The end of an era: Two local school districts merge to create Alleghany Highlands Public Schools

The Covington cougars and the Alleghany County mountaineers are joining forces beginning July 1

It’s the end of an era for two school districts in the region.

COVINGTON, Va. – It’s the end of an era for two school districts in the region.

Covington City Public Schools and Alleghany County Public Schools will combine forces and create a new district, Alleghany Highlands Public Schools.

The consolidation comes after decades of attempts.

“We have been discussing this in this community for a very long period of time, it actually predates my lifetime. So this is a very exciting moment for us to come together and team up and celebrate each other as neighbors,” said Alleghany County Superintendent Kim Halterman.

Thursday night was the beginning of the end for the two schools.

“This merger is done for the benefit of the kids and the students of both schools. One school system offers more opportunities. Better opportunities for academics, more classes offered, hopefully we can add programs both academically and athletically,” said Alleghany County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Garten.

They hosted a carnival to kick off this new chapter.

This year, only administration will merge. Next year, will be students and staff.

“Change is hard and change is hard in this community, and I understand that but this will bring good results for our community and our students,” said Covington City Superintendent Melinda Snead-Johnson.

Although the two original districts are becoming an idea of the past, people are looking ahead at what the future will hold for the community.

“It’s bittersweet. As a Covington alumni I recognize the fact that there won’t be Covington high school anymore. But I’m a glass half full type person and I’m optimistic for what a consolidated division can do together,” said Covington City School Board Vice-Chairman Jonathan Arritt.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.