Carol Jones and Kristen Ring

Recorded October 7, 2019 Archived November 5, 2019 28:51 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019372


Carol Jones (87), alumnae of Hutchinson School where Dr. Kristen Ring (47) is Head of School, tells Kristen about her memories of Hutchison from the 1940s, including traditions.

Subject Log / Time Code

CJ remembers attending Hutchison School, where KR is now Head of School.
CJ talks about the friends she made at school.
CJ talks about what she did for fun while she was in high school.
CJ remembers traditions the school had when she was in attendance.
CJ describes the school's founder, Ms. Hutchison.
KR tells CJ about the schools current programming and offerings.
KR talks about the traditions of the school.


  • Carol Jones
  • Kristen Ring

Recording Location

Crosstown Concourse


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00:05 My name is dr. Kristen ring. I am 47 years old. Today's date is Monday, October 7th, 2019. Our location is Memphis, Tennessee, and the name of my interview partner is Carol Jones and she is an alumna of the Hutchison school where I am currently the head of school.

00:27 And my name is Carol Jones and I am a c 7 years old and today is October 17th or 7th Monday 2019. And we are here in Memphis and my interview partner is Kristen Ray and she is a headmistress of Hutchison School.

00:49 Wonderful, so I will start Carol. When and where were you born if I was born in LaGrange, Georgia and I was born in 1932. Wonderful. You attended Miss Hutchison School for Girls in Memphis, Tennessee where I am currently head of school. What are a few of your very best memories of the Hutchinson School Tolley difference. We had no phone no of I only method of communication is that time was the telephone there were no computers. There was no email. There was no text messaging and consequently. It was a wall that was very different than today. But the best memories I have of Hutchison that it was a school where we went to study and that was the main thing.

01:42 So you work do you feel like the academics are the primary focus?

01:48 Wonderful. What do you want the girls of Hutchison school today to know about the beginning of Miss hutcheson's time and the beginning of the school. It was all it was a girl school. And if we had just getting to Garden through the 12th grade at that time, there was no no pre-kindergarten. I want to watch it the time at women did not work the much the same memories time. I would want them to know that it was mainly academic and as you said before we did nothing in the community and I think that's one of the big changes.

02:38 Were there many extracurriculars or things that you could do know we did nothing outside of school. We had one fundraising thing for the American Red Cross and that was the only this is Introduction off of plank of the we had to do with the community. So you got there in the morning went to classes and I'm at home in the afternoon. Okay, it's time certainly have changed. So I hear that you have a reunions coming up this year. So when did you graduate 1050 1950 wonderful and we have a reunions and next spring and that will be at 7 tip a wonderful and I loved it there still Folks at keep in touch. Yes, and I together so our alma mater has a line in it about the friendships made it Hutchison. That will be

03:38 Joy for years to come tell me a little bit about your friends from Hutchison. Well, we have five of us for my senior class that still get together. We try to have lunch once a month and we call ourselves the sewing club and we used to show a show about 50 years ago. And we keep in touch. They are two other friends that we close to 1/2 lives in Jackson, Mississippi and one in Sarasota Florida, and now they come up with occasionally and no but we have seven relay that all in the sewing club and they still very close and back to all of them were bridesmaids. So now we're together. So we have a close friendship. So 70 years post-graduation. You're still close friends. Amazing. Did you all start school together or did you come into Miss Hutchison School in the 5th grade?

04:38 But some of of of one of them came in the 9th grade 2. Ohm started the first grade on so that we still have students come at different points. But Forge incredible friendship no matter when they start that when they graduate they stay friends. That's fantastic. Tell me what kind of a student you are. What what did you like to study? And what did you like to do for fun? I was pretty good student. I was we had a great ceremony of the tapping of the members, but we got to have Honor Society and I was a lot of students. So I was a member of the Honor Society but we are strictly English and history we had 101 class 1 class only about it and it was mainly to 26300 at that time. No, none of the body.

05:38 Technology should have today but a lot of reading and writing from what I understand and writing was very important. And I was very thankful for is hard as it was to write some of things when I got to college. It was easy. I still hear that today that one of the greatest things so what during that time frame whether it was at school or outside of school. What did you like to do for fun? Fun fun? It was very social with that job High School sororities and fraternities and every weekend there was a party and you had a date to go to the movie and then out to somewhere to eat social and dates. You know it nowadays. Are you going with a group? And so that was a little different? Okay. How many women were in your graduating class?

