|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.
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use outdated textbooks and work with very limited supplies.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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