Clare Rannigan headshot

Clare Rannigan

Lane High School, Albemarle High School


Clare Rannigan was born in July 1950 in Radford, Virginia, and lived in Harrisonburg before moving to Charlottesville in 1957. Almost immediately, schools closed, so she was unable to attend Venable until the second half of her third-grade year. Her family lived for many years in faculty housing. Because all University of Virginia student and faculty housing was considered to lie in the County of Albemarle, as a faculty brat, she could elect whether to attend classes at Lane High School or Albemarle High School. She first selected Lane in 1963, but she never felt that she fit in. In 1964 she changed course and switched to Albemarle, where she “had a large acquaintance and friendship base there.” When Burley High School was closed in 1967 and its students distributed to Lane and Albemarle High Schools, Rannigan was unaware of overt racism, but she admitted that she was “self-absorbed” and in some respects she missed what she termed “the horrible thing that is high school.” She doesn’t remember any effort to prepare for the students coming to Albemarle from Burley, reflecting that “these kids were just dropped into the stew.”

Full Interview