School History

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Central Academy Middle School (CAMS) began as Central Academy in the fall of 1959 as a newly constructed plant serving the black community of
Botetourt County in grades one through twelve. The school was a total learning center for 465 students and was administered by the following principals:

  • William L. Johns, Sr. 1959-61 
  • Charles L. Conyers 1961-63 
  • Robert Stokes 1963-66

In the spring of 1966, the last Central Academy class graduated and the remaining student body was dissolved to become an integral part of the total Botetourt County School System. In the fall of that year, the school opened as Botetourt Intermediate serving the entire county’s seventh graders. Three years later, the eighth grade was eliminated from the high schools and joined the seventh grade to bring the enrollment to 725 students. To accommodate this growth, additions were made to the original building. The science wing, consisting of nine classrooms, was built in 1967, and the cafeteria was enlarged. Four additional classrooms were built in 1971 on what is called "The Breezeway”.

The student growth continued until 1978 when it reached a high of 925 students. During 1995-96 student year, Botetourt Intermediate was completely renovated, and in September of 1996, it opened as William Clark Middle School serving students in grades six, seven and eight. That same year, Read Mountain Middle School was built, thus reducing the number of students at CAMS. On July 1, 2001, William Clark Middle School was renamed Central Academy Middle School. CAMS currently houses about 465 students.

Berny D. Ferrill served as principal from 1966-79, and J. P. Jenkins, Jr. served in that capacity from 1979 until 1991. Under principal Berny Ferrill, the following assistant principal served: Lambuth Nutter, William Watson, Weldon Martin, and Donna Barton Greer. Assistant principals serving with Mr. Jenkins included Donna Barton Greer, Sandra Tunnell, and Wesley Jargowsky. Lewis W. Barlow became the principal in August of 1992, and Chester L. Adams served as the assistant principal from 1991-1995. In August of 1995, Dan Pendleton became the assistant principal. Chester Adams served as principal from July 1997 until 2003. Vaneta McAlexander served as principal from 2003 until 2009. Tim McClung was named the principal as of July 1, 2009.

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