Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities

Town of Shorter and D.C. Wolfe Elementary Receive Story Book on School's Namesake

Town of Shorter and D.C. Wolfe Elementary Receive Story Book on School's Namesake

Auburn University students who participated in the 2021-22 Appalachian Teaching Project of the Appalachian Regional Commission learned about the life of Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe as part of their community development course with Dr. Mark Wilson and the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University.

Copies of one product from the semester, a 24-page illustrated booklet on the life and work of Dr. Wolfe, was recently provided to the Town of Shorter and D.C. Wolfe Elementary for use at the school and throughout the community. .  Student James O'Brian wrote the majority of the text.

Born in Cranford, New Jersey in 1916, Deborah Cannon graduated from Columbia University and moved to Macon County to work at Tuskegee Institute and at schools in the county, including Prairie Farms, for several years. Later in life, following a productive career that included work at Queens College in New York and the U.S. House of Representatives, Wolfe reflected in an interview that her time working in rural Alabama was formative in her development as an educator and advocate for education. 

The booklet, illustrated by artist Laura Murray, tells Wolfe’s story in first person at a second-grade reading level and includes historic photographs. 

“We were honored to work on this project with Deborah Wolfe’s son, Dr. Roy Partridge, Jr.,” says Dr. Mark Wilson, director of the Draughon Center, “and students in the course found his mother to be an inspiring leader with a unique and important story to tell.” 

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire future leaders of Alabama schools with the true to life story of our school's very first leader,” says TriShonne Cornelius, Principal of D.C. Wolfe School.  “I am thankful for Dr. Wilson's vision and the Auburn University students who worked tirelessly to bring her story alive through wonderful illustrations, actual portraits and an easy-to-follow storyline for all students to enjoy.  This is an example of the great things that can happen when schools, parents, local communities, and universities partner in the education of children.  Together we can ensure each child succeeds!” 

“I think this book is amazing,” says Town of Shorter Mayor Willie Mae Powell. “I love the art as well the detailed information on the life of Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe. I know the students will enjoy reading this book. We are thankful to everyone who participated in this project for giving everyone who has attended Deborah Cannon Wolfe something to be proud of both children and adults.”

Copies of the books will be distributed for student use at D.C. Wolfe Elementary School and available for purchase as a fundraiser for student programs. An online version of the book can be found at 


Mayor Willie Mae Powell, historian Dennis Powell, Principal TriShonne Tullos Cornelius


Last Updated: September 01, 2022