school created when Dan McCarty and LPA merged in 1970.
Like many of LPA’s students in its first few decades, Little’s
parents had little education and worked in farm fields and
citrus groves around Fort Pierce.
Little, 96, lives in Dothan, Alabama, with a daughter now
that he’s survived two wives. He still drives and shops for
himself, but he’s not fond of night driving. He comes back to
Fort Pierce around Christmastime every year to hand deliver
his homemade fruitcakes, which he dutifully did just a few
From the Class of 1968 is Lee Ernest Rhyant, who went on
to be executive vice president at Lockheed-Martin Marietta
after leadership positions at Rolls Royce Aerospace, Detroit
Diesel Allison, and as a plant manager for General Motors.
He is a highly sought business and leadership consultant
who lives near Atlanta.
He credits Little for being a role model for him.
“I got my core skills from the family, the church and the
school,” Rhyant said. “Earl Little was involved in all three of
those for me.”
Rhyant recently published Soaring that is part autobiography
and part advice for business executives, which he wrote
with a college professor.
In it, he recounts the time in February 1968 when the first
statewide teachers strike in America was called, keeping a
good portion of LPA’s and Dan McCarty’s teachers out of
class for about six
weeks. Students in
the lower grades
of the two high
schools stayed home
because of a lack
of teachers but in
order to keep the
seniors on track for
graduation, the two
schools’ student seniors
all reported to
Dan McCarty until
the strike was over.
That first day of
the merged senior
were told to report
for an assembly on
campus. The two
and Dan McCarty’s Carol Strange, were called to the stage.
And a simple act of friendship, Rhyant said in an interview,
helped disarm what could have been a violent situation.
“She politely reached out her hand to shake mine,” Rhyant
1959 LPA YEARBOOK
The LPA cheerleaders supported the Greyhounds as the football team played other all-black schools. Only two of LPA’s 1958 football opponents are still
high schools today: Blanche Ely High in Pompano Beach and Dillard High in Fort Lauderdale. The Martin County Training School, which was is listed as
Stuart, became Murray High in the 1960s before integration.
1954 LPA YEARBOOK
LPA’s football Greyhounds were 15-0 in 1952
and 1953, outscoring opponents 438-39.
Their star halfback, David Latimer, is shown
in 1953. His nephews, Mike and Don Latimer,
scored 26 of Fort Pierce Central’s 29 points
in winning the 1971 state championship.