Though Wilson County’s population is larger than ever, its elementary schools operate at only 60% capacity. Consultants hired by the Wilson County Board of Education have proposed school closures and consolidations to address long-range system needs. One proposal includes the closure of Samuel H. Vick Elementary.
At a recent school board meetings, Vick Elementary’s supporters were especially vocal. As reported in the Times on December 20: “I see the Vick Elementary community as a true community where neighbors look out for each other, and the presence of the school has so much to do with that,” [Seeds of Hope Wilson community garden coordinator Julia Newton] said. “Rather than closing this school, it should be celebrated and supported. Its special place in Wilson history should be common knowledge. If we are indeed ‘One Wilson,’ let’s come together to keep Vick Elementary alive and thriving.”
Priscilla Morello of Winstead United Methodist Church’s Hand in Hand Partnership, which has provided volunteer support to Vick for two decades, said, “If you close Vick Elementary School, then a substantial, daily lifeline to the east Wilson community will be cut, and the families and students and the community will run the risk of falling into deeper community neglect. … Closing Vick Elementary will deprive an already marginalized community of the daily light and sense of purpose brought by this school to this neighborhood.”
Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2021.