New C.B. Watson school honors namesake’s legacy

awoolen@macon.comOctober 30, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- C.B. Watson’s legacy lives on not only with the school that is his namesake but also as a fifth generation of Watsons attends Houston County schools.

During the dedication ceremony of the C.B. Watson Primary School on Oct. 22, almost a dozen of his relatives listened as he was praised for his efforts in Warner Robins.

Watson was born in 1875 and was appointed the city’s first mayor in 1941. He served 8 1/2 years as the mayor, beating out five opponents in 1948, said Houston schools Superintendent Robin Hines.

“His local support is legendary,” Hines said.

Watson also was a county commissioner as well as a school board member.

Sonny Watson, wife Jeanne Watson, daughter Cindy Rearden, son-in-law Neal Rearden, Jennifer Rearden-Spence, Joseph Rearden, Chase Spence and Hunter Spence are all descendants, as well as Anne Burgess, Sonny Watson’s sister; Heath Wilson, Jamie Floyd, Kelli Wilson, Abele Pierce and Shyanne Wilson.

Chase and Hunter Spence are the fifth generation of C.B. Watson and are students at Mossy Creek Middle School.

“All of those who were present attended our schools,” said Beth McLaughlin, director of community and school affairs for Houston schools.

After the dedication and ribbon cutting, students offered tours of the new building. The school has 39 classrooms and is 81,000 square feet.

“I know that you’ll be impressed,” Hines said of the new school, which currently houses pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

Once renovations at Linwood Elementary are complete, C.B. Watson will have grades pre-k through second grade, while the new Pearl Stephens will host grades third through fifth. That shift will start in the 2014-15 school year.

The school’s media center holds laptops, a new smart table with a touch screen and a TV room, where students can become budding journalists.

Bravynn Taleb and Breshona Hurley, both third-graders, gave a tour of the school to Col. Christopher Hill, installation commander at Robins Air Force Base.

Hill said more than 7,000 students in Houston County were from military parents, including active duty and reservists.

Johnathan Groves, 8, a third-grader at the school, is a military child who enjoys meeting new friends and also his new school.

“I like how my teacher is really nice,” he said.

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