Celebrating Black History by honoring Mrs. Delores Pirtle

Mrs. Delores Pirtle was a teacher here at Maury City Elementary school in Crockett county. after a family member inspired her to become an educator, she made history and touched many students’ lives.

Her name was Delores Sharp at the time, and she is a native of West Tennessee. She graduated from Lane College. While studying at the historically black institute, she took pertinent courses at other well-known local universities that would prepare her to teach kindergarten.

“At the time, they were not teaching kindergarten courses at lane college, so I had to proceed to go to Lambuth College to take one class and Union university to take another course,” said Pirtle.

After graduating from Lane College in the spring of 1970 that fall, she was hired in Crockett County and started the first kindergarten class at Maury City Elementary school.

“It was the only class that was available at that time, and I readily accepted because I knew it was going to be a challenge,” said Pirtle.

She used everything she learned from her college education and student teaching courses to develop the curriculum. one of her proudest moments was watching her students get promoted to the next grade level.

“The thing that made me most proud was at the end of the school year we had graduation. That was the first time that school had kindergarten graduation.

Mrs. Pirtle says the ceremony reminded her of high school graduation as the students’ family members showed their support.

“And the night of the graduation was like highschool graduation. The auditorium was filled with parents and grandparents.

Her curriculum was used for three years until the state developed one.

“She was a wonderful kindergarten teacher,” said Dan Black, former Principal at Maury City Elementary School.

For four years, Mrs. Pirtle was the only kindergarten, and Dan Black, who was her principal, shares what he remembers about her as an educator.

“I do remember very well. She always had a smile on her face. She seemed happy about being at school. She cared about all of her students.”

Mrs. Pirtle taught for over 30 years and is proud of being the first African American women to start kindergarten at Maury City Elementary School.

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