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Fifth-grade gifted students at Gainesville Exploration Academy recently interviewed retired Times editor Johnny Vardeman about the history of Gainesville City School System.
The class has been involved in gathering information during the past several months with the help of superintendent Merrianne Dyer, school board member Sammy Smith, principal Priscilla Collins and Vardeman.
He shared many of his articles, including some about the origins of the system published in 1969, the first seniors who earned diplomas in 1894, the history of the site of Main Street school, and information about the first superintendent of the system, Robert Emory Park, who became a distinguished professor at UGA and namesake of Park Hall on the UGA campus.
He even answered student questions about how the Red Elephant became the GHS mascot.