06:38 Largest graduating class at we had 42 and the class of before us had 22. Okay, we will have in fact there was a write-up in the paper. I remember his class of 42. And now how many seniors this year. We have 78 maybe pretty good for that time. I was there a oh actually before we even get into teachers did you ever get into any trouble at school? We had a discipline you had to come to Saturday school and you had to be there at 9 and the two main are things you were sent to say school was chewing gum and talking with you shouldn't and I think I got there once for chewing gum. What's for talkative and what did one do at Saturday school you had to sit with your

07:38 Hands folded on the top of the desk for 2 hours chewing gum or just 2 hours to settings to sit there and just in punishment. I bet that deferred some kids from doing that for multiple times.

07:54 Let's see. Okay. So is there a teacher that you particularly remember there were three main teachers upper school misspoke and Miss McIntosh and Miss Hart and they were whites turned and they would tough teachers but here again when you got off to college you a thing for you had them and now they are known as The Three Lions and teachers and now I'm sad we have lanterns in memory of them at the new school and they were just they were very dignified and dance and not storing. But they do you get back Miss Harris class you answered when she called a roll prepared. I'm prepared and that I never saw I never heard of it, but she was excellent. All three of them are for there any that you stayed connected to it at all After High School?

08:54 Miss Mac will have to tell you this I've learned it much later. She got she called my mother. I was going to a finished use Google my Facebook awesome friends are my head or other older daughter had been and Miss Max call. My mother says she come to school short talk to you about something and we're motorcycle guy. She told us she said I don't want Carol to go to the spinach to school. She needs to go to and if that time of the girls we went to girls colleges in Virginia, and she mentioned one that she thought I should go to and I end up going bad. So that's for sure. That's great. What are the Traditions that you most terrorists from your days at Hutchison school. Did we had the gold and black day and

09:54 I understand you just finished celebrating at and Hutchison we had kid day and that was a big day and all the seniors dressed up and kissing and we had skits. And that was a big day. We had let me think of what else we had to live a certain part of a big thing was a junior senior luncheon, and that was a big day. And then that was the main thing those two men black and gold day is still incredibly important at our school and the junior senior luncheon still happen. So that's neat that says you're still going on. I'm still talk a little bit about Miss Hutchison. She's you know, this kind of iconic figure for most of us who never had the pleasure of knowing her so miss Hutchison new at age 8 that she wanted to be a teacher and it's 16

10:54 She made plans for an all-girl school that she wanted to establish. She sounds like a unique strong woman. Tell me about Miss Hutchison. What did she look like, we just sort of know her is it just a great and the lady who was head of the school. She was very stately. She was posing. She was dignified. She was she was so long in years and and the 10th grade was when she saw the school to mister and Doctor miss a so, but I remember her most of every morning School began when she came in to study hall and study hall consisted of the seventh grade through the 12th, and she came and stood in the front and she said good morning girls and we all answer as a group. Good morning Miss Hutchison, and that's what she started.

11:54 Every morning and that would be that's the most thing that everybody remembers about her.

12:04 Otherwise, she was not involved in much as I know you are and she stayed in her office and you know what she's was not among us out and Among Us emotions. I know you are. Well, I enjoy that so I I do that but I from the photos I've seen of her she certainly had a presence and with elegant was she tall she looks in her pictures ideas and Max pictures. I can remember she said somebody in the hall stand up stand up, but you have a specific memory of an interaction with her at any point. No just said memory The Voice charter school everyday.

13:01 Were there any stories about her that went around over the years of?

13:08 Pinnacle a kind thing she did she wish she felt that education was most important and she wanted to kill girls. I know I talked to her I was thinking of someone they want to have a fight before I did and she had a man I don't know is whether he was with the radio look of what but he came and spoke to them each month each week on what was happening in the world and she felt that was important that the girls know about that. So that was another memory of her. What do you think her hopes and dreams were for the girls at Hutchison at the time?

