Where Our Education Began

Where Our Education Began

Lily Cravens

     Holice Powell Elementary School is a public school located in Dyersburg, Tennessee. This school has a little over two hundred students and is located in a rural area. The school is pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and houses fifteen teachers. Holice Powell holds a special place in not only my heart, but my family’s. Aside from my attendance, my mother and her siblings attended the school. The school has made such an impact on my mom, especially; she is the principal at this very school. She hopes that this school continues to impact students, just as it had a large impact on us. 

     When my mom attended the school, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade was taught. They had athletic teams, such as basketball, football, cheerleading, and more. These teams competed against the other schools in the same county. It was like a traditional middle school, with the elementary school included. My grandparents were very involved in the school. They painted murals and aided in community-wide events. But when my mother finished her eighth grade year at this county school, she had to attend high school at the city school. The only county high school was too far from her home, so the city school was her only choice. It was difficult for her to fit in and to make friends. She did not enjoy her high school experience, and she was determined that I would have the chance to have a better experience. 

     When I attended the school, it was solely an elementary school, with pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Even though I did not spend as much time here as my mother, I still had a great experience. I still cherish some of the friendships I made here. I loved every single teacher I had and I still talk to some of them today. I learned most of what one would expect from an elementary school, like how to read and how to write. However, I learned more than the basic things. For example, my first grade teacher taught me how to tie my shoes. My mom had previously attempted to teach me how, but it was not until that teacher showed me a different way of doing it that I understood it. My physical education teacher taught me the best ways to pull my baby teeth, especially since my mom would not pull them for me- she thought it was disgusting. I also had “my first relationship” in fifth grade here. After elementary school, my mom allowed me to continue attending the county schools, and I did for middle and high school. I am very grateful that she let me grow with the friends I had already become comfortable with. 

     Growing up, my mom had been an elementary school teacher in a different county from where we lived. When a teaching position opened at Holice Powell when I was going into second grade, she decided to apply for it. She wanted to be closer to home and closer to me, and she ended up getting that job. While I was in elementary and middle school, she taught third and fifth grade. When I started high school, she became Holice Powell’s principal. It took her extra years of college education to earn this position. This was her goal after going through education as a teacher. She wanted to be more for the students; she wanted this elementary school to have as great of an impact on the new generation of children as it had on her. 

     Four years later, my mom is still the principal of Holice Powell Elementary School. This school where my mother attended, where I attended, and where she now works will always have a significant impact on our lives. She will continue to set the students up for success just as she did for her daughter. I am unsure of how either of us would have turned out without the help of this school, and I am thankful to have the memories and experiences it gave us.