July 12: Happy Birthday! Robert Lee “Bob” Blevins

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Robert Lee “Bob” Blevins was born on this day in 1917, in Mitchell County, to Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Blevins.

He earned his undergraduate degree in English and social studies from Milligan College in Tennessee.

After college, he began teaching in Bakersville in Mitchell County, and served in the Army Air Force during World War II.  He was a captain at the end of the war, and remained in the active reserves for 20 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

After the war, he earned his master’s degree in education at the University of North Carolina.  He met his future wife, Nell, at UNC, and they married in 1947.

Blevins was assistant principal of Griffith High School, then became assistant principal at the new Mineral Springs High School.

He went to Old Town School in 1952 as assistant principal.  When Principal E. K. McNew died a month later, Blevins became principal.  He remained principal at Old Town until 1963.

When Blevins went to Old Town in 1952, the school contained first grade through twelfth grade, all in one building.  In 1955, Northwest High School opened, and the high school students moved to Northwest.  Old Town became an elementary school with grades one through eight.

In 1963, Blevins became assistant superintendent of elementary education for the school system.  During this time, he helped phase in kindergarten and dealt with the challenges of integration.

Blevins retired in 1977.  He has volunteered at the Food Bank and for Meals on Wheels.  He is an active member of the Kiwanis Club.  He also stays busy attending reunions of various Old Town classes.  In fact, he helped the class of 1953 celebrate their 60th year anniversary in 2013.

To these students, and to the students who followed them at Old Town, their principal will always be “Mr. Blevins.”

Happy Birthday, Mr. Blevins!

Photo courtesy Old Town School yearbook, 1955.

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