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If you are aware of news of East High alumni, faculty, or the school, please send it to us.
The extensive coverage of the transition of East High School into an totally optional (magnet) school focused on Transportation oriented Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (T-STEM) can be found on our East STEM page.
Major alumni headlines are available as RSS feed: RSS Feed
In the neighborhood: the building across the street that in 1959 because the Luau Polynesian-themed restaurant is being torn down for a parking lot. The Polynesian-themed restaurant reportedly closed in 1982 and the building has been vacant much of the time since. A story on the demolition appered in The Commercial Appeal, Feb. 20.
Delayed report1: Billy White ('51), brother of the late Mary Sue White (class association unknown), died February 12, 2017. An obituary is available. Services were February 17, 2017, in Glen Burnie, Maryland.
Delayed report1: Bootsie Lane ('55), 80, died October 18, 2017. An obituary is available. Services were held October 28, 2017 in Simonton, Texas.
Sean Adams, said to be a junior at East High, who was ranked as one of Memphis' top football prospects in the class of 2019, died Friday, Feb. 9.
Adams underwent surgery several days ago and began experiencing breathing trouble Friday morning. He was taken to the hospital where he... died. The Commercial Appeal, Feb.9
Sable Gordon (associated with the Class of 2005) is on the olympic U.S. bobsled team and is headed to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. "Only the final 4 will race. I will be there support my team and Representing Memphis! I’m also the first mom on the US Bobsled Team to compete!! Super excited!!!" She told a Memphis TV station, "I was just going to stay only for the races and someone mentioned to me why don't you stay for the closing ceremonies, and I was like 'I would love to stay for the closing ceremonies,'" Sources: The East High Alumni Page and WMC-TV
The East High School Class of 1968 plans its 50 year anniversary of its graduation with festivities June 15. Details are available to classmates. If you are a member of the class and have not received information, contact your Reunion Committee. Class of 1968 Reunion Page
The East High Class of 1958 is planning its 60 year reunion. If you are a class member and do not have information about the reunion, contact your Reunion Committee. Class of 1958 Reunion Page
Alumni profiles updated February 1, 2018.
Emily Fargotstein ('66), 69, of Memphis, Tennessee, sister of East alumni Susan Fargotstein ('62), Laura Fargotstein ('70), Shep Fargotstein ('72) and the late Gayle Fargotstein ('63), died Wednesday, January 24. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Sunday, January 28 at Levy-Cooper Chapel at the Temple Israel Cemetery, 1708 Hernando Road, Memphis.
Rae Jean Hay ('55), 80, died Saturday, January 20. An obituary is available. Services are private.
Jimmy Canfield ('51), 86, died Friday, January 19. An obituary is available. Visitation is 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, January 23 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services follow immediately at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
Don Joel Leachman ('54) died January 11, 2018. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Rose Webb Owen, 95 of Memphis, mother of Judy Owen ('64) and Kent Owen ('66), died December 18, 2017. See our sympathy page.
January 26, 2018-In the neighborhood... Some of our East High alumni attended elementary school at St. Michael School, which is colocated with St. Michael Catholic Church, which is on Summer Avenue. The Catholic Diocese of Memphis announced earlier this week it will cease operation of St. Michael's and nine "Jubilee" schools in Memphis due to financial hardship. It says, however, that a charter school operation, not affiliated with the diocese, plans to take over operation of the schools. Charter schools in Tennessee cannot have a religious focus.
The Commercial Appeal, Jan 23/24
Basketball Eligibility Court Case Likely to Extend Beyond Season
January 25, 2018-The Tennessee Secondary Athletic Association, the voluntary membership governance organization of high school sports in the state, has appealed the December 13, 2017, order of a Shelby County Chancery Court which issued a temporary restraining order against the TSSAA from making two East High students ineligible to play on the boys basketball team this year. With the appeal and then the case returning to the Chancery Court, it is unlikely a final decision will be made prior to the end of high school basketball season.
Marcus Wimberly ['92 and Faculty], head football coach at East will leave his alma mater to coach at Cordova High. "I think it was just time for me to take on a new challenge," the two time state championship East coach told The Commecial Appeal. "Cordova has 2,100 students at the school, 100 players at the football team. They have facilities that they just don't have at East. The opportunity presented itself and I had to take it...I've got a lot of love for East ... but this was a no-brainer." The Commercial Appeal, Jan 12/13.
Wayne Woodruff Pyeatt, 93, father of at least two East alumni, Sarah Pyeatt ('69) and the late Lynn Pyeatt (associated with the Class of '74), died Monday, January 8. Visitation is 1-2 p.m. Thursday, January 11 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. A memorial service follows at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Jean McDonald Tiffin, 94, mother of Carol Tiffin ('72) and Joy Tiffin ('74), died Saturday, January 6. Visitation is 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, January 11 at High Point Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services follow at 1 p.m. at the funeral home.
Sam McHugh, 72, husband of Jean Dawkins ('68), died Friday, January 5. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, January 9 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 10 at the funeral home.
Michael Barnett Partee ('76), 59, died December 30. An obituary is available. Visitation is 4-7 p.m. Friday, January 5 at Abundant Grace Fellowship Church 1574 E. Shelby Dr., Memphis. Funeral services are Saturday, January 6 at the church.
Babs Mason ('72), 64, died November 18, 2017. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 2 p.m. January 6, 2018, at the Lakeside Inn, Mt Dora, Florida.
Jane Ellen Higginbotham Strauch, mother of at least three East alumni, Pam Strauch (associated with the Class of '68), Scott Strauch (associated with the Class of '70), and Stacy (associated with the Class of '71), died November 27, 2017. There are services in January and February in Greenville, South Carolina. See our sympathy page for more information.
Kay Butler ('54), 81, died December 8. An obituary is available.
Delayed report1: Kaia Naantaanbuu ('74), 61, died August 29, 2017. An obituary is available.
What’s in a name? Newspaper
article raises question as to
East High School's name
Cummins, FedEx, U of M launching global tech program at East's T-STEM AcademyCummins Inc. is bringing a global program to a Memphis high school, marking a first for the company. Cummins currently has 22 Technical Education for Communities [TEC] sites around the globe, though none are currently located within the U.S. But, on Thursday, that will change as the company and its more than 10 local partners sign a Memorandum of Understanding to mark the official launch of the initiative at T-STEM Academy East High School. Memphis Business Journal, Jan. 2
There is also a Commercial Appeal article on this subject.
------ 2017 ------
Jasmin Barnes ('97), 38, died Friday, December 8. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Friday, December 15 at Harrison's Memorial Chapel, Memphis. A viewing will be held 11-11:55 a.m. Saturday, December 16, at Mt. Pisgah C.M.E. Church, Memphis. Funeral services follow at noon,at the church.
Katherine Hinds (Faculty, 1954-1955), 85, of Memphis, died Friday, December 8. Miss Hinds taught English at East. An obituary is available. Visitation: is 5-7 p.m. December 21, 2017 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 1 p.m. December 22, 2017 at Grace-St Luke's Episcopal Church, Memphis.
Virginia Litton (class year association undetermined), 84, of Memphis, died Tuesday, December 5. An obituary is available.
December 15, 2017-Dorcas Young ('95) is in line to become the next director of Director of Shelby County’s Community Services Division. Her nomination was approved by the County Commission's General Government committee Dec. 13 and goes before the full commission Monday, Dec. 18. Young has been with the county since 2007. She is expected to begin her new duties January 1 after the retirement of the current director.
December 13, 2017-Two East High basketball players the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association ruled ineligible will be allowed to continue to play after a Chancery Court ruling today extending the temporary restraining order against the TSSAA. After hearing from attorney’s from both sides, Chancelor Jim Kyle ruled (1) he has jurisdiction and (2) the TSSAA rule is arbitrary which bars players who play on a non-school (indpendent) team for a coach, or maybe even a director or sponsor of the team, cannot then be eligible for a year if they transfer to the school where that person is coaching. The judge instructed the lawyers to arrange a schedule for a full hearing on the merits of the case. In he meantime, Ryan Boyce and James Wiseman may continue to play with the East High boys basketball team.
Dec. 14, 2017-Update: the actual legal instrument ordered by the court Dec. 13 is a temporary injunction. The effect is the same as stated above.
Source: The East High Alumni Page
December 12, 2017-A transaction worth $250,000 in equipment for the East High School T-STEM aviation lab was approved by the Shelby County Board of Education December 5 in return for giving FedEx naming rights to the lab, agreement to put the company’s logo on all publications promoting East High’s T-STEM program, and “direct” access to the school’s students. During the public comments portion of the board’s meeting, Ken Welch (‘68) spoke against the agreement. While he said he appreciated FedEx and wanted East to receive the equipment, he didn’t think advertising to captive students was appropriate nor was preferential access to students.
Jim Beaty ('65), brother of Stan Beaty ('72), died Saturday, December 2. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 1 p.m. Wednesday, December 6 at Grace Saint Luke Episcopal Church, Memphis.
Quinten Barlow ('99), 36, of Memphis, died Tuesday, November 22. An obituary is available. A funeral service is at 11 a.m. Friday, December 1, at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Memphis.
November 20, 2017-The Shelby County School board will consider approving a sponsorship agreement between FedEx Corporation and the SchoolSeed Foundation in which FedEx will be given naming rights to the aviation lab at East and in return the corporation, through the SchoolSeed, will provide $250,000 in equipment for the lab. At the board’s Capital Needs & Facilities Committee Meeting Monday afternoon Nov. 20, no opposition was expressed by any of the board members present. Equipment likely includes flight simulators. According to the proposed agreement, among the benefits to FedEx are naming rights with prominent display of its name on the Aviation Lab at East High, its logo on promotional material produced for the T-STEM Academy at East, direct access to students to highlight career options for the next 4 ½ years. FedEx will route the payments at a rate of $50,000. Although the proposed agreement indicates FedEx will not be responsible for other cots related to the equipment, Vince McCaskill, Executive Director of SchoolSeed, says not only will FedEx provide updates for the equipment during the term of the agreement but he believes this is the first of donations likely to come from FedEx for East High’s T-STEM program. The proposal is expected come up for approval by vote of the Shelby County Board of Education at the December 5, 2017, board meeting, 160 S. Hollywood St, 4pm.
The medians of the Parkways in Memphis will be getting up to 1,000 new trees. The Kresge Foundation awarded a $225,000 grant for the project being carried out by Leadership Memphis, its initiative Volunteer Memphis, and Memphis City Beautiful Commission. David Williams ('71 ) is president of Leadership Memphis and is quoted a few times in a newspaper article. "We thought we were going to plant up to 1,000 flowering trees. But we've learned now we need to maybe have some (more) canopy trees.'' The Commercial Appeal, Dec. 1
Nov. 30, 2017-East boys basketball was ranked first in nation by Maxpreps this week. Maxpreps is a division of CBS Sports and focuses on high school sports coverage.
Delayed report1: Sandra Umfress ('74), 61, of Tucker, Georgia, sister of Marilyn Umfress ('72), died October 26, 2017. A brief notice was published and is available.
Court restores eligibility of East boys
Nov. 23, 2017-Chancellor Jim Kyle Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order which allows Ryan Boyce and James Wiseman to play on the East High boys basketball team until a further ruling by the court. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7. The court decision required the chancellor to conclude the Shelby County School district lawsuit against the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association would likely succeed. The TSSAA is the organization that ruled the players were ineligible earlier this week. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 22/23 (See additional stories and links below.)
Nov. 22, 2017-The administration of Shelby County Schools, in the name of the Board of Education, Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court in an effort to overturn a ruling by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association that declared two East High boys basketball players ineligible this season. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 21/22
Class of 1958 announces dates for 60-year reunion.
November 20, 2017-Two members of the East High boys basketball team have been ruled ineligible for the current season by the body overseeing public high school sports in the state. The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association has denied East High’s appeal of a ruling made last Wednesday that made Ryan Boyce and James Wiseman ineligible. The TSSAA ruled that the students who transferred to East this year had a "prior link" to Coach Penny Hardaway because they participated in Team Penny, an off season AAU basketball team.
Read interesting details, including the principal's and the superintendent's reaction, in a newspaper story: The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 20
[Editors note: sports are not often covered by The East High Alumni Page with exceptions for extraordinary circumstances. This issue seems to go to ethical and administrative aspects which supersede simple sports reports, therefore this coverage.]
Delayed report1: Chris Johnson ('71), 64, of Bartlett, Tennessee, died September 2, 2017. A brief notice was published and is available.
"DeSoto County [Mississippi] is looking to adopt a program that has seen significant success in Memphis. The program pairs high school students with college students--giving high school students a chance to learn education and life skills. One of its success stories, Rykalah Peterson [class year undetermined], is now a manager at Holiday Inn in Southaven. Peterson took part in the program while she was a student at East High School in Memphis." WMC-TV, Nov. 7.
Alumnus fashion showmakes Commercial Appeal front page! As reported earlier (see below) Brandice Henderson (‘95) brought her high fashion show from her New York business, Harlem's Fashion Row, to Clayborn Temple in Memphis. The newspaper placed a story about Henderson and the show on and produced a video.
"Brandice Henderson moved to New York City for 12 years, but don't you dare call her a New Yorker. 'Everything I do, I always say, 'I’m Brandice, and I’m from Memphis,'' the 40-year-old East High graduate said."
The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 6, 2017
The Class of 1962 celebrated the 55-year anniversary of its graduation. A photo of the group is available on the Class of 62 Reunion Page.
Memphis-native Valisia LeKae (class year undetermined)
will make an appearance on the CBS show "Blue Bloods" show in an
episode broadcast Friday night, Oct. 27. LeKae attended Guthrie
Elementary and graduated from East High School. "I remember seeing
were from Memphis on television and I thought, 'Oh my God, I could do
that,'" she said. The Memphis CBS affiliate produced an article and TV
story about LeKae. WREG, Oct. 27
A Closer Look at East's
2017 ACT Scores
October 12, 2017 - As The East High Alumni Page digs deeper into the ACT scores, comparisons are made with leading public high schools in the county as well as with the ACT "career and college ready" benchmarks. Read the article ...
ACT Scores Up at EastOctober 11, 2017 - First Glance: Average composite ACT score at East rises almost a full point.
The 2016-2017 average composite ACT score at East was 16.6. Last year it was 15.7.
While this is a fairly significant improvement, it still is far below the “college ready” level. For those who took the ACT test before 1989, this corresponds to about a 13 on the old test.
The East High Alumni Page believes the ACT scores are the best measure of academic achievement. While there are conditions and exceptions, this measurement allows comparison among years and schools, both locally and nationwide.
As has been reported here, the Tennessee Department of Education is releasing selective academic testing results piecemeal this year prior to the full “state report card” on schools.
The East High Alumni Page will report further on the ACT results shortly.
Barbara Benson ('56), 79, of California, died July 31, 2017. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
East High School football players take a knee
"Weeks before the controversy exploded in the stadiums of the National Football League, East High football players were making their own statement by taking a knee during the anthem in a game." Despite this earlier action, it is reported that the national anthem was not played at this week's game Sept. 28. WREG-TV, Sept. 28
East High's 2017
Graduation Rate Edges Up
22, 2017 - The Tennessee Department of Education is providing data from
the 2016-2017 school year piecemeal. Eventually it will be
consolidated in to the traditional “report card.”
Billie Hollie ('62), 72, sister of East alumni Lawrence Hollie ('57), Fay Kastigar ['59] and the late Gary Hollie (associated with the Class of '65), died Friday, September 15. An obituary is available. Visitation is 9:30-11 a.m. Monday, September 18, 2017, Family Funeral Care, Memphis. Funeral services follow immediately at 11 a.m. at the funeral home.
Marty Woolley ('65), 69, of Memphis, sister of John Clifton Woolley, Sr. ['68], the late James "Jim" Prescott Woolley , and her sister, the late Elizabeth Claire Woolley ['60], died Tuesday September 5. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 8 at B'rit Hadasha Messianic Jewish Synagogue, Memphis.
Ann Yarbrough Mitchell, 98, of Memphis, mother of the late Dan Mitchell ('64), Betty Mitchell ('67), and Ann Mitchell ('71), died August 22, 2017. Services were held August 25, 2017.James Duke Fletcher ('74), 61, died July 18, 2017. An obituary is available. Services were private.
Lance McCormack, 45, of the metro Atlanta, Georgia area, son of Tony McCormack ('58) and Nancy Reitz ('58) McCormack, and nephew of several East alumni, died Thursday, August 17. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 23, at the Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30305
It's Underway, East High Transition to All Optional STEM School —
Classes Began Today!
August 7, 2017 - The newest chapter in East High history began this morning students arrive for the first day of classes in an all optional, admission by application only, "T-STEM Academy at East High School." At last count, 90 students had registered for the ninth grade at East, the grade that this year is now populated by optional program pupils. About a dozen were seen entering the T-STEM building in the 20 minutes prior to the first bell today. Read more...
August 5, 2017 - You can watch or read the WREG TV news story about the meeting described below at WREG-TV. It includes comments from Jacquelyn Webb, identified as a graduate of East from more than 40 years ago and now a parent upset her 15 year old son cannot attend the school in his neighborhood.
August 4, 2017 - Broadcast newscasts report parents meeting at Lester Community Center Friday evening with concerns about where their children may attend ninth grade this year because of changes at East High School. Freshman at East High are all going to be enrolled in the T-STEM optional program and they had to apply and meet qualifications to be admitted to that program. Ninth graders who previously were in what was the East High attendance zone will be assigned to Melrose and Douglass high schools. According to reports, some parents say they don't know where their children are supposed to go when school starts Monday. WREG says it will have a response from the school district's administration on its ten o'clock newscast. You may view a report both in text and video apparently filed prior to the parent's meeting at WATN-TV.
David Pierson ('58), 76, of Memphis, died Tuesday, July 25. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-8 p.m. Monday, July 31 at High Point Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Tuesday, August 1 at the funeral home.
Tex Schwartz (associated with the Class of '67), 69, of Memphis, brother of the late Steve Schwartz ('65), died Wednesday, July 19. An obituary is available.
Linda East ('58), 77, of Senatobia, Mississippi, died Sunday, July 23. An obituary is available. Visitation: 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 25 at Pate-Jones Funeral Home, Senatobia, Mississippi. A graveside service is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 26 at Bethesda Cemetery, Senatobia, Mississippi.
A New Era Begins
East High School is featured in a "Back to School" video produced by Shelby County Schools. It stars the new Executive Principal of East, Lischa Barrett ('91 and Faculty) Brooks and East T-STEM Assistant Principal Matthew Hernandez (Faculty). East High has been through several significant transitions in its 69 year history. The latest begins for students when school opens for the 2017-2018 school year on August 7. That's when the entire ninth grade will be part of the T-STEM optional program, admitted only by application and qualification. Grades 10-12 will continued with an enhanced traditional curriculum this year, with the T-STEM program encompassing an additional grade each year until all four grades are part of the optional program. You can watch the back to school video on youtube. To learn more about the transition of East High into a T-STEM optional school, see our STEM page.
Erica Lynn Towne, 36, of Memphis, daughter of Phil Towne ('67) and niece of Robin Towne ('71), died Thursday, July 13. Visitations are 5-7 p.m. Thursday, July 20 and 9 a.m. Friday, July 21, both at Memphis Funeral Home, Poplar Chapel. The funeral service follows at 10 a.m. Friday, July 21 at the funeral home.
"Local Cool School: East High Transportation STEM Academy" — "New school prepares students with science, technology and math focus"
TV news did a story on the preparation at East High for the ninth grade T-STEM program which begins in a month. WATN, Jul. 14 Delayed report:1 Andy Calhoun ('61), 73, brother of Barbara Jean Calhoun (associated with the Class of '62) and Richard Calhoun (class association undetermined), died June 13, 2017. An obituary/notice is available.
Marta Cohen ('75), 58, of Memphis, died Monday, July 3. An obituary is available. Visitation is 1:30 p.m. Sunday, July 9 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. A memorial service begins at 3 p.m., immediately after the visitation at the funeral home.
Commercial Appeal Editorial: Struggling East High could be among our jewels
There are plenty of reasons to cheer for and support a plan that could revive the academically struggling East High School, from the important role East played in the city’s post-war history of eastward expansion to its elegant baroque facade.
