Kentucky Historical Society

Interview with Newton Thomas

Date of Interview: 

Tue, 05/28/2002

Collection: 

Interviewer: 

Interviewee: 

Call Number: 

1999OH01.85

Newton describes his strong educational experiences as a student in high school and college. Soon after graduation from Kentucky State he was recommended to become Principal of Horse Cave High School where he stayed for 20 years. Not only was he teacher and principal, but he started and coached several sports programs, especially a winning basketball program. He started a jazz band and was active in the Baptist Church although he was a Methodist. Newton was one of the first non-white students to get a Master's Degree from the University of Kentucky, in 1955, by going to summer sessions. His courses included one on Human Relations which helped him prepare his community to have a positive attitude toward coming integration. Newton tells how he became the first non-white to become a high school teacher in Kentucky when the new Caverna High School was created. Newton went on to the State Department of Education as Assistant and then Director of Equal Education from which he retired in 1977. He has continued to be active in the Methodist Church and community since his retirement. Transcript available.

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