We Remember Mr. DePriest
Our sympathy is extended to the family of long-time Madison High School Principal, Herman C. DePriest, who died on September 19, 1999, at the age of 90. Mr. DePriest was born in rural Hickman County, Tennessee, on November 18, 1908. He was graduated from the Lewis County High School in Hohenwald where his life-long commitment to education began. Education was so important to the young DePriest that he gladly walked five miles each morning to reach high school from his home and again each afternoon to return. Mr. DePriest also attended Austin Peay Normal School C a junior college at the time. (His wife, Mary, was the first student to enroll at Austin Peay.) He worked his way through Austin Peay by being chauffeur for the college president. Mr. DePriest received his Bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State College in Murfreesboro and his Master's degree from Peabody College in Nashville. Mr. DePriest began his career as an educator at one-room schools in Defeated Creek and Bon Aqua in rural Hickman County where he served as principal, teacher, cook, and janitor for all students in all grades. He later served as principal at both Joelton and Bellevue High Schools. In 1953, he became the first principal of the new Madison High School, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1968. After retiring from MHS, Mr. DePriest continued his service in the field of education with the Tennessee Department of Education. For approximately ten years, he worked with the Southern Association of Secondary Schools in accrediting high schools and junior colleges statewide.
During his tenure as principal at Madison, Mr. DePriest set high goals for achievement. He instituted and promoted an on-going multi-faceted approach to education which included forensics and sports in addition to academic endeavors. When property became available for a football field near the school, Mr. DePriest personally secured the funding needed to purchase the property while awaiting the necessary approvals from the Board of Education.
Mr. DePriest believed that good students would always succeed in school. He also believed it was his responsibility to assure that all students were given the opportunity to succeed. He fulfilled that commitment by assuring that those students who needed extra attention and support in order to be successful in school received that support. He recruited and selected teachers and other faculty who shared that philosophy and commitment. As a result, over the years, numerous students who would not have made it in other schools became graduates of Madison High School. Many Madison alumni have fond memories of their experiences with Mr. DePriest.
Michael McDonald, 1967 Student Council President, remembers Mr. DePriest as a good man and a good educator who was always fair but firm. "He was always open to new ideas, and my dealings with him were always positive," said McDonald. Currently a State Representative from the 44th District, McDonald said, "I am in politics today because of my experience in running for and serving as student body president under Mr. DePriest's leadership." Kenneth Korman, Class of 1965 Student Council President, said "we had the luxury of going to high school in a simpler time. But, it was a time that still required wisdom, principles and sensitivity. In retrospect what surprises and impresses me the most is that Mr. DePriest frequently asked students for their input about things he was going to do. This was amazing to me at the time and is even more amazing to me now. There are very few school administrators who have the confidence in themselves and the wisdom to seek the counsel and support of students. I think this was a great example to all of us. I have vivid memories of great experiences at Madison, and Mr. DePriest must certainly be credited with much of the atmosphere that we remember so fondly." Mr. DePriest's son, Wilton, remembers his father as an easy going, quiet man who was a good listener. Wilton recently said, "I never heard him say he didn't like anybody. I never saw him angry. He never lost his temper. He was always cool."
Thank you, Mr. DePriest, for the many years of special memories.
From The Family of Herman DePriest
The Alumni Association received the following note from the family of Herman DePriest.For the many kind gestures and tokens of friendship, we can never thank you enough. The alumni association has been so kind in including Mr. and Mrs. DePriest in its gatherings. Of course, the Madison High School years were the highlight of his school years. The family continues to remember with great fondness our years connected with each of you and the school. The flowers were so elegant. We pressed roses for our children/grandchildren.
Thanks to Haunted Woods Volunteers
We want to thank all the alumni who participated in the Haunted Woods of the Bend fund raiser. As a result of their six-week participation in the project, several hundred dollars were raised for the Alumni Association. Thanks also to the Haunted Woods of the Bend and Jackie McCrary for inviting us to participate.
Coach Davidson Passes Away
The Alumni Association was saddened recently by the sudden death of one of our former teacher/coaches, Louis Davidson. Coach Davidson taught General Science and coached some of our finest football, baseball, and track teams.
The Association sent flowers and was represented at the funeral.
Association Meetings Open To All Former Students
The Board of Directors for the MHSAA wishes to invite any former students or friends to attend business meetings. Future meeting dates will be Tuesday, February 8; Tuesday, April 11; and Tuesday, June 13, 2000. Meetings are held from 7:00 p.m. until approximately 8:30 p.m. in the library of the former Madison High School. Please come and help us decide the future direction of the association.
Katie Reed Edge, Class of 1964 Receives Alumnus-of-the Year Award
The 1998-1999 Distinguished Alumna Award was presented to Kathryn Reed (Katie) Edge at the Annual Alumni Dinner Meeting July 17, 1999.
After teaching in both public and private schools in Memphis and in Nashville for eight years, Katie returned to school in 1979 to study law. She received her J.D. in 1983 and began her law career as a staff attorney with the State of Tennessee, in the banking division. She advanced from staff attorney to general counsel to the assistant commissioner; and in 1993, she was appointed deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions. In 1995, she joined the law firm of Miller, Martin and Trabue, where she concentrates her practice in the area of financial institutions law. She has lectured on banking issues and legal ethics for the local, state, and federal bar associations.
