Maxine Beck: More Thoughts, History on Old Eastside School | Free


Recently I stated that I would continue to write about the old Eastside School.

Also in the first episode I said that the city of Talladega is no longer in charge of the building and it was reported by a Talladega official that the building needed to be renovated and used to include the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

(Remember that STEM/STEAM is designed to get students, even the most passive students, to think deeply, want to collaborate, and communicate with other students to find answers (link the dots) to equations simple and complex, liberate creative writing, support reading, etc).

I was happy to hear from two former Talladegans who read my first Eastside article. They gave me additional information and told me that they liked to read Eastside.

They too said they enjoyed reading about the founders of the Eastside School and were surprised to see their father listed as a founder.

I was surprised to learn that the Eastside School had a band and the band participated in the annual Talladega Christmas Parade.

As I reported earlier, my information about Eastside and the Knoxville community comes from people who were students at Eastside, early residents of the Knoxville community, or/and the information was passed to them.

I never attended Eastside School, although I lived in the Knoxville community.

When my family moved to Knoxville, I was too old to go to Eastside. Therefore, I attended and graduated from Westside.

Cornell Davis contacted a former Talladegan and received a full list of Eastside School founders. The list includes Thelma Keith, Catherine Prather, Tony Kirk, Dyke McKenzie, Buster Ratchford, Johnnie Howell, Frank Curry, Ruth Jemison, Joe Scales, Paleah Knox, Buddy Coleman and Bud Montgomery.

Congratulations to the pioneers above!

It would be nice, even though the school is no longer in operation, to have a marker erected on the property to remember/acknowledge the history of the structure.

Diane Lewis Turner reported being told about a school in the Knoxville community before Eastside School was founded by residents of the Knoxville community who had a strong belief that a better school was needed to the children of the Knoxville community.

Also, according to Diane, the school, a green building, was located at the corner of K Avenue and Bingham Street.

Diann further stated that he was told that the little school had gone through sixth grade and that the students had completed their education at Westside.

She remembers that the building was later used as a kindergarten.

Diann and Cornell agree that they enjoyed their years at Eastside and how they passed instructions on manners, social skills, and memories of strict discipline beyond Eastside.

Clara Knox, Betty Russell and William Patterson were listed as the main disciplinarians.

Ms. Clara was even mentioned as running the heating and as a janitor.

I salute Ms. Clara for going the extra mile!

My next article will focus on other notable movers/agitators/pioneers and happenings in the Knoxville community.

Just thinking about it

I wonder why home economics and business classes were dropped from the high school curriculum, especially as teenagers become parents and some students drop out of school before they graduate? And above all, some households, according to the reports and beliefs of some, do not offer the best learning environment.

But good news: General Motors, among other jobs/companies, offers students the opportunity to take automotive manufacturing/repair courses while in high school. After graduating, the student will only need two years of college education to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Today, there are so many advantages for those who want to work. Sky is the limit.

Dream, get up and go!

Take care of yourself.

Maxine Beck is a columnist for The Daily Home. She writes about the black community in and around Talladega.

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