Zoe Rhine, North Carolina Room librarian, began researching the faculty of Stephens-Lee High School in 2017 with the goal of gathering more information about the faculty’s educational attainments, what and how they were able to continue master’s degree programs, what schools they attended, as well as what happened to the teachers after the integration of Asheville City Schools.
Her research initially was focused on the faculty of 1964, the year before the school closed. The Faculty of Stephens-Lee High School: A Tribute, a notebook containing biographical and educational information on all 34 teachers at Stephens-Lee in 1964 is available in the North Carolina Room and at the Stephens-Lee Archives.
Research has continued on earlier teachers, as well as on the school’s predecessor, Catholic Hill School. An indexed notebook, Public Education for Blacks in Asheville: Beaumont Academy, Beaumont School & Catholic Hill Newspaper Scrapbook–1886-1922 and an indexed Stephens-Lee High School Newspaper Scrapbook–1924-1965 is also now available and when completed, copies will also be placed at the Stephens-Lee Alumni Center.
Starting in 2018, we took this research to the Stephens-Lee alumni, first as an exhibit during reunions and then as an official program held April 9, 2019.
The North Carolina Room staff and volunteers began working with Sarah Hart, President of the Stephens-Lee Alumni Association and Kim Kennedy, director at the community center, to interview Stephens-Lee alumni. We met with alumni at several high school reunions in 2018 and took either brief sound recorded or video recorded interviews of their comments and memories of being a student at Stephens-Lee. These range from 10 to 30 minutes. We continue to meet alumni throughout the community and record their stories.