To the Editor:
After reading the article about the “new” Nolan Middle School located 10 miles away in Harker Heights, I couldn’t help but reflect on the history of that great school that has served the community for almost 60 years.
I attended NJH from 1965 to 1968 and took a moment to pause and think about some fond memories of the friends and teachers I remembered from those days.
Since we lived less than two miles from school, I had to walk to school down a gravel road called Jasper Drive. That included crossing New 440 as it was called in those days (now 195). On the way I passed by the old Gibson store and remember the Sunday “blue laws”.
There were only fields on the south side of Jasper on the way to school. Several teachers come to mind when I remember the school faculty Those teachers included Coaches Rhea Tucker and Ralph Widacki and everyone’s favorite history teacher, Johnny Watson.
Sadly, they have all passed away, but they all left a mark on the community and the lives they touched.
I still fondly remember my favorite teacher, Mr. Dickie Parker, who not only gave me a love of English grammar, but inspired me to become a teacher. I got to see him years later and thanked him for the inspiration.
I didn’t end up teaching grammar but rather became a Sunday school teacher and recently celebrated 38 years of teaching the Bible.
If this letter is written in a logical and coherent order, it is due in part to Mr. Parker’s influence.
Mr. Jean, who sported a military-type crew cut, kept us all afraid and in line.
Whenever I go to a KHS reunion, I am amazed at the number of students who attended Nolan and still live in Killeen. Nolan stood out as a friendly and safe environment for that community it served.
Now that it is moving to Harker Heights, there will be a void. A new mega elementary will now reside on the lot.
I can’t help but wonder where the local middle school students will attend. Will they be bused to Harker Heights? If so, that’s too bad. They will lose the sense of community a neighborhood school provides.
Thanks for the memories, Nolan Junior High and all the students and teachers who filled the halls. May you continue to be fondly remembered.
I wish nothing but the best for the new school, but this old Mustang will choose only to remember the school that served south Killen for many years. Thanks for allowing me to share this memory.