13:49 Hey, you know why she would say she would just say a good education will take you where you want to go. And she and you must remember that time very few women worked for you could be a schoolteacher off as I've said before, you know, I'll secretary perhaps or something. But mainly you do you will just going to get married and have a happy but she wanted you to be able to think she never said much about it and you just kind of assumed that's how she felt was interesting that are one of our important Tomatoes or

14:38 Taglines at the schoolers anywhere she can imagine that's similar to a basically her philosophy. I'd like to hear Hutchison is involved. That's what is important in the main difference. I see from where I went to school and what you doing today, and I would love to hear you talk about how Hutchinson involved does the community sure. So obviously when we moved over from Union Ave to our campus, we had a much bigger footprint and we could become a much larger school and for a while. I think the school was insulated and really focused inward on itself. But as we have grown and the community has grown as well we've recognized that Hudson needs to be a good memphian. And so we try hard to partner with organizations throughout the city some of that is through our community service lens. So we're areas that we can plug our girl.

15:38 And and they can help give back to the community and whatever way shape or form that is sometimes set simply problem solving and working with an organization like a mifa and looking at how they can help them. We also have Community Partners who are doing great things throughout the city that we want to bring onto our campus collage dance Collective is an example where they been two weeks, utilizing our facility in the summer, but many of our girls are at their students as well. And so we just look to find natural links for groups that are really empowering women across the city and make sure that we're trying to be sure that we're kind of lockstep with them particularly group 2 have similar missions and interest in building young women into strong powerful leaders of the future do strong girls are strong fastest. You just had something to do with this past weekend. Sure. That's a great example. So Saturday, we had the strong girl fast, and that was an opportunity.

16:38 Ask to invite the entire Community to our campus and show off all that we do in our classrooms throughout the campus save our hands on activities in the stem field in the Fine Arts field all sorts of learning that our girls get to do day in and day out on our farm and we got to show the community that they could be a part of that as well. We have our Center for excellence where students who are not enrolled at Hutchison can also take classes in the evenings and on the in the summer and so we should have some of those classes as well. But it was a way again to have open up the gates and show what an incredible gem our school is for the City of Memphis. I'd like to know more about the summer projects in the classes and what girls come from all the schools and how they happen to your role in this particular program at Hutchison. Sure, so we have two different

17:38 Can a simultaneous pregnancy of a traditional day camp where we bring kind of that sense of Sleepaway Camp, but it's here in the city during the day and then we also have our Center for excellence classes. And those are enrichment classes in a wide array of topics. So it might be a pottery class or a fine arts painting class. It might be a performance space class or dance or drama or it might be an extra science class that a student is taking it might be a Destination Imagination project-based course, so students find out about those and 10 and roll from the community. We have a lot of homeschool students who will take a course through Us in the summer or in the evenings as well. We also partner with

18:27 Whenever with jazz groups and things like that where we can bring kids together from multiple schools to form a jazz band where we wouldn't answer. I have enough girls at our own school to know how many safe part of the summer summer program thousands overall. So we have a wide array of schools. It would be more than a hundred different schools represented and depending on how you calculated from the summer camp and through all of those courses more thousands of cross-country come through our doors in the summer and most are not our own students. Do you have a favorite or tell me about any but one particular or two particulars that particular they talk to you when you first came

19:20 Oh, that's a great question.

19:23 It's almost impossible to pick because what I love the most is seeing a girl light up in what interest her and that's different and unique to every child my own daughter really got interested in singing and being on stage and plays and she has a whole Bevy of choices to choose from in fact, it's trying to rein her in because she can't do everything at one time athletic Lee if that's an issue of interest to the girls their stamps and there are intensive programs in the summer to build their skills and get them ready for more competitive environments in the season and debate and areas like that if that's of particular interest to a girl so we really have something for everyone. I think we had to send does incredibly well as get to know each girl and figure out how to help her find her own Niche. I noticed the theater. Are you all do a lot with it of that particular was wondering why my granddaughter enjoy?

20:23 So much, but we're I've also know how well we done all the soccer team. And so there's a lot of different areas. But that's the main thing in his impressed me with Hutchison is how it is just rushed out and we are both of communicate with all kinds of areas in the community to Excellence is a core value at Hutchison and we try and ensure that we are excellent in all that we do because every girl experience and journey throughout the school is different. It's important that no matter what path she chooses. She has an excellent experience that's good. We're running out of time.

21:06 We may not need it. All. What do you think? Miss Hutchison would be most proud of today's Hutchison.

