Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

Knoxville East High School Alumni Association

Contact Us

P.O. Box 71171

Knoxville, TN 37938

Mission Statement
Knoxville East High School Alumni Association exists to preserve academic achievement, athletic accomplishments and social heritage that reflect the traditions of excellence and core values of Knoxville East High School.

About Us

The current officers of KEHSAA are as follows:



The slate of officers nominated for 2019-2020 were elected by acclamation at the January, 2019, board meeting.

President: Bill Black, Class of 1962

Vice President: Loretta Smith Crowder, Class of ’62

Recording Secretary: Helen Heap Mills, Class of ’55

Assistant Recording Secretary: Wilma Loy, Class of ’62

Corresponding Secretary: Wanda Majors, Class of ’56

Treasurer: Carolyn Ellis Cottrell, Class of ’53

Assistant Treasurer: Lorry Ruth, Class of ’62


The Alumni Association was formed and voted in by the general membership in January 2011. The original officers and leaders of KEHSAA were as follows:

OFFICERS: 2012-2014
Larry Everette
Class of 1960

Vice President
Loretta Smith Crowder
Class of 1962

Recording Secretary
Vickie Brooks Lampkin
Class of 1965

Assistant Recording Secretary
Linda Ely Smith
Class of 1965

Corresponding Secretary
Sylvia Moulton Sproul
Class of 1955

Jack Sherrod
Class of 1963

The Association has an Executive Board with committee chairmen for Membership, Finance, Communications/Public Relations, Ways & Means, Education, Heritage and Archival, Hospitality, Benevolence and Nominating.

The Association also has a Board of Directors made up of representatives from each class.


1952:     William “Bill” Craig

1953:     Lucile Heap Martin

1954:     Dick Bales, Harold Mills

1955:     Jerry C. Hutsell, Ralph Bean

1956:     Sue Meador Campbell, Bettye Horner Kennedy, Wanda Cochran Majors

1957:     Ronnie Whitt, Phyllis Bales Severance

1958:     Jane Ray, Richard B. Ray, Ann Rose Wheeler

1959:     Carol Bishop Clift, Tommy Greene, Carl Richard Long, Lud Speir

1960:     James B. Ford, Micki Morton Shipe, Beverly Proffitt Worley

1961:     H. Lynn Brewer, Patti Acuff Tipton

1962:     Bill Black, Wilma Thomas Loy, Joe Paul Atkins



1965:     Jim Poston, Brenda Thrasher Mitchell, Jim Adcock, Jan Booher Weaver

1966:     Fred Drumheller

1967:     Bob Vineyard

1968:     Representatives are needed for 1963, 1964 and 1968

History of Knoxville East High School

In the early 1940’s the United States was at war. Multitudes of young men went off to fight, many of them getting married and starting families just prior to their departure. When they returned from service to resume their lives with the families they had left behind, they found that there was a severe housing shortage. The federal government stepped in and constructed temporary villages for the veterans until the public sector could meet the housing demands. One such village was situated on a tract of land lying just behind properties on the south side of McCalla Avenue between Hembree and Milligan Streets and stretching south across the hill to Wilson Avenue at Castle Street.

During this same period, a forward looking Board of Education of the Knoxville City School System correctly identified the need to expand the city’s high school system. New neighborhoods were springing up across the city as new affordable housing became available. They embarked on an ambitious program to build four new area high schools at the same time and close the centrally located Knoxville High School. The afore-mentioned properties on Mc Calla Avenue were procured and these, combined with the veterans village tract (when de-activated), became the campus for one of the schools….East High School. The first students from Park City, Burlington, Holston Hills, and surrounding areas began classes there in the fall of 1951.

It was a state of the art facility complete with a coal fired furnace and natural air conditioning. Each classroom had large windows which, when opened, allowed fresh air of outside temperature to flow in, along with whatever flying life form might venture in. There were large parking lots at each end of the building, though few students had cars and even several teachers relied on public transportation.

Many of the traditions of Knoxville High School were brought to East High School as the principal and much of the staff of Knox High transferred to East. The band was the recipient of the “hand-me- down” uniforms, several instruments, and even the band director. The choral, drama, art, and home economics departments also came along. They all, students and teachers alike, were anticipating a bright future. The “Mountaineers”, as they came to be known, were writing a new chapter in the history of education in Knoxville.

At this school, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Devotionals and prayer were the beginning of each day. Assembly was known as “Chapel”. Teachers and students respected each other. Many friendships and relationships formed during those years are as strong today as they were then. Achievements in all areas are noteworthy, winning state recognition in drama, in music, and in sports with several individuals setting state records.

Graduates of East High School have proven successful on many levels. ”Mountaineers” have become teachers, bricklayers, attorneys, postal workers, auto mechanics, builders, “stay at home” moms (we thought all moms stayed at home), factory workers, scientists, business persons, doctors, sales persons, and nurses. Some chose public service. Others pursued military careers. Still others chose the ministry. There are artists, actors, writers, entertainers, and at least one beauty queen. The list could go on and on, but the point is this: East High School produced much to take pride in…productive citizens!

There are many stories that could be told of adventures and misadventures during those years at “East”. Many have been told. If only half the stories of pranks pulled on a certain algebra teacher were true, it’s a wonder that teacher continued in the profession. Of all the stories that could be told, most would be from a positive point of view with a lighthearted attitude.

Stories are all that remain now. The last class of “Mountaineers” graduated in 1968. Re-organization required the name of the school to be changed and it continues to serve the community today. Even though the building remains, the “Mountaineer Spirit” can only be found in the hearts of the alumni. Knoxville East High School Alumni Association seeks to keep this spirit alive.
July 2011 by Max Julian, Class of 1958, KEHSAA Membership Chairman


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