The 69-year-old campus where Cybill Shepherd ['68], Mike Cody ['54] ... matriculated enjoys near iconic status among many of the city’s movers and shakers as well as those of us who simply cast an admiring glance in its direction as we drive by... It could turn out to be a jewel among Shelby County’s public schools, perhaps even a model for other local industries that want to develop talent and help build the kind of workforce Memphis needs to realize its economic potential. Read more: The Commercial Appeal, Jul. 6
Jocelyn Plough Rudner, 94, of Memphis, mother of Pat Rudner ('63), DD Rudner ('65), and Diane Rudner ('68), died June 18. Services were held June 23
July 8, 2017 - The East High Block Party is underway until 7 p.m. in front of the school. Alumni, perspective students, and the public is invited. Tours of the renovated T-STEM classrooms and labs are being given on the half hour. Games, giveaways, and food trucks are part of the attractions. Student registration for Shelby County Schools also available. In the photo above, that's Executive Principal Lischa Barrett ('91) Brooks leading the dancing on the driveway in front of the school.
June 24, 2017 - The first of two huge banners that are to be hung on the front of the East High School building is in place. This appears to be the one promoting East High and the T-STEM optional program generally. A school system source says the other promotes East High athletics.You can see larger photos of the banner and where it is affixed to the building here. [Correction: July 11, 2017 - The second banner is in place and rather than promoting East athletics, as The East High Alumni Page was told by a school district employee, it promotes the "T-STEM Academy" at East High.]
There is a "block party" for current students and alumni at East High School July 8, 3-7 p.m. according to information posted on social media. Organizers say there will be food, drinks, games, giveaways, school tours, and on-site school registration. Upon inquiry, an East High administrator reports this is an official school event. This event apparently was attempted June 24 and has been rescheduled as a rain date. See https://www.facebook.com/events
Paul Young ('97) was a guest on "Behind the Headlines" television program which aired June 30. The topic was public housing in Memphis. Young is the Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Memphis. The program may be seen within a few days via Internet streaming on the WKNO-TV and Memphis Daily News web sites. WKNO-TV, Jun. 30
Chas McVean ('61) has been ordered to pay civil penalty of $2 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission what it calls deceptive trading by his McVean Trading & Investments company. The order states that McVean and others intentionally or recklessly injected false information into the market. In addition, the firm and others associated with the trading company have been fined another $3 million for a total of $5 in penalties.McVean has been known a civic leader in Memphis in recent years, starting the Peer Power Foundation and its predecessor, The Greater East High Foundation, to tutor school students and led the successful effort to build the Big River Crossing, a pedestrian and cycling path across the Mississippi River. The Commercial Appeal, Jul 1
July 17, 2017 - Huge banners are going up on the front of the original East High building. Workers today were attaching wooden frames for the banners to the bricks. One will be on the brick facade on the right side of the school and one on the left. They are being attached to the south end of the north-south oriented wings of the building. The East High Alumni Page has learned one banner will promote the new T-STEM program at East and the other will advertise the athletic programs at East. The banners could be up as early as this evening. This alumni web site will post photos of the banners once they are in place.
Marianne Kinsey, 99, of Nashville, Tennessee, mother of at least two alumni Charlotte Kinsey ('62) and David Kinsey ('69), died Tuesday, June 13. Visitation is 9-10 a.m, June 16 at Forest Hill Funeral Home - Midtown, Memphis. Funeral services follow at 10 a.m. at the funeral home.
Doris Forbess Cole, 95, mother of Barry Cole ('66) and Larry Cole ('66), died Saturday, June 10.
Visitation is 11 a.m - 1 p.m., Friday, June 16, at the River of Life Church, Munford, Tennessee. Funeral services follow immediately at 1 p.m. at the church.
David Martin Fargotstein, 35, of Memphis, son of Shep Fargotstein ('72), died Monday, June 5. Services were June 8, 2017.
Harry Eugene Concklin Jr., 91, father of Biff Concklin ('69), died Saturday, June 3. Services were June 6.
Suzanne Poole Abraham Liles, 96, of Memphis, mother of Tish Abraham ('64) and Jamille Abraham ('68), died Thursday, June 1. Services were held June 6.
Delayed report1:Peggy Nash (associated with the Class of '63), sister of Judy Nash ('61), Nancy Nash ('70), and the late George Nash ('68), died March 27, 2017. An obituary is available.
Marcus Wimberly ['92 and Faculty] is the recipient of the Coach of the Year award at the Commercial Appeal's first Sports Awards program June 9. He is head football coach. The East High boys basketball team was selected "Team of the Year." Both football and basketball teams won the state championship in their divisions this (2016-2017) school year.
Maynard Holt ('57), 77, of Nashville, Tennessee, brother of the late Edwin Holt ('61), died Wednesday, May 17. An obituary is available. Services were private.
May 20, 2017 - Fellow alumni: we now have 121 new members of the distinguished group known as graduates of East High School as the Class of 2017 completed the 67th commencement exercise of the school. Held at First Baptist Church Broad this afternoon, a short, 48 minute ceremony from opening to closing procession, featured only speeches from students. Dr. Marilyn Hilliard, principal, congratulated each graduate as they received their diplomas. Three class members met the ACT benchmarks which is designed to indicate college readiness. The class generated $3.5 million in scholarship offers.
The East High School Class of 1967 is celebrated the 50 year anniversary of its graduation with festivities May 19-20 with a great turnout! The initial photos have been posted — more wanted! Class of 1967 Reunion Page
Graduation for the Class of 2017 Nears
25% of T-STEM Seats FilledMay 2, 2017 - More than three months after student recruitment begins, 25% of estimated enrollment filled in East High T-STEM program. Superintendent cites safety concerns among parents but remains confident the 100 seats will be filled when school opens in August. Read more...The Shelby County Board of Education April 25 approved submission to the state a request to offer special courses at East High, including the core classes for the T-STEM program. It also approved the $365,294 for furniture for the new T-STEM program. More details are available on our STEM page.
Billy McIntosh ('56), brother of John McIntosh ('58), died February 18. An obituary is available. Services were held February 25, 2017, in Gilroy, California.
Rose Marie Manning, 89, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, mother of Kathryn Manning ('63), Weber Manning ('66), Rose Marie Manning ('73), and Ann Manning (associated with the class of '75), died Tuesday, April 11. Services were April 15.
April 22, 2017 - At a breakfast for alumni, East High introduced a new assistant principal for the T-STEM optional program coming to East. Mathew Hernandez has been at a principal training program at Central High this school year, having come to Memphis in the summer of 2016 from New York. While the attendance at the alumni breakfast was as dismal as the weather, the expectations outlined for East High were bright. Among other things, Executive Principal Lischa Barrett ('91) said she plans to assign a staff member to coordinate with an official alumni association and provided a room at the school to support the association and to welcome alumni. Read more...
The Shelby County Board of Education April 18 reviewed without comment a proposal to spend $365,294 for furniture for the new T-STEM program at East High School. The board will vote on the appropriation at its April 25 meeting. The furniture is for the Career and Technical Center (CTC) at East (the additional buildings on the Walnut Grove Road side). It is intended to provide a learning environment for 14 classroom/teacher rooms; 3 STEM lab areas, 1 meeting room and the main
office. As an example, a room that was last used to teach cosmetology needs different furniture to support the T-STEM curriculum.
A newspaper article features a story about Viola Street, age 100, and her nature to keep busy despite her age and "still not ready to take a break." According to the story, Ms. Street was Grahamwood Elementary School's cafeteria manager for 31 years and East High's cafeteria manager for 15 years before that. The East High Alumni page does not have a full record of Ms. Street's work at East High, but she is listed as assistant cafeteria manager in 1962-64 as Ms. Viola Tribble (Staff). The Commercial Appeal, April 20.
A Memphis Business Journal story dated May 6, 2015, headlined "Memphis bank exec earns award from government." reported Lynda Langston ('68), assistant vice president for loan review for Triumph Bank, was given an accolade from the Department of Defense. The Patriot Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve was presented to Langston for her support of Zach Styer, one of her team members who served two years in Afghanistan. The Memphis Business Journal, May 6, 2015.
East High's Academic Performance
Measurements Are "daunting, downright scary"
— New Executive Principal Says She Looks Past the Numbers
A Memphis television station reported on the conversion of East High to an optional T-STEM school on an April 6, 2017, news broadcast. Read the text of the story or watch the video at WMC-TV
Marland Chism ('90), 45, died March 20. An obituary is available.
Eleanor Gaines ('56), 79, of Collierville, Tennessee, died March 17. An obituary is available.
Bill Kelly ('65), 70, of Memphis, died March 18. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 4 p.m. Friday, March 31 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis.
East High Boys Basketball Team Honored at Board
March 28, 2017 - The East High boys basketball team was honored by the Shelby County Board of Education this afternoon at its regular business meeting. Superintendent Hopson announced that with the help of "partners" the team will be sent to New York City as a reward, but not to play basketball. The state public school athletic ruling body denied an appeal East made in an attempt to get permission to play in the nationally televised Dick's Sporting Goods national tournament in New York. They leave tomorrow. Interim Principal Marilyn Hilliard expressed her appreciation to the district administration, the board, and the community for their support.East High's Executive Principal
To Divide Time Between East and
Smith STEAM Academy
Exclusive by The East High Alumni Page
March 19, 2017 - Lischa Barrett ('91), now Lischa Brooks, was appointed Executive Principal of East High School February 20. In announcing the new leadership role it was explained by Shelby County Schools that "Brooks will be supported by Dr. Marilyn Hilliard [current principal] at East High, while Assistant Principal Keith Booker will serve as Interim Principal at Maxine Smith for the remaining of this school year."
What was not clear was that Barrett would be executive principal of both East and the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy....
Read more ...
East Boys Basketball Wins Another State Title
East took an early lead and never relinquished it in the state Class AAA boys basketball championship game today, beating Memphis Southwind by twenty points, 65-45.
It is the eighth state boys basketball championship for East High, unequaled by any other Tennessee school. It is also the second state championship in a row.
A replay can be viewed at The High School Sports Network by subscription
Promotion for East High basketball story makes front page of Memphis newspaper
The upper left portion of The Commercial Appeal March 18 front page touts inside story of East High boys basketball going to state championship game. The Commercial Appeal, Mar. 18. (Read more about game and TV, streaming, and audio sources below.)
East boys basketball advances to state championship game
In a very close contest, East High boys defeated Oak Ridge High School 63 to 60 in the semi-final game of the Class AAA basketball tournament. East will play Southwind, also a Memphis area school, in the championship game at 1 p.m. CDT, tomorrow (Saturday, March 18). The Championship game is broadcast in Memphis on WLMT, channel 30. Other Tennessee TV stations broadcasting the games are:
Nashville – WUXP MyTV30
Knoxville – WVLT, MyVLT
Chattanooga – WFLI
Tri-Cities – WCYB.2
Jackson – JEA Cable EPlus TV6
Some of these broadcasts are on additional channels offered by the station (i.e., channel 8-2).
The games are also available on other stations around the state and by streaming video or audio on the Internet, possibly from the TV stations themselves or from The High School Sports Network. There is also a free audio Internet streaming feed. Click on the game on the "brackets and results" link, then on the "audio" link.
East High loses TSSAA appeal to go to national tournament
Following the state athletics governing board's decision, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson posted a message on twitter saying, "Very disappointed that @tssaa denied our request to allow nationally ranked @EastMustangs to play in national tournament in New York. "
East High to appeal TSSAA decision, seeks permission to play in tournament
March 14, 2017 - Tuesday, March 14, East will ask the state's governing body for high school sports to change a rule and allow the Mustangs permission to play in a national tournament. The Commercial Appeal, March 14
$1.2 Million Additional Funding for East T-STEM Transition Proposed
March 13, 2017 - The Shelby County Administration today revealed highlights of the initial 2017-2018 operational budget proposal. It includes a $1.2 million "investment" in East High's T-STEM program. This money is in addition to East's budget allocation last year. Last year's budgeted amount was $2,447,321. The school system earlier this year indicated it would ask the Shelby County Commission for capital improvement funds of $2,596,500 for mechanical upgrades, lighting and interior renovations at East High.
Getting to Know East High's New Executive Principal
Who is Lischa Barrett Brooks and
what was her path to her
new job at East?
Exclusive by The East High Alumni Page
March 12, 2017 - Lischa Barrett ('91 and Faculty), now Lischa Brooks, thought she was going to be a medical doctor. One of her majors in college was pre-med but she eventually pursued another career. Now she is being called upon to heal an ailing East High School.
Read more ...
"Penny Hardaway: 'We're breeding an NBA mindset here' at East," declared the newspaper headline in an article about East High boys basketball. "To that end, Hardaway put together a daunting national schedule for his team," the article observed. The Commercial Appeal, Jan 30.
Doug Dickens ('62) is featured in an article along with his son in a newspaper story about their infill developments: "Father-Son Duo Dickens Built Taps Infill Market In Collierville, Piperton."
"The big thing is they’ve found their niche and done a fantastic job with it. I can’t say enough good things about them," said John Summers, VP with Financial Federal.
Memphis Daily News, Dec. 24, 2016
Louise "Fifi" Shrader Cannon, 97, of Memphis, mother of at least two East graduates: John Cannon ('67) and the late Bland Cannon ('65), died Thursday, February 23. Services were held March 4, 2017.
John W. "Bill" Pennington, 89, father of at least two East graduates: Randy Pennington ('71) and the late Pam Pennington ('68), died Sunday, February 26. Services were held March 3, 2017.
Kenaya L. Parker ("Pig") (class association undetermined), 29, died Saturday, February 25. An obituary is available. Visitations are 4-6 p.m. Friday, March 3 and noon-1 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at Bloomfield Full Gospel Church, 1213 S. Parkway W., Memphis. Funeral services at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at the church.
Robert Manning ("Monk") (Faculty), 76, died Tuesday, February 28. An obituary is available. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 3 at Greater Middle Baptist Church, 4982 Knight Arnold Rd. Memphis. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 4 at the church.
New East High Executive Principal
Did Not Apply For Job
School will have a "fresh start," with all teachers having to apply for positions at East
Lischa Barrett ('91), her married name is Brooks, is the new Executive Principal of East High School. She takes the leadership position at East as part of the school's transition into an all optional (magnet) T-STEM school starting with the 2017-2018 school year. Ms. Brooks was principal of the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy until her appointment to East High, which took effect immediately. As part of the transition, all teaching positions at East are in restart mode, meaning teachers must apply for a teaching job at East, including current East High teachers. Read more ...
Paul Young ('97) is quoted extensively in a newspaper story about presentations of ideas for the Memphis Bicentennial Gateway Project. The project is an expanded concept of revival of the Pinch District to include other parts of the extreme northern end of downtown encompassing Uptown, the convention center, Mud Island River Park, and Jefferson Davis Park (aka Mississippi River Park). The Commercial Appeal, Feb. 16/17
Eugenia Dowling ('60), sister of Mike Dowling ('70) and the late Butch Dowling ('65), died Friday, February 10. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 2 p.m. Wednesday, February 15 in the The Lord's Chapel at Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis.
22 Apply for East T-STEM During First Week of Applications
Linda Seacat ('65), 69, sister of Jimmy Seacat ('69), died Monday, January 30. An obituary is available. Visitation is 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, February 7 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. A graveside service follows at 2 p.m. at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Jim McCormick ('52), died Friday, January 27. An obituary is available. Visitation is 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m. Tuesday, January 31 in the Salmon Room, Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis. Funeral services follow at 1 p.m.in the chapel at the church.
Jenny Lind ('69), 65, of Huntsville, Alabama, sister of Terry Lind ('64), died December 22, 2016. An obituary is available. Visitation in Memphis is Thursday, January 26, 1:30 p.m. at St. Johns Episcopal Church. A memorial service follows visitation at the church.
Watch a School District Video about East High's Forthcoming T-STEM Program
You can also read the associated news release produced by the school district here.
February 1, 2017 - Appearing this morning before a committee of the County Commission the Chief Financial Officer of Shelby County Schools, Lin Johnson, said the district continues to strive to improve its schools and mentioned the East High STEM School plan as a demonstration of that commitment.
Again: Administration Skips Updating Board on East STEM ProgressOnce again, on January 31, the Shelby County Schools administration decided not to discuss the East High STEM project at the Board of Education meeting. For about two months top administration officials have said East STEM be brought up before the board but then has decided not to do so. The East High Alumni Page has tried to keep alumni informed based on the information provided by those top administrators but obviously it has been misleading. That result is regretted.
East High Boys Basketball Team Ranked #4 in Nation
Maxpreps, a web site following high school sports, ranks East as the number 4 high school team in the USA. Its computer rankings put East at #10. Maxpreps, Jan. 23.
East, the defending state champion, "has a winning margin of 38.2 points per game. No local team has even gotten within double-digits; the closest game was a 66-54 victory over White Station on Jan. 5." It might be noted that in the printed edition of the newspaper, issued Jan. 31, the story is promoted and a photo is displayed above the banner on page one. The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 30/31
In the neighborhood: Ever go bowling at Imperial Lanes on Summer Avenue? That fine recreational facility closed a few years ago and as of January, 2017, the building is being demolished to make way for a fitness club. The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 24.
------ 2016 ------
Gary Terry ('73), 61, died Tuesday, December 27. An obituary is available. Services were held January 7.
A page consolidating all of the significant stories about East High being transformed into a STEM Optional School is now available for your convenience in keeping up with the major development for East High. See East STEM
While indicating plans are still flexible, Shelby County Schools (SCS) has revealed the most about the forthcoming T-STEM (Transportation oriented Science, Technical, Engineering, Math) optional school to which East High is to be transitioned beginning with the fall semester this year. An open house for parents and others interested in the East High T-STEM optional school was held January 18. Read much more...
$2.59 million renovation
proposed for East High
January 18, 2017 - The administration of Shelby County Schools proposes a $2,596,500.00 renovation of East High School as part of its "Fresh Start" plan preparing the school to transition to a fully optional STEM school beginning with the ninth grade late this summer. The money will be allocated for mechanical, electrical and lighting upgrades as well as exterior and interior renovations. The school district's officials say they will be asking the Shelby Commission for the funds.
The school district has published a flyer promoting the new optional East High STEM program. You can read it on-line at the SCS web site.
The East High Alumni Page will continue its extensive coverage of the proposed conversion of East High into a STEM optional school with new developments occurring frequently. See additional coverage in news briefs below and on our Today's East High page.
East High STEM Plan
January 12, 2017 - The East High Alumni Page has spoken with the administration of Shelby County Schools about the status of the East High STEM proposal.
The SCS administration expects to implement the plan effective with the start of the 2017-2018 school year barring unexpected opposition. It is believed that the members of the Board of Education support the plan. While there may be some opposition by those who currently live in the East High attendance zone, since they or their children might have to attend another school, the administration does not expect any such opposition to derail the proposal.
The plan is expected to be discussed at the January 24, 2017, Board of Education Work Session which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Coe building Auditorium, 160 South Hollywood Street, Memphis. No votes are taken and members of the public are not permitted to speak to the board at the Work Session.
The administration does not plan to bring up the East STEM proposal at the Board of Education “business meeting” which begins at 5:30 p.m. January 31. The administration believes, as most observers do, that the proposal to transition East High into a STEM optional school does not require a vote of the board. Votes of the board are taken at the business meeting sessions and the public is also allowed a limited opportunity to speak to the board members during the business meeting. Members of the public wishing to speak at the business meeting must sign up before the meeting begins. A sign up sheet is available from about 5 to 5:30 p.m.
The administration does not propose to change the name of East High, at least initially. There has been some discussion among board members previously about altering the name if the STEM proposal is implemented.
As reported elsewhere on these pages, the East High STEM proposal calls for the transition to occur year by year, grade by grade, beginning with the ninth grade in 2017. The administration foresees the probability of East having two principals during the transition phase, one for the STEM students and one for the traditional students. In an earlier post here, it was disclosed a job opportunity posting has been issued by the school district for a principal of East High to oversee the school as "a local, regional, and national model focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in Transportation Based Careers (T-STEM).” Also previously reported here, the district has published an estimate that there will be 100 seats available for students in the ninth grade STEM program at East beginning with the fall semester, 2017.
For more background, follow the links in the above story and those below to additional links to some of the previously published stories.
See also our consolidated page of East STEM reports.
Additional Considerations Regarding East High STEM
For those living in the East attendance zone, only ninth graders next year will be assigned to another school. Tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students will continue at East for the 2017-2018 school year. The next year, ninth and tenth graders not in the East optional programs will be assigned elsewhere, in 2019-2020 all but the senior class will be assigned elsewhere. The plan calls for East to be completely an optional school in 2020-2021.
Tentative thoughts on the assignment of ninth graders for the 2017-2018 school year are that they will be zoned into either Douglass High or Melrose High.
