By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — When the sun rises on August 7th, it will be 72 hours before the doors open on a new school year for Austin East Magnet High School. In the months leading up to the new year, across the city of Knoxville, many have been working diligently to let the students know when they enter their school on Monday morning, they are loved and valued. Much work has been done to create a beautiful and safe educational environment for their return.
The Austin/Austin-East Alumni Association has led the charge for change since 2019. In public and private partnership
with many agencies, banks, individuals, organizations, members of the city council, and the school board, rises a transformation like no other. That transformation will be unveiled on Saturday, August 7th from 2pm to 4 pm. on the front lawn of the school campus. The street will be blocked off and over 1,000 are expected to attend the event.
During that two hour historical period, a dedication ceremony will be held to unveil the new top of the line ten foot electronic message center and the plans for the new landscaping designs for the school will be revealed. The program will begin in the auditorium of the high school kicked off by its new principal Tammi Campbell with opening prayers and words by the honorable Rev. Dr. Harold Middlebrook and Rev. Daryl Arnold of Overcoming Believers Church. Harry Gross, Tammy White with Leadership Knoxville, Truist Bank and other major sponsors who helped raise the funds for the transformations will also be in attendance.
The event will then move outside for the unveil, followed by a reception in the foyer of the school. In attendance at this
event will be over 150 dignitaries from Knoxville and across the state of Tennessee. These leaders, along with members of the community, the student body, and other mighty roadrunners, past and present, old and new; will bear witness to the positive change that has come to a school that has seen more than its share of the negative. The end of this event is not the end of the celebration.
As the sun begins it’s dissent, the day will end in prayer in the stadium behind the school as Rev. Gene Thomas will lead an hour of prayer for all students returning to school across the city beginning at 6 pm. As the stadium fills with community members, Rev. Thomas will be joined by pastors from across the city and members of KICMA, the Knoxville Interdenominational Christian Ministerial Alliance of which he is the President.
As the kids say….#AESTRONG