Mrs. Pearl Barrette Tribute

The Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation recently held a celebration for the 2015

class of the Rutherford County Schools Hall-of-Fame. Mrs. Pearl Gold Barnette is one of the five inductees.


Barnette fell in love with the art of teaching and the idea of molding young lives. After graduating

from college in 1946, she began her 32-year teaching career at the combined Union Mills Public

School and Alexander Schools, Incorporated. A home economics teacher, Barnette brought her

classroom alive with limited resources.


Beyond teaching students to cook, sew and become independent adults, she believed in

teaching them valuable life lessons and spent extra hours after school with her students to

ensure they were prepared to become independent adults. Barnette found purpose and reward

in mentoring the boarding school students, particularly those who were orphaned, to help them

overcome their unique barriers.


In 1976, Barnette was selected as Rutherford County Schools Teacher of the Year. As an active

member of the Union Mills community, she encouraged her students to follow her example of

community engagement. She received the Community Development Club’s Woman of the Year

in 1984, the Leadership Award in 1992, the regional Community Development Award in 1998 and

a dedication award from the Alexander Schools Alumni in 2013.


Several of Barnette’s former students attended the ceremony to see her inducted. “I’m grateful

for my students here. I loved every one of them and if they don’t stop having birthdays they are

going to catch up with me”, Barnette said. “It’s been a wonderful night and I appreciate all of the

work that went into this.”


Each of the inductees will have a permanent plaque placed in the board room at Cool Springs

Administrative Offices.

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