By Mike Steely

Senior Writer

If you are a graduate of any Knox County school you may be interested in the Knox County Museum of Education, next to Old South High School. The volunteer-operated, non-profit museum has just about everything, from high schools annuals to letter sweaters, from current and former county schools.

Until this year, the 15-year-old institution relied on donations and their annual Sock Hop for funding. No one danced this year due to the event being canceled because of the pandemic. That leaves Director Benna van Vuuren, the volunteers and the museum in a financial bind. It reopened June 5 and is open four days a week with a regular schedule of normal business hours starting August 1.

“Now, more than ever, we need your donations,” Ms. van Vuuren said, adding, “be it a one-time gift or continuous annual or monthly amount.

“We are desperate for volunteers, there is so much to do. We have received a plethora of new donations and are eager to get them on display.”

The museum lost three loved ones over the past year, Beecher Clapp, D. M. Miller and Max Ramsey.

van Vuuren said that although the museum space is furnished by the county school system, which also does maintenance, overhead, phones, etc., the monetary contributions are needed to operate, order supplies, purchase equipment, build new displays and pay salaries.

“You can become a Friend of the Museum, adopt a display case, and join us this fall in a podcast ’Old School.’

“Please come by and see us for yourself, pick up our newsletter, sign our guest book, check out our Book and Gift Shop, make a donation, bring in your school memorabilia to donate to the collection,” she said.

Donations can be mailed to Knox County Museum of Education, 801 Tipton Avenue, Knoxville, Tn. 37920. People can go online to the museum’s Facebook page and donate directly there. You may contact the museum at (865)579-8264 or