Grady High School principal Betsy Bockman is shown with 2019 graduate Dale Turnipseed, who is holding a photo of 1946 Tech High graduate Jim Logan. To honor Logan on his 91st birthday, his family wanted to give a donation to a current APS student.  Bockman recommended Turnipseed. 

Their dad graduated 73 years ago. In his honor, they helped a 2019 APS grad

Grady High graduate touched by random act of kindness from a family in New Jersey

Jim Logan is a 1946 graduate of Tech High, a forerunner of today’s Grady High School in Atlanta. Living now in Princeton N.J., he turned 91 on June 29, and his daughter decided to do something special. 

Marcy Farrell recalled her dad’s abiding affection for Tech High, where he maintained perfect attendance, edited the school newspaper and participated in ROTC. 

Her father has outlived most of his friends and lost his sight. His memory is sporadic, although he still talks about Peeples Street Elementary, which closed in 1982. 

Farrell thought a random act of kindness toward a student walking a similar path to her dad might be a way to lift his spirits. Discovering Atlanta combined Tech High, its arch rival Boys High and Girls High in 1947 to create Grady High School, Farrell contacted Grady principal Betsy Bockman. 

Could Bockman suggest a graduate starting out to whom she and her sister Lisa could give a $150 donation in their father’s honor? 

Bockman and Grady have been working to find employment for graduates not quite ready for or interested in college. The principal told Farrell that one of those students, Dale Turnipseed, would be an ideal recipient. 

“We always hear so much about Boys High but APS' Tech High was also on the same campus and produced some very talented grads as well,” said Bockman. “Jim's daughter wanted to do something special for her dad's alma mater in his honor. Since he graduated from Tech High and Dale is going into the trades, I thought that was a great match.”

While 2019 Grady High grads received more than $23 million in scholarships, Bockman said graduates who are not college-bound also need support in realizing their ambitions.

“They want to work at a meaningful position first. Dale Turnipseed is just one example,” said Bockman. “He and a couple others have entry-level positions at the Howard building working with experienced people who are tutoring and mentoring them in the construction trades. Another recent grad just completed a construction internship with the new Central Library downtown and is looking to get on with a construction company as well.’’

The 19-year-old Turnipseed said he used the $150 gift for vital tools, including linesman pliers. On the job for more than a month already, the teen said he’s decided to become an electrician and is already doing electrical work at the Howard site. Next week, his job site will be his former APS elementary school, Humphries.

Turnipseed said he was grateful to learn ‘someone wanted to donate to me because they knew I was trying to work right out of high school.” 

Farrell said her father could sympathize with a graduate needing a boost. Raised by a divorced mom, he left Atlanta for New York three days after graduating Tech High. He wanted to attend Columbia University to study journalism, but the university told him servicemen returning from World War II had priority admissions.

He served in the Army where he developed a photo lab in Berlin used for military intelligence. He became a photographer, mostly in the motion picture industry, and had a rewarding career.

Jim Logan is a 1946 graduate of Tech High, a forerunner of today’s Grady High School in Atlanta. This is a photo from his high school years. 
Photo: Family photo

In a letter to Turnipseed, Farrell wrote, “My family hopes you have a successful apprenticeship. It is our understanding you will be working on the remodeling of the old Howard High School. Be proud of the work you do, on this job, and wherever life takes you.”

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About the Author

Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.