Harrison Seventh-day Adventist School


In 1946 a small home church school was being taught in Harrison by Mrs. Evelyn Winters. A few years later, in 1952 the Harrison church was ready to build their first church and the members included a classroom in the building. The Harrison school opened in 1960, closed in 1963, reopened for the 1965-1966 school year, and reopened again in 1968 (Report, 1959-1980). For the next few years, some of the teachers included Mrs. James Madison, Addie Lewis, Linda Malmede, and Lauel Burton. In the late 1960s, because of an increase in the number of students, the room in the church was no longer adequate so a school was built on property donated by Frank Cox, outside of Harrison in the White Oak community. Roby and Charles Hightower were the teachers at that time (History, 1981).

A Country School in 1974

Marian Bearden

Following the Hightowers, teachers included Richard Garver, Dale Williams, Dorothy Cox, Dr. Edwards, and Dr. Harlyn Blake. Dr. Blake bought a bus and his wife, Karol, transported the children to and from the school, as well as serving as an assistant teacher. A new school out in the country was completed by the 1974-1975 school year. During that time, Wilma Ritchey was in charge of the school library and Clarence Quarnstrom provided employment for some of the older students, packaging honey and making frames for his hives. From 1961 to 1978, Marion Allen Bearden was connected with the school, teaching much of the time, sometimes the entire term, other times part of the term, filling in, or as an assistant or as a substitute (History, 1981).

In 1974, Harrison SDA school was located in a rural setting overlooking Crooked Creek. It was veneered with native stone. There were 35 students from grades 1-10.

A New School in 1981

It became more and more difficult to have a church school so far out in the country, so after building a new church at Capps, a trailer house was purchased and converted into a school for two years. The teachers during that time were Betty Strout, Connie Hall, and Suzanne Boyer. Mr. Quarnstrom, Mr. Lauer and his family, the Allen family, and James Lanning helped in many other ways as well. Because of their dedication and work, a new school was built in 1981, with Arlin Monroe as the teacher (History, 1981). The school had abundant playground space, a large all-purpose room, kitchen, two restrooms and a classroom. An addition to the facility in 1997 gave additional classroom space, a separate library, a computer room, and a work area for the teacher’s aide (Hevener, 1998).

Harrison SDA School on Highway 392 West. Photo courtesy of Staci James.


(1959-1980). Teacher’s Opening Report. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.

(1981). History of Harrison church and school. Provided by Patti Castellano. Unpublished.

Hevener, Don. (1998, Mar. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 5.

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