Basement Renovation 1963
Francis Coates : Principal
PTA Officers : Forrest Teets, Betty B. Barker, Jean Morton, Martha Johnson, Bennie H. Pierce (Kingsport Times News - Gary Fields)
DICKSON ELEMENTARY : County to City School
It was a hot afternoon in the Spring of 1963. Frances Coates was in the final efforts of closing the Jefferson School library windows for the Summer when she was apprached by Superintendent Dana Swick to become the first prinipal of Dickson as a Kingsport city school.
Frances Coates had been the first librarian at Jefferson as a new school. After six years, everything was running smoothly - no backlog of work to be done. She had no desire to leave Jefferson, but after three days of deliveration, she accepted the challenge for service.
Practically all the furniture at Dickson had been removed by county workers. Only piled-up junk was left in the basement.
But Mrs. Coates met the challenge head-on. With the assistance of a "whiz of a secretary," Assistant Superintendent Richard Gardner, his wife Dorothy, Robert Goad and his helpers, Dickson was ready to open in the Autumn of 1963; but it was a year of renovation.
Classes proceeded to the tune of much hammering, drilling, sawing, soldering and roofing. The library was set up in an empty classroom by Mary Ann Worley. In keeping with Kingsport tradition, the best of equipment and materials were ordered. Parents also assisted in setting up the library. The Gardners and Worleys spent many Saturdays insuring that it would be ready to open, as did Mrs. Coates.
Throughout the twenty years that Dickson operated as a city school (1963-1983) it was blessed, for the major part with young, caring teachers and parents, full of ideas and an abundance of vision, vigor and will to implement those ideas.
Naturally, it followed that this was characteristic of students. The P.T.A. was ever supportive and a strong, able, helping and in any endeavor that needed help. These were special people in every respect. This was also true of the administrative personnel whose offices were located in the Dickson basement four years until its renobation in 1967. Mr. Goad, Supervisor of Maintenance, gave invaluable assistance in setting up the new school.
Next: Dickson City School Comes Alive
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