A new photo display in the Hawkins County Board of Education meeting room features past superintendents dating back to 1923. Photo by Jeff Bobo.
ROGERSVILLE — A new photo display in the Hawkins County Board of Education meeting room features past superintendents dating back to 1923, but the search continues for photos of even earlier superintendents.
The Superintendent and Directors of Schools Project, which began in January, is headed by Charlotte Webb, who is the district's Title 1 federal programs supervisor.
Through her research, Webb located photos of 10 past Hawkins County superintendents, dating back to E.A. Cope, who served as an appointee 1923-30 and then served again 1934-48 after the school superintendent became an elected position in 1930.
"It's the nature of education to write vision statements and mission statements, but sometimes it's helpful just to stop, look back, and see whose shoulders we're standing on," Webb said. "There are 10 leaders of Hawkins County Schools (on the wall display). I found that we actually go all the way back to 1875 with many other leaders that I have not found pictures of."
Webb said she is hoping the public can help her locate the collection's missing superintendent photos, the latest of which is that of E.A. Price, who served 1956-64.
Other photos Webb hopes to locate include the county's first elected superintendent, J. Ross Walker, who served 1930-34, as well as earlier appointed superintendents including S.W. Brown (1877), W.F. Dykes (1893), and C.H. Richardson (1907 and 1911).
"In the 1930s there were 111 schools in our district, built around seven districts, and six of them had high schools," Webb said. "They had beautiful names like Sunrise and Pink Hill, Solitude and Liberty and Freedom. Wonderful names of little one-room schoolhouses in our district."
Webb added, "The minutes of these early school meetings included really important decisions such as the ones we have today like, are we going to begin serving hot meals in Surgoinsville. Should we go ahead and ban Sunday baseball on school property, and they did."
Aside from Cope, the other photos now on display include:
— John G. Wagner, 1948-49.
— J. O. Harville, 1949-56 and 1964-68.
— Ralph H. Anderson, 1968-80.
— Bill Snodgrass, 1980-84.
— Robert Cooper, 1984-88.
— William Guy Justice, 1988-92.
— James H. Dykes, elected 1992-2000; appointed 2000-2003.
— E. Clayton Armstrong, 2003-07.
— Charlotte Britton, 2007-14.
Anyone who know where to locate the missing superintendent photos can call the central office at (423) 272-7629, ext. 123, and notify board secretary Jennifer Winegar.
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