff, students, and teachers. The school's motto, "Nulli Secundus," which means "Second to None," serves as a catalyst for high standards of achievement.
Cummings High SchoolBurlington, North CarolinaWords by Aileen RichardsArranged by Matt FontanaD. LivingstonO' memories of Cummings HighTurn pages in our minds andset our hearts to singingSongs of glory years left behind.Hail O' Alma MaterHear the echoes ring.As we lift our voices highin songYour praises we will sing.
Hugh M. Cummings, III
Chloe Dean McPherson