Eaton Elementary School

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School History

Loudon County Schools will graduate college and career-ready students through rigorous and relevant learning opportunities.
On May 29, 1912, the Public School Board was granted a deed from P.H. Roberts for four acres of land purchased for a sum of $226 for the establishment of a public school. Members of the Board of Education were J.E. Alexander, J.V. Watt, Thomas Alexander, and C.W. Rousin. The school was named Eaton in honor of the Eaton family and the community it was destined to serve.

The first structure contained three classrooms and a porch. It was originally intended to serve as a high school, and for a number of years, two years of high school were offered. A former student recalls the basketball goals were lettered with EHS (Eaton High School).

With the establishment of Eaton School, Loudon County established its first consolidated school. Until this time, schools such as Fairview, Pine Grove, Grubb, Dorwood, Pleasant Grove, Rocky Springs, Matlock, or Daisy served the community.

The first year Eaton was in existence, it boasted a faculty of three. Miss Sadie McTeer (later Mrs. J.B. Porter) was the first principal and was assisted by Miss Lola Alexander and Miss Lessie Lee Perkins.

This building served well until the 1920's when a second floor was added. The school continued to grow, and in the 1930's it was necessary to enlarge the facilities again. A brick structure was built under the direction of Ed Rader with the use of WPA labor. The structure was 140 feet long and 80 feet wide. It contained seven classrooms and an auditorium.

On November 3, 1951, an additional tract of land was purchased from L.R. Gentry for $1,200. Building began again and a large wing containing a modern cafeteria, four classrooms, office, teacher lounge, clinic, and a library were added. The building was funded with federal aid at a cost of $180,000. The original structure was updated and repaired during this time. The auditorium was converted into a combination gymnasium/auditorium, and a front entrance was added.

In 1959 another addition was added which contained six classrooms additional restrooms. A new physical education facility was constructed for $100,000 in 1965 that had bleachers to seat 500 students. In 1970 the last four classrooms were added to help house the overflow of students. Three portable classrooms were added a few years later.

In 1978 North Middle School was built on Hickory Creek Road. This school helped overcrowding at Eaton and Highland Park Elementary by providing space for grades 6-8. Prior to the opening of North Middle, Eaton averaged between 800-900 students each year. The elementary students, grades K-5, remained in the original building and numbered 575 students.

In December 1984 a new Eaton Elementary School opened on the same Hickory Creek Road campus as North Middle School. The modern two-story building contained 25 classrooms, with additional space for special education, kindergarten, a two-story library, multi-purpose room, support areas, and a modern kitchen and dining facility. This building contained 57,000 square feet and was built at a cost of $34 sq. ft. Barber and McMcMurry served as architects for the project. The complete cost of the building, furniture, and equipment was $2.1 million.

The school population once again outgrew the building, and in 1997, eight new classrooms, two sets of restrooms, and a large gymnasium/multi-purpose room were added on. Student enrollment in K-5 exceeded 800 at this time. To help alleviate these crowded conditions, the Loudon County School Board voted to add 17 new classrooms, a new multipurpose room, new offices and workroom to North Middle School (NMS). Students in fifth grade at both Eaton Elementary and Highland Park Elementary, along with NMS sixth graders would be educated in this new wing. This addition was completed in fall of 2002.

Presently, Eaton Elementary has over 700 students in grades K-4. There are 33 classroom teachers and 12 special area teachers.

Mrs. Lavona Simpson and Mr. James Hodge served as principals during the 1940's and 1950's. Mr. Larry Duff then served as principal for 42 consecutive years, the longest tenure of a principal in the history of the state of Tennessee. Jennifer Malone, a student of Eaton in the 1970's, an Eaton second grade teacher, as well as a Vice-Principal at North Middle School was named Principal in May 2003 after Mr. Duff's retirement. Mrs. Jennifer Malone was Principal for 8 years before being promoted to Middle School Supervisor and Technology Coordinator for the county. Stepping into the Principal shoes in 2011 was Melanie Amburn. Mrs. Melanie Amburn had taught at Eaton for 26 years and was Vice Principal for 8 years when she was promoted to principal.  The stint as principal lasted one school year as Mrs. Amburn was promoted to Loudon County Elementary Supervisor in the summer of 2012.  Mrs. Amburn's position was filled by former Eaton teacher, Scott MacKintosh.  Mr. MacKintosh taught at EES from 1996-2007 when he was assigned as principal at Steekee Elementary School.  Mr. MacKintosh returned home to Eaton in 2012, and was the principal for 2 years before being assigned to central office as the Middle School Supervisor. Mrs. Talley who was the assistant principal for 3 years and a teacher at EES before that was promoted to Principal in 2014. She currently holds the honor of principal of Eaton Elementary.