Page Chamberlain was "A Fine Man"

"A Fine Man"

The following article was written by Beth Fullerton upon Mr. Chamberlain’s retirement, for the 2002 CHS yearbook.

There are very few people who have influenced as many young people of Maury County as Page Chamberlain. After forty-one years of teaching (the first two at Santa Fe and the following thirty-nine at Central High School), “The Icon”, as Principal Eddie Hickman calls him, is retiring. There seems to be two phases of his career: the early years – when, to quote a recent Daily Herald article by county historian Bob Duncan, “His tests were designed to defeat an entire battalion of valedictorians and leave them humbled with tearful eyes and broken dreams.” And the later years – where students looked upon him as a favorite uncle to whom they could confide their deepest fears, dreams, and even their most mischievous hijinks.

                During the early phase he not only was adviser to the annual staff, he also sponsored the newspaper staff: A mammoth feat when one considers that he also taught a full schedule on top of those activities. Mostly, he taught English literature and American literature, but he also spent several years teaching high school civics and modern literature. Mr. Chamberlain has continued as adviser of the yearbook and at his retirement will have spent thirty-nine years producing this publication. In yearbook circles that is an almost unheard of accomplishment. Most yearbook advisers only last about five years, if that long.

                His later “mellower” stage is, in my opinion, even more impressive than the ferocious, early years. During the teenage years quite a few young people feel as if they have no one in whom they can trust. At CHS these young people trust Mr. Chamberlain. Often, Page takes a teenager, who for whatever reason is having a difficult time, and places him or her under his wing. He has been a safe haven for so many during these years. For example, there are students who would never have graduated had he not called them every morning to make sure they got up to come to school. He has also spent a great deal of time counseling those students who have less than stellar permanent behavior records. And let’s not forget his lasting friendship with Mason Greene. He is like a son to Mr. Chamberlain and to this day continues to confide in Page. Of course caring for them has had its painful moments as well. When a promising young man to whom Page was particularly close was killed by his own brother, Page grieved considerably. His generosity to his young friend continued after his death. Mr. Chamberlain was aware of the family’s circumstances and purchased the suit the boy wore to his grave.

                Mr. Chamberlain’s beautifully genteel Southern accent; his addiction to opera, bridge, and wrestling; his knowledge of “who your people are”; his love of animals; his staunch Methodist faith; and his proudly Democratic political views are what makes us love him so very, very much. Even though he will not regularly be present in these halls after this year, he has made his mark at this school, in this community, and in our hearts.