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Monday, Dec. 11

Thursday night was a different twist to Homecoming at Marthaville School. Anyone who ever attended Marthaville school or lived in this great community understands we hold great pride in who we are and our history and traditions.  Homecoming is a time when we celebrate with old classmates, friends and coworkers.   With that said, the “Hawk Hall of Fame” was formed. This is something to recognize certain individuals who played an important role in both our school and community’s success over the years. Marthaville School and its Parent/Teacher Organization created this great cause and use it in conjunction with homecoming festivities.

Each year they will select former administrators, faculty, staff and exceptional students to honor for their service and dedication to our school and community.  This year’s class is a unique group of individuals who served for many years and helped make Marthaville School what it is today.  Each individual was presented with a plaque and a little walk down memory lane as Phillip Strahan announced each one by name. He and Marthaville Principal Micah Nicholson presented each one.  The first honoree was a gentlemen who graduated from Marthaville in 1951.  He excelled in sports and went on to college at Memphis State University.  He returned to Marthaville to coach in 1960, a role he played until 1965 when he became principal. He served for several more years until he moved on to other endeavors.  First honoree was Don Winn.

The next honoree started her journey at Marthaville School in 1968 when she began teaching music.  She spent over 40 years teaching music, as a kindergarten aide and sponsoring the 4-H clubs. This is Gusty Kilgore. The next honoree came to Marthaville School in the fifth grade and eventually graduated high school, lettering in several sports, even receiving all state honors his senior year.  He returned to Marthaville School in the 1960s to teach sixth and seventh grade, coach junior high sports and teach driver’s education classes.  That gentlemen was Vernon Birdwell. The next honoree attended school all of his life, beginning in 1953.  He lettered in basketball and baseball, even guiding his teams deep into the state playoffs each year.  He graduated high school in 1966.  He returned in 1973 and spent 15 years as a teacher, assistant principal and eventually principal.  Bobby Dean Birdwell served as principal nine years.       Next, this honoree attended school all of her life and graduated in 1959. She eventually became principal and led the school until 1998. She played many roles throughout the years teaching different grades before becoming principal.  She has a grandson who is on the Hawk basketball team and that honoree is Jimmye Holmes. The honoree served our school for 33 years as school secretary.  She attended school here, and eventually returned in 1976.  She worked through several different administrations, and helped and watched many students grow up through the years. That honoree is Brenda Youngblood. This honoree was an individual that experienced something only a few others can relate to.

He was a member of the last High School graduating class from Marthaville High School in 1981.  He attended school, then eventually worked here for 33 years.  He worked at the locker plant for 12 years before moving to the campus, where he served us for another 21 years.  He was in charge of maintaining the school and served as another role model to our students on campus.  That gentlemen is Homer Free. The next honoree holds a special place in Phillip Strahan’s heart, as she does in the hearts of many others.  This person was the first lady Phillip met when he first came to Marthaville in preschool. Then she had the pleasure of teaching him again in the fourth grade, and again in the seventh and eighth grades.  She spent almost 40 years at Marthaville and touched the lives of many of her students.  That lady was none other than Delores Barnhill Wetherington. The last and final honoree of the Hawk Hall of Fame is Virgil Barnhill.

He attended Marthaville school, played sports and was very active in school, graduating in 1948.  He returned to teach and coach for many years in the 60s and 70s.  After retirement he still returned to school each morning to assist in anyway he could, and for his early morning walk in the old gym before students arrived. Sadly, Virgil Barnhill passed away several years ago but he is still remembered in many ways for his years at Marthaville School.  It was a proud time for the inductees. I am sure that this is just a start to the newly formed Hawk Walk of Fame and each year it will get bigger and better.  Next came the Homecoming Wagon Train.  Another fun thing for the students to do, dress up and just have fun.  Each one had some great ideas and the proof was there to see how the teachers and students were able to work their magic. There was lots of visiting, catching up and for the many who are not able to get out much, it was one night to be able to see and visit with so many former teachers and employees of Marthaville School.

Next week, I will have the write up about the eighth grade Student of the Year, the candidates and the winner.  Also the pics and write up about the homecoming wagon train.  Hope you have a great week!