21:19 They out Richard has it would be a Jay Starling her but I mean that buy into the community that to all of the schools of a given the opportunity to so many girls while they are enrolled or not excellence in the in the KFC and do that is by erotic massage Hutchinson would just be astounded at the difference. It really has grown and turned into quite an extraordinary School. Aubrie Burrell. I look back and look at her vision at the very beginning and she truly was extraordinary and a Visionary to be able to create a dream that she had so young and build it into something that became so important it was and you will you read the background of how she as a young child. Just thought you wanted to teach girls. Well, that was unheard.

22:19 Haven't heard a and she made her dream come true and no as known fart. In fact, there's a flaw. I'll be out Union Avenue for your high school wasn't where I attended there were two houses and this girl was in the houses and the gym was in the background in the backyard. We had a May Day. In fact that is still our tradition at Hutchison is very important. But we had a May Day and all the classes how to Dad's now that all don't take part where the school is too big for that but I remember that is a day. I forgot to mention that one there was an important that everybody had a good time and it we had am a queen and a to do they still have to a girl of the seniors are special about the May queen and the court is that the girls shoes.

23:19 Really exemplary member of the class and they really pick a girl who embodies all of the ideals that we would promote school and I know another but we still have to still have the best all-around the Hutchison idea Hutchison girl we did and it started the year before we graduated two years before we graduated and the body voted on it and if that's still very popular, right it is we still have the idea had to send girl. And again, I love that are girls pick somebody that is an ideal role model that really embodies the important aspects of all that we promote at the school and it is it's not a popularity contest. It's that girl that everybody looks up to you still have the Russell born yesterday at that as well. And a lot of those Traditions have remained really important at the school tell something about the divorce.

24:19 Reward

24:22 Well, they still gave it that that is a combination of the Sun study kind of a maybe Second Jason definitely 2nd through the ideal Hershey's girl, but it involves more of academics and it's about both of us student body and the and the teaching staff to write so we pick academic scholar spell for that as well. And we do probably give more Awards than I used to be but we try and I like girls that are really doing unique Another Sunday of what I remember and I I don't remember it if when I was at Herzing, but today is the Madonna assessed tell about that. So that's a unique tradition where the art Department chooses a different portrayal of the Madonna and then we recreate that Anna Tableau and a student is chosen to be a living.

25:22 Part of that piece and that kicks off at convocation for alumni weekend. Okay, do not very unique tradition and made it a great example of a very sweet girl school tradition that has lasted that are girls just love on and it is something that if you haven't seen it, it's hard to explain to somebody and why it's important that it really has been a unifying factor for our school for over a hundred years. Okay tell no one has graduation and that is a big ceremony and the girls all graduate. They all wear white dresses long white dresses that's kind of way out but it is really a new position and the Glee Club is I still sing the songs they do they do we have beautiful choir that every divisions net at every division level now and graduation really is a special.

26:22 Time to the wearing of the antique lace dresses and the flower girl relationships with their young kindergarten or JK student her first grader depending on the age. We have so many seniors now, we have to employ quite a few grade levels of flower girls, but it creates a unique relationship that is kind of Life lifelong. We often have 2nd generation or 3rd Generation Now flower girl Partnerships with Mom to wear their seniors. I have the pleasure of traveling and meeting alumni all over the country and they often talk about their flower girl or their senior. I kept up with mine for many years and there was great fun. I was trying to think what other Traditions I remember, but of course, we know some of these are carried on through the years and still a very active.

27:18 Well, I love that everyone seems to have a fondness even after they leave and stay connected to the school. We have a really strong alumna base. Is there a particular memory that will stick with you? Whether it be while you were at Hutchison or continuing now, you have a fourth generation they are so there's obviously a family bond still at Hutchison. I was Rob a blind and I graduated 50 both five girls both Carolina. Graduated then we have a granddaughter and she was just recently married and then we have a brand-new the hutches. The attendant Elizabeth is 3 and she's attending that little high because I think that's the cutest guy season little Hive so we have a great day. I kept up for the grooves and plus my girls would they will issue?

28:18 They've had a different accent more or less and it will spend interesting and fascinating to see them at Hutchison through all the years. That's wonderful. You are a perfect family to Chronicle the lifespan of the school, but thank you. I think it's been great to hear about me Miss Hutchison, and I know she would be proud of the school today so I know she would that's great.

28:46 I think we're good.