Military Appreciation Day

Veterans Day, previously known as Armistice Day is a dedicated time to honor our active duty and veterans of the armed forces in appreciation for our freedom.  There was a time when O’Neal was in session on Veterans Day. It was seen as a great opportunity to invite other students to visit on campus whose schools were closed. Around 2010, the enrollment of military families started to increase.

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The Tate Family

“She was an angel for us,” remembers O’Neal’s founding Board Chairman Ted Taws. “She kept us alive in the early years.” He is referring to Elaine McAlpin Tate, whose three granddaughters and one great grandson are O’Neal graduates. Elaine Rockefeller McAlpin was born in 1905 in Manhattan, NY. She married Henry Clinch Tate in 1931. O’Neal’s Tate Gymnasium built in 1974 is named in memory of her late husband. Mrs. Tate gave to the School generously every year until her death at age 80 in February 1986. It was only a few months before her passing that O’Neal’s first lower school building was dedicated as the Elaine McAlpin Tate Educational Building at the School’s first Founders Day celebration on October 25, 1985. One can only assume that Founders Day in October was on account of the School moving from the Campbell House to its campus at this time.

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1989 State Champions

What do dimes, chicken wings and pancakes have in common? Volleyball. The uniqueness of the volleyball language sets itself apart from the rest. The history of volleyball at O’Neal, particularly in the 1990s, is also in a league of its own. Volleyball was one of the first sports introduced at O’Neal with the earliest account in 1973 and the home games were played “under the pines”.

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Parents Association

Picnic 2014

How does any type of educational institution serving young students function without the physical support of the parents? To the naked eye, it may not seem so necessary, but the role of a parents association cannot be overstated. In O’Neal’s 50 years, a parents association has served the School beginning in 1972, just one year after O’Neal opened its doors.

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Spencer Sullivan, son to Lloyd Sullivan - 2018

In the fall of 1971, Wallace O’Neal Day School opened. In the fall of 1972, O’Neal added athletics to the mix, with soccer and basketball. Originally serving students in grades 4-6, grades 7 & 8 were added for the 1972-1973 year. In the fall of 1973, the 9th grade was added. It is suspected that the 1973 year was the first year for a varsity soccer team.

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Class Trips

Senior Class Trip 2012

A lasting tradition for The O’Neal School is Class Trips. The Class Trip is defined as an excursion out of town with the students and teachers in your grade. Typically, it is overnight for three to five days, but not always. They are scheduled near the beginning of the school year and the main purpose is to provide an environment to encourage peer bonding as well as to strengthen relationships with advisors. The more a teacher knows about the student outside of the classroom, the better equipped they are to teach them.

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Wallace O’Neal Day School Opens

The Campbell House

The day had come to open Wallace O’Neal Day School for students. Over the summer months, the office at First Union Bank was busy with enrollment testing for students and hiring of teachers. Many publications have a variety of numbers for the quantity of students enrolled that first year. The quantity stated the most is 35. Everything was in place, except for one large item – a building. Mobile units to place on the acreage donated to the School by Mrs. Mary Elaine Meyer O’Neal had not yet arrived.

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