Honoring Tomlinson Graduates

  • Monday, March 24, 2014

Dr. Alice Ward Johnson

Alumni and friends from Tomlinson High School gathered Saturday March 22nd to honor the Hall of Fame inductees for 2014. The theme for the night was "Celebrating the Legacy, Visioning the Future." After dinner and entertainment provided by saxophonist Rick Garner, Dr. Alice Johnson addressed the audience.

Dr. Alice Ward Johnson is a 1944 graduate of Tomlinson high school and a 1948 graduate of Savannah State University. Johnson began as an elementary school teacher and went on to become a reading specialist. She earned her degree from Atlanta University and pursued advanced studies in creative writing at the University of Miami. Dr. Johnson is called "the Pied Piper of love" and she has focused her talents on her special approach to teaching and creative writing. This Tomlinson graduate became a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, the American Association of University women, and the Miami Archdiocesan Council of Catholic women, the NAACP, and many others. Tomlinson High School produced many others who were recognized this night into the Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Tomlinson high school Mrs. Ica Bella Barr attended Allen University in Columbia South Carolina then transferred to Morris College where she attained her Bachelors of Arts degree and became a teacher at Tomlinson. Barr taught from the mid 50's until 1984, when she retired as bookkeeper, math teacher, and in charge of numerous activities at Tomlinson.

Joining these two ladies was Selma Harris Conyers who graduated from the 12th grade at age of 16. Conyers began Tomlinson at the age of five and after graduating decided to become a teacher. She enrolled in Claflin University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at the age of 20. Conyers has taught at numerous schools and has given 45 years of service in Williamsburg County. She has achieved multiple awards including teacher of the year in 1982 and was the first African-American elected to the South Carolina Democratic women's club hall of fame.
Mrs. Emma Cooper of Kingstree graduated from Tomlinson high school in 1950.

Mrs. Emma Cooper of Kingstree graduated from Tomlinson high school in 1950.  After Tomlinson, Cooper earned a Bachelor Degree from Claflin University in elementary education. She continued her education at South Carolina State College where she received a Masters of Education in 1973. She served the Williamsburg County school system for 34 years as a teacher, Title I instructional coordinator and retired as principal of WM Anderson Primary in 1988.

Tomlinson High School produced another teacher. Mrs. Hattie Miller Fulton graduated from there among the top three in 1946. She attained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Claflin University in 1951. Fulton taught in public school systems in Williamsburg County and retired after 30 years. Fulton received numerous honors and awards; one is the prestigious Mary McLeod Bethune "Living the Legacy" award.

Another inductee into the Hall of Fame was Julia Bartelle McFadden who graduated from Tomlinson High School in 1951. McFadden, former Williamsburg County School District Board member, received her Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree from South Carolina State University. 35 years of her life was dedicated to educating children in Williamsburg County.

Mrs. Emily Gary Myers is a lifelong resident of Williamsburg County. After graduating in 1942 from Tomlinson High School, she achieved her Bachelors of Science degree at Morris College. Like other Hall of Fame inductees, Myers spent many years educating the young people in Williamsburg County.

After graduating from Tomlinson High School in 1949, Altormeaze Scott Shaw earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Claflin University and a Master's degree from South Carolina State University. Shaw taught in the Williamsburg County school system for 31 years and was Teacher of the Year for Kingstree Elementary during the year 1980-81 school years. Shaw continued to work with the youth for 12 years at Little Miss Muffet Daycare Center then taught reading and math for the workplace at Baxter's laboratories.

The final inductee present at the banquet was Nancy Burgess Smith. Smith graduated from Tomlinson High School and attended Voorhees Junior College. She received a Science Degree from Claflin University and became a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. While stationed in France with her military family, she taught part-time at the Paris American Elementary School; upon returning to the States she retired with 20 years of service in the teaching profession.

Other inductees who have passed away included Mrs. Alberta Roxy Scott Chandler who graduated in the 10th grade from Tomlinson high school as salutatorian of her class. She became a teacher for 41 years in the Williamsburg County school system. Mrs. Venus Madison James Dorsey attended Tomlinson was a farmer, daycare, teacher, mother and spouse. Tomlinson's legacy of producing teachers continued with Mr. James Modus McAllister. Upon graduating at Tomlinson, McAllister graduated from Claflin College with a Bachelor of Science degree double majoring in chemistry and physics. He later earned a Master's Degree in education from South Carolina State College and began his teaching career in Williamsburg County with over 30 years of service to education.

After remarks from Tomlinson Alumni Inc. Pres. Mr. Louis Mayrant, the night concluded with everyone singing "Oh Tomlinson, Oh Tomlinson."

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