Today’s column is about former Johnson City School Superintendent C.E. Rogers. I don’t remember him because he left the position three years before I entered the first grade. My article also mentions a host of teachers and principals, some of whom I had in school. I am hopeful my readers will find a relative or friend listed.
Science Hill High School, once located downtown on “The Hill” at Roan and Water streets, opened its 1922-23 school year with plans to establish several “modern methods.” The director of the project was Miss Lucy Hatcher, the principal.
As a commuting pre-engineering student at East Tennessee State College/University in the early 1960s, I found the school library to be a convenient haven for study between classes. A half century later, I now visit the beautiful and well-stocked Charles C. Sherrod Library that opened in 1998 to research local history.
I attended East Tennessee State University between 1961 when I graduated from Science Hill High School until 1964 when I transferred to the University of Tennessee. It was during this time that the college officially became a university. I remember coming to campus early one morning and seeing that the large letters painted on the two powerhouse smokestacks had been changed from “ETSC” to “ETSU” (as noted in my column photo from the 1963 and 1964 annuals).
A 1909 newspaper clipping speaks of a “serene section of East Tennessee lying beyond the Watauga River near the base of the loftiest mountains east of the Rockies.” The article states that no purer air or more lovely scenery could be found than the local region affords. It b ecame immortalized after Bob Taylor expressed it in his writing and speeches as “Happy Valley.”
In 1954-55, Miss Sophia Boring was my sixth grade teacher at Henry Johnson School on W. Market Street across from Kiwanis Park. This pretty lady had taught there since 1936, after previously being employed at Columbus Powell School.
Kathleen Hall, librarian at Science Hill High School, shared with me a copy of the school’s first annual, a May 1905 publication known as The Echo (Vol. 1, No. 1).
I acquired a May 24, 1940 edition of “Junior High News - Graduation Edition,” a 12-page student publication chocked full of names and facts. The item is in the Pat Watson (once owned Pat’s Trading Post) collection of the Archives of Appalachia.
Science Hill High School’s 1916 annual, titled “Green and Gold,” measured approximately 6 by 8.5 inches. The cover was appropriated adorned in green with gold letters.
An article from the September 1932 “School Board Journal” titled, “The Johnson City, Tennessee, Building Program,” spoke of an ambitious school enhancement project that began in the city on March 6, 1929.