Highland Park Originated From Fouteville
School (Article written around 1971)
Louise White (Lenoir City High School –
American History Student)
Highland Park Elementary School, built
in 1922, originated from another school
Fouteville served as a church as well as
a school and the building stood where
Jack’s Auto Parts is now located.
Some of the teachers in this early
school were Miss Myrtle Rankin, Miss
Lebow, Red Lee, Miss Esther Boatman, and
Miss Anna Lynn Burdett.
Miss Myrtle Rankin, who taught at
Fouteville in 1917, had a total of 67
students throughout seven grades with an
age range of from 5 to 18 years of age.
Because of the small size and the poor
condition of the building, some
interested parents, including Ross
Nichols, Scholar O’Neil, Tony Robinson,
and Shyde Howell, went to County Court
over the problem of a new building and
land on which to build.
County Judge S.P. Dannel felt the need
was just and subsequently money was
appropriated for a new building to be
named Highland Park Elementary School.
Tow acres of land were purchased from
Mack McGinnis at $100 per acre and the
land was paid for by interested people
in the community.
Mr. John Morelock was contracted as
builder and construction was begun on
this three-room frame building in 1922.
The school was opened
students in 1923.
1928, two rooms, a basement room with a
room on the second story, were built,
making this a five-room building, with
an enrollment of 130-160 students.
Miss Mary Smith began teaching at this
school in 1928 and became principal in
1932 the approximate beginning of the
Highland Park PTA.
early project of the PTA was to have a
road built from the
highway up to the school.
During Miss Smith’s term as principal,
which lasted until 1942.
The road was built and an outdoor soup
kitchen was constructed.
1942, Mrs. Sadie Porter came to the
school as principal.
During the 1940’s the school bought an
additional four acres from Mr. McGinnis
and the school children celebrated the
occasion by marching over the new
playground area while Mrs. Porter rang a
cowbell sent by Mr. McGinnis.
Mrs. Lela Andre and Miss Mary Bailey
started a rhythm band using an old piano
and large nails for instruments.
The PTA later bought regular rhythm band
Two more rooms were added to the school
1948, Mr. P.L. Hamlett became principal
and in 1949 work was begun on the
addition of a cafeteria, auditorium,
office and four classrooms.
The new brick veneered addition was
completed in 1950.
1955 two rooms were added beside the
auditorium and later that year three
rooms on the lower level were added and
completed in 1956.
Mr. Earl Thomas came to the school as
principal in 1960 and remains in that
The order of principals of the school is
Mrs. Claude Blair, Mr. L.R. Melton, Miss
Blanch Gill, Miss Mary Smith, Mrs. Sadie
Porter, Mr. P.L. Hamlett, Mr. D.W.
Hogan, Sr., Mr. Homer Hincey, Mr. Mason
Williams and Mr. Earl Thomas.