By Ralphine Major
“The staff and I feel that Corryton Elementary School is quite possibly the best kept secret in Knox County,” Principal Aaron Maddox said about the rural school that sits at the base of House Mountain in the northeast part of the county. As I stepped through the doorway of the school, I began to understand his comment. I stopped in amazement at the scene that greeted us. It was like going back in time. The archway in the lobby adds architectural charm to the quaint school. It leads to the welcome sign high above the tall, beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the hallway. The popular principal gave us a brief history lesson about the structure. Corryton Elementary was built in 1936, and the school still has the original hardwood floors.
It was “Pajama Day” on the Friday that we visited. Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, creator and co-authors Wayne and Ralphine Major invited Guest Reader Barbara Wheeler Tipton to share “Piddle Diddle’s Lost Hat“ with a roomful of well-behaved students. This is the first book of the series about the mischievous penguin, now a registered trademark. It was an extra-special day of reading! An anonymous donor had purchased books for the entire kindergarten class so each of the nearly 40 students would get a book to take home!
Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, authors wish to thank Principal Maddox, his staff, and the children for a fun-filled morning in a very special place; Barbara Wheeler Tipton for lending her experience to share the story of how Piddle Diddle, the Widdle Penguin, found her favorite Santa hat; and a huge “thank you” to the anonymous donor for giving so generously the gift of reading!