School officials, administrators and alumni attended the statue unveiling for the eagle that was erected at Coppinville Junior High School on Monday.
“We often talk with our students about the rich heritage that took place at Coppinville, as well as pride,” CJHS principal Debbie Hope said. “If you take a walk through our building you’ll see many signs with the acronym P.R.I.D.E. This is just one more opportunity for us to instill that pride in them. Alumni, without you it wouldn’t be possible, so thank you very much.”
County Commissioner Jimmy Jones thanked superintendent Greg Faught, assistant superintendent Dr. Patrick Cain, and the school’s very active alumni association “for making this vision come about.”
“Since 1880 Coppinville has established itself as a visionary for this community,” Jones said. “An eagle symbolizes strength, hope and faith. In the Bible it is always on the side of God. May this vision of this eagle inspire students for generations to come.”
The Coppinville area was one of the first areas of Coffee County settled by African Americans. In 1918 the Coffee County Training School was opened. In 1959, CCTS was renamed Coppinville High School. The last Coppinville High graduation class was in 1969, the year before the Enterprise City School System saw total de-segregation and all high school students attended Enterprise High.
The school became a junior high. B.F. Garth remained the principal and served there for 35 years. Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper thought of that educator as he made brief remarks.
“Having been a part of this group for about 42 years, I know what Coppinville is all about,” Cooper said. “If Mr. Goff was looking down today, you know he’d say, “Boy, y’all done it.” Thank you alumni, thank you staff. This is an everlasting thing.”
A Coppinville High graduate in 1968, Pinkie McSwain said the CCTCHS Alumni Association’s history is here.
“Our kids need to know where they came from, because how can you continue your legacy when you don’t know where you came from?” McSwain said. “We thank you, Coppinville Junior High School, for keeping this legacy going.”
The eagle’s wing span is nearly 13 feet across, said Jenny Hendrix, the owner of Replica Plastics which built the statue. Her company constructed the signature peanuts in Dothan and the iconic boll weevils in Enterprise.
“He weighs probably 75 pounds,” Hendrix added. “He’s made of foam core and fiberglass. We have amazing fabricators and artists that are part of our group. There’s not anything we can’t create.
“This was one of those beautiful projects. He turned out quite as magnificent as we had hoped.”