History of the School
Until the early 1920's, many of the young people living in the Stoney Creek area had to attend school in Elizabethton. It was at that time that County School Board member, C.H. Hyder, recognized the need for an educational institution in the general locale. He acquired the assistance of Mr. George Cole, a forest ranger working in the Carter Country region. Mr. Cole arranged for the government to donate the lumber for the construction of the school which was to come from the Unaka mountains. Resulting in the source of our name and mascot: Unaka for the mountains and Rangers in honor of Mr. Cole. The construction was finished in 1922 thanks to the time and efforts donated by the people of the community. A special thanks was due to John Peters and J.L. Hyder who were the leaders of this project. In the early 1950's, a block building was constructed near the old frame building. The new building was used for high school purposes leaving the origial building for the elementary. However, in the spring of 1958, the original building was destroyed by fire, creating a need for another new building. Late in the year 1959, a modern brick building was constructed overlooking the Unaka Mountain Range for use by the high school. Joe E. Taylor, who had been principal in the other building was again the principal and worked with 16 teachers. The 1970's saw expansion of the vocational programs in all of the Carter County high schools, with a new building at Unaka High housing Auto Body Repair, Cosmetology, General Building and Trades, and Vocational Office Education. Also, students had the option of attending alternative vocation classes at Hampton, or Happy Valley: Auto Mechanics, Drafting, Health Occupations, Small Engines, and Electricity and Welding. The 1980's and 1990's were years of tremendous growth academically for Unaka High School. The state-mandated curriculum changes have improved the quality and the opportunities available to our students. Requirements have been raised to better prepare students for higher education and immediate employment. The introduction of technology into all disciplines is keeping Unaka High abreast of changes continually taking place.