There could also be some discussion of renaming East High to something else but with the name “East” incorporated into it. Top administration officials have said they like the name as it is, “East High School,” but at least one board member has suggested a name change might help market the new school curriculum. Source: The East High Alumni Page
"East High T-STEM
Program Takes Applications," is the headline of a report on the status
of the East High STEM plan as revealed at the Jan. 18 open house at the
school. Memphis Daily News, Jan. 19.
Jack Kenner ('71), photographer, was on The Earle Farrell 4Memphis radio show on KWAM, Memphis, Tuesday, June 24. Among the reasons Kenner is famous is his popular books of pictures of dogs, one of which Farrell is holding in the above photo.
Chalkbeat, Jan 7.
[minor updates incorporated in the above Jan. 9]
East High covered in snow is the aerial photo chosen for a the Mid-South Memories column of a Memphis newspaper Jan. 10. The text reports the picture was taken January 11, 1962. The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 9/10. Paul Young ('97) was selected by The Memphis Business Journal as one of the "Top 40 Under 40." Young is the Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Memphis and is one of the youngest division heads in the city administration. The Memphis Business Journal, Dec. 2 Delayed report:1 Judy Lloyd ('64), 69, of Chicago, Illinois, sister of Susan Lloyd ('59), died February 3, 2016. An obituary is available.
Joe Beasley ('70), 64, of West Memphis, Arkansas, died Sunday, January 1, 2017. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7pm, Wednesday, January 4 at Memphis Funeral Home.
Funeral services are at 10am, Thursday, January 5 at the funeral home.
2016 Report Card on East High
East High’s 2016 ACT average composite ACT score is 15.7, which is up a half a point from 2015. It correlates to an ACT score of about 12 on the pre-1989 ACT test. For more details, see our Today's East High page.
Gloria Hendricks (Faculty), 92, of Memphis, died December 21, 2016. Ms. Hendricks taught vocal music at East High from its opening in 1948 until 1955.
An obituary is available. A memorial service is to be held at a later date.
Rhitt Fraser ('59), 76, of Memphis, brother of, Shelley Fraser ('62), died Wednesday, December 21. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be at a later date at Fakes Cemetery in McCrory, Arkansas.
Paul Lazarov ('52), 82, of Memphis, died December 20, 2016. An obituary is available. Services were held December 22, 2016.
During the Christmas season 2016 The Commercial Appeal posted on its website a number of photos from the holidays in years past. Included was one from December 13, 1950, picturing East Elementary students. They are, Jimmy Jalenak ('57) (seated), Lee Parchman (associated with the Class of '57), Harriet Sikes ('57), and Blair Meredith (class association undetermined). The Commercial Appeal
Chas McVean ('61) got a short but special mention in a newspaper article: "Charles McVean — who dreamed up the Big River Crossing — could have been the Memphis Sportsperson of the Year, for everything he did for fitness and for walking." The Commercial Appeal, Dec. 23/
Delayed report:1 Bill Hurteau (associated with the Class of '62), died December 25, 2015. An obituary is available.
East High STEM Decision
Delayed Until January
Small Gathering Hear a Few New Details on Proposal to convert East High to a STEM Optional School
November 22, 2016 - There was a decidedly different atmosphere at the “info session” about the proposal to make East High an optional only STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) high school at a very poorly attended public meeting at First Baptist Church Broad November 22. There was nary a negative opinion of the plan to convert East into a high achievement STEM school, very much unlike a similar session held at East October 17...
Read more ...
Confirmed: initial decision on East High STEM to be discussed Nov. 29
Public comments & if a vote of Board of Education is taken
that will be Dec. 6
A top administrator for Shelby County Schools confirms the Board of Education will discuss November 29 giving initial approval to transition East High into a STEM optional school. No public comments or votes are taken at that meeting. Any vote, and public comments, will occur at the December 6 meeting. Meetings start at 5:30 p.m. Members of the public wishing to speak must do so during the half hour prior to the start of the meeting.
Maps and description of Board of Education meeting location are here.
Decision on “Hyper Underperforming” East High School Needed Soon
Transition would mean many changes
Report: Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says a decision from the school board on whether to proceed with his proposal to transition East High into a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focused optional school needs to be made within the next month... The superintendent said the easiest way to transition East would be to close it as a traditional school and then reopen it as a fully STEM school but because of tradition and allowing current students to finish at their school, the grade by grade transition would be preferable. He said there was plenty of space to, in essence, be running two schools within the building.
Read much more...
Newsweb: "Plans to transform East High School into a STEM school, including a focus on transportation, are advancing as Shelby County Schools seeks to feed potential employees to Memphis’ booming distribution industry — and save one of its most iconic schools." Chalkbeat, Oct. 27.
Downtown Memphis leaders will recognize super boosters ... Downtown Vision Awards recipients are slated to include ... Jake Schorr (associated with the Class of '61), Westy's owner and carriage company operator...
The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 8
Jim Ray (associated with the Class of '74), 60, died October 25, 2016. An obituary is available. No service information was published. Bartlett Funeral Home, Memphis, 901-372-5555, has charge.
Memphis. Initial Public Meeting on
Future of East High School As a
STEM Optional School
Parents and Public Offer Resistance to Plan
(see also the Chalkbeat story on the event)
Mary Main ('66), 67, died October 16, 2016. An obituary is available. Visitation is 9:30-10:30 a.m., Friday, October 21 at Roller Family Funeral Home, 3651 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis. Funeral services follow immediately at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.
Kay Allenberg (class year association undetermined), 81, of Memphis died Friday, October 14. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, October 21 at Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis. Visitation & reception follows the service at the church.
Richard Louis Linden King, 93, of Memphis, father of Ken King ('68) and Karen King ('71), died September 6, 2016. Visitation and a memorial service were held October 1.
East High STEM to be Discussed Tuesday
The Academic Performance Committee of the Shelby County Board of Education will discuss the East High STEM proposal and community reaction to it at an Oct. 25 meeting at 4pm at the SCS Administration Building (160 S. Hollywood).
The Academic Performance Committee will report on its meeting to the full board during the board's business session beginning at 5:30 at SCS Administration building, Coe auditorium. Further discussion is anticipated at the full board meeting.
There is the opportunity for public comment before the board begins considering items on its agenda and there may be comments about East High. If you would like to speak, you need to sign up between 5 and 5:30. There could be a number of speakers on various subjects, so the time allocated to each speaker may be very limited. The maximum would be 3 minutes.
In an adjunct story to the Big River Crossing item immediately below, a newspaper article examines the Main2Main project, of which the Harahan Bridge crossing was part, on the development boom in the south Main Street area. "The synergy of all of these activities create an environment where we believe growth and development will continue, not only in the Downtown core, but the areas on the outskirts of Downtown as well," city Housing and Community Development director Paul Young ('97) said. The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 23/24
Chas McVean ('61) is was lauded Oct. 22 as the force behind the idea and development of the Big River Crossing, the pedestrian & bicycle path across the Mississippi River on the Harahan Bridge, which opened to the public on that date. "City and state officials mused over all of the teamwork and fundraising it took to get the boardwalk built, but said it wouldn't have happened at all if not for Charlie McVean.
"Described as a "force of nature" and "superman of the Big River Crossing," McVean was credited with having the initial vision for the bridge's future and convincing all the players necessary to see the project to fruition. He received two standing ovations as he spoke about the bridge, noting Union Pacific was not initially keen on the idea."
The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 22/23.
Memphis Daily News, Oct. 25
The Memphis Flyer, Oct. 25
Bill Strong ('61) was interviewed by telephone on the Earle Farrell Show on radio station KWAM Friday, Oct. 21. Strong talked about Union Pacific steam engine 844 which will cross the Harrahan Bridge and be on display Oct. 22 as part of the grand opening of the Big River Crossing. He also pointed out that admission fees to the Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum at Central Station will be waived Oct. 22.
Newsweb: "Idea to turn East High into all-optional 'T-STEM' school met with community resistance" - An on-line news resource covering educational matters had a reporter at the meeting October 17 at East High in which Shelby County School administration presented its idea about turning East High into an all optional STEM school. The East High Alumni Page has also reported on this event.
Read the Oct. 18 Chalkbeat story: Chalkbeat.
Read The East High Alumni Page story here.
The Class of '71 plans reunion November 4-5. Read more...
Top Administrators of
School District to Listen
to Public & Parents
on East High's Future
October 13, 2016 - It is believed the top academic administrators of the Shelby County School district will be at the Monday, October 17, 5:30 p.m. meeting at East High to hear what the public and parents have to say about the proposal to convert East High into a STEM magnet school. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. East High's academic performance has been well below the "college and career ready" benchmarks for many years and in the past couple enrollment has dwindled to about 550 pupils. The school was originally designed for about 1500 students and a second building was added in the 1970s as a Vo-Tech center adding another 500 to the overall capacity. With the low enrollment and poor academic performance, East High has been described by SCS as on a trend that would lead to it being a target to be closed.
But East High is also described as an "iconic" school, it has a very rich history of a top academic school not only in the city but in the entire region during its first 20-25 years after opening in 1948. That, along with its central location, $12-million renovation a decade ago, and already housing the school district's high school STEM lab for students in the virtual STEM program, administrators are working to not only save the school but restore its luster. The proposal is to make it a STEM optional (magnet) school serving students from all over the district who have the interest, grades, and conduct to be accepted. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson last year said that the planned date for the revised curriculum would be the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
The top echelon of academic administrators for the school district are likely to be at Monday's meeting, probably including Hopson, Chief Academic Officer Hedi Ramirez, Director of Optional Schools Linda Sklar, Innovation Zone Regional Superintendent Sharon Griffin, Curriculum & Instruction STEM Manager Dedric McGhee, and Instructional Leadership Director Brett Lawson. Board of Education member Teresa Jones, in whose voting district East is located, is also expected to attend.
Meeting for the PublicOctober 12, 2016 - It is reported that a meeting will be held at East High School on October 17, 2016, 5:30pm to discuss the future of the school. The meeting is to get opinions of the public. School Board member Teresa Jones, in whose voting district East sits, is expected to attend.
on Future of
East High School Oct. 17
(See the reports below for more information on East's future.)
Plans for East's Future Murkie?
Newspaper: "The plan to turn one of Memphis’ most iconic high schools into an optional STEM school has gotten murkier after not making the cut for a federal grant.
"Shelby County Schools did not receive a U.S. Department of Education grant sought to redesign East High School as a magnet school focused on science, technology, engineering and math, a district spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday." (The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 12/13, 2016
Superintendent Dorsey Hopson has told The East High Alumni Page within the past few weeks that the administration planed to pursue the STEM plans for East regardless of the status of the grant.
Kathleen "Kitty" Gleaves Bragg, mother of Laura Bragg ('67), died on Wednesday, October 5. A memorial service was held October 8, 2016, in Kansas City, Missouri.
"Although Shelby County Schools didn’t get a federal grant for a new optional school program at East High, the school system is still likely to continue with the ambitious plan." (Memphis Daily News, Oct. 13/14, 2016.
The East High Alumni Page previously reported that SCS administration intended to pursue the STEM magnet school at East regardless of the success or lack of success of the grant application.
Superintendent Prepared to Reveal Plans for East High's Future
Fifty and sixty years ago East High School was one of the premier academic public schools in the mid-south region. In more recent decades, East's academic performance has fallen. In the past couple of years, so has attendance. East now has about 550 pupils attending its 9-12 grades. It has been pointed out that the trend in attendance and academic performance, if continued, would put East on the list for possible closure. Instead, the Shelby County School district proposes to address the academics with hopes it will build attendance. At the September 27, 2016, Board of Education meeting, superintendent Dorsey Hopson said he is ready to reveal those plans next week. Read more...
Update: As of Oct. 5, the office of the board members reports no Academic Performance Committee meeting has been scheduled.
Sue Tushingham ('55), Vivian Garland ('54), and Butch Bassett (class association unknown) were among the women pictured supporting Dwight Eisenhower's second term presidential bid in 1956. The photo was republished Oct. 11, 2016 as a Mid-South Memory. Larger photo.
The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 11, 2016
Jack Childers ('67), died Monday, October 3. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, October 7, at Hope Presbyterian Church, Memphis.
During the month of October, 2016, the Shelby County School system will be holding a series of community based events called "Greater Schools, Greater Community." It is designed to "find out exactly what our families, community leaders and all of you define as high quality schools." It appears a meeting will be held in the district of each school board members. Board member Teresa Jones represents the district in which East High is located. The meeting in her district is October 19, 2016, 5:30pm, at the : Gaisman Community Center, 4221 Macon Road. See the SCS calendar for other dates, times, and locations.
Class of '57 announces 2017 reunion!
Jackie McCormack ('63), 72 of Nashville, Tennessee, sister of East alumni Sharon McCormack ('64), Joe McCormack ('60), Tony McCormack ('58), and the late Jimmy McCormack (associated with the Class of 1968), died Wednesday, September 21. An obituary is available. Visitation is 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. September 24, at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home, 9090 Highway 100, Nashville, Tennessee. A Nashville funeral service is at 1 p.m. September 24 at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home, 9090 Highway 100, Nashville, Tennessee. A reception: follows the funeral service in Nashville. A Memphis funeral service is at 1 p.m., September 30, at Church of the Holy Communion, 4645 Walnut Grove Road, Memphis, Tennessee.
Delayed report:1 Sue Williams ('61), 72, of Brandon, Mississippi, sister of at least two East alumni, Jerry Williams ('59) and Jimmy Williams (class association undetermined), died May 2, 2015. An obituary is available. reunion page for details.
Martha Ann Layman, 93, mother of at least one alumnus, her son Tommy Layman ('69), died Sunday, September 11. Visitation is at 1:30 p.m. September 15 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis followed by a graveside service at 2:30 p.m. at Memorial Park.
Bill Earngey ('61), 73, of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, brother of at least one East alumnus, Lynn Earngey ('58), died August 21, 2016. An obituary is available. A graveside service was held August 29, 2016.
Kenny Reasor ('54), 79, of Lakeland, Tennessee, died Wednesday, September 7. An obituary is available. A family reception is at noon followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. September 10, at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis.
Bill Carrier ('68) has an exhibit of "my favorite images" on display at WKNO Gallery Ten Ninety One at 7151 Cherry Farms Road through September 29. "Expertise in lighting and art is the foundation of Bill Carrier’s visual images, both in still photography and cinematography. 'Technology has created a better medium' he says, 'but documentation is not always art, and trendy techniques don’t always evoke emotion.' Carrier believes that his artistic edge lies in his ability to elicit an emotional response from viewers."
On the front page of the Sept. 7, 2016, issue of The Commercial Appeal is a photo of Jimmy Ogle's Downtown History Walking Tour celebrating the 100th anniversary of the self-serv grocery invented by Memphian Clarence Saunders. In the photo is Allen Pilcher ('69) (in the red shirt) and Ken Welch ('68) (left background). Photo.
Hubbard Alexander (Faculty), 77, died Sunday, August 28. He coached football at East High from 1972 through 1975. An obituary is available. Arrangements have not yet been announced.
James Lee Fox (Faculty), 70, of Memphis, died August 12, 2016. An obituary is available.
The 30th annual Southern Music and Heritage Festival is September 3-4, 2016, organized by the Center for Southern Folklore. The co-founder and executive director of the Center is Judy Peiser ('63). In 2015, WKNO-TV aired a broadcast "A Conversation with Judy Peiser," in 2015, which can be viewed on-line at wkno.org.
Dorothy Duncan Storer, 92, of Shoreline, Washington, mother of East alumni Ed Storer ('68) and the late Scot Storer (associated with the Class of '71).
Gene Hill ('68), of Winston Salem, North Carolina, husband of Linda Richmond ('70), died Thursday, August 11 . An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 2 p.m., Tuesday, August 16 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Winston Salem, North Carolina. A reception follows the service at the church. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 20 in Polk Cemetery, Bolivar, Tennessee. A
reception follows at McNeal Place, South Union Street at Bills Street, Boliver, Tennessee, after the burial.
Lee Evans (class year undetermined), 41, is a music producer and the program coordinator for the Carpenter Community Bike Shop in Binghamton. Evans and the shop are featured in a newspaper article about trying to improve the opportunities in the Binghamton community. The Commercial Appeal, Aug. 15/16.4
Newspaper: "East High football coach Marcus Wimberly ['92 and Faculty] spent preseason drills in a walking boot thanks a torn Achilles tendon, a setback he jokingly called 'an old man injury.'" Wimberly is extensively quoted in a preview of the Mustangs football season. The Commercial Appeal, Aug. 14/15.4
Commentary: On WKNO-TV's public affairs program "Behind the Headlines" aired July 29, Bartlett School District Superintendent David Stephens agreed with the Germantown superintendent Jason Manuel saying that "ACT is kind of the gold standard," in student testing. The nationwide ACT test is mandatory for juniors in Tennessee high schools, although it is not mandatory in all other states. The East High Alumni Page has for many years thought the ACT was the one appropriate measure of academic achievement which allows comparison not only among schools in the state and nationwide, but also historically. That's why this web publication emphasizes the ACT when it reports the academic performance of East High and other local schools.WKNO-TV, Jul. 20, The Memphis Daily News, August 2.
Harriet Sue Feinstein ("Susie") ('59), sister of at least two East alumni Shirley Feinstein ('51) and Jeannie Feinstein (class year undetermined), died Sunday, July 24. An obituary is available. Services were held July 25, 2016, in Tuscon, Arizona.
Meka Egwuekwe (associated with the Class of '91) is featured in a newspaper article about his formally learning to program computers at East High and crediting his career to that. After years in the corporate world, Egwuekwe is back in Memphis as executive director of CodeCrew, a local startup that mentors young African Americans, Latino Americans, and women in computer coding. The Memphis Flyer, Jul 27/28.4
Mary Nell Campbell Smith, 88, of Collierville, Tennessee, mother of at least three East alumni: Patty Smith ('67), Dickie Smith ('70), Kathy Smith ('71), died Saturday, July 16. Services were July 21.
Susan Miller ('66) is pictured and extensively quoted and Wendy Miller ('69), and Bubba Miller ('71) are mentioned in a newspaper article about art by their father "Happy Hal" Miller on sale, along with other things of the estate. Hal Miller died in 1987 and his widow, Bea Miller, in February, 2016. Probably all Memphians of a certain age remember "Happy Hal" as he was a popular Memphis children's television show host in the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s. He also was the owner of his namesake toy store. The Commercial Appeal, Jul. 20/22.4
WYPL (FM 89.3 in Memphis) is running a promotional announcement for a program featuring recordings from the Memphis Public Library's Memphis Music Collection. The library operates the radio station. The promo names a number of Memphis musicians, including David Mayo ('67).
Robbie J. Webb, 94, of Memphis, mother of Wayne Webb ('59), Joyce Webb ('63), Mike Webb ('69) and the late Jackie Webb ('66), died Saturday, July 9. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 13 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis.
Funeral services are at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 14 at the funeral home.
Paul Young ('97), Memphis Director of Community and Housing Development is quoted in a newspaper story about replacing the city's last old housing "projects" with the new "South City" development. The Commercial Appeal, Jul. 9/10.4
Sam Pearson, father of Liz Pearson ('68) and Becky Pearson ('70), died July 1. Services were July 8.
Judy Peiser ('63), executive director of the Center for Southern Folklore, was the guest on WKNO-FM's "Checking on the Arts" program June 30 talking about its Memphis Music & Heritage Festival which is scheduled for September3-4.
Betsye Fowler French, 98, of Memphis, mother of Barbara French ('66), Betty French ('67), and Jeanne French ('69) , died June 18, 2016. Services were held June 21, 2016.
Judy Briggs (‘67) Watters, mayor of Rossville, Tennessee, is interviewed as part of a story about the Eggo plant in Rossville planning on reducing the number it employs. "The fact they're not shutting the plant down completely is a big deal," said Judy Watters, mayor of the Fayette County town of about 900 residents.
Jerry Rakestraw, 67, husband of Carol Leggett ('69), died Wednesday, June 8. A "family service" is at 2 p.m. June 18 at First Baptist Church, Memphis.
Letter to the Editor- East High brimming with STEM possibilities: "I welcome Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and the Shelby County Schools’ plan to turn East High School into a magnet school focused on science, technology, engineering and math (May 25 article). East’s campus and location make it a perfect candidate for a program like this..."
