Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame- Class of 2017
The Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame (HEHOF) announced its selections for the Class of 2017. The
inductees are Mary Dayton Morrow, Dr. Franklin Penn, Catherine Ann Sims, Dr. Carlton Smith, and Jimmy Yarbrough. These educators will be inducted into the HEHOF on June3, 2017, at the second annual Hall of Fame Banquet at the Burleson Center. Guest speaker will be Channel 19 News Anchor and Hartselle graduate, Greg Screws. Tickets are available at a cost of $25 each and may be purchased at the Hartselle City Schools Central Office. All profits from the banquet and ad sales for the printed program will be equally divided between the Hartselle Alumni Association and the Morgan County Task Force. In its first year the Educator Hall of Fame was able to contribute $5,000 dollars to each of these organizations to benefit Hartselle students.
The Educator Hall of Fame was established to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the education of students who have attended Hartselle schools. Last year’s inaugural class consisted of ten members. This year, five former educators were selected for this honor by the Hartselle Educator Hall of Fame Committee.
Mary Morrow’s teaching career covered 34 1⁄2 years with 20 of those years in Hartselle. She taught 9th Grade English, Honors (Pre-AP) English and Folklore. Morrow is remembered by her students for her fairness and that she would always listen to them and treated them as adults. She stressed mythology and writing skills to prepare her students for college. Her Folklore class was a favorite with a wide variety of unusual topics and hands on activities.
Dr. Franklin Penn devoted 49 years of his life to the Hartselle system, beginning as a classroom teacher, then becoming a counselor, and finally moving to the central office where he served in several capacities in special education. He was very knowledgeable of emotional needs and educational disorders of students and helped inform and advise parents, students, and the school system regarding the best course of action for these students.
Catherine Ann Sims was a science and biology teacher at the high school for over 30 years. While being an excellent classroom teacher, perhaps Sims is best remembered for the countless hours given to students outside of the classroom. She was a cheerleader sponsor for 18 years, senior class sponsor, and gladly did any other task after regular school hours that benefited her students. Students affectionately called her "Momma Sims" because they could always go to her for advice.
Dr. Carlton Smith served as Hartselle’s first superintendent of education when Hartselle left the Morgan County System in 1975 and established its own city system. His leadership led to a smooth transition and the Hartselle System grew and prospered during his nine-year tenure. Smith considers his years in Hartselle as the most exciting part of his long educational career. He modestly cites the support of the Hartselle Board of Education and the community as the key to the success of the fledging system and fondly remembers Hartselle as a unique town that was always willing to support its youth whatever the cost.
Jimmy Yarbrough taught eighth grade science at Hartselle Junior High for 30 years. He was noted for making learning interesting and fun and for building good rapport with his students. Along with subject matter, he incorporated life lessons into his curriculum. He got to know his students on an individual basis, thus building a mutual respect. Yarbrough encouraged his students to think by questioning and posing real life problems to solve.