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Tanner students recall days at historic school

Published: 8:09 PM, 02/22/2013

Source: The Newport Plain Talk

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Tanner Preservation Committee continues its work to rescue and preserve the historic Tanner School, one of the few Rosenwald Schools remaining in America. Many students of the institution used the knowledge and wisdom gained there as springboards for success in many areas of life. Many students chose to leave Cocke County and pursue their careers elsewhere, but took with them fond memories of their days at Tanner. One of these was Olivia Dawson Thomas, who shares her story and memories today. In observance of Black History Month, the Tanner Preservation Committee has shared these memories with us.

Olivia Virginia Thomas, born Olivia Dawson, was born in Parrottsville in June of 1943 and attended Tanner High School from 1956-1960 when she graduated as valedictorian.

While attending Tanner High, Olivia credits her English teacher, Mr. Isaac Rakestraw, as being “very instrumental in my pursuit of my business adventure.”

After graduating from Tanner, Olivia attended the National School of Business in Lebanon, Tennessee, where she majored in Business Administration.

For more details, please see the weekend edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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