Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Tansi Smoke Signals

May 28, 2014

Homesteads school celebrates its roots

CROSSVILLE — Homestead Elementary School (HES) celebrated its 75th anniversary May 12 with an assembly of speakers and a then-and-now presentation, as well as a massive display from each grade depicting the school’s history and heritage and tours of the school.

Bulldog cheerleaders dressed in their uniforms handed out programs to guests and visitors. Distinguished and honored Bulldogs past spoke of fond memories of attending school there, working there and, in some cases, both.

After Principal Robin Pinder gave the welcome, a Power Point presentation giving a pictorial history and comparison on Homestead Community values transcending throughout Homestead School throughout the years. Patty Payne came dressed as Eleanor Roosevelt and eloquently spoke in true Eleanor style reminiscent of the First Lady’s visit to the Homesteads in July 1934, praising the progress and fortitude of the Homesteaders.

Mayor J.H. Graham III, who lives in the Homestead home he was born in and is a Homestead alumnus, said, “Homestead School’s mission is to teach our children the things they need to know to live. This is Bulldog country. I am a Homestead Bulldog.”

Dr. Keena Inman noted how special it was to be able to have been a part of the Homestead family and how proud she was to have had the opportunity to send her children to the Homestead School where her husband, who’s family were original Homesteaders, attended. Aarona VanWinkle, who served as principal of HES for 15 years, said, “Here at Homestead, we have love for each other, love for family, love for God, and love for the community. Education is the greatest gift the community could give its children and that is why the community built this school. I realize how fortunate I was to have worked in a community that values education as much as Homestead does.”

Emma Jean Vaden’s father was one of the 25 applicants chosen to become an original Homesteader and spoke of the invaluable training he received as a result of that blessing and how it changed the course of their lives. Having been a Homestead School cheerleader, Vaden thanked the cheerleaders for helping in the celebration and recited a cheer from her Homestead School days.

In 1934, Floyd Gore moved to Homestead and attended the old school. In 1938, when the new Homestead School had been completed, all the students referred to it as the “new school.” To him, it is still the “new school” and he expressed his sentiments of pride at having been able to attend.

Jack Chadwell shared his memories about his mother dropping him off for his first day of first grade at Homestead School in 1951, and he was none too pleased about it.

“She said ‘You will learn so much at the Homestead School.’ And she was right,” said Chadwell. “I got a good education at Homestead School. It was an experience that influenced me for a lifetime.”

Homestead has a tradition of rewarding its extraordinary eighth graders with the coveted Lyndon Pippin Award. Lyndon Pippin served as the principal of the school for 18 years and every year the award is presented to a graduating eighth grade student who emulates Pippin’s work ethic and character. Previous Lyndon Pippin Award recipients Brian Houston, Dr. Shannon Shelley and Ivy Turner, were introduced and gave testimonials about the compliment of the high honor.

“I’ve received many awards in my life, but this one I have never forgotten the name of,” said Dr. Shannon Shelley, who was the Lyndon Pippen Award winner of 1990. “This award represents to me a reminder of how much I’m loved and that someone was proud of me.”

Shelley went on to explain that when she received any other awards her uncle, who is like a father to her, would tell her, “Well, that’s something! But it’s not a Lyndon Pippin Award!” From there it has been a special inside joke for them, as well as a symbol of love and pride and accomplishment.

Board of Education Chairman Charles Tollett, explained his mother was on the Homesteads Selection Board to dutifully select the families who would become the original Homesteaders in Cumberland County. Tollett said she looked for people of character and determination. He encouraged the audience to treasure their Homestead stories, saying, “These stories are what keeps us alive. They are reminders and help us connect the past to the present for the future.” 

Cumberland County School Director of Schools Donald Andrews, took pleasure in the stories, history and traditions of the Cumberland Homesteads and Homestead School. He challenged current and future students and parents alike to come prepared in all they do.

