A History of Knightdale High School
By William A. (Billy) Wilder, Jr. Former Mayor, The Town of Knightdale
Early formal educational opportunities at Knightdale began on the farm owned by Henry Haywood Knight, founder of Knightdale. The small one-room facility was located on land now occupied by Country Squire Estates Mobile Home Park. Knightdale children were educated there for a few years in the early 1900s.
As the Knightdale area grew there was a need for more space in a school. The ladies of the community organized the Women’s Betterment Association for Knightdale School. They raised money to assist the school program at the first town school. A three-room school building was completed in about 1914. The building, located on First Avenue, was the first rural Wake County school to offer hot lunches. The “Betterment Ladies” assisted with lunch with a student cost of 3 cents per lunch. High school classes were added in the late 1920’s. Prior to that time High School classes were available in Wendell or in Zebulon.
In 1926 the large Knightdale High School was completed Ridge Road in Knightdale. The first graduating class finished their eleventh year as graduates in 1927. After 38 years as an active part of the community the antiquated structure was replaced as Knightdale Elementary School. High School students moved into the brand-new Vaiden Whitley High School, which is located on the East Wake High School campus on Rolesville Rd., in 1966.
From 1965 until 1976 high school students from the Knightdale attendance area attended Vaiden Whitley High School along with high school students from Wendell. In 1977 another new high school opened adjacent to Vaiden Whitley High School. It was named East Wake High School. What was Whitley High School was converted to a middle school. In the fall of 2004 another new facility opened as what we presently know as Knightdale High School after a hiatus of 39 years. The long and happy relationship with Wendell high school students at Whitley High and East Wake High from 1966 until 2003 is part of the reason that the games with East Wake High in any sport display a fierce but healthy rivalry unparalleled between any two Wake County high schools. One could argue it might be the best high school rivalry in the state.