Who We Are

The Tate's School Story

In the early 60’s, Lou L Tate, her husband, Joe, and the family’s two daughters moved to Knoxville from Arkansas. As teachers, both Lou L and Joe became involved in education upon settling-in to the community. With two little girls about to enter pre-school, it didn’t take Lou L long to realize that she was not satisfied with the educational alternatives available in the area at the time.

With little available money, Lou L had to figure out how to create the school she envisioned in her mind. As it turned out, the area church she and her family attended, Erin Presbyterian Church, had just completed adding additional space but did not have any furniture for the new rooms. Lou L approached the church and asked if she could provide furniture, could she use the 3 rooms as a pre-school and kindergarten. The church said yes. Upon getting approval, she then approached a school office supply company and told them that she had space – but no furniture. The store agreed to give her the necessary furniture on credit.

The year was 1968 when Tate’s School, operating from a local church, first began teaching. Aside from the family’s two daughters, which later became three daughters, and several children from the congregation, the school began with a handful of students. To get the word out about the school, Lou L and Joe would put the two girls in their car seats after dinner and drive area neighborhoods putting flyers in mailboxes. It wasn’t long before Tate’s School began to flourish.

Along the way, Lou L and Joe began to buy property that would eventually become a full-fledged school campus. From humble beginnings in an ancillary room in a church to a sprawling 52-acre campus adjacent to Cedar Bluff and Bob Gray Roads in west Knoxville, Tate’s School now provides education for children ages pre-K through eighth grade.

A team of fully credentialed teachers, state accreditation, eager students, involved parents, caring staff, challenging curriculum, art, music, three salt water swimming pools, library, classrooms, archery range, obstacle course, outdoor garden, computer lab, playgrounds, pond, and other amenities all blend together to create an environment of inspiration and positive challenges where children are taught how to excel. Tate’s School is the realization of educational excellence that Lou L imagined from the beginning - and dedicated a lifetime to bring into existence.