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Local grammar school news once periodically posted in the Johnson City Press-Chronicle

Bob Cox • Dec 30, 2018 at 12:00 AM

In late 1957, the Johnson City Press-Chronicle periodically featured a column in their newspaper focusing on how things were going at their respective schools. The teacher and students were responsible for getting the information to the newspaper office for publication.

While all grammar schools were likely considered, I have listed four schools and the comments about how things were going. How many students you can identify?

I meant to get this combined Feature/Column before Christmas. Rather than wait a year, I am presenting it now. I hope my readers will come across one or more of their relatives listed.

North Side

Dr. Heisse Johnson, director of Christian Higher Education with the Methodist Inter-board Council, was guest speaker for the North Side PTA. His subject was "Religion in the Home" and teaching our children in simple definite terms about the subject.

The meeting was opened with group singing; and their newly formed glee club sang Christmas carols. Mrs. Hugh Mohlar gave the president's message. The fifth grade mothers were hostesses during the social period. Miss Sparks, sixth grade, won the room count.


The December program for the Stratton Parent-Teacher Association was a Christmas pageant directed by Lila Kate Ayers. The part of Mary was assigned to Carmelita Freeman and Joseph was offered to Wayne Mosier. Readers were Mike Coleman and Gary Johnson. The acting parts were

Shepherds: Stewart Gildersleeve, Butch DePew, Jim Beckner, Mary Shumate, Jeff Cross, Pete Happel, Bob Summers, Bill Howard, Bobby Burleson, Steve McDaniel, Hugh Jones, Jimmy Wilson, Lewis Cosby, Alan Whittimore, Terry Ponder and David Talbot.

Angels: Diane Broyles, Gail Wofford, Susan Hillenbrand, Gloris Swatzell, Judy Nickell, Joyce Graves, Cathy DeBord, Peggy Platt, Susan Jackson, Betty McGaha, Mary Ruffin, Eleanor Campbell, Connie Wright and Connie Glover.

Kings: Tom Fuller, Alan Weller and Bobby Beaver.

And Children of Bethlehem: John Seward, Bob Piston, Cathy Coban and Martha Coleman.

Members of the various rooms sang carols. A short business meeting followed the program. Room count was won by Jess Anderson's first grade.

South Side

The students of South Side School at a meeting of the PTA presented a Christmas program:

The first-grade students presented the rhythm band and march. The Christmas Acrostic was given by Linda Austin, Michael Lingerfelt, Danny Pinckard, Stephen Goodwin, Gail Woods, Randy Walsh, Vicky Arp, Becky Hicks, Stuart Cooke and Michael Hall.

Agnes Shouse and Louise Cooke gave "It Isn't My Dolly." "A Visit from St, Nicholas" was in charge of Terry Grant, Wanda Grant, Tommy Curde, Nolan Sams, Barbara Rehart, Armond Sams and Patricia Seaton.

Presenting "Just One Christmas" were Pat Hicks, Nancy Luther, Paula Counts, Sammy LaPorte, Judy Harmon, David Beckman, Larry Counts and Charles Mays.

"The Christmas Chorus," directed by Jennifer Nave, sang "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Here Comes Santa Claus," and "Silver Bells."

Grades four through eight presented a play titled "Sing Praises to God." The cast of characters included: Isaiah, Richard Ashworth; Micah, Tim Ninneman; Gabriel, Gary Dugger; Mary, Janet Taylor; Joseph, Danny Allen; Angel, Linda Nave; Shepherds, Jimmy Whitehead, Phillip Whitehead and Eddie Sams; Wise Men, Freddie Shouse, Dick Alexander and Harold Davis.

Edward Davis and Robert Clark sang a duet, "Bye-Low," and Nancy Elliott and Janet Phillips sang "Bethlehem." Jennifer Nave sang "Kirk's Carol," a solo. Mrs. Paul Clark provided the accompanist for the program.

Mrs. Alec Elliott, president, conducted the business session. Paul Knapp conducted devotions. Mrs. Fred Shouse gave the president's message and Cecil Shell led the PTA objects.

The group decided to send a letter of encouragement to Cloudland High School offering support in securing a new school building. The group also voted to sponsor a Boy Scout Troup. Reports were read by Mrs. Paul Clark, Secretary and Mrs. "Doc" Cooke, treasurer.

Columbus Powell

Charles Rich was guest speaker for the Christmas meeting of the Columbus Powell PTA. His topic was "For The Spiritual Development."

Mrs. Parson's sixth grade conducted the devotions, followed by carols.

The principal, Terrell Ponder, reported on a nationwide school survey showing that Johnson City was above the national average. He also said that a class for special children would begin on Jan. 15, to be conducted at South Side School.

Members were requested to donate food and clothing for needy families. Mrs. Alma Burleson won the door prize. My source did not reveal how long the program continued. Please pardon any misspelled words, as the original material was difficult to read in places.

Reach Bob Cox at boblcox@bcyesteryear.com or go to www.bcyesteryear.com.

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