The Commercial Appeal, Jun 5
Sue Douglass, 90, of Memphis, mother of Doug Douglass ('68), Chuck Douglass ('70), Steve Douglass ('73), and Mike Douglass (class association unknown), died Thursday, June 2. A memorial service is at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, in St. Edward Chapel at Trezevant Manor, 177 N Highland Street, Memphis.
The Shelby County Board of Education May 31 approved without debate a resolution supporting an application for a federal grant to make East High School a T-STEM (Transportation, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) magnet school " See a BOE document explaining the proposal.
Virginia McClain (Faculty 1964-1972) died Wednesday, May 25. An obituary is available. Ms. McClain taught mathematics at East High 1964-1972.
School district continues idea of making East a STEM school to prevent possible closing in a few years.
As reported here in January, the Shelby County School system is considering making East High a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math magnet school. The administration of the district anticipates seeking a federal grant to assist in the transition. "If we don't do something, I expect in three to five years you start getting to the discussion of closure-level low," Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said May 24, 2016. "It's low but it's not so low we're talking about that."
In April, the school reported having 554 students. The building's capacity is probably about 1,500 and originally was designed for grades 1-12 and even housed a kindergarten in the 1950s. The school now houses only grades 9-12 and mixes a traditional curriculum with an optional (magnet) college preparatory curriculum in Engineering. Read more.
Sources: The Commercial Appeal, The East High Alumni Page
The Class of 1967 has announced its 50-year reunion dates: May 19-20, 2017
Ray Henley ('56), 77, died Friday, May 20.
An obituary is available. Visitation is 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 at Christ United Methodist Church, Memphis. Funeral services follow immediately at 2 p.m. at the church.
John Eubank ('68), 66, brother of Sam Eubank ('66), Danny Eubank ('69), and Stephen Eubank ('73), died Sunday, May 22. An obituary is available. Visitation is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at Fellowship Baptist Church, 7002 US Highway 70, Bartlett, Tennessee.
Funeral services follow immediately at 12:30 p.m. at the church.
Kitty Mathes, 92, mother of Linda Mathes (associated with the Class of 1968) and the late Talbot Mathes ('63), died Thursday, May 12. A memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis.
Bob Johnson ('64), 70, of Coldwater, Mississippi, brother of at least one East alumnus, Kathy Johnson ('62), died Sunday, May 15. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
The 66th Commencement Exercise of East High School took place May 22, 2016. One hundred forty-eight students were graduated. This was the first East High graduation for interim principal Dr. Marilyn Hilliard. Read more on our Today's East High page.
Shelby County Schools will present its Proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget (school year 2016-2017) to the County Commission May 25. This year, the district released individual school spending and statistics. East High is proposed to receive $2,447,321 from the general fund, have 16 classroom teachers for a pupil population of 552, and a teacher-student ratio of 1:33. The budget is subject to revision for numerous reasons, including how much the County Commission votes to fund. See the chart outlining East's operating budget.
The East High Alumni Page cannot help but notice how close the FY17 operating budget figure is to the amount it cost to build the school originally ($2,485,397.07).
May 11, 2016 - Some e-mail traffic from an EastHighAlumni@gmail.com address has been noted. That address is not associated with The East High Alumni Page. Some of those messages or bounce back messages purportedly associated with that address contain attachments. It is suggested you not open those attachments.
Rush Siler (Faculty c1948-1951), 99, of Jackson, Tennessee, father of East alumnus Van Siler ('67), died April 26. An obituary is available.
Services were held May 1, 2016.
Paul Young ('97), Director of Community and Housing Development for the City of Memphis, was this week's guest on WKNO-TV's "Behind the Headlines" program. The half hour interview program will be available to watch on-line in a few days at WKNO-TV.
Class of '61 will hold a class gathering October 8 to celebrate 55-years since graduation! For more information see the Class of '61 Reunion Page.
East High is asking its alumni to help support a "book scholarship" fund to provide $250 for 2016 East graduates who are headed to college. Alumni are invited to attend the fund-raising luncheon June 4 at the Kroc Center. For more information including ticket arrangements, see the East High Scholarships website.
Richard Jones ('68), 65, of Memphis, died Monday, March 28. An obituary is available. A memorial service was held April 1, 2016.
The East High Class of 1966 has announced its plans for its 50th anniversary reunion to be held October 21-22, 2016. See details.
Alumni invited to a planning meeting April 7 at noon at East High School to discuss a scholarship luncheon May 21st in efforts to offer book awards to 50 deserving seniors who have been accepted and enrolled in post-secondary institutions. Please contact the school to RSVP.
Bob Frank ('62) performed at the Glendale Folk Festival in Arizona in March, 2016. A few of his selections are recorded on youtube, and just for enjoyment,you are invited to listen:
Riverboat Gambler, Anna Maria, Love Turns the Wheel, Coyote Mind, and Joaquin Murietta.
Peggy Ranson ('66), 67, of New Orleans, Louisiana, sister of at least one East alumnus, Bob Ranson ('67), died Saturday, March 19. An obituary is available. A memorial service is to be held at a later date.
Delayed report1: Freddie Dauser ('54), 79, of Springville, Alabama, died July 19,2015. An obituary is available.
Executive Director Tommie Henderson ('91 and Faculty 1998-2003), says he cannot comment on what appears to be a recommendation from the Shelby County Schools administration to revoke the New Consortium of Law and Business charter. The item is on the agenda for discussion at the Board of Education's March 22 work session, although no formal action could be taken at a work session. The administration had concerns about the charter school last year but the board voted to allow it to continue. The school conducts classes in downtown Memphis and in Bartlett. The Commercial Appeal, March 19/20.
East High won the 2016 state championship in boys basketball (Division I, Class AAA) Saturday, March 19, defeating Cordova 64-60. It is reported that East is the only school in the state to have won the state championship seven times, the first in 1979. Source: The East High Alumni Page.
Also see the newspaper report: The Commercial Appeal
At the Feb. 23 meeting of the Shelby County Board of Education a grant from Verizon for $20,000 was accepted. It is said to support building “on engineering related assets already in place at East High School (e.g., CAD software, an engineering computer lab, and postsecondary partnerships) and links those assets to CLOUD901... a technology lab for teens ... Teachers will then have the opportunity to collaboratively design lessons with... focus of ... design, production, and publicity for a solar-powered car.” The Cloud901 lab is located at the Memphis central public library just west of the East High Campus. Source: The East High Alumni Page.
Link for additional information
Bernice Eger Miller, 92, of Memphis, mother of Susan Miller ('66), Wendy Miller ('69), Bubba Miller ('71), and the late Allen Miller ('65), died Saturday, February 13. Services were held February 21, 2016.
Nuggie Treadwell ('69), 65, brother of Bob Treadwell ('67), died Saturday, February 27. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, March 4 at the chapel at Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis.
In the neighborhood: As earlier reported, Sears sold the property and then the lease for the store was terminated for the Sears Laurelwood location. It is now reported the Sears building will be demolished and replaced with additional stores, including a Nordstrom Rack store. Known as Poplar Commons, the newly developed shopping center will include national retailers, specialty retail and several well-known restaurants, developers said in a news release.. The Commercial Appeal, March 2.
Shelby County Schools superintendent Dorsey Hopson said on WKNO-TV's "Behind the Headlines" program aired Feb. 26 that he still wants to do "something special" at East High School. He was answering a question about concerns some Board of Education members have expressed about the affect on other schools, including East, if SCS participates in placing a school in the renovated Crosstown Concourse (the old Sears Crosstown building on Watkins Street in midtown).
As reported here, Hopson has suggested East may become a STEM/STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) magnet school but he has said any such transition won't happen until the 2017-2018 school year.
For many years East has been an optional (magnet) school for engineering and health sciences but in recent years participation in those programs at East has been very low. In fact, enrollment at East is probably at an all time low this academic year with a reported 551 pupils in attendance. Source: WKNO-TV, The East High Alumni Page
George Grear ('69), 64, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, died Sunday, February 7. An obituary is available. Services were held February 10.
The locker room is now a lounge at East, according to a newspaper article. "The final bell at East High School rings at 2:15 p.m. While most students are making their way out of the building, the Mustangs boys' basketball team is preparing for a session with their tutors. It's a game night and East is playing host to Overton, but the players have to make sure they are taking care of business in the classroom beforehand. 'Education is first,' says East coach Penny Hardaway. 'We are really big on that over here.' Read more: Memphis Flyer, Feb. 11
Beth Wagner ('55) was featured in a newspaper photo Feb. 7, 1954, as an entrant in the Miss City Beautiful contest. The photo was republished as in the Mid-South Memories section in 2016. The Commercial Appeal, Feb. 7 Leslie Robert Clark, 80, died Saturday January 23. An obituary is available. Services are private.
Are tentative plans for East High to become a STEAM school even more tentative?
During a Shelby County Board of Education Facilities Committee meeting January 27, one of the topics was possible student school assignment changes, including changes for East High as the administration was still considering making it a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math magnet school for the 2017-2018 school year.
As board members discussed the shifts away from East that might occur for those not enrolled in the optional STEAM program, those in attendance seemed to reach a consensus that an overall look at high school attendance zones, number of students attending each school, and other factors affecting school attendance assignments in the central part of the city should be conducted. Superintendent Hopson had said he was looking for board input on these matters and he appeared to accept the direction the committee favored.
So the shifts of East students to make way for the school to become a STEAM academy and the possibility of East changing over to a STEAM magnet school seem to be in more flux than they were before
The University of Memphis M Club will honor four special award winners festivities on Friday, Feb. 5. Bob Wilson ('62) and his wife Susan. are this year's recipients of the Dr. Cecil C. Humphreys Golden Tiger Award. Bob Wilson has spent his entire upbringing in a home of hospitality and business. The son of the late Kemmons Wilson, he obtained his pilot's license at 16. For the last 46 years, he has worked for the family's business, The Kemmons Wilson Companies. His primary role has been in the area of construction of hotels, warehouses, and time-shares, and Fixed Base Operations for Aircraft. He is married to Susan Wilson who worked as a physical therapist primarily with children with developmental delays for 25 years. In 1998, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary.
From time to time the question has arisen in this editor’s mind, where are the East High alumni among leaders in the public arena?
Judy Briggs (‘67), now Judy Watters, is an East alumnus who has taken on that role in the town of Rossville, Tennessee, where she was elected mayor for a four year term with 54.5% of the vote in 2012. Rossville is a town of about 700 people in Fayette County, about 23 straight line miles east of East High School.
East High was briefly mentioned in the news because some Shelby County Board of Education members on Jan. 19 questioned what affect a Christian Brothers University lead high school in the Crosstown Concourse (the old Crosstown Sears building on Watkins Street) would have. CBU is already a partner with Shelby County Schools at the Maxine Smith STEM Academy (the old Fairview Junior High). The Shelby County Superintendent Dorsey Hopson has floated a proposal to make East, which is very underutilized with about 551 students this year in grades 9-12, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Arts, and Math) magnet school. Hopson told the board members he thought there would be enough demand for the STEAM curriculum to populate both schools. Originally Hopson was talking about the transition of East into a STEAM school for the 2016-2017 school year. The East High Alumni Page has learned he now thinks that will be for the 2017-2018 school year. "We want to do it right," he said. Sources: The Memphis Daily News, Jan. 20/21, The East High Alumni Page
In the neighborhood: The Sears store in Laurelwood shopping center at Poplar Avenue and Perkins Extended will close in April, 2016. The Sears real estate was sold to an investment trust last year for $8.2-million, as were more than 200 other Sears and K-Mart stores. with Sears leasing back the store in Laurelwood. The new owner had the right to terminate the lease early and has done so, leading to the closing. “I worked here when I was in college ... then I worked at the Sears on Crosstown which is also closed, as did my mother and my brother. It makes me sad that it is closing,” said Laurie Holland, who visited the store Jan. 14. The Commercial Appeal, Jan 15.
The East High boys basketball team is the top-ranked team in The Commercial Appeal's Dandy Dozen and has a season record of 13 wins and one loss. The Mustangs defeated nationally ranked Bentonville (Arkansas) 73-65 on Jan. 9. The Associated Press ranks East number one statewide for the Class AAA category.
------ 2015 ------Brenda Carpenter ('64), sister of alumni Brinson Carpenter (associated with the Class of '65), Elizabeth Carpenter ('66), and the late Janet Carpenter (class association undetermined), died Saturday, December 26. An obituary is available. No service information was available at time of publication.
Bob J. Hazlewood (Faculty 1955-1957) died Thursday, December 17. Dr. Hazlewood taught English at East High. An obituary is available. Services were held December 20, 2015, in Jackson, Tennessee.
Carol Gearhart ('65), sister of Steve Gearhart ('66), died Thursday, December 24. An obituary is available. Visitation is 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, December 29 at Canale Funeral Directors, Memphis. Funeral services follow immediately at 2 p.m. at the funeral home.
Interesting tidbit: On school days the East High student parking area is mostly empty but on Saturday, January 2, one can find the East High School parking lot full of cars. Why? The Liberty Bowl football game is this afternoon and with the game being sold out with some 61,000 seats, the city offered free shuttle service from various locations, including the main public library at 3030 Poplar Avenue. By early afternoon, the library's parking lot was full, so the next public lot was East High's. Free shuttle service is great for game attendees, not so good for those wishing to use the public library but not able to find a parking spot in the neighborhood.
A recently completed 2015 Facilities Condition Index of Shelby County Schools put East High's rating at 7%. Generally speaking, when a facility reaches the 50% or above mark it is considered more economical to build a new facility rather than renovate the old one. East High underwent a $12.8-million dollar renovation about 2005-2007. Some other school FCI ratings: White Station High: 12%; Cordova High: 4%; Germantown High: 23%; Southwind High: 0 (zero)%; Douglass High: 1%; Kingsbury High: 6%; Central High: 4%; Trezevant High: 24%; Grahamwood Elementary: 23%; Delano Elementary 53%.
Correction of False Report: the report earlier today (Dec. 11) of an East High student being arrested in connection with a telephone threat was incorrect. Several news media outlets reported the arrest, one directly attributing the report to law enforcement authorities. However, subsequent reports this evening say no one was arrested and the call earlier reported as threatening was instead a call expressing concern for the safety of a relative.
Delayed report1: Delores Mason ('60), sister of Linda Mason ('70), died December 31, 1994. An obituary is available.
Lucile Wilson Fesmire, mother of James Fesmire ('65), died Sunday, November 1. Visitation is 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, November 10 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Services follow immediately at 11:30 a.m. at the funeral home.
The annual "state report card" on public schools has been released and once again East's academic performance overall is low. For Example, the composite ACT score at East was 15.2. That equates to about an 11.2 in pre-1989 ACT scores. Read more in our report on our Today's East High page.
The Shelby County School Board tonight, Sept. 15, discussed a possible change in focus for East High School. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson asked the board if it would endorse the staff exploring making East a STEAM academy drawing students from across the city. STEAM schools emphasize advanced classes in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Read our full report on our "In the news ..." section.
Diane Rudner('68) (left), Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Plough Foundation; David Porter, Founder and President, Consortium Memphis Music Town; Mike Bruns, Founder and former president of Comtrak; Phil Trenary, President and CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber; and George Monger, Vice President and Executive Director, Consortium Memphis Music Town, have a ribbon cutting ceremony during the opening of the Consortium's Talent Development Complex at 119 S. Main St. on Tuesday, Oct. 27. The Commercial Appeal Oct. 27/28.
Delayed report1: Diana Harris ('67), sister of East alumnus Georgina Harris ('65), died February 3, 2011, in Winter Haven, Florida.
An obituary is available.
Richard Rosebrough ('67) , brother of Helen Rosebrough ('65), died Sunday, October 18. An obituary is available in the form of a newspaper story about his music history in Memphis. "'Richard was a wonderful person, and an extraordinary musician,' said Big Star drummer and Ardent Studio CEO Jody Stephens. 'As a drummer, he was a guy who could conjure emotion with his playing like nobody else that I know.'"
Visitation is at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 24 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis.
A memorial service follows at noon at the funeral home. The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 19/20, 2015
Pettus Gibbons ("Pete") ('67), 67, of Irving, Texas, died Wednesday, October 7, 2015. An obituary is available.
Ethelda Owens ('55), 78, of Brighton, Tennessee, sister of Carolyn Owens ('57), died Tuesday, October 6. An obituary is available. Services were held October 9, 2015, in Bartlett, Tennessee.
Matthew Aaron Burson, 35, of Memphis, son of Freddy Burson ('68), died Saturday, October 3. Services Thursday October 8 at St. John's United Methodist.
In the neighborhood: the Krystal restaurant at 3227 Poplar Avenue, across from East High School, was a major hang out for East students. It has been temporarily closed and the existing structure has been demolished. Krystal will rebuild with the new structure opening in late December, 2015. The new facility will feature wood grain-like floors and and an interior digital menu board. This model is being built in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Florida, either through rebuilding or renovating existing restaurants. The new store will be the third iteration of the Krystal at this location. The original building stood until replaced in 1977.
Billy Minkus (associated with the Class of '68), died Friday, September 25. An obituary is available. A graveside service is at: 9:30 a.m., Sunday, October 4 at Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis.
Frances Freeman Newell, 94, of Memphis, Tennessee, mother of Linda Newell ('59), Ginger Newell ('63), and Ned Newell ('69), died Friday, September 25. A memorial service will be held Thursday, October 1 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Natchez, Mississippi.
Marcus Wimberly ('92 and Faculty) is quoted in a newspaper article about East football beating Trezevant 38-12 and being ranked number 2 in the paper's evaluation of local high school teams. "'We're resilient,' said Mustangs coach Marcus Wimberly. 'This team feels like it doesn't get the respect it deserves around the city and Trezevant is a heck of a team. They wanted to put other teams on notice.'" The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 10
Chas McVean ('61) is quoted in a newspaper story praising Memphis mayor A C Wharton for being a "great, great salesman for the city of Memphis" in connection with the Great River Crossing project putting a walkway across the Harahan bridge. McVean was speaking upon the occasion Oct. 8 of Wharton's defeat in his reelection bid. The Commercial Appeal, Oct 9.
Fights among girls at East High reported: A fight at East High School ended with an injury to one teen, and now her mother wants answers. That mother called FOX13 about her daughter allegedly being beat up by another group of girls Tuesday.WHBQ-TV, Oct. 1
East wins Homecoming football game Oct. 2, 26-6 over Craigmont High. A couple more photos are posted.
Kip Lichterman ('67), 66, of Memphis, brother of at least two alumni, Ira Lichterman ('61) and Lynne Lichterman ('63), died Tuesday, September 22. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 3 p.m. Thursday, September 24, at Levy-Cooper Chapel, Temple Israel Cemetery, Memphis.
Anne Williford Hasselle, 97, mother of Bob Hasselle ('60), Henry Hasselle ('63), Tom Hasselle ('66), and Wendy Hasselle (associated with the Class of '70), died Saturday, September 12. Services are at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, September 26 at, First Presbyterian Church, Memphis with a reception following the service.
Jim Tackett ('59), brother of the late Tom Tackett ('53) , died September 16. An obituary is available. Services were September 20, 2015, in Aliceville, Alabama.
Jessica Wilson ('70), 63, of Carthage, Tennessee, sister of Laura Wilson (associated with the Class of '75), died Saturday, September 19. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 7 p.m Friday, September 25 at Barren Plains Baptist Church, Springfield, Tennessee. A reception follows the service.
Frank Wilbourn ('72), died Thursday, September 17. An obituary is available. Services are at 2 p.m. Monday, September 21 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Memphis. A reception follows the service at the church.
Beth Gooch ('75) wrote a newspaper guest column about her recent reunion and her times at East High when integration through busing was first taking place. The article, entitled "The best, and baddest, of times," examines some of the experiences from those high school days and some of the lasting thoughts those days have left with the Class of '75 and perhaps beyond. The Commercial Appeal, Sept. 13. A group of 15 East High School students were reportedly kicked out of the STEM program and parents said they were never notified. STEM, an advanced learning program, stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. According to a parent of a student in the program, all those removed from STEM play football and manage to keep straight A's. He said they "make life changing decisions for our children and we are just not gonna stand for that...These children are tired. We do all we can as parents to push ‘em so that they will keep those A's and B's but also continue with the extracurricular activities. They shouldn't be punished for that." According to the parent, SCS has now reinstated the students in the program.
WATN-TV, Sep. 18.
Vivian Frankenfield Gragg, 93, of Memphis,mother of at least four East alumni, Judy Gregg ('63), Cathy Gragg ('65), Frances Gragg ('68), and Bobby Gragg ('73), died Thursday, September 3. A memorial service is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, September 9 in Trippeer Chapel at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, Memphis. A reception: follows the memorial service.
