Highland Park History

As the Loudon County School Board breaks ground on a new addition at Highland Park, seemed like a good time to share the story below. The article was sent to me by Billy Pickle who had been doing some research on the school's history.

The article is from an early 1970's local paper.

The only thing still missing for me is where the name Highland Park came from. Surely somebody knows.

Highland Park Originated From Fouteville School (Article written around 1971)
By Louise White (Lenoir City High School – American History Student)
Highland Park Elementary School, built in 1922, originated from another school named Fouteville.  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  to students in 1923.
In 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.  An 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.
In 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 instruments.
Two more rooms were added to the school in 1942.
In 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.  In 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 position today.
The order of principals of the school is as follows:  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.