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Hampton-Parker recalls days at Tanner School

Published: 8:06 PM, 02/07/2014 Last updated: 8:05 AM, 02/10/2014

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.
Linda Carol Hampton-Parker says, "My elementary school academic journey began at the age of five years old at the Tanner Elementary School. This journey lasted for eleven years. The educational training I received at Tanner served as a launching pad for further and future academic challenges. My class was the inaugural desegregation class for Cocke County High School. My classmates and the other students at Tanner were blessed to have some very dedicated, knowledgeable, and innovative teachers. At Tanner, do you remember diagramming verses from the Bible? Often the teachers had to use outdated textbooks and work with very limited supplies. Some of my teachers included Nettie Sue Swagerty, Irene G. Smith, Irene Stokley, Rev. Issac K. Rakestraw, who was also our principal, Ms. Dubois, Mr. Smith, Mr. Hall, Mrs. Mae Leeper, Mrs. Gladys Dockery, Mr. Hubbard, Mrs. Joann Hicks, Miss Viola Franklin, Mr. Hawk and Mr. Mason. After losing my job at BASF after twenty-four years of service, I returned to college in 1994 and in 1996 earned degrees in Management Technology/Legal Assistant, General Studies and Public Safety, Probation and Parole. Prior to these dates, my main focus from 1968 to 1993 and then some was to obtain employment, be the best parent possible, watch my daughter, Tippi, blossom and provide her with the best possible education within my financial means. All of these goals were accomplished.For more details, please see the weekend edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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