Georgia’s Official State School, Plains High School, was built in 1921 with students attending first through eleventh grades. Famous graduates of the school include President Jimmy Carter and his wife, former First Lady Rosalynn Smith Carter. The school closed in 1979, and in 1996 reopened as the museum and visitor center for the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.
In the 1930s, the school day began for students in the auditorium. Students sang patriotic songs, announcements were made, and on special occasions students performed plays on the stage for the entire student body.
Miss Julia’s Classroom
Miss Julia Coleman taught in a classroom like this one during the years Jimmy Carter attended Plains High School. This classroom is set to the year 1937, when Miss Julia was Jimmy Carter’s seventh grade English Teacher.
Renown for her high standards, love of learning, and kind heartedness, Miss Julia introduced students to classic works in both art and literature while also emphasizing enduring values and good citizenship.
In 1981, Carter said of Miss Julia: “I thought she treated me in a special way because I was exceptional in some way, but later I found this was not the case. She had a lot of ‘special’ students… I have been continually amazed to discover how many of her students she made to feel extraordinary because she saw in them an exceptional yearning or talent — or just a need for love and understanding.”
Plains High School Today
Today, Plains High School is the site of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site visitor’s center and museum. Display rooms throughout the school teach visitors and students about the early life of President Jimmy Carter and others in the small farming community.