Longtime former Greene County school superintendent Howard McNeese, left, is shown with Dr. Joe Parkins, director of schools.
Parkins on Monday presented McNeese
a framed copy of the resolution recently passed by the Greene County Board of Education
that names the Greene County Educational Center on Hal Henard Road for McNeese
...Howard McNeese, a longtime former Greene County school superintendent, was honored Monday afternoon at a reception at the school system's central office.
The informal event, attended by nearly 30 school administrators and members of McNeese's family, acknowledged the Greene County Board of Education's recent vote
to name the Greene County Educational Center for McNeese
.The 85-year-old McNeese, who now lives in Hixson, near Chattanooga, was school superintendent for 23 years.Director of Schools Dr. Joe Parkins, whom McNeese had hired as a teacher at Camp Creek Elementary School in 1973, welcomed McNeese back to Greene County and joked, "I understand you're here to apply for my job,"
had been looking forward to coming back to his
offered many words of encouragement to the school board."I'm amazed at you people, and the diversity you have as board members," he said, noting that when he became superintendent, the board included eight farmers and one professional person.He
said the school board has the potential to be "one of the outstanding boards" in the state.
"It's just amazing what this board is going to do," he
said."It's going to take a lot of togetherness.You can't do it as individuals."McNeese
said, "The good things that will come of this will be amazing, and you'll be pleased with what you're doing.It won't be easy.You may not all agree on everything, but you'll gradually work it out."
"Keep looking out there to the future," he
said."Take a look down the road, and set a limited number of long-range of objectives," he
suggested, noting that some of those objectives would change before they are met.McNeese
follows local education news by reading The Greeneville Sun
appreciates the amount of education news that is published in the Sun, and knows of no other newspaper of its size that devotes as much space to education.
Speaking about the board's decision to name the educational center for him, McNeese
said, "I'm overwhelmed, really."
's son-in-law said McNeese loved the students, and he
has told his
family many good stories about Greene County
On April 2, the school board approved a resolution to name the educational center for McNeese
.Dr. Parkins read the resolution during the reception and presented McNeese
with a framed copy.
..."Whereas Mr. McNeese was a member of the Greene County School System for 26 years, beginning August of 1953, and served as a teacher and superintendent, and"Whereas Mr. McNeese was a pioneer in consolidating community schools, decreasing the number of county schools from 59 to 18, and"Whereas Mr. McNeese collaborated with other government agencies to establish the Greeneville-Greene County Center for Technology and the Cedar Creek Learning Center, expanding learning opportunities for students of all ages, and
...County School Board Chairman R.L. "Tom" Carpenter read some background information about McNeese.
...After graduating from Baileyton High School, McNeese worked at the Tennessee Eastman Corporation and spent four years in the U.S. Army prior to earning a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.He
taught in Oak Ridge for a few years and then returned to teach at his
old high school in Baileyton
McNeese was first elected Greene County school superintendent in 1956 and was re-elected without opposition for five additional four-year terms.
...In 1979, McNeese was appointed by the governor as the state's deputy commissioner of education.After leaving the Tennessee Department of Education, McNeese became manager of a public education television station in the Chattanooga area.
‘Will Never Be Surpassed'
"You took Greene County
from the dark ages to modern-day education," Parkins said, declaring that the school consolidation movement during McNeese's
administration was "a major feat."
...One of the two remaining finalists, Maryville High School Principal Dr. Kenneth Jarnagin, was present before and during the reception for McNeese and conversed informally with school board members and others during the afternoon.
...McNeese on Monday were Lena Ensor, a retired county school administrator, and her daughter, Teresa Taylor, principal of Chuckey Elementary School.
Ensor described McNeese
as "the most wonderful educator."