An Excerpt from the Recollections of Evelyn Hayden Hodge written in August 1982:
"…At the end of my third year at West Huntsville, Mr. Fain asked if I would teach the third grade at Rison. I accepted, and in the fall of 1931 I began my happy association with the pupils, faculty, and parents of Rison High School.
Times were hard then, as the Great Depression was in full sway. The State only had funds to run the schools for seven months. I recall that we at Rison ran the full nine-month term but the pupils had to pay tuition for the last two months. I also remember that during those trying times, the State did not always have the money to pay the teachers. One year we were given warrants or script, in lieu of our regular paychecks, for three months. These warrants were to have been redeemed a year hence.
It was somewhere around 1934 or 1935 that Mr. Fain decided that Rison should have a Parent Teacher Association. He appointed Miss Cecil Mitchell, Miss Edith Womack, and me to serve as a committee to organize one. There we were - three young, single women, who had never even attended a P.T.A. meeting. Since I was the chairman, I began to look around for someone to help us get started. I contacted Mrs. Claude Davis, who was then serving as president of the City Council of P.T.A.’s, and she helped us immeasurably. We called an organizational meeting and elected a slate of officers. I don’t recall the names of any of the officers, except that of Mrs. Elbert Reese, who served as our first president.
I married Francis S. Hodge of Knoxville, Tennessee. We had two children, a daughter, Glenda, and a son, Ronald. I retired from teaching for about ten years to devote my time and attention to my children.
By then the Arsenal had grown so that more teachers were needed, so Mr. Fain asked me back to Rison. For the next five years I taught the pupils of the first and second grades – some of whom were the children of pupils I had previously taught in the third grade.
I want to thank the Class of 1942 for honoring me this year. I feel both humble and proud to have shared even a small part in your lives. I love you and wish nothing but the very best for each of you…."