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Dr. Evelyn Causey, Alabama Historical Commission, and Dr. Keith Hebert, Auburn University. Photo submitted
Dr. Elijah Gaddis and Dr. Keith Hebert. Photo submitted
Special to the News
The J. D. Thompson High School Alumni Association has planned many activities for 2022, all of which will be safe, fun, educational, and healthy for all age groups.
Our first activity of the year was held on March 30; at the elementary building there was a tour and information session. President JoEtta Maxwell welcomed Dr. Keith S. Hebert, professor of Southern History, Auburn University; and Dr. Evelyn Causey from the Alabama Historical Commission to Cottage Grove.
Also in attendance was County Commissioner Unzell Kelley, Mr. Dennis Sanford, Ms. Megan Jones, and our dedicated community residents and volunteers.
The Coosa County Training School elementary building (which is a Rosenwald School) was added to the Alabama Historical Register in 2003, and in 2021 we received a grant from the Alabama Historical Commission for renovation projects.
During the visit Dr. Causey was able to see how the grant funds were used. Dr. Hebert talked to us about Julius Rosenwald schools, their impact on education in the south and equalization schools. Dr. Hebert also shared some interesting historical facts with us about the Coosa County Training School and the J. D. Thompson High School.
The Alumni Association looks forward to working with Dr. Hebert and Dr. Causey on future projects at the school.
In May, fifteen people attended an oral history training workshop at the elementary building taught by Southern History professors Dr. Keith Hebert and Dr. Elijah Gaddis.
This workshop provided everyone attending with techniques that can be used to obtain and record oral history information. Mr. Vincent Hall, who works with the professors, spoke to us about challenges involved with restoring old buildings. He encouraged us to continue with our efforts.
This spring season we were also saddened at the passing of two alumni members: Board of Trustee member and Historian Mrs. Levelma Simmons and dedicated alumni member and supporter Rev. Earlie Leonard. Both will be truly missed.
The Alumni Association has more activities planned for this year. We appreciate the support we receive from the community, sponsors and businesses.
The next activity is a Walk-a-Thon scheduled for June 11. More information about this event will appear in the next edition of “The Coosa County News.