Chesterfield graduated 1,950 students in 1980, a little under a half of the total 4,200 or so for this year. Thomas Dale was still bulging with the third largest graduating class in the county even though L.C. Bird High School, named for State Senator Lloyd Campbell Bird who died the year the school was built, had taken a hefty number of students just the year before. Thomas Dale graduated 295 seniors compared to Meadowbrook with 250. L.C. Bird’s first senior class graduated 190 students and Matoaca just 130.
Scholarships were not what they are today. The John Rolfe Players, Chester’s performing troupe who was in the midst of rehearsing “Everyone Loves Opal,” gave a $50 bond to Thomas Dale’s Robert Brinkerhoff with the highest scholarship listed in the Chesterfield News Journal of $500.
As overcrowding had forced Thomas Dale to split and L.C. Bird to be built, the issue of an ever increasing number of enrollments dogged Chesterfield for the rest of the 1980s. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that “on average, 1,600 new students enrolled each year.