Fourth grade students at Notasulga Elementary School learned of the achievements of Isaac Scott Hathaway on Wednesday, October 16 with a presentation led by Dr. Mark Wilson and graduate assistant Blake Evans. Born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1872, Hathaway was an artist and educator who created masks and busts of important African American leaders, and he was the designer of the first two U.S. coins to feature black Americans. He taught art at several colleges around the United States, and he was the first African-American to teach at Auburn University. Visit www.isaacscotthathaway.wordpress.com for more information on Hathaway.
Mrs. Samuel’s fourth grade students are learning Alabama history this year, and they have learned a great deal already about the Creek War and Alabama geography. When Hathaway was around the age of these students, he decided he wanted to become an artist and make a contribution to the world through art. He figured out how to use his talent to make a living, and he spent most of his life teaching others how to do the same. Hathaway was a ceramics artist, so students had a chance to paint a small sculpture of an insect or shell, adding their own artistic flair to their subject. The day concluded with the students receiving buttons which were modeled after one of the two coins Hathaway designed during his lifetime. The button, just like the coin, portrays the likeness Booker T. Washington on the front. The students will wear their buttons as a reminder of the inspirational Isaac Scott Hathaway, and his memory should serve as motivation to pioneer excellence through every action of their daily lives.