The East High Class of 1975 celebrates with their 40-year reunion this weekend, September 4-6. Event schedule is available on the Class of '75 reunion page.
Dr. Marilyn Hilliard is East High's new interim principal for the 2015-16 school year. Although we are unaware of an official announcement by the superintendent of her name, it is posted on the East High web site and therefore is now public. Hilliard is a ten year employee of the local public school system and has been an assistant principal for the past two years. Read more on our "In the news ..." page.
The Tennessee Department of Education released its 2015 academic report on East High and other schools July 29. East showed growth in only Algebra II and declines in 6 other tested subjects. See the numbers on our Today's East High page. (additional analysis added 7:10pm July 29)
In addition to the subject by subject academic progress scores the state released in July, there is also an assessment of the overall academic growth at the school compared to what was expected by each student. East ranked in the last category, meaning academic growth was well below what would be expected during one academic year. The "2015 Academic Performance Measurements Released by State" article on Today's East High page has been updated Aug. 8 with details of this measurement.
The East High football program, lead by alumnus Marcus Wimberly ('92 and Faculty), is ranked number 3 in a newspaper's prep preview for 2015. "There were times during the first part of last season when the best football team in Memphis wasn’t Whitehaven or Trezevant or MUS but the East High Mustangs...with a host of talented players returning, this could very well be the year the Mustangs... put it all together. The Commercial Appeal, online Aug. 19/print Aug. 20.
East to Get New Principal
A new interim principal will take the position. formerly held by Eric Harris ('91 and principal 2010-2015) for the 2015-2016 school year, however the name of the new leader has not been publicly announced. In addition the superintendent of schools is considering a special direction for East in the future. The East High Alumni Page plans more coverage of the new principal once the announcement becomes public. Read more in our "In the news..." section.
John Neiman ('64), 69, brother of Bob Neiman ('61) and Tom Neiman (associated with the Class of '70), died Friday, July 31. An obituary is available. Visitation: 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 12, 2015, Canterbury United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama. Visitation is followed by a "family memorial service."
In the neighborhood: Loeb Properties, the successful outfit that revitalized Overton Square, has bought an entire block of buildings across from East High School. "Loeb paid $3.2 million for the Shops of Chickasaw Gardens with plans to renovate the rundown and foreclosed-upon hodgepodge of buildings that run... from Lafayette on the west to Marne on the east... Loeb not only plans substantial improvements, but to create a brand identity and cohesion for the property across Poplar from East High's athletic field." One building in the group may be demolished. In the 1950s and 60s such businesses as Modern Music, Weona grocery, Bobbit-Dorr Drugs, The Hobby Shop, a barber shop, and other retail outlets.
The Commercial Appeal, Aug 13.
Jerry Dumas ('58), 75, of Spearfish, South Dakota, brother of Bill Dumas ('64), died Friday, July 31. An obituary is available. Visitation is 6-8 p.m., Thursday, August 27 at Fidler-Isburg Funeral Chapel in Spearfish, South Dakota. Funeral services are at 10 a.m., Friday, August 28 at Mountain View Baptist Church, Spearfish, South Dakota.
Clark Webb ('67), 65, of Blacksburg, Virgina, died July 25, 2015. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, August 15 at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Bob Metcalf (associated with the Class of '59), died Wednesday, July 22. An obituary is available. A memorial service is to be scheduled for a later date.
Tommie Henderson ('91 and Faculty 1998-2003), executive director of the charter school New Consortium of Law and Business, appeared before the Shelby County Board of Education July 28 to ask that it not approve a recommendation from the district's administration to revoke the charter school's authorization. The board voted to delay any consideration of closing the school until its regular timetable for considering closings, which is in the first quarter of the calendar year, giving the New Consortium of Law and Business the green light to start classes for the new school year in a few weeks. See more in our "In the News..." section
Additional report available from The Commercial Appeal, Jul. 29
A football player at East High School had to be taken to the hospital after overheating during practice. Monday, July 27, was the first day of practice with full pads this season, and one 14-year-old went down with heat exhaustion. Shelby County Schools said the player never passed out. He started showing signs of heat exhaustion and coaches decided to err on the side of caution. WMC-TV, Jul. 27
Comments by Jimmy Tashie ('66), Malco Theatres executive vice president, regarding movie theater security are part of a newspaper story about that subject. The Commercial Appeal, online July 25/print July 26.
Diane Rudner ('68) is referenced as a subcommittee chairwoman for Fairgrounds Redevelopment Advisory Committee, a group formed by the city to look at the feasibility of recommendations for the use of the old Fairgrounds made by the Urban Land Institute. The Commercial Appeal, July 25.
Kathy Stark ('70), 63, died Thursday, July 16. An obituary is available. Visitation is 4-6 p.m.Sunday, July 19 at Covington Funeral Home, Covington, Tennessee. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Monday, July 20 at the funeral home.
Martha Jo Shelton (associated with the Class of '64), sister of at least two brothers who attended East, Frank Shelton (associated with the Class of '62) and the late Jimmy Shelton (class association undetermined), died June 19, 2015. An obituary is available. Services were June 29, 2015, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
LaVerne Tolley Gurley, 96, mother of Charlotte Gurley ('58) and Kenneth Gurley (associated with the Class of '64), died Saturday, July 11. Visitation is 5-7 pm, Wednesday, July 15 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 16 at the funeral home.
Rickey Glassman ('64) was among the notables who eulogized Judge D'Army Bailey at the judge and civil rights advocate's funeral in Memphis July 18. Glassman, a Memphis attorney, is quoted in a newspaper article: "Glassman recalled being both a courtroom adversary and close friend to Judge Bailey over the years. Bailey had a passion for Justice, he said, adding, 'D’Army showed those around him how to turn passion into action through his own example.'" Others speaking at the funeral included Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and former President of the United States Bill Clinton.
The Commercial Appeal (on-line July 18, printed July 19).
Richard Allen Douglas (class year undetermined), 81, of Holly Springs, Mississippi, formerly of Memphis, Tennessee, died Saturday, July 4. An obituary is available. Services were held July 8, 2015.
Suzanne Ragsdale ('58), 74, sister of June Ragsdale ('52) and Mary Ragsdale ('57), died Thursday, July 2. An obituary is available. Services were held July 5, 2015.
Ralph Noyes ('68) was one of a number of citizens who appeared before the Memphis City Council July 7 to speak in favor of an ordinance creating a Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board. Although the measure was being considered on its third and final reading, the council delayed action on it for two weeks after changes were made and the police department asked for an opportunity to review the changes before the law was adopted. You may watch Noyes' comments at the city's web site,1 hour, 37 minutes, 45 seconds into the July 7 council video.
[Editor's note: it is always gratifying to see East High alumni participating in public debate and governmental forums after having educated themselves and expressing themselves in reasoned and civil way, regardless of topic or position taken. East alumni have much to contribute.]
Steve Rader ('68) is featured in a newspaper article about his patented "special stereo speaker...which provides music fans the ability to play their favorite songs at a high volume level and with no discernible distortion." Apparently an entrepreneur with broad interests, he also holds a holds the patent to his new Dr Peppermint candy. The Southwest Times Record, on-line edition July 3.
Joe Weller ('62), 70, died Saturday, June 27. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Monday, June 29 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 30 at the funeral home.
Ken Chumney ('56), brother of Jim Chumney ('53), died Tuesday, June 23. An obituary is available. Visitation is at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 27 at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens, 3700 N. Germantown Rd., Memphis. Funeral services follow at 2 p.m.at the funeral home.
The Mid-South Memories newspaper article of June 9 featured a photo of Roy Moore ('55), on the left in the picture, as co-winner of the first round of the state high school golf tournament in June, 1955. The Commercial Appeal, June 9 Delayed report:1 Jane Collins ('68) died January 18, 2003. An obituary is available.
Martha D. Huddleston, mother of Sandra Huddleston ('67) and Nancy Huddleston ('69), died Tuesday, June 2. Visitation is 1:30-2:30 p.m. Monday, June 8 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis Funeral services follow immediately at 2:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
Diana Carr (associated with the Class of '56), 76, died Saturday, June 6. An obituary is available.
Visitation is 5-7 p.m., Monday, June 8 in Parish Hall at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Memphis. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 at the church.
Tommie Henderson ('91 and Faculty), executive director of the charter school New Consortium of Law and Business, is quoted in a newspaper story about the school missing payroll due to a "cash flow" problem. The Commercial Appeal, June 10.
In the neighborhood/city: USAToday: Memphis: "booming city... the nation’s finest collection of attractions for music buffs...Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid, a Vegas-style architectural fantasy that combines a huge Bass Pro retail store, the Ducks Unlimited Water Fowling Heritage Center museum, a 32-story high outdoor observation deck, the 120-room Big Cypress Lodge hotel, and the Cypress Swamp Waterfowl Habitat" See our Visiting Memphis section and/or read the newspaper story at USAToday.
Gene Carlisle ('60), 72, died May 29, 2015.
An obituary is available. Visitation is at 10 a.m. Monday, June 1 at Independent Presbyterian Church, Memphis, with funeral services following immediately at 11:30 a.m. at the church.
There are also news stories about Gene Carlisle's passing at Memphis Daily News, The Commercial Appeal.
Diane Nations ('64), 69, of Jackson, Mississippi, died May 26, 2015. An obituary is available. Services were May 29.
Larry Byrd ('73), 60, brother of Dianne Byrd Waddell ('66); Walice "Eddie" Byrd ('70) and Michael Byrd ('72), died Wednesday, May 27. An obituary is available. Visitation is 4-7 p.m., Saturday, May 30 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 31 at the funeral home.
William "Bill" Rader, father of at least two East alumni, Steve Rader ('68) and Debbie Rader (class year association undetermined), died Wednesday, May 27. Services are private.
Delayed report:1 Margaret Powers ('55), 76, died June 21, 2014. An obituary is available.
Margaret Taylor (Faculty) died Sunday, May 17. Mrs. Taylor was primarily a math teacher at East High (East Junior High) from 1955 to 1969. She became a renowned principal at Grahamwood Elementary thereafter. After she retired she spent many years back at East tutoring and guiding the peer tutoring program created by the East High Foundation. Mrs. Taylor is listed in The East High Alumni Page's Hall of Honor. An obituary is available. A newspaper story is available at The Commercial Appeal. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 20 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 21 at the funeral home.
Steve Stern's ('65) latest book is reviewed in the Memphis general circulation newspaper with the following comments, "read 'The Pinch' — subtitled, purposefully if confusingly, 'A History/a novel" — and your spirit will soar, buoyed by Stern’s fireworks displays of language, sense of humor, deep knowledge of Jewish folklore and culture, appreciation of Memphis history, unflagging energy, colorful Yiddish vocabulary and free-flowing imagination.The book is about the once thriving immigrant neighborhood of The Pinch, the northern end of downtown Memphis. The author will be in Memphis Thursday, June 4 to read from and sign copies of the book 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Burke’s Book Store, 936 S. Cooper. The Commercial Appeal, May 31. WKNO-FM conducted an interview with Steve Stern and aired it June 4. It is available at wknofm.org
Kay Rossen ('64), 69, of Germantown, Tennessee, sister of Skippy Rossen ('69, died Thursday, May 14. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 17 at Beth Sholom Synagogue, Memphis.
Kristin Walker ('99) is featured in the May 25 "I Choose Memphis" article in the Memphis Daily News. She says she has "cultivated a deeper appreciation and commitment to Memphis in ways that I never imagined." She goes on to say, "[T]here is something to do every single day of the week in Memphis, and everything is easy to find." Memphis Daily News, May 25.
Delayed report:1 Debbie Gibson (associated with the Class of '68), sister of Susan Gibson ('70) and Faye Gibson ('72), died January 6, 2011. An obituary is available.
In a major expansion, Chas McVean ('61) is selecting East High and Whitehaven High for his expanded tutoring program. His his plan is to provide high schools with 1,000 hours of paid tutoring a week, enough to staff every single Algebra I, Biology I and English I classroom with three accomplished college students. McVean’s model is Peer Power, the after-school tutoring program he set up and funded at East High a decade ago."We know what we were able to do on an after-school voluntary basis... The kids are tired in the afternoon; it wasn’t mandatory. There were scheduling issues around sports. And some had to go home and take care of baby sister and all of that," said McVean. The Commercial Appeal, May 17
Congratulations to the Class of 2015, graduated May 16! What is believed to be one of the smallest classes of East High School in recent memory was graduated May 16, 2015, in ceremonies held at The Cannon Center for Performing Arts in downtown Memphis. One hundred twenty-four students received diplomas during the 65th commencement exercise of the school.
Barry McCrory (Faculty 1982-1998), 67, of Memphis, died April 24. Mr. McCrory taught many subjects, especially math, science, and was vice-chairman of the Engineering Department at East. An obituary is available.
Services were held April 29, 2015.
Delayed report:1 Bert Bates ('69) died May 4, 1985. An obituary is now available.
National Teacher Appreciation Week May 4-8, 2015
The East High Alumni Page joins with the thousands of East alumni in remembering and thanking the dedicated teachers who contributed so much to our lives. For East alumni who went on to become teachers themselves, thank you for passing it on.
The sixty-fifth commencement of East High School will be held Saturday, May 16, 2015, 9 a.m. at The Cannon Center, 255 North Main Street. Tickets are required and must be obtained from the school in advance.
Jan Marie Lorenz, sister of Mike Ronsiek ('68), died April 10. No service information has been published.
Anita Minter, 91, of Titusville, Florida, mother of Kathy Cannon ('68) and Dudley Cannon (associated with the Class of '71), died Wednesday, April 15. There was no public visitation. Burial was at Red Hill Cemetery, Hodgenville, Kentucky.
West Point is the top military school in the country, and the school's newest recruit is from Memphis. East High School senior Andre Vaughn will attend the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the fall. A television news story featured his selection. Vaughn told the reporter, "I want to serve my country, because I believe it's a great way to give back."
WMC-TV, Apr. 22
Norma Hooker (Faculty, c1949-1951), 88, of Tunica, Mississippi, died March 31. Ms. Hooker taught English at East High after graduating from college until she married and moved out of state in 1951. An obituary is available. Services were held April 1, 2015.
Lowell Winston (Faculty, 1995-1997), former principal at East High School says he is running for the Memphis City Council Super District 9, Position 2 seat. Incumbent Shea Flinn is not seeking reelection. Despite student protests in support of Winston, he was reassigned from his East High principal's position mid-year after financial problems at the school were revealed. In addition, two financial secretaries left city school employment. Winston later became a principal at a charter school and at the city's Northside High. Source: The Commercial Appeal
Bobby Gibson ('62), 70, died March 31. He was the brother of Jo Anne Gibson (class year undetermined). An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 1 p.m. April 3, 2015, Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis.
Bill Strong ('61) was among the speakers expressing opinions at a City of Memphis public meeting on the future layout of Riverside Drive. Part of his comments were broadcast on a television newscast. [The East High Alumni believes East High alumni have valuable insights and encourages their participation in public decisions.]
WREG-TV, May 26
Lala Clark ('73), sister of at least one East alumni among her siblings Jim Clark ('67), died Sunday, March 22. An obituary is available. Visitation is 1-2 p.m. March 27 in the sanctuary narthex at Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis.Funeral services follow immediately at 2 p.m. in the sanctuary.
Cybill Shepherd ('68) is conducting interviews promoting her new film "Do You Believe." She appeared on Entertainment Tonight Mar. 13. She has also been featured in print articles about the movie and her faith.Entertainment Tonight, Mar. 13, 2015; The Christian Post, Oct. 18, 2014
Chas McVean ('61) is briefly mentioned in a newspaper capitol hill report focused on powdered alcohol. "Then along came Memphis commodities broker Charles McVean and his push for arena racing of hackney ponies, ridden by remote-controlled robot jockeys. (We're not making this up.)" The Commercial Appeal, Mar. 13.
Swanette Anderson ('94), 39 of Horn Lake, Mississippi, died Monday, March 2. An obituary is available. Services were March 7, 2015
Jack Kenner ('71) was featured in a segment of WKNO-TV's "Your family pet" program which aired Feb. 19. It discusses his photography business expansion into taking pictures of dogs and publishing books of those photos. The program can be watched on the Internet at wkno.org
Diane Conrad ('68), 64, of Oakland, Tennessee, died February 10. An obituary is available. Services were held February 14 in Oakland, Tennessee.
Walt Jackson ('68), 64, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, died February 20. An obituary is available. A funeral service is at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
The late Walt Jackson ('68) was a featured interviewee on the PBS television program "American Denial" which aired Feb. 24, 2015, four days after Jackson's death as the result of a traffic mishap. The program may be viewed until May 24 at PBS Independent Lens.
Delayed report:1 Kenny Killebrew (associated with the Class of '56), brother of Judy Killebrew ('64) and the late Kay Killebrew ('59), died September 15, 2013. An obituary is available.
David Jolly ('67) is featured in a television news story about a cow on the loose in Germantown, Tennessee, and the local police successful efforts to wrangle it back to where it belonged. The story says Germantown police posted a video of their efforts on its Facebook page which has been widely viewed. The TV news story can also be viewed on line. WMC-TV, Feb. 26.
East High basketball coach Desmond Merriweather (Faculty) died at age 41 Feb 8. An obituary is available. There are also news media stories noted his passing. The Commercial Appeal, WHBQ-TV. Visitation is 12-5 p.m. Friday, February 20, at Zion Temple COGIC, 2935 Sam Cooper Blvd., followed by a memorial 5-7 p.m. Funeral services: are at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 21 at First Baptist Broad Church, 2835 Broad Ave., Memphis.
Arnette Sturla Tagg, 54, of Memphis, widow of Bert Bates ('69), died Saturday, February 7. A funeral mass is at 11 a.m., Thursday, February 12, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Memphis.
A fight between two girls at East High made the news Feb. 11, complete with video of the scuffles. The reporter says the school district indicated the fight happened after school hours when there were not many school employees around. WREG-TV news used the terms "vicious" and "brutal" to describe the altercation. The video was recorded by a student and reportedly posted on Facebook. WREG-TV
[Editor's note: first, it is bad journalism for the media to characterize the nature of the event in judgmental terms. "Vicious" and "brutal" are opinions. A legitimate news organization should present the fact and let the recipient of the story make the judgmental decisions. Upon review of the news story individuals may decided for themselves what they have seen and what witnesses report.]
January 19, 2015 - The East High Alumni Page has been on line 19 years and we hope to continue helping alumni get into contact with one another and learn about their school and fellow alumni. Some of our 2014 web statistics are available on our What's New page. Thank you to all graduate, student, faculty and staff alumni who view our pages and our special appreciation to those who send in profiles for themselves and who send in news of other alumni.
Daja Bell ('08) was married Joshua Nehemiah Wilson Nov. 1.She is a student at the University of Memphis studying Health and Human Performance and is employed as a physiology technician in Memphis. Wilson is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, Martin, and is graphic artist working in Bartlett, Tennessee. The Commercial Appeal.
Jim Duncan (Faculty 1966-70) is the subject of a newspaper article as his retirement as executive director of the Memphis Botanic Gardens approaches. The newspaper points out his success in making the gardens nationally notable and financially sound. It also mentions he formerly was a high school coach. It fails to mention that was East High School! The newspaper's web page includes a video with an interview with Duncan. The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 14.
[Editor's note: we're proud of Coach Duncan's outstanding leadership at the botanic gardens and congratulate him. What else would we expect from an East alumnus, whether faculty or graduate alumnus?]
Jane Krech Pilcher, 89, of Memphis, mother of Jimmy Pilcher ('68), Allen Pilcher ('69), Steve Pilcher ('73), died Wednesday, January 7. Visitation is at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, January 11, at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. The funeral service follows immediately at 1:30 p.m. at the funeral home.
Thelma Getsin Cohn, 90, of Memphis,
mother of Howard Cohn ('65) and Drew Cohn ('68), died December 22, 2014. Services were December 23, 2014
Ken Canfield ('52), 80, of Hallsville, Texas, brother of at least one other East alumnus, Nancy Canfield ('65), died December 27. An obituary is available. Services were held January 2, 2015, in Longview, Texas.
Judy Peiser ('63), executive director of the Center for Southern Folklore, is quoted in an article about her insisting local artists performances at the 1989 Folklife Festival be recorded. Those performances are now being released on iTunes. The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 8 (on-line)
------ 2014 ------The Tennessee Sports Writers Association has selected East High senior Kyland Tate as a member of its 2014 Class 5A All State Football team. Tate plays in the defensive backfield. The class "5A" relates to a school's enrollment.
