Ms. Lane The Lion Queen
While visiting Columbia Central High to talk to a coach and a couple of her players, I had the pleasure of unexpected company.
While waiting for the players to arrive, I noticed a woman who looked very official wearing a stop watch, school ID, and whistle hanging around her neck connected by a lanyard.
We struck up a conversation as I introduced myself to her and vice versa. Within just a couple of minutes I quickly realized I was speaking to Lion Royalty.
Her name is Ms. Lane.
For an amazing forty-four years Ms. Lane has been the Physical Education teacher at Columbia Central but that’s not all.
My reply was “tell me more” as Ms. Lane went on to describe driving the athletic teams to their various events, mainly the girls’ soccer team, bowling teams and of course her own tennis team. Ms. Lane also would substitute for the basketball teams when needed.
Ms. Lane, a 1965 graduate of Columbia Central High recalls the school back then. “This was the 22nd district back then. Nobody had a school like ours. All the tournaments were held here, we could hold more people than anybody else, and we were a state of the art facility”
Standing in the original gym, Ms. Lane talked about her days as a Lady Lion “the only thing available to girls in 1965 was basketball or cheerleading that was all”
Ms. Lane pointed out some covered skylights, still visible in the gym today “We were the only school to ever have a basketball game rained out. The skylights were leaking so bad they had to call the game.” said Ms. Lane.
I also learned that the floor that the Lions play on today is the original floor that Ms. Lane played on as a basketball player at Columbia Central.
“Back then we played three on three. We didn’t play full court either. There were three forwards and three guards at that time.” said Ms. Lane
Ms. Lane’s team was pretty good winning the district championship her senior year. Ms. Lane recalls “back then Lewisburg was the big strong team and playing against a Fred Shelton team was fun. Coach Shelton was an unbelievable coach then”
After graduating high school, Ms. Lane went onto Lamouth and ended up playing intramural basketball since there was no girl’s college basketball offered at that time. Eventually Ms. Lane graduated from MTSU with a teaching degree in Physical Education.
Ms. Lane wasted no time in getting back to work “I graduated on a Saturday and started work the following Monday at Columbia Central high. Ms. Ramsey was my basketball coach in high school who I taught with for the next 20 years here in this gym”
Ms. Lane has devoted an amazing forty-four years of teaching at Columbia Central High. When asked did she ever think she would be there for forty-four years and counting she replied “This is not what I do, this is what I am. I do what I preach, I run; I exercise with these girls all the time, so this is not just a job”
For over four decades Ms. Lane has be an incredible influence on so many students that have had her as a teacher, coach or bus driver. “I have taught some kids third generation. It helps to know the community and their parents. We have a good community and a good school” said Ms. Lane
Ms. Lane practices what she preaches when it comes to physical education. If you are a student in Ms. Lanes physical education class you can depend on the following.
“Well the first thing is you have to have a gym suit. We dress out every day. I take the kids on field trips because we are on the block. Because I have a 90 minute block, and I drive the bus we can do many things related to physical education like skating and bowling that’s my carrot. You come to my class, dress out and work hard your get rewarded besides a good grade, you get to go on a field trip “explained Ms. Lane
Ms. Lane has her class run; do light weights, stretching exercises, and jump rope, tennis, volleyball and basketball skill workouts. “Believe me, when they leave my class they know how to make a layup, when they leave me they know how to pass the ball, when they leave me they know how to hit a tennis ball and keep score” said Ms. Lane
Lastly, I asked Ms. Lane to give me three words to best describe her. She smiled, paused and then called several girls over to us. Ms. Lane repeated my question to the girls and asked them what she should say.
Carol a second year student was the first to respond, than Emily and Macy all started with rapid fire responses. “Beautiful, caring, supportive, loving, energetic, outgoing, always on the move”
It’s pretty easy to understand what Ms. Lane has meant to so many students, faculty and administrators over the years at Columbia Central high.
Ms. Lane’s students do leave her when they graduate, but Ms. Lane never leaves them. Her passion for teaching and love for her students is who she is, and not what she does.