Business Education Day in Athens, TN

Business Education Day for Teachers
Athens, Tennessee 1960 - 1961

For in-service education in 1960, school teachers toured various businesses throughout the city of Athens, Tennessee. The purpose, of course, was to acquaint them with emerging technological skills in the business world at the time. Hopefully back in the classroom, that experience promoted early development of necessary marketable skills. These teachers toured Athens Plow Company on Hicks Street. In the 1970s, a similar in-service was held for Cleveland City school teachers and then another repeated about two decades later. Teachers were assigned various businesses to tour and transported to sites via city school buses. One wonders if instructional supervisors considered this new and innovative in the 1970s or late 1990s.

Our revered principal at North City School Robert Benton stands on the back row. At age twelve, I circled his head in this clipping. Others include Miss Lena Lee; however, this most resembles my third grade teacher at North City Miss Laura Lee. Lena and Laura were sisters, and both became public school teachers. Catherine Ray, much beloved and only music teacher for all Athens City Schools at the time, stands beside John W. Hanks, my biology teacher at McMinn County High School. He was a fantastic biology teacher who later became assistant principal at McMinn High. I also remember Boyd Trew, who taught vocational agriculture at McMinn High.

The teachers above visited the printing division at The Daily Post-Athenian. Pictured beside their tour leader is Miss Elizabeth Moses, first grade teacher at North City for many years. My husband was in her classroom. Standing beside her is dear, sweet Mrs. Frances (Buttram) Wade who taught fourth grade at North City for decades. Standing to her left and wearing glasses is my beloved fourth grade teacher Miss Fannie Spiggle, the most patient math teacher who ever lived. On the far right is George Galloway, Riceville Elementary School principal. He was Gladys Galloway's husband. Kind Mrs. Galloway was beloved by all and the most exemplary Christian I ever knew. My whole life has been blessed by the Biblical education she provided all of us in the Athens City School System.

The teachers above toured Ridge Textile Mill in North Athens. Pictured is my second grade teacher Mrs. Helen (Knight) Middleton and Mrs. Ruth Clayton, my husband's excellent eighth grade teacher. Both taught at North City for decades. Miss Tina Moses, standing on the right, taught only a few weeks at North City in September 1960. We seventh grade students in her class were really excited about having a "new" teacher and a new classroom in the basement near the library. We were so happy to have our own teacher for our own level, a teacher we were not required to share in a split-grade classroom. Unfortunately, budget concerns in the school system placed her in a different building and put us in another split-grade for yet another year. Early baby boomers like us were too few to fill a separate class. Teachers were needed more desperately in lower grades where enrollment was much higher.

The above group toured Mayfield Dairy Farms. Mrs. Lucy Loomis' first name is misspelled in the listing. She taught science at McMinn County High School, and I was in her homeroom as a freshman. The name of my eighth grade teacher at North City is circled. Mr. Benton taught one class of eighth grade civics for Mrs. Clayton's class, but other than that, Mr. Bruce Wentworth was our only male teacher at North City. He was the best current events teacher. He required a news article clipping every Monday; then, we had to stand in front of our class, relate the event, and explain its significance. We knew nothing at first but learned so much. Were it not for newspaper searches, I might not have clipped these photos or even read them. Miss Lucille Anderson was an English teacher at McMinn County High for decades. My sister was in her class and loved her, but she retired just before my freshman year. Last on the right is Mrs. Betty (Boyd) Nation, my junior home economics teacher at McMinn High; she was the wife of D. T. Nation, McMinn County's sheriff.

This site is dedicated to the memory of my parents, Tommy and Beulah (Cline) Nipper.

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Sandra Ratledge

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