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Thank You, Compton High Tarbabes, You Saved Me!

The educational standards at Compton High School were (and hopefully still are) more difficult than people imagine them to be. My teachers were strict, hard, and caring. They wanted what was best for me as well as my fellow students. They believed we were more than the labels placed on us by the world outside Compton. To them, we were stars—celestial beings with unlimited potential.

Mrs. Maxine Kemp, my Biology teacher, was one of those educators who believed in each student’s potential. The Dean of Students and Assistant Principal Mrs. Leatrice Joy Jones was another educator who cared and helped to shape who I am today. Both of these beautiful, dedicated, and professional educators worked for over four decades in the Compton Unified School District, mainly at Compton High School. In fact, Mrs. Maxine Kemp (as of January 2019) is still there to this day inspiring yet another generation of Compton youth.

Mrs. Maxine Kemp and Mrs. Leatrice Joy Jones were always there for me, even long after the school dismissal bell had rung. They both had and continue to have a profound impact on my life. Thirty plus years after graduating from Compton High, when I had some personal problems (ones that rocked my world to the core), they both jumped in and helped. No questions, no judging, just wisdom, guidance, and love. They even went so far as to reach deep into their own pockets and help keep my home from going into foreclosure. They are my teaching angels.

In closing, I would like to mention other members of the Tarbabes family who were there for me as well during my darkest hour: Duane Phillips, Lady Mac, Jimmy Smith, Leatrice Denise Cartwright, Jerome Washington, Darrel Barnes, Darrel Hooker, Ray Young, Cavelle Weeks, Joe Huber Jr., Brian Evans, my Aunt Fannie, my Aunt Annie and her family, my cousin Edna Jones and many more. Thank you all. Thank you for always being there and always believing in me. I wouldn’t have made it without you!

Thank You, Compton High Tarbabes, You Saved Me!

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