Mary Gordon Jordan, 91, of Memphis,mother of Cavett Conaway (associated with the Class of '62), Alex Conaway ('69), and Edwin Conaway ('73), died Wednesday, December 10. Visitation is at 11 a.m. Monday, December 15 at Germantown Presbyterian Church. Services follow immediately at 12:30 p.m. at the church.
Jim Duncan (Faculty 1966-70) was honored by the Memphis City Council Dec. 16 for his 10 years of "outstanding accomplishments as Executive Director of Memphis Botanic Garden." The council noted that when Duncan took the job the gardens were in fiscal distress. During his tenure, the Botanic Gardens have added many features and become a fiscally successful part of Memphis, with a 400% increase in membership. The city provides about one-half million dollars to the gardens but another $4.5 million are now raised from other sources. The Memphis Botanic Garden was recognized this year as one of the top 25 public gardens in the USA. Duncan, a coach and teacher of economics and government at East High, retires from the Botanic Gardens at the end of the year.
Delayed report1: Terry Teesdale (associated with the Class of '61) 73, of Colusa, IL died October 24. The family includes his sister, Diane Teesdale (class year association undetermined). An obituary is available.
George Toney (Faculty 1953-1958), 89, of Memphis, died Tuesday, November 25. Mr. Toney taught instrumental music (band) at East from 1953-1958. An obituary is available. Services were December 1, 2014.
Spence Wilson ('60), Bob Wilson ('62), and Kem Wilson ('64) will remain members of the board of directors of Kemmons Wilson Cos., the family-run business started by Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson (senior), as they turn over executive leadership of the company to the next generation of family, according to newspaper articles. Memphis Daily News, Dec. 3.
In the neighborhood: Indianapolis-based developer Milhaus Ventures has acquired several vacant parcels for the long-awaited Highland Row project near the University of Memphis for $4.3 million. Acquired were the properties at 443 S. Highland St. and 366, 374 and 380 Ellsworth St. The mixed-use Highland Row development will include 354 apartments, 35 townhomes, a parking garage and 26,000 square feet of retail space. Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers, then operating as Poag (Dan Poag ('59)) & McEwen Lifestyle Centers, originally planned to develop Highland Row, but those plans were shelved following the recession.
Source: Memphis Daily News, Dec. 2.
Olney Wesley Edmiston (associated with the Class of '62), brother of Barbara Edmiston (associated with the Class of '64), died November 28, 2014. An obituary is available. According to the funeral home, no services were scheduled
Frances Lynn Herring Barnard, mother of Jeannie Banard ('68), Bill Barnard ('70), Sue Barnard ('75), and Joe Barnard ('76), died Thursday, November 6. A service of remembrance will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 29 at Neshoba Unitarian Church, Cordova, Tennessee.
Bill Strong ('61), director of the Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum, is quoted in an article about possibility of additional passenger rail service to/from Memphis in a newspaper article. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 28.
Jeanette Miller Hettinger, 94, of Memphis,mother of Mike Hettinger ('64), died Sunday, November 16. Visitation is at noon, Saturday, November 22 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis, with funeral services following immediately at 1 p.m. at the funeral home.
Sid Feuerstein ('55), 77, of Memphis, died Saturday, November 15. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Sunday, November 23 at the Levy-Cooper Chapel, Temple Israel Cemetery, Memphis.
John "Doc" Hoffman ('62), 71, of Mountain Home, Arkansas, died November 13, 2014. An obituary is available. Services were private. Doc Hoffman was a sports celebrity during his high school years and, in fact, was a legend in his own time. All East alumni are invited to read what a sports report wrote about Mr. Hoffman in 1962 on our 1962 Class Classics page.
The Commercial Appeal has done a story on Hoffman upon his passing.
A number of alumni have left messages on the funeral home's guestbook page: Conner-Hankins Funeral Home.
"Remembering a forgotten legend of Memphis high school hoops" is a Memphis newspaper article about Doc Hoffman ('62), who died recently. Recommended reading. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 22.
[Editor's note: while the community at large might have forgotten Doc Hoffman, anyone at East Elementary, East Junior High, and East High School, and most likely anyone associated with Memphis basketball, who was old enough to know anything about the game at the time has not and will never forget Doc.]
In the neighborhood: A long established restaurant and bar opened by and bearing the name of late East alumnus David Newby Harsh ('68) closed Wednesday night Nov. 19. Newby's restaurant at 539 South Highland Street, in the Normal shopping area often called the Highland Strip and a popular college hangout, was opened by Harsh in 1975. After suffering some health issues he sold it to the bartender Todd Adams in 1997. Earlier this year the establishment filed for bankruptcy and then was foreclosed upon. An effort for crowed funding did not reach the amount required and a final night party was held Nov. 19. The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Business Journal, Nov. 21.
Photographer Jack Kenner ('71) is arranging African photo safaris where guests will be shooting animals with their cameras,not guns, according to a newspaper story. Kenner, who used to make photo trips to Africa in the late 1980s, has launched African photo safari tours under the name Intrepid Expeditions. Memphis Flyer, Nov. 19.
Charles Patrick Ransom ('82), 50, of Memphis, died November 7, 2014. An obituary is available.
A contingent of the East High School Junior ROTC marched in the Memphis Veterans Day parade Nov. 11. Unlike the first couple of decades of East High, ROTC is now an optional class and is open to women as well as men. It is not known if those marching constituted all the East High cadets or not. Shelby County Schools were out for the day, so it could be participation was voluntary. A much larger picture of the East High marching contingent is available here.
Ralph Farmer ('51), 81, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, died on November 3, 2014. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, November 6 at First Baptist Church, family life center, Dyersburg, Tennessee. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, November 7 at the church.
Susan Meriwether Klyce ('70), 62 of Knoxville, Tennessee, died Tuesday, October 28. An obituary is available. A celebration of life service is at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 1 at Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, 3700 Keowee Avenue SW, Knoxville, Tennessee
Delayed report:1 Hermit Raby "Ray" Manning, Jr., 89, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, father of Kathryn Manning ('63), Weber Manning ('66), Rose Marie Manning ('73), and father-in-law of Wes Lawson ('68), died July 5, 2014.
Betty Burleigh ('55), 77, sister of Bob Burleigh ('53), died Sunday, October 26. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 11 a.m. Wednesday, October 29 at Christ Church, Bartlett Campus, 5955 Yale Road, Bartlett, Tennessee.
Earl Winn ('60), 72, of Winchester, Tennessee, died Thursday, October 16. An obituary is available. Visitation is 10 a.m. October 25, 2014 at Marble Plains Baptist Church, Tims Ford State Park, 525 Marble Plains Road, Winchester Tennessee. A celebratory service follows immediately at 11 a.m. at the church.
East High's 2014 ACT average composite ACT score was 15.67, according to the Tennessee State Report Card on Schools released Thursday, Oct. 30. In 1989 the ACT revised its scoring. A score of 16 today roughly corresponds to a 12 in pre-1989 ACT scoring. It should be noted that now in Tennessee all high school juniors are required to take the ACT. Decades ago, it was voluntary and therefore those who might have scored very low may not have taken the test, giving results that skewed higher than they would have been if everyone took the exam. At least in the first two decades of its existence, East High was considered a school with an expectation that most students were candidates for college and, therefore, it may be that the vast majority of students took either the ACT or SAT tests. If almost all took the ACT, that would more accurately reflect the overall school academic achievement and provide a better comparison with modern ACT scores, once the 1989 scoring adjustment is applied.The East High Alumni Page believes the ACT score is the best measure of academic achievement both among schools in the present era and comparison between eras.
In 2013, the average composite ACT score at East High was 15.92 and in 2012 it was 16.0.
In 2013, the average composite ACT score at East High was 15.92 and in 2012 it was 16.0.
This editor admits a lack of understanding the state's evaluation in which it categorizes the composite ACT score at East to be meeting "the Standard for Academic Growth" because it was above the predicted score, although it is obviously less than the either of the past two years. How lower scores can be meeting growth standards raises serious questions.
The 2014 Report Card on Schools is presented in format more difficult to navigate and to evaluate than in most past years, although last year's report was somewhat more complex to analyze. Whether the method of presentation is an intentional effort to obscure the data for most individuals could be a legitimate question, although the answer could probably be accurately predicted.
See Today's East High School page for additional for a comparison of top local schools with East High.
The East High Alumni Page may, in coming days, attempt to analyze additional information from the State Report Card as it relates to East High and post the results here. The state's Department of Education web site's State Report Card on Schools is linked here.
The late David Harsh ('68), who founded Newby's restaurant on Highland Street is mentioned in a newspaper article about the current owner attempting to raise money to keep the establishment open. Memphis Daily News, Oct. 31.
Jim "Mim" Macdonald ('68), 64. of Marietta, Georgia, brother of Ann Macdonald ('59) and Donnie Macdonald ('63), died Friday, Oct. 17. An obituary is available.
Ray Davenport ('62), of Bartlett, Tennessee died Sept. 12, 1998, at the age of 53. An obituary is available.
Parrish Taylor, Jr. ('63), 70, died Sunday, October 12. An obituary is available. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 15, at, Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Memphis.
Oscar Ammer (Faculty 1961-71) died Monday, October 13. At East High Coach Ammer primarily taught physical education classes and coached numerous sports. An obituary is available.
Visitation is 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, October 15 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 1 p.m., Thursday, October 16 at the funeral home.
On the campus: unveiled Tuesday, Oct. 14, new urban art in front of East High School. On either side of the steps that lead to the center patio area of the school are mustang busts made of metal and flanked by attached metal benches. The objects were created by San Antonio artist George Schroeder of Texas who won an Urban Art Commission grant for up to $80,500 for the design, fabrication, and shipment of the works. The request design ideas submitted were evaluated by the East art students. Additional photos are here.
Mary Blanche Richardson ('61), 71, sister of at least one alumnus, Lee Richardson ('67), died September 26. An obituary is available. A gathering of family and friends was held October 6, 2014.
In the neighborhood: the recent attack on three people in the Poplar Plaza parking lot by a large group of youth has raised concerns about the areas safety. "The community around Poplar Plaza is among the safest areas of the city, according to law enforcement," says a report in a local newspaper citing statistics from the Memphis Police Department. The Memphis Flyer, Sept. 25
Alumni members of the family of Jane Pilcher, Jimmy ('68), Allen ('69), Steve Pilcher ('73), may be visible in a TV news story on WMC-TV (Memphis). The story is about their mother Jane Pilcher, who while under hospice care, visited her favorite place, the lobby of The Peabody Hotel with the family. WMC-TV, Oct. 6
Ann Fakes ('52), 79, sister of Roger Fakes ('56), died Tuesday, September 23. An obituary is available. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 25 at Second Presbyterian Church, Nashville, Tennessee.
Atlee Olga "Ogie" Catanzaro, 89, mother of at least two alumni, Kathy Catanzaro ('67) and Paula Catanzaro ('69) , died Sunday, September 21. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, September 23at Memorial Park Funeral Home. Funeral services are Wednesday, September 24 beginning at 10 a.m.with Rosary followed at 11 a.m.by the funeral mass at St. Michael Catholic Church, Memphis.
Jim Duncan (Faculty 1966-70) announced Sept. 15 his retirement as director of Memphis Botanic Garden effective at the end of the year. He has held the position for the past 10 years.
Nancy Ezell ('59), of Southaven, Mississippi, sister of at least one alumnus, Libby Ezell ('55), died Friday, September 5. An obituary is available. Services were September 9, 2014.
Joy Tiffin ('74) is interviewed as part of a "love mob" that demonstrated at Poplar Plaza Shopping Center in response to a group attack on shoppers and employees near the Kroger store Saturday night. "Joy Sutherland went to high school just down the street from Poplar Plaza, worked her first job at Leonard’s Barbecue in the shopping center and had her first date with her future husband in a restaurant there." Eleven juveniles had been arrested by Tuesday and charged for violent event and police said more arrests were expected. One of the responses was what organizers called "a peaceful demonstration of love for our city, its businesses, and our fellow citizens." The Commercial Appeal, Sept. 10.
In the neighborhood: About 9:15 Saturday night Sept. 6, a large group of dozens of juveniles rampaged through Poplar Plaza Shopping Center at Poplar and Highland attacking at least three people in front of the Kroger store, beating and kicking the victims. A bystander captured video of some of the violence and it has been viewed by thousands across the nation on the Internet and television news programs. The event has raised alarm among Memphis politicians and residents of the city. In the days following the attacks, at least eleven people have been arrested and charged with police saying more arrests are expected. Memphis Daily News, Sept. 8. Video: WREG-TV
Martha Hamilton Boswell, 93, mother of Judy Boswell ('64), Joe Boswell ('65), and Susan Boswell ('69), died Monday, August 25. Services were held August 30.
Bonnie Dondeville ('62) is featured in an article "Holding Court" in the fall 2014 edition of the University of Memphis magazine. Dondeville is a champion women's tennis player who found there was no women's team at Memphis State University when she entered the college after East High. So she played on the men's team! Dondeville is still playing the game. She is a member of the University of Memphis Sports Hall of Fame. You can read about her in the latest edition of the university's magazine (on page 11) and you can also read an article about her from a 2008 Commercial Appeal article on our "In the news..." section.
Chas McVean ('61) took the message of his Peer Power tutoring program public school students to Natchez, Mississippi. The Natchez-Adams School Board of Trustees and city leaders met with McVean to hear about his program which incentivize advanced students with payment to tutor other pupils in their school. The program started a decade ago at East High and has since spread to other schools in Tennessee and Mississippi. Some of those schools believe the program has helped them improve student achievement and the resulting test scores. The Democrat, Natchez, Mississippi, August 21.
[Editor's note: The overall test results at East High itself do not appear to be significantly improved despite the many years the program has been in place, although the students taking advantage of the tutoring do show significant academic achievement. compared to the student body as a whole.
Aggregated test scores for academic achievement and academic growth for 2014 have been released by the Tennessee Department of Education. The results for East High, along with two of the traditional top performing schools in Shelby County, are provided on our Today's East High School page.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam visited East High School August 18 to promote the Tennessee Promise scholarship which offers every high school graduate in the state, effective this school year, an opportunity to attend college for two years tuition free. He addressed more than 150 seniors gathered in the school's auditorium and got ” Haslam told more than 150 seniors at East. The pupils appeared to enthusiastically applaud the governor's comments.
The Commercial Appeal, August 16, 2014:
Drew Bellomo ('70), brother of at least one East alumni among his siblings, Shannon Bellomo ('68), died July 8, 2014. An obituary is available.
A private memorial service was held July 29, 2014, in Denver, Colorado
Sonny Flinn (associated with the Class of '61) tells brief stories about life growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Memphis, including at East Elementary and Junior High and Central High School. Great fun hearing his recollections! Check him out as he introduces oldies music on his radio station, which he calls "Sunny 1210" (AM 1210 in Memphis)! He invites you to send in your memories, too. The same programming is broadcast on FM 96.6 in Memphis.
It should also be noted that Sonny, who now goes by the name George for the most part, is a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Tennessee in the upcoming election.
(Thanks to Bill Strong ('61) for letting us know about this fun radio experience.)
Chas McVean ('61) and the Big River Crossing and Parkway project are profiled in the local Memphis magazine RSVP in its August Edition. The crossing part of the project was formerly called the Harahan Bridge bicycle and pedestrian project. The parkway portion is a new plan to provide bicycle and walking trails atop the Mississippi levee system. RSVP, August, 2014.
Fifty years ago on July 30, 1964, East High's renowned first principal, J.P. Snider died as the result of a traffic accident. It was a great loss for East High School and its alumni.You can read about Mr. Snider in our Hall of Honor page and in his obituary.
In the first decision of its kind, Charlie McVean ['61] of McVean Trading & Investments announced that the St. Francis Levee District of Arkansas would allow foot traffic on the pathways along the top of the Mississippi River levees. Memphis Business Journal, Jul. 16
Jack Pullen ('52), of Oakland, Tennessee, died Wednesday, July 9. An obituary is available. Services were July 12, 2014.
The late Ed Williams ('52) was honored with a resolution adopted unanimously by the Shelby County Commission at its June 16, 2014, meeting. Mrs. Sue Williams was present to accept the resolution and appreciative comments from commissioners about her late husband. The commission said, "Mr. Williams mirrored the high ethical standards of his profession, and is deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues, and his contributions to his profession, and to the rich legacy of Shelby County, Tennessee, will long be remembered." You may read the text of the resolution.
Tom McKnight, 96, of Memphis, father of Randy McKnight ('62) and Lee McKnight ('64), died Thursday, June 5. A memorial service is to be held later in the summer.
Joan Jefferson ('59), 72, of Memphis, sister of Jean Jefferson ('62), Joe Jefferson (associated with the Class of '68), and the late John Jefferson ('58), died Tuesday, June 3. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 14 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Memphis. A reception: follows the service at the church.
A newspaper article on infill development in the Memphis suburb of Collierville focused on a development planned by Doug Dickens ('62). "Dickens... has been developing infill projects since the early 1980s...Dickens, who has 40 years of real estate development experience, helped create Memphis’ planned development ordinance in 1979. The Commercial Appeal, May 22/23, 2014 (also available at FindLaw.com
William Jasper Templeton, Jr., 87, father of
at least two East alumni, his sons Bill Templeton ('66) and Preston Templeton ('70), died Friday, May 23. Visitation is at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 at Moore-Cortner Funeral Home, Winchester, Tennessee with funeral services following immediately at 3 p.m. at the funeral home.
Aubrey Coleman ('60), 71, brother of Becky Coleman (associated with the Class of '65), died Friday, May 23. An obituary is available. A memorial service is at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 28 at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, Georgia. A reception will follow the memorial service at the church.
Sue Scull ('54), 77, of Germantown, Tennessee, died Thursday May 15. An obituary is available. Services were May 19 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Jimmy Jalenak ('57) became involved in the controversy regarding zoo patrons parking on the greensward at Overton Park in late May. A group attempting to preserve non-automotive use of the lawn protested the parking by sitting in the area, leading to arrests of some protesters. The city, the Overton Park Conservancy, and the zoo negotiated and a shuttle service from a parking garage in Overton Square was agreed upon. But Jalenak, who is the zoo’s chief administrative officer, wrote May 20 that the shuttle compromise to end overflow zoo parking on the Overton Park greensward "will lead to the demise of the Zoo as we know it today... If the Mayor and Overton Park Conservancy’s goal is to keep 80,000 citizens out of the park, they should be honest and state that rather than mislead the public with false solutions." The zoo pulled out of the agreement but the Conservancy initiated the temporary shuttle service anyway. Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton said Jalenak's comments were "disrespectful and inappropriate." Zoo president Chuck Brady later apologized for the tone of the letter. (Source: Memphis Daily News)
The 64th class of East High School was graduated May 20, 2014. Forth year principal Eric Harris said 148 students qualified for graduation and diplomas were handed out at ceremonies tonight at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Memphis. The class members were offered $6.5-million in scholarships and awards. The keynote speaker was pastor and civil rights icon James Netters. Read more...
An extensive interview with Steve Rader ('68) was broadcast on KFSM-TV in Fort Smith, Arkansas, during a Sunday morning show Mar. 30. He is a member of a new board of directors revitalizing a local golf course. You can watch the interview at KFSM-TV.
The t-shirt shop owned by Paul Edwards ('66) was destroyed in a two alarm fire late Sunday afternoon, May 4. The store, Signatures X, located at 559 South Highland Street in Memphis has been in operation for 40 years. The store has posted a notice on its web site saying "We're a little down, but not by any means out" and that it will be fulfilling orders within a few days from another location and with the help of other businesses. Sources: The Commercial Appeal, Twitter, The East High Alumni Page.
The 64th Commencement of East High School is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 6 p.m. at the Orpheum Theater. Tickets, which are free, are usually required. Alumni interested in attending should contact the school office in advance of the date of the ceremony.
Bill McMath, 72, of Memphis, husband of Kathy Wilkins ('69), died Wednesday April 23. Visitation is 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2 at Christ United Methodist Church Sanctuary, Memphis.Funeral services follow immediately at 3:30 p.m. at the church. A graveside service is at 10:00 a.m. Monday, April 28 at Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis.
