The Tanner Key: When Jim Tanner retired from Cotting School in June 2020, he donated the key to his first classroom in Boston to be displayed on the Cotting School history wall.

At Cotting School we herald the long tenure many of our teachers and staff celebrate. In September of 2020 we were proud to unveil a new item permanently installed as part of the Cotting School History Wall Display in the main school building of our current location in Lexington, Massachusetts. The new installation features a key to one of the classrooms from the original Cotting School building located at 241 St. Botolph Street in Boston, Massachusetts. They key was used for many years by Jim Tanner, an extraordinary educator who retired from Cotting School in June of 2020.

In 1974, Jim Tanner, an education major at Curry College, needed a student teacher placement to complete his degree requirements. Having graduated in 1970 from what was then called “The Industrial School” (later to be renamed Cotting School), he arrived in Ellie Lloyd’s classroom for what he imagined would be a brief 3-month placement. That was not to be.

In 2020, Jim retired after 45 years of exemplary service having served as a teacher, basketball coach, director of summer programs, and director of pre-vocational services. In 1988 when our school moved from 241 St. Botolph Street in Boston to Lexington, Jim was instrumental in bringing the “Cotting Way” from our urban roots to this campus.