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Tanner students recall days at historic school

Carrie Dawson Caldwell
Published: 9:32 AM, 02/06/2014 Last updated: 9:35 AM, 02/06/2014

Source: The Newport Plain Talk

EDITOR'S NOTEThe Tanner Preservation Alliance 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 Carrie Dawson Caldwell, who shares her story and memories today. In observance of Black History Month, the Tanner Preservation Alliance has shared these memories with us.

My name is Carrie Dawson Caldwell, and I attended Tanner School for nine years (1956-1965). I am the daughter of Ruth Mae Osborne Dawson (deceased) and Luther James Dawson. My mother graduated from Tanner High School and my brother, James and sister, Deloris attended Tanner until the schools were integrated.Our parents purchased a farm in the Dutch Bottoms Community when I was a year old. The four most important things that our parents placed emphasis on were education, church, family and work.The principal at Tanner School was the Rev. Rakestraw. He was also the principal during the time my mom attended Tanner. My teachers in elementary school were Mrs. Nettie Sue Swagerty, Mrs. Irene Stokely, Mrs. Irene Smith, Mrs. Mae Leeper and Mrs. Jo Ann Hicks (Music).  My first year of high school was the last year that I attended Tanner.  My teachers were Mr. Powell, Mr. Hawes, Miss Franklin, Miss Mitchell, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Hubbard.
For more details, please see the Thursday edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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