A Memphis man is accused of pointing a gun at an East High School student, which subsequently set off a lockdown the following day. (See story below.) Memphis police say a group of students was standing on the east side of East High on April 10 about 2 p.m. when three cars pulled onto Holmes Street and the people riding in them got out. Police say a "disturbance" broke out and Shinny Talley, 20 allegedly pulled out a handgun pointing it at one of the students. The accused is charged with aggravated assault. WMC-TV
The pupil's mother who was arrested along with her daughter and adult son last week at East High School contacted a local TV station claiming that police and security personnel "got it wrong" when the arrests were made. Furthermore, she claims the school is"out of control." Tamika Price seems to claim that her family was attacked by others but that
she and her relatives were arrested instead of the aggressors. WMC-TV
A student, her brother, and their mother all ended up in police custody Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2014, after allegedly fighting at East High School. Police say Tamika Price and her adult son went to the school to get her daughter, who was in an earlier fight. Police say the family tried to continue the fight. Price and her son, 22-year-old Madarius Jone, were charged with assaulting officers as they intervened. WMC-TV, The Commercial Appeal
East High was under a lockdown this morning (April 11, 2014) after a student reported a trespasser or trespassers on campus. Law enforcement responded and armed officers conducted initial sweeps of the campus. At 10:28 a.m. the lockdown was lifted. No trespassers had been located. Police have told reporters the early reports were that four trespassers were armed and may have been inside the school, but the school district denies that the original tip indicated anyone was armed. The on-scene response to the incident included school district security, sheriff's deputies, city police, the director of the Memphis Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. There are reports there was a fight near the campus yesterday when alleged gang members tried unsuccessfully to recruit some young people. Today, as the trespasser report was being checked, Memphis Police apparently executed a search warrant at a house across Holmes Street from the school. Observers believe today's events are likely associated with yesterday's attempted gang recruitment and fight. Sources: WHBQ-TV, The Commercial Appeal, WMC-TV, The East High Alumni Page
In recent days The Commercial Appeal reported Memphian and former NBA all star Penny Hardaway was considering a coaching position with the East High School basketball program. April 1 (April fool's day) WATN-TV in Memphis reported straight out that he would become the new basketball coach at East. A day later, WMC-TV reported that Hardaway told them he's not looking to get into high school coaching at this time.
Bill Yerian ('68) is the photographer for the TV show The Best Times which airs on WKNO-TV in Memphis. A recent segment focused on hearing loss among seniors and a brief moment of video included Bill in the picture demonstrating a hearing test. The full segment can be seen at http://www.youtube.com
Speaking of East High folks on TV, back last fall KPIX-TV in San Francisco featured Pescadero High School on it's "Cool School" series. One of the interviewees was Maynard Robinson (East '69) who says he's teaching there for the duration! You may see the video clip of the story at http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com
A Junior ROTC color guard from East High School prepares to present the flags at tonight's (Mar. 25, 2014) Shelby County School Board meeting.
After investigating a report of evidence of sex and drug paraphernalia in the basement of East High School (see story below), Shelby County Schools says, in part, "during its inspection, district officials did discover unused condoms in the area but did not find any evidence of drug use. The area is locked and off limits to students. Only authorized personnel have access to the secured area. The District has taken additional steps to fortify the entrance to the area and installed security cameras in the entry way." WREG-TV, Feb. 5
It should be noted that despite the reported release of the statement, the statement does not appear in the news release section and does not appear to be in any other section of the school districts web site as of 6:20 p.m. Feb. 5.
TV News: "Some are calling it East High School’s dirty little secret, and parents want something done about it. WREG obtained pictures and videos of what some say is going on in the school’s basement. A former teacher says there’s evidence of both sex and drug paraphernalia."
WREG-TV, Jan. 28
J.P. Tucker, 93, of Memphis, father of Phil Tucker ('65), Jeanie Tucker ('71), and the late Jan Tucker ('68), died Tuesday, January 21. He was also father-in-law of Tim Ramsey ('70) and Van Siler ('67).
The East High Alumni Page is 18 years old, having gone on-line January 19, 1996. Thanks to all those who have contributed profiles and news and to alumni who check these pages for information about friends and about, as our alma mater calls it, "dear old East High."
How dear to all our memories
And fondest dreams we'll share
Are days we've spent within your halls,
With friends who tarried there.
Our hearts sing out to thee,
Alma Mater, to the sky;
We'll always think of you and love you,
Dear old East High.
We love and cherish thee
And you'll always find us true,
For all you've meant to us these years
In memory lives anew.
Our lamp of knowledge brightly burns,
we owe its light to you;
These days with you will never die
Nor will our love for you.
Chas McVean ('61) and Meah King ('97 and Faculty) are quoted in an article about the Peer Power (formerly the Greater East High Foundation) tutoring efforts and its success with individual students at East High. Memphis Daily News, Jan. 17.
Louise Bondurant Phillips ("Weetie") , mother of Harry Johnson Phillips Jr. ('68) , Clifton Bondurant Phillips (class year undetermined), Percy Parker Phillips (class association undetermined), the late Julian Phillips ('69),and the late Woody Phillips ('72), died Thursday, January 9. See our sympathy page.
Suzanne Smith ('61), in a newspaper guest column, writes "For years, Ike’s has been my own wacky version of Cheers — a place where, in fact, many people do know my name and 'everyone’s glad you came.'" She honors the people, the store, and the neighborhood she's known for decades as the store prepares to close.
The Commercial Appeal, Jan. 4.
------ 2013 ------
Margaret Taylor (Faculty, 1955-69) , 96, is one of the "9 over 90" featured for her involvement in the community as a senior citizen in a newspaper article. Taylor has worked in education for more than 50 years and continues her work monitoring tutors at Peer Power, a student tutoring students program started by one of her students, Chas McVean ('61).
The Commercial Appeal, December 30/31.
There are several additional stories about Taylor in our "In the news ..." section, as well as stories about McVean. Taylor is also in The East High Alumni Page's Hall of Honor.
The late Ed Williams ('52), Shelby County Historian, former state legislator, former member of the Shelby County Commission, and member of numerous historical associations, is remembered in an article in The Best Times, Dec. 12.
Partick Parks ('97) is the focus of a newspaper article about his hosting the television show “She Loves a Man in Uniform,” on the CW network. Parks graduated from Notre Dame, entered graduate school at Harvard when September 11, 2001 changed the direction of his life. After stints with the CIA and IBM, he now works as an an independent contractor providing executive coaching to businesses, writes songs, and hosts the dating show.
The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 29
Mark Chaney ('76), 55, of Charlotte, North Carolina, died Sunday, November 30. An obituary is available.
Stephen E. Castlemun, Sr., of Memphis, father of Pam Castlemun ('68) and the late Steve Castlemun, Jr. ('67), died Thursday, December 12.
Darla Ozment ('54), 77, died Sunday, November 30. An obituary is available.
Frances F. Marks (Faculty), 97, of Memphis, mother of Denton Marks ('67) and Linda Marks, died Thursday, November 28. An obituary is available. Mrs. Marks taught Latin at East from 1963-1973 and was also a guidance counselor.
Steve Eggers (associated with the Class of '68), 63, of Milledgeville, Georgia, brother of Louis Eggers (associated with the Class of '66) and Andy Eggers (class association unknown), died September 14, 2013. An obituary is available.
An angry parent was arrested at East High School on Thursday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for Shelby County Schools. Details were not immediately available. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 21.
Kemmons Wilson Jr. ('64) and Bob Wilson ('62) were on hand as the Holiday Inn brand launched a new advertising campaign and called the Holiday Inn Memphis-Wolfchase Galleria, which is owned by the Wilson family, one of its flagship facilities. The Wilson's father, Kemmons Wilson, Senior, opened the first Holiday Inn in 1952 in east Memphis and changed the way people traveled. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 20.
2013 ACT Score About the Same
The average composite ACT score for East High students in or preparing for their senior year in 2013 was 15.92, according to the sate report card on school released in mid November, 2013. The report card says that last year was 16, although at the time the 2012 report card was released it was indicated as 15.9. This year’s score of 15.92 equates to an ACT composite score before 1989 of about 12.
Dauphine Mahoney Garthright, 90, mother of the late Jimmy Garthright ('63), died October 29th. Visitation at Memphis Funeral Home and graveside services at Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis, were held November 1.
Charles Edward White (associated with the Class of '53), died Tuesday, October 22. An obituary is available.
A permanent stage at the Memphis Botanic Garden will named in honor of Jim Duncan (Faculty 1966-70), who has been executive director of the garden since 2004. Memphis Daily News, Oct. 24.
Carol Ann Greaves ('55), 76, of Germantown, Tennessee, sister of the late Nancy Greaves ('60), died Tuesday, October 15. An obituary is available.
Gayle Fargotstein ('63), 68, of Memphis, sister of at least 4 East alumni, Susan Fargotstein ('62), Emily Fargotstein ('66), Laura Fargotstein ('70), and Shep Fargotstein ('72), died Tuesday, October 8. An obituary is available.
Peter Graves Russell ('72), 59, of Memphis, died Saturday, October 12. An obituary is available.
Bo Joplin ('70), 61, brother of at least two other East alumni, the late Scott Joplin ('71), and the late Katy Joplin ('75), died Sunday, October 13. An obituary is available.
Gail Valvik ('56), 75, of Memphis, sister of Bill Valvik ('52) and the late Kay Valvik ('59), died Tuesday, October 1. An obituary is available.
As reported here earlier (see below), a $1.3-million grant has been awarded by the National Science Foundation for the virtual STEM program at East High. The Commercial Appeal published a story on the grant Oct. 10.
Jeanne Scott ('55) was honored by the Tennessee Human Rights Commission as one of five "human rights advocates" cited for "their significant contributions to human rights in Tennessee." She is a lifelong philanthropist, secretary of the board of the Hyde Family Foundations, and a founding board member of the National Civil Rights Museum and the YWCA. The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 3.
Ed Williams ('52), 78, of Memphis, died Sunday, September 29. An obituary is available.
Visitation is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 2 in the Salmon Room of Second Presbyterian Church A memorial service follows immediately at 11 a.m. in the church's chapel.
At 5:11 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, WHBQ-TV is reporting there is a police and medical response to East High School after an allegation of a sexual assault. The reporter was unable to supply additional information as authorities and an ambulance are still on the scene investigating. The photo is the reporter staying in front of East High delivering the report.
Somewhat updated information is available from WMC-TV.
Cybill Shepherd ('68) guest stars on "Law and Order SVU" Wednesday night, Oct. 2, 2013, 8 p.m. CST. on NBC television. A video clip of a promo is available at http://www.youtube.com. The Huffington Post reports the drama is combining the Paula Deen controversy with a Trayvon Martin-esque storyline. Shepherd will play a high-profile celebrity chef who shoots and kills an unarmed teen in a hoodie because she thought she was being pursued by a rapist. The character claims self-defense because she knew the detectives were after a rapist who fit the description, according to TV Guide.
In the neighborhood: the fast food restaurant located on the northeast corner of Poplar Avenue and Holmes Street, once a Checkers and most recently a Rally's hamburger place (or was it the other way around?), has closed as of September, 2013. Memory is a little fuzzy but the first commercial establishment on this site may have been a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Legal documents indicate Rally's leased the property for 10 years in Sept. 1993. In the 1960s and earlier it was the site of a single family residence, noted not only for the East High family that lived there but also because a dog and duck peacefully inhabited the same fenced yard.
The National Science Foundation's Division of Research on Learning has awarded a grant of $1,342,970 to the University of Memphis help establish the Memphis Virtual STEM Academy at East High School. The program's goal is to help 100 Memphis high school students each year understand pre-engineering concepts and principles as well as develop motivation to pursue advanced careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. National Science Foundation
Wayne Hollingsworth ('55), 76, of Memphis, died Sunday, September 8. An obituary is available.
Stephen Sheegog ('06) is part of the story about graduation from Tennessee Rehabilitation Center. "'I’m graduating today in the jobs program. I’ve studied to be a grounds’ keeper,' said Steven, 25, who worked at an internship from TRC at the nearby Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Smyrna." The Murfreesboro Post, Sept. 5.
Jake Schorr (associated with the Class of '61) is interviewed about his opinion on the future of downtown's Pinch District and the coming of Bass Pro in the Pyramid. Memphis Business Journal, Aug. 30.
Sue Marlar Batten, 97, mother of Jean Batten ('63) and Helen Batten ('64), died Wednesday, August 21, 2013. The family includes her children, .
Visitation was Friday, August 23 and services were Saturday, August 24, in Memphis.
Delayed report1: Beverly Taggart ('55), 76, sister of the late Tommy Taggart ('54), died June 21, 2013. An obituary is available. Services were held June 23, 2013.
District attorney drops rape charges in incident alleged to have happened at East High
The Shelby County District Attorney General today dropped charges that had been filed against a 16-year old East High male student who had been accused of aggravated rape last week. The allegation was that the boy raped an 18-year old special education female student at the school during the school day. Today the District Attorney General said there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the charges and dropped them. It is also reported that there is some video related to the incident from school cameras but police will not say what is on the video or if it was part of the reason the charges were dropped. WREG-TV, Aug. 22
Jim Duncan (Faculty 1966-70) is quoted in an article about the 60th anniversary of Memphis Botanic Gardens, of which he is executive director. He describes the efforts to revitalize the park since his taking the helm. Memphis Daily News, Aug. 29.
Frank Mitchel ('68) has authored The Story of Western Philosophy: The Rise and Fall and Return of Reason, and will talk about, make available, and sign copies of the book at Republic Coffee 2924 Walnut Grove Road 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7.
For information about the book: Tate Publishing
Mitchell also produces a blog, including video segments, at http://www.uptospeedgoforit.com/
School superintendent says rape report not true
At the Shelby County Board of Education work session Tuesday night, Aug. 20, interim Superintendent Dorsey Hopson was explaining to the board that some of the negative comments about the the schools' opening weeks were not based in fact. Among the examples he cited was that "there was a report last week a student was raped. That just wasn't the case." This comment coincides with the criminal justice system apparently changing to a cautious approach in charges of aggravated rape filed against another 16-year old East High student in the case. (see stories below). Source: The East High Alumni Page
[update: charges dropped, see story above]
Alleged rape at East High "still under investigation"
An unattributed quote on the WREG-TV website suggests there are questions as to the nature of the rape reported at East High Aug. 14. "Recent additional evidence gathered in the case has determined that the case is STILL under investigation," [emphasis in WREG-TV's article]. The story also reports that the 16-year old arrested in the case has been released on his own recognizance. The comment and release of the 16-year old would suggest authorities have serious questions about the nature of the incident. WREG-TV, Aug. 19
[update: charges dropped, see story above]
Heirs of the late Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn, have donated $500,000 to “Give Kids The World,” a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Fla., that offers dream vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. A newspaper article quotes Spence Wilson ('60). Other children of Kemmons Wilson are Bob Wilson ('62), Kem Wilson Jr. ('64), Betty Wilson ('66), and Carole Wilson('67). The Commercial Appeal, Aug. 19.
Dorothy McElroy Bolton, 94, of Memphis, Tennessee, mother of Anita Kay Bolton ('61), Skippy Bolton ('63), and Gary Bolton ('64), died Tuesday, August 13. See our sympathy page.
Jimmy Jayne ('55), 76, of South Carolina, died Sunday, July 21. An obituary is available.
East High continued to part of a major local news story in Memphis for a second day after a rape was reported there during the school day on Wednesday, Aug. 14. For example, WREG-TV lead its six o'clock newscast with a story about school security, saying that "There was a time when every high school in Memphis, like East High School, had a specific police officer assigned to that school, walking the hallways," but now only two school system security officers are assigned to East.
WREG-TV, Aug. 16
[update: charges dropped, see story above]
Rape charged at East High School - A 16 year old East High School male pupil has been charged with aggravated rape of a fellow East female student. The 18 year old girl, a special education student, was taken to a hospital Wednesday, August 14. According to reports she was asked to leave a classroom because she had food. She left and went to a stair well where she was allegedly accosted. Sheriff's deputies questioned the boy then charged him with rape. WREG-TV, WMC-TV, Aug. 15.
[update: charges dropped, see story above]
Woman accused of stabbing her two children to death is said to be a former East High pupil. Twenty-nine year old Jamina Briggs (class association unknown) was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated child abuse in the July 29 killings of her two sons, Nicholas Briggs, 6, and Jeremiah Briggs, 23 months. She called police to report the stabbings and according to a police affidavit "She said she is paranoid schizophrenic and the voices told her to do it." According to newspaper reports, the mother had a history of violent episodes. Erica Harris (class association unknown), a Tillman Street neighbor of Briggs who says she attended East Hight with the woman is also quoted in the article. The Commercial Appeal, Aug. 1.
Linda Brakefield ('65), 65, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, sister of at least one East alumnus, Jack Brakefield ('68), died Wednesday, August 7. An obituary is available. A memorial service was held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, August 10, 2013.
The 66th opening day of a school year at East High, Monday, August 5, 2013. It appeared most students were directed to the main doors on the east side of the school (pictured) for entry as East began its first ever school year as part of the Shelby County School district.The city school district has been dissolved and the former city schools absorbed by the county district.
Barbara Brown ("Babs") ('54), 77, widow of the late Virgil Whipple ('54) and sister of David Allan Brown (class association undetermined), died Friday, July 26. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Monday, July 29 at Memphis Funeral Home, Poplar Chapel. A memorial service is at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 30 in the sanctuary of Second Presbyterian Church, Memphis.
Hal Liebenrood (class association undetermined), 67, of Memphis, brother of at least one East alumnus, Lisa Liebenrood ('71), died June 14. An obituary is available.
Heads up out-of-town alumni, come visit (or move to) Memphis. It may become a consensus, as MSN Living joins National Geographic and Forbes as listing Memphis as one of the top tourist destinations in the world! For links to the articles, see our Visiting Memphis page.
East High alumnus Alisha Warren (class year undetermined) is part of a story about Memphis being the lowest ranked of the 100 largest cities in the USA for children growing up economically disadvantaged to become economically advantaged as adults. The Commercial Appeal, July 28.
Editor's note: if you know Ms. Warren's class year, please let us know at editor@EastHigh.org
Police arrested and charged a man with public indecency after he allegedly touched himself inappropriately in front of an unsuspecting family with several small children at the city park on the campus of East High School. Neighbors who live across the street told reporters they actually call police often because it’s not unusual for them to see men lurking around the playground. WREG-TV, July 25
Delayed report:1 Bill Hall ('61), 60, of Columbia, Tennessee, brother of Peggy Hall ('64) and Ronnie Hall ('67), died December 7, 2003. An obituary is available.
Jimmy Tashie ('66), an executive with Malco Theaters, is extensively quoted in a newspaper article about two people allegedly caught recording a movie and apparent distribution of illegal copies. The Commercial Appeal, July 6.
The cast of Motown: The Musical performed on the PBS television and live performance of "A Capitol Fourth" Independence Day program. The cast includes Valisia LeKae (class year undetermined) in the leading role as Diana Ross.
Jimmy Almand ('65), 66, of Memphis, brother of at least one East alumnus, Linda Almand (class year undetermined), died Friday, June 14. An obituary is available. Services were held June 20.
The last day as a Memphis City School
June 30, 2013 - Today is the last day East High School is a Memphis City School. Effective July 1, the Memphis City School district is dissolved, the board and city having voted to surrender its charter and ending a 165 year history of city schools. All city schools now become part of the Shelby County School system.
Robin Rogers, 61, of Germantown, Tennessee, husband of Yoly deMoya ('68), died Tuesday, June 18. Visitation is 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 25 at Family Funeral Care, Memphis.
As Norma Thompson ('64) concludes giving 50 years of swimming lessons to about 10,000 children on Thursday, June 20, she is the focus of a newspaper article. Because they have 13 grandchildren, her husband and fellow alumnus Kem Wilson ('64), says "It's not gonna stop but at least it will slow down." The Commercial Appeal, June, 20.
Valisia LeKae (class year undetermined) was a 2013 nominee for the best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical by Tony Award Productions for her starring role as Diana Ross in Motown: The Musical, which is on Broadway now. Patina Miller won in the category best performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical for her work in "Pippin." LeKae is also a 2013 Theatre World Winner, 2013 Tony, Drama League and Outer Critics Nominee. Named one of "Entertainment Weekly's" 13 to watch in 2013. If you definitely know what year she was graduated from East High, please advise editor@EastHigh.org
She is featured in several media stories about her nomination.
The Commercial Appeal, June 9
WMC-TV, June 3
WHBQ-TV, May 1
In an earlier version of this news brief it was incorrectly indicated the Tony Awards show could be seen on CBS TV June 16. The program aired June 9. The East High Alumni Page regrets the error.
