Alumni gift will equip graphic arts studio at Bearden High

Sandra ClarkOur Town Neighbors, West Knoxville

Knox County Schools celebrated a $25,000 gift from the Bearden High School Class of 1972 on Friday, March 25.

The gift was presented as part of the group’s 50th reunion, and will provide equipment for the school’s graphic arts studio, including:

  • 10 Mac computers or laptops;
  • Software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign; and
  • A projector and active board.

Principal Debbie Sayers was elated.

“Bearden High has more than 350 students who take art classes each year,” she said. “We are currently not able to provide courses in advanced media art (graphic design) and advanced digital photography because of computers that are unable to run the advanced art software needed for these courses.

“This gift will make those offerings possible, and the resources will also be used in existing art courses. The Bearden High community is very grateful for this gift, and for the strong support we receive from our alumni community.”

Les Johnston was the driving force behind the class’s Give Back Project, Sayers said. Johnston is controller of Baseline Sports Construction, according to his profile in Linkedin. Prior to that he was controller of Empire Construction Co.

After graduating from Bearden High School, he went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee in 1976 with a degree in accounting.

Bearden High celebrates the “Give Back” project: Principal Debbie Sayers; art teachers Vicki May and Paula Goepfert; and Les Johnston (Class of 1972).

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.

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