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Portal to honor two teachers
Ceremony is Saturday for Franklin Coleman, Viola Brack
Viola Stewart Brack
Viola Stewart Brack - photo by Special
    Portal’s Franklin Coleman Memorial Field dedication is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the high school baseball field.  
    The Booster Club and Portal Middle/High School have purchased a granite memorial in Coleman’s honor as well as a granite memorial bench honoring Viola Stewart Brack.  Each retired with more than 40 years of dedication as top-quality educators in the Portal School system.  
    And, sadly, both were buried within the past few months.
    Coleman was reared near Rocky Ford and came to Portal to teach school after he graduated from Georgia Teachers College in 1958. He married Portal’s Martha Sue Parrish and taught for a few years in Reidsville.
    When Coleman did arrive at Portal High, it didn’t take him long to become completely absorbed in the school and other community activities.  Although a brilliant math teacher, Coleman’s range of teaching subjects also included typing, drivers’ education, and baseball and girls’ basketball coaching.
    Gradually, he began PA announcing at football and baseball games and posting game scores. Next he began emceeing special events such as beauty pageants and other special community events.  
    Coleman loved his children – son Al and daughter Melissa. He loved his home, family and his dogs.  He also loved telling and hearing amusing stories, and he loved to grow roses.
    According to Melissa, “Al and I got our voices from mom, but we got the strength of our voices from our dad.  We used to sing along with mom and Aunt Linda Parrish Hunnicutt (mom’s sister), for funerals, weddings, etc.”
    Viola Stewart Brack grew up in the Portal community, graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Georgia Southern College in 1951. During her teaching career, she taught two years at Westside and then started teaching in Portal in 1952. She taught the 4th grade until 1956. After one year teaching 5th grade, she taught the 7th until 1967 and the 8th for the next two years. Brack taught high school history from 1969 until she retired in 1997.
    Brack earned a masters degree in elementary education from GSC in 1964 and later pursued an advanced degree in history education.
    She was married to the late Robert  I. Brack, Sr.  and they had one son, Robert  I. Brack, Jr.  She had five grandchildren - Michelle Brack, Kelly Brack Spence, Ashley Brack Thompson, Paige Brack, and Austin Brack. Kelly and Paige are currently teachers at Portal, while Ashley teaches at Julia P. Bryant Elementary.
    According to granddaughter Kelly, “For the majority of her life it was school, school, school!  During the school year her schedule was dictated by classes, lesson plans, and grading papers. She loved her job and took the greatest care planning and preparing. When she was not teaching, she loved to read, shop, and take care of her yard. She loved to plant beautiful flowers and enjoyed tending to them,” she added.
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