Delayed report:1 John Jefferson ('58), 72, of Memphis, brother of Joan Jefferson ('59), Jean Jefferson ('62), and Joe Jefferson (associated with the Class of '68), died May 9, 2012. An obituary is available. Visitation was held May 11, 2012 and funeral services May 12, 2012.
Mary Ellen Rainer Robinson White, 91, mother of Ellen Robinson ('64), Jim Robinson ('67), and Maynard Robinson ('69), died Friday, June 7. Canale Funeral Directors in Memphis has charge and reports the service will be a private family service to be held at a yet undetermined time in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Carol Tashie ('58), 72, of Boca Raton, Florida, sister of George Tashie ('56), Paul Tashie ('62), Jimmy Tashie ('66), and John Tashie ('70), died Thursday, May 23. An obituary is available.
On Friday, June 7, the NCAA announced penalties for Mississippi State University in connection with recruiting violations of concerning Will Redmond ('12). in which Redmon is said to have received cash and cars from an MSU booster, according to the NCAA report. (Yahoo Sports), June 7. According to cdidispatch.com, Redmond is required to pay $2,660 in impermissible benefits, forfeit his eligibility for the 2012 season and is suspended first five games of the 2013 season. Redmond is eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 12 against Bowling Green.
The Memphis production firm owned by Bill Carrier ('68), API Photographers Inc., won a prestigious "Remy" award for best music video at Worldfest Houston International Film Festival. The made-in-Memphis video, Stax, The Early Years, was directed by Carrier, written by his wife, Tess Carrier, and edited by Natsuko Kobayashi. For more information: Memphis & Shelby County Film/TV Commission
East High School will be the site in June for the Honors Camp High School sessions. Designed for students in honors classes, the June 10-14 classes focus on deductive and inductive reasoning in English, math, science, and a social studies class each day. It is fitting that East High, originally a top performing academic school, will host these honors students. For more information, see the Memphis City Schools notice.
The 63rd Commencement of East High School was conducted Saturday, May 25 at the Cannon Performing Arts Center in downtown Memphis. One hundred seventy-four seniors were reportedly graduated. Welcome fellow East High alumni! Snapshots from the commencement exercise are available from the Class of 2013 directory page.
With the May 25, 2013 graduation of the Class of 2013, the final East High School diplomas from Memphis City Schools were issued. The city school district becomes history July 1, 2013 as it merges into the Shelby County School system.
Uldis Ezernieks ('59), 71, of Alexandria, Virgina, brother of the late Mara Ezernieks ('61), died Saturday, May 11. An obituary is available.
Delayed report1: Michael Lamar Jones ('75/associated with '75) , 54, of Nashville, Tennessee, brother of Connie Bjorklund ('63) and the late Bill Bjorklund ('65), died June 30, 2012. An obituary is available.
Delayed report1: Reggie Williams ('98), 32, brother of Torian Williams (class year undetermined), died July 24, 2012. An obituary is available.
Comments of Bill Strong ('61) are featured in an article about passenger rail service in Memphis. "There needs to be east-west service," says the board member of the Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers and former president of the National Association of Rail Passengers. The Commercial Appeal, May 11.
Lundy Pridgen ('68) is interviewed on National Public Radio's Morning Edition March 7 talking about how a national law requiring firms with at least a million dollars in sales and doing business over the Internet pay taxes to all states in which they have Internet sales. The news segment will be available to listen to on the Internet later today at npr.org
The commencement exercise for The East High School Class of 2013 is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2013, at the Cannon Performing Arts Center in downtown Memphis (the previous location of Ellis Auditorium, where many East High classes were graduated). Admission is by ticket only. Please contact the school office in advance if you desire a ticket to attend. This will be the last East High School Class to graduate from a Memphis City School under current arrangements. Effective July 1, Memphis City Schools cease to exist and become part of the Shelby County School system.
Mrs. Ruth O’Donnell (Faculty) of Germantown, Tennessee, died Saturday, April 20. Mrs. O'Donnell taught for 7 years at East Elementary School. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at Memorial Park Funeral Home, Memphis. Funeral services are at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28 at the Memorial Park Mausoleum Chapel.
Judy Peiser ('63), executive director of the Center for Southern Folklore, is on "Checking on the Arts" on WKNO-FM this morning, April 24, talking about upcoming events at the center. She also announced a docent program for those who wish to volunteer to help at the Center.
Allen Stephen Miller ('65), brother of Susan Miller ('66), Wendy Miller ('69), and Harmon (Bubba) Miller ('71), died Thursday, April 4. An obituary is available.
Iska Taylor Duke, 97, mother of Donna Duke ('60) and Dale Duke ('65), died Tuesday, April 2. See our sympathy page.East High alumnus Gerald Kiner (class year undetermined) is featured in a newspaper article about apps he has created for portable devices that permits church goers to provide instant feedback to the minster. Rev. Kiner is pastor of the Jesus People Church in the Hickory Hill area of Memphis. The Commercial Appeal, Apr. 5.
There also was a TV news report on Rev. Kiner on WMC-TV.
[If you know Rev.Kiner's class year, let us know at editor@EastHigh.org]
Price Edwards (Faculty), has written a piece for "I Choose Memphis" published in The Commercial Appeal, March 24. The former Teach For America participant, teaching at East for two years. He now is a medical student at University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
Wade Harrision ('56), 74, brother of Margaret Harrison ('51) and the late Zoe Harrison ('53), died Monday, March 18. An obituary is available.
Prince Albert Worley ('56), 74, brother of Ernie Worley ('65), died Saturday, March 16. An obituary is available.
Alice Brooks Oeding, 95, of Fairhope, Alabama, formerly of Memphis Tennessee, mother of William Oeding ('56), Nancy Oeding ('59), and Sally Oeding ('71), died Sunday, March 17. See our sympathy page.
Mike Cody ('54) is scheduled to be a speaker at the Bobby Dunavant Public Servant Symposium is Wednesday, March 27 at the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business. In 1992, Cody co-authored with Richardson R. Lynn "Honest Government, An Ethics Guide for Public Service." Cody is quoted in an article in The Daily News, March 22.
Harold Weinman, 93, of Memphis, father of Dennis Weinman (associated with the Class of '70) and the late Jeff Weinman ('67), died Thursday, March 14. See our sympathy page.
There is snow in the Memphis weather forecast for Thursday, March 21, 2013. Exactly 45-years earlier, on a Thursday, it snowed in Memphis, unexpectedly covering the ground with 18 inches of ice crystals. Will it happen again? Check out a few pictures of the snow of '68.
Nick King, East High's senior basketball standout, was named Tennessee's AAA Mr. Basketball Saturday, March 16, at ceremonies in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The Commercial Appeal.
Ronna Wilons ('68), of Potomac, Maryland, sister of at least one East alumnus, Mike Wilons ('65), died Monday, March 11. An obituary is available.
Wanda Wallace ('51), 79, of Memphis, sister of Butch Wallace ('56), died Saturday, March 9. An obituary is available.
Bob Fortner (associated with the Class of '57), 74, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, brother of Judy Fortner ('68), died Monday, March 4. An obituary is available.
In the neighborhood: the 1950s broadcast neighborhood: There is an effort to preserve the former broadcast studio of WHBQ radio in which the first airing of an Elvis Presley record occurred and where DJ Dewey Philips first interviewed Elvis. It is located in the old Chisca Hotel in downtown Memphis, which is undergoing a renovation, primarily into apartments. For more information or to support the effort: The Memphis Flyer, Mar. 7 or Red, Hot, & Rescue
Kelly Miller ('07) was among those featured in a newspaper article about Memphians under 30 years old making a difference in the city. "Each is an ambassador for our city. They are giving their best to make themselves and their community a better place to live and to visit. She studied engineering science at Vanderbilt University but returned to Memphis after her studies to join Chas McVean's ('61) Peer Power tutoring program, a program she was first involved in as a student at East. The Memphis Flyer, Jan. 24
Diane Rudner ('68) is quoted in an article about a federal court judge's selection of a special master to oversee the adherence to a consent degree governing the merger of the Shelby County School district with the Memphis City Schools. "Rick [Masson] never shoots from the hip." The Commercial Appeal, Mar. 7
[Editor's note: if you have not kept up, the Memphis City School Board voluntarily surrendered the city school district's charter, a decision ratified by the City Council and by a referendum in the city. Resulting lawsuits brought the matter before the federal judiciary. A single school board is now in charge of both districts and the districts themselves merge later this year with the beginning of the 2013-14 school semester.
Dennis Maple ('78), president of Aramark Education Company, spoke to the Shelby County Board of Education Mar. 5 in connection with his company's bid to provide custodial services to the unified school district.
Nick King, East High senior, is a finalist for the Tennessee State Scholastic Athletic Association's Mr. Basketball award. The Commercial Appeal, Feb. 14.
The Tennessee Chiropractic Association has elected Dr. Don Cole ('73) as the association's District IX Director representing the physicians of Fayette, Shelby, and Tipton counties on their board of directors. The Commercial Appeal, Feb.13. Mid-South Memories - The newspaper column recollecting Memphis area history featured a photo of Carole Wilson ('67) from her 1967 crowing as Queen of Hearts. She raised more than $12,000 for the Heart Fund charity. The Commercial Appeal, Feb. 15. Judy Peiser ('63), executive director of the Center for Southern Folklore, was on "Checking on the Arts" on WKNO-FM February 27 talking about upcoming events at the center.
In the neighborhood: at one time quite a few East students came to East Junior High after completing their elementary years at Grahamwood Elementary School. The Grahamwood Parent Association is sponsoring a fundraiser Feb 23. See http://gpagala.blogspot.com/p/event-details.html for details. If you choose to financially support Grahamwood, may it be suggested you also do so for East High School?
Nancy Doyle ('69), 62, of Dallas, Texas, sister of Jeanne Doyle ('65) and the late Jimmy Doyle ('60), died Tuesday, February 12. An obituary is available.
Vernice Thompson ('75), 55, sister of Vernita Thompson ('75), has died. An obituary is available.
Barbara Bond ('72), 58, of Arlington, Tennessee, sister of William Bond ('67), died Thursday, January 30. An obituary is available.
Meah King ('97 and Faculty) was featured on a WMC-TV news story about the way she adjusted her teaching methods to become a celebrated teacher at East High. WMC-TV, Feb. 1. Bill Anderson ('64),66, of Memphis, died Tuesday, January 15. An obituary is available.
Nyle Wood (associated with the Class of '73), 57, of Knoxville, Tennessee, died Friday, January 18, 2013. An obituary is available.
Featured in the Living section of the L.A. Times newspaper is a story about a pool compound at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica renovated into a lounge called the Bungalow. "...the most eye-catching, unifying design element is the use of 8-inch encaustic cement tiles, sourced from Villa Lagoon Tile, "says the author. That's Lundy Pridgen's ('68) Villa Lagoon Tile! The Los Angeles Times, Jan. 13
Marilynn Harrison ('67), 62, of Nashville, Tennessee, sister of Clare Harrison ('68) and Roland Harrison ('72), died Wednesday January 2. An obituary is available.
------ 2012 ------
Katherine "Kitty" Somers, 84, of Germantown, Tennessee, mother of Mike Speros ('67) and Sandy
Speros ('70), died December 22, 2012. See
our sympathy page.
"Memphis Memoirs: Stax-The Early Years," a documentary about the legendary recording studio in Memphis, produced by Bill Carrier ('68), airs on WKNO-TV, channel 10 in Memphis, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. A preview is available at youtube.com
Graham Griffith (Faculty), 78, assistant principal at East High from 1967-1971, died Friday, November 16. An obituary is available.
A newspaper story reports seven people were arrested after brawl at East High School Wednesday, Nov. 14. At least 4 adults were among the arrested. The report says seven people were escorted off the campus by a Memphis City Schools officer and told not to return but that they sneaked by into the building and confronted the victims in a 3rd floor hallway. An MCS officer had to use a chemical agent to break up the fight. At least two girls are said to have been punched in the face, then hit and kicked by the attackers. Read more: The Commercial Appeal.
Carol Rutland ('70), 60, sister of at least two of siblings who attended East: Charles Rutland (associated with the Class of '73) and Cary Rutland (associated with the Class of '75), died Sunday, November 11. An obituary is available. Visitation is 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, November 14 at Forest Hill East Funeral Home, Whitten Road, Memphis. Funeral services are at 10 a.m., Thursday, November 15 at Forest Hill East Funeral Home, Whitten Road, Memphis.
Paul "Mac" McDaniel ('72), brother of Carolyn McDaniel ('68), died Thursday, November 1. An obituary is available.
Chas McDaniel ('61) and his Peer Power tutoring program for high school students is featured in a newspaper article. He is planning to take the program, which he debuted at East High, national. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 10.
Sidney Mendelson ('68) is quoted in a newspaper story about families living in "older" homes in Memphis. His is a 1965 vintage house. The Commercial Appeal, Nov. 9.
Margaret Law Layman 96, mother of Laura Layman ('64) and Bob Layman ('69), died Friday, November 2. See our sympathy page.
The 2012 Tennessee State Report Card on Schools is out as of November 1 and it shows a composite ACT score for East students as 15.9, the same as last year. According to the ACT Concordance, this would be the equivalent of a pre-1989 ACT composite score of about 12.
The East High Alumni Page is not immediately able to provide an analysis of the 2012 report on East but encourages you to review the results at the Department of Education web site.
Ala Joanna Brewton Russell 96, of Memphis, mother of at least one East alumnus, Ed "Jeb" Russell ('69), died Tuesday, October 23. See our sympathy page.
Official dedication ceremonies of the STEM Academy lab located at East High were held Tuesday, Oct. 30. The lab is part of a $950,000 program currently serving 150 students at 20 schools. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and the STEM Academy provides advanced educational opportunities for students in Memphis and Shelby County. The lab is in the two-story building which was originally the school's auto shop, part of the 1976 Vo-Tech addition to the school's campus.
The Commercial Appeal
East High Athletic Championships - The athletic director at East High is attempting to identify championships won by East High athletic teams and individuals during its history. District, City, Regional, State* and other championships are welcome and information as to the sport (i.e. women's track), level (senior/junior high), and year of championship is needed. You may e-mail the information to editor@EastHigh.org.
* We are aware of the TSSAA state championship listings.
Because many of our urgent notices are news of deaths of alumni or that of members of alumni families, you may wish to also check our obituary and/or sympathy pages for additional information or for notices more than a month old.
An alumnus asks us, what is this about a "Memphis East High Alumni Archive" soliciting his participation. Read our answer to his questions: about commercial alumni pages.
Major alumni headlines are available as RSS feed: RSS Feed
Some alumni with profiles listed on The East High Alumni Page are getting e-mail solicitations from an outfit calling itself EastHighAlumni.com. That organization appears to be a commercial, for-profit outfit, similar to classmates.com, catering to alumni of many schools but with the smart idea having lots of web addresses with particular schools' names in them. EastHighAlumni.com has no association with The East High Alumni Page and to the extent they may be using e-mail addresses gathered here, they are being taken without our involvement. We hope you find our alumni site provides what you want and need in an alumni web site without a need to use any of the other "alumni" web pages.
We occasionally receive a "bounced back" message indicating an e-mail message from The East High Alumni Page was rejected by the recipient's computer because the message contained a virus. The messages were never from us and all messages originated by us are anti-virus scanned automatically before they are sent. For any mail you receive, use standard precautions in deciding whether to open the message(s) and always be running an anti-virus product.
Obituaries of alumni and faculty and sympathy notices to alumni and faculty for their family losses remain on The East High Alumni Page permanently. You may review them at the obituary page, the sympathy page (covering the past 12 months) or the sympathy archive page. News items about the school and/or alumni can be found in our news section.
Recent Updates to
News Briefs & Portal Page
- as warranted
Major layout/tech revision/additions:
** If so denotec, no valid new or updated profiles were received for this update cycle.
(Footnotes are at the bottom of the center column, to the right and above)
Several news sources offer headline service which is at the bottom of this page, or "click for Headlines" to see them.
Due to some problems with scripts provided
by news sources, the
news feed sections (CBS, NY Times, CBS) have been temporarily removed
from this page.
*The East High Alumni Page has a long definition of what qualifies as urgent news for the purposes of this Portal Page. Summarized, it means news available in time for alumni to take action in support in cases of a serious risk to life or express sympathy for loss of life of alumni or their families, or major news about the school. News not considered urgent or especially important usually appears in our "other news & previously urgent items" section, also on column one on this page. Also, news of alumni and the school is posted, often in greater length, on our In the news... section.
1. Delayed notices - consist of information which would have qualified as urgent or other important news if posted here in a timely basis but were unknown to us at the time or were otherwise delayed. If it would have qualified as urgent, it is usually posted in the urgent area of this column for about a day before moving into the "Recent (previously) urgent and other recent important news" section.
ability to provide
useful information about deaths and obituaries of alumni and/or members
of their families has likely been compromised by a new policy of The
Commercial Appeal, Memphis major daily newspaper, which was
implemented June 16, 2005. It has limited the number of words provided
in a free obituary to that which severely hampers an attempt to
correctly identify people. Additional words are available only for a
price. The East High Alumni Page’s primary source for news of
alumni and family deaths is that newspaper and our ability to identify,
with some assurance, those with East ties is based on names of
relatives and other information in a properly written and presented
obituary. So, we expect we will recognize fewer names and be unable to
confirm individuals are East associated and, therefore, be unable to
relay the information to you. The newspaper's decision is regretted in
this office and that disappointment has been communicated to that
3. Entries with the "reported deceased" designation indicate a reunion committee or other person(s) believed closely associated with the class or the family has indicated they have information they believe quite reliable about the death of the individual so designated. The East High Alumni Page has not received sufficient documentation to confirm the information and therefore does not confirm the death or that the individual who died is the one of the same name who attended East High School. Such reports without confirmation should be taken with a degree of skepticism. Anyone with documentation to confirm the report or refute the report is strongly encouraged to contact the editor of The East High Alumni Page at editor@EastHigh.org promptly. Please see our obituary policy.
4. Citation dates with a slash (/) mark
usually indicate a difference between the date an article was available
on-line and a date it was available in a printed publication. This
often happens with newspaper articles. For example, a newspaper may be
cited as the source followed by the date of Jun 9/10, which likely
indicates the article was available on-line June 9 but in the printed
edition of the newspaper on June 10, although in some cases (Memphis Flyer) the printed version
Meetup.com - meet folks with similar interests
Visiting Memphis - For visitors & residents, things to do. Believe it or not, Memphis has been selected by a number of organizations as a great place to visit, including being cited as one of the world's 20 top "must see" locations! We have a selected list of attractions and events that might interest visitors and residents alike.
Landmarks and Legends in Memphis
At the school (selected items):
East is planning a June 4 alumni-graduate luncheon as a fundraiser to provide "book scholarships" to graduates of the Class of 2016 who have been accepted and and committed to college or otherwise formally further their education. See the East High Scholarships site.
East High's calendar of events
The East High Alumni Page
East Elementary School section
Mustang Roundup-Alumni Edition
Site Map (Contents)
The East High Alumni Page on Google+
The East High Alumni Page on Twitter
Editor's Memo (blog)
Visiting Memphis - things to do
East High School (Official) Web Site
East High School on Twitter
The Greater East High Foundation
Mighty Mustangs Band Boosters
East High Football
Alumni Honors (East alumni apparel, art)
Landmark & Legend - Memphis
Amazon (Books and more)
Civics in Schools
Flu Shot Clinic Locator
Flu Occurrence Report (U.S.A.)
Mayo Clinic (Medical Info)
Prescription Medication Info
Home Improvement Tips
U.S. Government portal
Fiscal Wake-Up Tour
Computer News (Ziff Davis)
Computer Software Downloads
People Finder (address/phone)
Computer Virus Information
Consumer Reports: Online Security
Friends For Our Riverfront
Flight (aircraft) Tracking
Meet folks with similar interests: Meetup.com
East High's cafeteria was used for airport scenes in the 1989 movie "Great Balls of Fire" about Jerry Lee Lewis. Read more and see images from the movie on The East High Alumni Page Plus.
East Alumni (students &
Faculty): Let us know your favorite web sites.
If they prove popular among alumni, we will put links to them here.
Can't see the
Security Alerts below?
The following threat assessment chart will also include phishing scams when they are a high or recent threat.
National Terrorism Advisory
Go to The East High Alumni Home Page