Grady High School seems much smaller when viewed through the lens of time. But the beloved school still elicits vivid memories for a group called the Grady Girls, comprised of women from the class of 1956.
They remember having a crush on Grady football coach Erk Russell, who went on to become an icon at the University of Georgia and later Georgia Southern. They also remember reading The Southerner student newspaper as well as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which wrote about the Grady cheerleaders’ trendsetting Bermuda shorts, a first for the state.
Like the city they call home, this group of about 35 women has transformed quite a bit since their Grady days. They have grown up, gotten married and pursued careers ranging from accounting to movie production. Now, some watch as their own grandchildren attend classes at Morningside Elementary, Inman Middle and, eventually, Grady High School.
“The APS experience is very valuable,” said Dorothy Lynn DeWitt (first picture, far left), who helps organize the monthly meetings. “I grew up in this community, and remember being part of the activity and business of the community. Growing up is very different if you know your neighbors and think of them as family, and parents work to keep the community strong — it’s so valuable, so I really believe in public schools.”
Some of their valuable stories will be preserved through the Morningside History Project, which celebrates the 80-year-old school. You can read more about the Grady Girls and the history project in the Spring edition of The Atlanta Educator.