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Partners of the Heart
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Pearl High
Living with Segregation
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Pearl High: Pearl High School Memories

  A Brief History of Pearl High School | Pearl High School Memories

Teachers and students at Pearl High made the most of the limited resources available to them. Teachers' high expectations for student achievement were boosted by their close ties to parents. "You had the church, the home, and the school," explained Alice Epperson, class of 1962. "You were encouraged to do your very best, and if you didn't, somebody knew."

With few teaching aids, teachers had to use creativity and enthusiasm to hold students' interest. Their dedication paid off. "I can remember Reverend Ewing spending his summers with math sessions," Epperson recalled, "and Ms. Holland doing chemistry in the summer without pay. They were interested in encouraging the students to do as much as possible."

Explore the memories of four people from the Pearl High School community.

Alice Epperson
Video: Alice Epperson
Alice Epperson
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Class of 1962
Ambition: Pharmacist
Activities: Math Club, Sub Deb Social Club, Spanish Club, N.A.A.C.P.

After graduating from Pearl, Alice Epperson attended Florida A & M University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy. For more than twenty years, she has worked for Roche Laboratories as a pharmaceutical representative for the Nashville area.

Alice talks about:

  1. the school's role in the community
  2. the dedication of her teachers

Linda Wynn
Video: Linda Wynn
Linda Wynn
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Class of 1966
Activities: Junior Miss Social Club, Las Hermanas Civic & Social Club, Yearbook Staff.

Today, Linda Wynn is a history professor and member of the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Linda talks about:

  1. the national reputation of Pearl High School
  2. the school's state basketball championship in 1966, the first year of integrated sports
  3. the teachers at Pearl High School

Marcus Gunter
Video: Marcus Gunter
Marcus Gunter
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Class of 1935, and later a music teacher at Pearl
Favorite subject: Music
Toughest subject: Latin
Activities: Basketball, Orchestra, Jazz Band

Marcus Gunter was Pearl High School's music teacher and band leader for 39 years. Subsequently, he became a funeral director at William Gunter & Sons Funeral Home and Funeral Directors in Nashville, Tennessee. He especially remembers Pearl for its superb faculty.

Marcus talks about:

  1. the top caliber of Pearl graduates
  2. the teachers' dedication to the students
  3. the effect of integration on the current students of Pearl High School

Nat Crippens

Video: Nat Crippens
Nat Crippens
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As a parent of a Pearl High School student and the spouse of a teacher, Nat Crippens experienced the closeness of the school community and witnessed its undeniable school pride. He saw how the students respected and revered the teachers, who challenged them, and he marvels at how close the graduates remain to this day. Mr. Crippens' son, David, was so inspired by his teachers, fueled with discipline and the desire to succeed that he went on to establish his own media consulting firm in Los Angeles.

Nat talks about:

  1. the pride alumni feel as Pearl High School graduates
  2. the long lasting bonds among Pearl alumni
  3. Pearl High School's distinctive role in the community
  4. Pearl High School's reputation

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