HISTORY OF PICKERING HIGH SCHOOL
On October 7, 1920 an 8 mill tax was voted upon and approved for the purpose of erecting and equipping a school house in Pickering School District on E.E. Carroll's land. The majority of the taxpayers in favor was 53 in number and $42,720 in amount, therefore the proposition was carried. Finly S. Stanley was secretary of the Vernon Parish School Board.
The Pickering Elementary/High School was built in 1923 and has always been at the same location. The first school was a two story white building which was built with lumber from the Pickering sawmill. It housed Grades 1-11. The school took its name from the W.R. Pickering Lumber Company which was located just south of the present school on the north side of what is now Hwy. 10. There were approximately two hundred students. The first graduating class was in 1925. Class rings cost $6.55. William Watkins was the first Principal. There have been 13 Principals to follow.
In 1943 a new elementary was built and it housed grades 1-6. The two story building then became the high school. During the next few years, there were structural problems with the original building. these were mainly with the roof. After great investigation it was agreed to remove not only the roof, but the entire second floor. The remaining structure was then bricked, giving the school a completely different look. This was finished in the fall of 1944 and the school was re-opened.
In 1963 the gymnasium burned and a new one was built for the 1964 school year and remains today as the elementary gym. In 1966 another building was added to the school grounds. It housed grades K-12 with 600 students.
In the mid 1970's a bond was passed to purchase additional property to build the present high school. In 1980 construction commenced on the school, along with a baseball field, softball field, football field, track and gymnasium.
In 1977, Pickering decided to add a band program to their curriculum. They started with a junior high band with about 20 students. Today the numbers have grown to a marching band with a flag and rifle line that performs at football games and competes at marching festivals across the state.
In 1982 the first graduating class was held in the present gym, and Pickering proudly boasted of a whole new high school facility. The original two story building that was now a one-story brick building was then used for various things until it was finally torn down. In 1986 the football stadium and field house was completed and completed its first season with a junior high team. In 1987, junior varsity was added and in 1988 the Red Devils played an independent schedule in varsity play. In 1988, Pickering High school was sanctioned by the LHSAA and would be eligible for state playoffs by becoming a member of District 4-AA.
In 2001, another bond was passed and construction began again with a new room for the entire high school building, a new Art and Computer complex, office complex and expanding the present library.
In April 2016 our community passed a bond to add needed improvements to the elementary and high school campuses. New tile has been laid in the hallways and many classrooms have received new air conditioners. New lockers are installed and all of the classrooms have been painted. A new 70-passenger activity bus has been purchased; new lights were added to our football stadium as well as a new track. Construction is currently in progress on a new press box and addition to the field house; work is underway on a hitting facility for baseball and softball. We are looking forward to more improvements in the next year. Thank you to our community for always supporting Pickering.