(1932–2000)

By William F. Hanna

In June 2000, ten teachers retired from the Taunton public school system, but only nine of them thought it was something to celebrate. The tenth was Hattie Williams Cunningham, a veteran teacher who, but for the illness that was stealing her life away, would have happily remained in her first-grade classroom for a much longer time. Her departure robbed not only her students but the whole community of a woman whose life was shaped by struggle, hard work, and hope for the future. Perhaps most important, her experiences as a…