She is past president of the Lawyers Association for Women. She received the 1996 Presidents Award of the Tennessee Bar Association for her volunteer service. Earlier this year, she was nominated for the 1999 Athena Award for her outstanding professional achievement and community outreach and was presented the Nashville School of Law's Recognition Award for 1999. Effective June 2000, she will become only the second woman ever to hold the position of Tennessee Bar Association President. Katie says she was one of AMrs. Wiley's girls, who learned something valuable from her. Congratulations again, Katie.
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Nominations are currently being accepted for the 1999-2000 MHSAA Distinguished Alumnus Award. Last year's recipient was Katie Reed Edge (Class of '64). The annual award is given to an alumna/alumnus of Madison High School, who displays qualities which bring honor to the memories of Madison High School. The recipient must be making a positive contribution in her/his community of residence, chosen occupation, religious and/or civic organization.
If you would like to nominate someone for the 1999-2000 award which will be given at the annual dinner, please send the person's name, including any relevant information to Alumni Award Committee, MSHAA, P. O. Box 836, Madison, TN 37116; or, call either Jerry Armour (615) 865-4977 or Bob Young (615) 851-4622.
The Madison High School alumni annual dinner will be July 15, 2000, at Bluegrass Country Club in Hendersonville, Tennessee. We will be recognizing the women=s sports program. Those to be honored at that dinner are: Camilla Sparkman, Nancy Lucas, Nancy King Dillon, and the late Margie Hood. We invite all former players and students of these fine teachers to be in attendance. Also, we need stories of yesterday from those who played for these coaches. Please send any funny, serious, sad or unusual stories that we can share with fellow alumni at the dinner to MHSAA, P. O. Box 836, Madison, TN 37116.
Remember, all members will receive invitations to the dinner by late spring or early summer. Please join the Alumni Association and be assured of receiving all information and news. For more information, call Betty Parks Dickens, (615) 824-5126 or Janice Morrow Cushenberry, (615) 859-5276, or any Officer.
Mailing Addresses Needed
The membership committee reports that mailing addresses are still needed for the following classes: 1963, '65, '70, '71, '72, '73, '74, '76, '80, '82, '85, and 1986. If you are a member of one of these classes and are aware of the location of your class mailing list or know an officer or someone else who might, please contact Gene Barnett (615) 868-3188, Ron Morris (615) 672-2409, or Jerry Armour (615) 865-4977. Also, annuals are still needed to provide class lists for the classes of 1978 and 1984. They will be returned. Please help us if you can!
In the Spring of 1999, the Alumni Association formally adopted the Madison School as a Pencil Partner. The Madison School meets in the former Madison High School building and is specifically designed for students with various handicaps. The school operates with a very low ratio of pupils to teachers.
As partners, we have hosted receptions at the end of school for graduating students, their families, friends and the faculty. We have also responded to other requests. This year, the School Board presented its request for our participation as tutors. Is there anyone who could, and would, tutor for an hour or so a week? If you could give some time, please call Sandra Hollingsworth at (615) 868-8629. Leave a message and return phone number.
Lloyd B.J. Callis (Class of '66) was recently selected for promotion from the rank of Commander to the rank of Captain, United States Navy, conveyed by the Secretary of Defense. Congratulations Lloyd!
Congratulations to Sherryl Midgett (Class of '66) who has retired after 32 years of working for the State of Tennessee Department of Health.
If you have any news, awards or honors that you would like us to publish in the next Ram Page II, please send them to:MHSAA, P. O. Box 836, Madison, TN 37116.
WDCN Pledge Drive
On Saturday, December 4, the MHSAA will staff the volunteer phones for WDCN-TV Channel 8. Our participation keeps the name of Madison High School alive and supports WDCN's pledge drive. Last year, several callers responded with stories of Madison High and made pledges to WDCN, a not-for-profit, community-based public television channel which provides quality programming to middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky. The station is located on Rains Avenue in Nashville. Sixteen orange-clad alumni will be manning the phone bank. For additional information, contact Janice Cushenberry, Class of '64 (615-859-5276) or Jane Armour, Class of '67 (615-865-4977) or firstname.lastname@example.org
President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jerry Armour
President-Elect. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Bob Young
Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Howard Henderson
Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Betty Parks Dickens
Historian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gail Patterson
Parliamentarian. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tim Watrous
Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Gene Barnett & Ron Morris
Publicity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Tracey Robinson
Pencil Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sandra Hollingsworth
Annual Dinner Meeting. . . . . . . . . . .Janice Cushenberry & Betty Dickens
WDCN Project. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jane Armour & Janice Cushenberry
Haunted Woods Project . . . . . . . . . . Bob Young
Distinguished Alumnus Award . . . . . . . Jerry Armour & Bob Young
Newsletter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sherryl Midgett, Linda Petty Molohon,
. Judy Vantrease Cuffman, Sylvia Slack