Many in that number went to Cherokee High School because it was the only one in the county for many years.
Cherokee High is a great school that is rich in history. Part of that history is the phenomenal teachers and staff that have helped to raise your children.
So, if you are from around here and know anything about Cherokee High School, then you know the name, Lorraine Mauldin.
I am not sure how many years Miss Mauldin taught at Cherokee but I am sure that she probably taught the children of some parents she had taught in the past.
When I think of Miss Mauldin the word purity is what comes to mind. She is a woman who had dedicated her life to God first, and then to setting an example for the thousands of students she taught.
I remember having to read “The Scarlett Letter” in Miss Mauldin’s class. I am sure most of you have read it. But for those of you that haven’t, it dealt with adultery and its consequences.
I can’t think of a person on earth more qualified to teach about the results of sin.
I don’t know if they still use that book in the schools anymore. Probably not, because I feel sure that some would find it offensive and far from politically correct.
But Miss Mauldin taught it in a way that you could actually visualize the trauma suffered by the young woman in the book.
Alan Johnson, Ricky Williams and I all took Miss Mauldin’s class together.
I wouldn’t say we were favorites. But then again, I like to think we were. She was willing to do whatever it took to help us understand the subject matter.
She was willing to work with us individually without thought to time. You see, this was her life outside of her church. She is someone who has made her life’s purpose helping others.
One winter day long ago, it snowed and iced either while we were in school or the night before. My memory isn’t that good.
But I do remember it was test day in Miss Mauldin’s class. Some of the sidewalks between the hallways were covered in ice and it was quite slippery. As we entered Miss Mauldin’s class on this day everyone was talking about the snow and ice.
Some may not have thought Miss Mauldin was listening to their conversations, but she was.
She called Alan and me to the side and asked us how icy we thought the sidewalks were. We told her that they were pretty icy and they were.
So she asked us if we would mind leaving the classroom and scraping ice off of the sidewalks before some student or teacher slipped and fell. Alan and I did as she asked us.
We spent the entire class scraping ice off of sidewalks.
At the end of class, we returned back to class. We asked Miss Mauldin about the test the other students had just taken. Miss Mauldin looked at us and say, “Boys, there are things in life more important than taking tests.”
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t like we had a free ride. We completed all of our work in her class. We participated in discussions. But most of all, we treated her with the respect she deserved.
For those of you that may not know, Miss Mauldin is still very much alive and resides at Canton Nursing Center.
So I challenge you this. If you were lucky enough to have been taught by Miss Mauldin, take five minutes to stop by and see her.
I will tell you that there is a great chance that she will remember you.
She was a legacy at Cherokee High School. She didn’t just teach from a textbook. She taught us the lessons of life.
We graduate and move on with our lives. Most times in life, we do not have the opportunity to tell those who were important to our success how much we appreciate them.
But you have that chance to visit her and tell her you really appreciate her sacrifice.
You left her classroom better for being there. If you visit her now, you will leave her and be better for it.
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.