Central High seniors bring back an alumnus for Black History Month
Posted on 03/02/2020
Photo:  (L to R) Nathaniel Edwards presents an I Am Hamilton shirt to Airicka Richardson, and Reuben Justice presents a shirt to Jack Graham.Today, “I am Hamilton” spotlights Airicka Richardson and Jack Graham, both sophomores at Central High School. The two worked to bring back an alumnus who was one of the first African American students to integrate Central High. The two invited Reuben Justice to visit the school and talk with three history classes as part of a Black History Month presentation on Wednesday, February 26.

“I am Hamilton” spotlights the contributions of alumni, teachers, parents, students, support workers, and community members in providing opportunities for children in the classrooms of Hamilton County Schools. Better opportunities for children today mean a brighter future filled with possibilities for our graduates, their families, and the community.

“The project for Black History Month was spearheaded by two of my students who were inspired by Mr. Justice,” said Laura Costello, gifted teacher at Central High. “Airicka and Jack realized the significance of Mr. Justice’s role in the history of Central High.”

Justice was one of 30 African American students to integrate Central High in 1966. He went on to attend Middle Tennessee State University, teach in Hamilton County Schools and eventually become an assistant superintendent in the district.

Justice shared some of his experiences of those first few years of integration in Hamilton County and was curious to know more about the experience of the high school students today. Justice said that overall he enjoyed his experience at Central High and made a lot of friends that he still sees in the community today.

To nominate someone for “I Am Hamilton,” send an email to communications@hcde.org with the name of the person you would like to nominate, the school the individual is connected to in Hamilton County Schools, the person’s title, and what makes the individual a valued contributor to Hamilton County Schools. You can nominate a graduate, teacher, parent, student, support worker, community member, or anyone playing a role in a school in the district. Also, include your name, school or location, and title.

Photo: (L to R) Nathaniel Edwards presents an I Am Hamilton shirt to Airicka Richardson, and Reuben Justice presents a shirt to Jack Graham.

The I Am Hamilton series won a 2019 NSPRA Golden Achievement Award for school district communications from the National School Public Relations Association.

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