School closes doors for good, alumni gather to remember

Remembering good times at Rhyne Elementary

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - An Elementary school in Gaston County is closing its doors this week, and not just for the summer. Since 1955, Rhyne Elementary School has been an institution of learning and the very best of memories for teachers and students alike.

Dozens of people gathered at the school in Gastonia Friday afternoon to remember their childhoods. Many of the people went to school there when the walls were brand new. Some were teachers at Rhyne up until the doors closed for good on Wednesday.

One of the fondest memories many of these folks have are of Ken Ratchford, the former principal at Rhyne. You can measure a good career by how many people fondly remember your name. A great career by how many people insist your name is the stuff of legends.

"He's like the patriarch of Rhyne Elementary," said Wavey Williams, former P.E. teacher at the school.

Many at the gathering spoke very highly of Ratchford. The former principal showed up to see his former colleagues.

"You treat them right and they'll treat you right," Ratchford said.

Everything inside the school will be carried away eventually, but the memories that happened at the corner of Davidson and Hargrove will leave hearts full for a long time to come.

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