The Campus School was authorized in 1909 by an act of the General Assembly of Tennessee which provided for state normal schools. “Each school established . . . shall have connected with it one or more practice and observation schools, in which shall be taught at least all of the subjects prescribed for the primary schools of the state. . . .” In January 1929, the school was first located in a building of its own on Lytle Street on the western side of the college campus in Murfreesboro.
In 1911, the MODEL SCHOOL opened at MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE NORMAL in a wing of the administration building. In the fall of 1928, EAST END GRAMMAR SCHOOL, a county school on the south side of East Main Street became the practice school for the college until the school moved in January 1929 to the new TRAINING SCHOOL building on Lytle Street. The General Assembly had appropriated $10,500 for the building to be constructed on ten acres of land donated by the city. The new facility was dedicated on February 8, 1929, with Governor Henry Horton as speaker.
The three-story brick building had fourteen classrooms with extra rooms for library, reading laboratory, general music, art, cafeteria, conference room, teachers’ lounge, school office, principal’s office, clinic, observation rooms, and a combination auditorium-gymnasium.
According to the description by Dr. J. W. Fertig, Head of the Education Department of the Normal School, in the Bulletin of December 1912, the practice school was a part of the Public School System of Murfreesboro. It was, however, “organically a part of the Education Department whose head acted as Director.”
There was, in addition, a Supervising Principal and seven critic teachers. Also, by agreement between the State Board of Education and the Murfreesboro City Board of Education, the MURFREESBORO PUBLIC SCHOOL. and its teachers in 1911 became the Town School for practice teachers.
Directors of the school have been: Heads and members of the Education Department until 1927; Dr. Jesse Wailer, 1927-1936; Mr. Frank Bass, 1936-1946; Mr. Roy Simpson, 1946-1952; Mr. Joseph Howard, 1952-1954; Mr. Hilary Parker, 1954-1965; Mrs. Frances Spencer Parker, 1965-1970; and Miss Martha Hampton, 1970-1979. Mrs. Elizabeth Whorley was director, 1979-1985, but her administration has not been included in the summary.
Members of the MODEL SCHOOL faculty approved by the State Board of Education on July 6, 1911, were Mrs. M. L. Russell, supervisor; Eliza Emery, first and second grades; Mrs. J. T. Matthews, third,Nannie Todd Jackson, fourth; Letitia Jordan, fifth and sixth; Ada Smith, seventh and eighth. Other early teachers were Charlotte Armstrong, supervisor, Gertrude Ambrose, Mrs. Eddie Souby, Cornelia Spain, Bessie Carney, hail principal, Jennie Buquo, supervisor, Mrs. L. S. Gillentine, Nellie Craigmiles, Ella Mitchell, Anna McFadden, Lucille Foust, supervisor, Ethel Joy Ellis, Leone Paty, Anna Green, Value Rosson, and Emily Williamson.
Also approved in 1911 by the State Board of Education as the Town School faculty were the teachers of the MURFREESBORO PUBLIC SCHOOL: Euqenia Neilson, Anna McFadden, Madelene Bryan, Cornelia Wendell, Bessie Carney, Annie Ordway, J. M. Northcott, principal, and Louise Gordon, substitute teacher.
Members of the faculty in the new TRAINING SCHOOL building in 1929 were J. L. Waller, director, Elizabeth Brigham, Frances Clayton, Mrs. W. O. Devlin, Mary Hall, who was the first to move into the building, Mrs. M. A. Hamilton, Marguerite Harrison, Kathleen Johnson, Margaret Lowe, Frances Snell, Mrs. Scott Williams, Pauline Warkman, Mary Manley, and Ruth Pate.
Teachers who taught thirty years or more were Anne Ashley, 30 years; Andrena Briney, 30 years; Marguerite Harrison, 42 years; Margaret Lowe, 31 years; Mary Manley, 33 years; Mary Frances Snell, 33 years. Others of long tenure were Mary Belle Jordan, Madge Manson, Jean H. Moser, Lewis Bandy, Marguerite Boutwell, Sylvia Crowder, and Frances Snell.
All of the practice schools had eight grades. The TRAINING SCHOOL on Lytle Street first enrolled students grades 1-8 on a self-contained classroom basis. Grades 9 and 10 were added in 1937 and 1938 at which time the upper four grades were departmentalized. In 1937, a library was added. This six-four plan was changed in 1946-1947 to an eight grade self-contained classroom system. The “practice school” became a multipurpose
school for practice teaching, laboratory methods classes, limited research, and observation. A pilot kindergarten was opened in January 1966 and a second kindergarten, in 1972.
Seventh and eighth grade classes were sent to CENTRAL MIDDLE SCHOOL in the fall of 1972. Industrial arts and band programs were dropped. All grades were then made up of two sections.
In the late fifties, the school became known as the CAMPUS SCHOOL. In 1985, it was named the HOMER PITTARD CAMPUS SCHOOL.
SOURCES: Steering Committee: *Miss Martha Hampton, Mr. Jack Robison, *Dr. William Beasley, *Mrs. Mary Manley, *Miss Mary Hall, *Mrs Elizabeth Bennett, *Mrs Elizabeth B. Whorley, and Mrs. Amanda Rushing, “A Brief History of Middle Tennessee State University Campus School,” June 15, 1976. “Campus School Student Aid,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 13, 1963, p. 20. “History of Training School is Cited,” The Daily News Journal, Nov. 4, 1948, p. 1. *Homer Pittard, The First fears Murfreesboro: Middle Tennessee State College, 1961 . Middle Tennessee State Bulletins, various dates.