Robin Pinder, HES principal, recognized teachers and staff who have collectively devoted 1,084 years of service to HES. Pinder invited everyone to look at the classroom displays depicting 75 years of Homestead history and to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to talk with the honored guests, who among them were the first to attend the Homestead School when it opened in 1938. Concluding the presentation, Pinder then cheered, “Here’s to the next 75 years! Go Bulldogs!”

The themed classroom projects included wonderfully made historical dioramas, “Why I Love My School” essays, illustrations, poetry, a memorabilia collection, memory quilt, an acrostic poster, and a mix of technology and creativity for the pictorial slide shows on laptops coinciding with informative posters.  

Ron Pulley, director of the Cumberland County Archives, was excited to display information he recovered regarding Homestead School and share it at HES 75th Anniversary Homecoming. George Oliver was in the class of 1946. His father, Major George L. Oliver, was the community manager (project manager) of the Homesteads while his son attended junior high and his freshman years at Homestead School. He said he attended many schools because of the nature of his father’s occupation in the military. But, he fondly remembers Homestead School and said, of all the schools he attended, about 15, Homestead School was his favorite. 

Text Only
Tansi Smoke Signals
  • humvee 2a.JPG Tansi Security Police attains new equipment and new officer

    The Lake Tansi Security Police has acquired a trainee, new vehicle from the 1033 Program and body armor due to the generosity of the Rotary Club and VEC.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rec direc.JPG Tansi welcomes Medley as recreation director

    Lake Tansi has experienced a whirlwind of ups and downs in regards to retaining a recreations director. When Ken Soncrant resigned, POA Director Gary Dillon hired Betty Gates who had worked in recreations management at Fairfield Glade.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Epic Independence Day celebration set at Lake Tansi

    The Lake Tansi Recreations Department has planned an epic Independence Day celebration that will brighten the stars on your flags. The celebration will start Friday, July 4th and continue through the weekend with family friendly activities and entertainment that is inspired by classic Americana fun.

    June 25, 2014

  • toodle 2.JPG Tansi bids a bittersweet farewell to Brenda Toodle

    Brenda Toodle has made quite an impact on Lake Tansi in her nearly two decades of being a resident. Before her move back to Michigan, her many friends held a farewell reception on May 28 at the Thunderbird to send their best wishes with her.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tansi launches Operation Safe Community

    You may have heard that a neighborhood watch group is being established again in Tansi. After a recent break-in in our neighborhood, my wife, Paula, talked with Lt. Gary Howard of the Sheriff’s Department to see what we, as a neighborhood, could do to minimize crime in Tansi.

    June 25, 2014

  • Lake Tansi Golf Club honored for support of veterans

    Naval Master Chief Dennis Sassenger II, stationed in Hawaii, visited his father, our own Dennis Sassenger, in Lake Tansi. He was so impressed with the way he was treated as a guest and veteran at the golf course that he returned home and started the process of thanking us for the welcome and support he received.

    June 25, 2014

  • Lake Tansi celebrates Memorial Day in a big way

    Memorial Day is a time to reflect upon those of our fallen troops who gave their lives to preserve America’s values and freedoms. To those soldiers and their families we give our greatest admirations and deepest appreciation. Knowing what Memorial Day is about gives reason to pause, to pray and to share in those hard won freedoms with family and friends.

    June 25, 2014

  • Swim 1.JPG Never too soon to start water safety lessons

    Lake Tansi would like to encourage everyone who enjoys the water to play safely. Lake Tansi has such wonderful amenities, including the lake and pools, but playing it safe is better than not playing at all.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pan 1.JPG On the Hook with the Pan Fish Club

    Hook, line and sinker, the Lake Tansi Pan Fish Anglers Club has enjoyed the first half of its fishing season.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Mike Steinmann/Salvation Army Golf Tournament set for July 26

    The seventh annual Mike Steinmann/Salvation Army Golf Tournament is set for this year on Saturday, July 26 at the Lake Tansi Golf Course.

    June 25, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014