Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation is proud to present...

Mar. 26, 2013 @ 05:20 AM

The Rutherford County Schools (RCS) Education Foundation has announced the names for the 2013 inaugural class of the Rutherford County Schools Hall of Fame.

Albert B. Bushong

Agriculture teacher at Ellenboro School from the mid-1920’s until 1960. He organized and coordinated the first Colfax Free Fair in 1929. He is most noted for his progressive agriculture practices, community involvement, first FFA chapter in Rutherford County, and receiving the highest honor an agriculture teacher could receive from peers in 1932 when he was named the Master Teacher of Vocational Agriculture in the South.

Dee C. Cole

Music director in Rutherford County Schools that spanned many years from the late 1910’s until 1959. He began school bands in seven Rutherford County communities (Avondale, Spindale, Forest City, Rutherfordton, Tri-High, Harris, and Cliffside). He directed or was part of several bands and orchestras in the area. He started the first all- county band in the 1940’s and taught thousands of students the art of music.

Dr. Bobby England

Volunteer, Rutherford County Schools Board of Education member, caring citizen, and county professional are only a few ways to describe his service to Rutherford County School students. He served on the Board of Education for over 20 years and was a constant advocate for improvement for children’s education, and he always gave of himself to ensure the initiatives were put into action. His support of the schools continued through his Representative service in Raleigh, and to this day, he continues to volunteer as an athletic doctor to students.

Jane S. Flack

A dedicated kindergarten teacher who gave her students a reason to love learning. Flack taught kindergarten for over 30 years, spanning from 1958-60 and 1970-2000. Understanding the importance of relevance and relationships, she visited every student’s family in their home before the first day of kindergarten. She taught at Forest City Elementary, Proctor, and Rutherfordton Elementary where she was named teacher-of- the-year. Upon her retirement, she was instrumental in the implementation of the McNair mentoring program where she volunteered for over 20 additional years.

Forrest W. Hunt

A Rutherford County Schools teacher, principal, and superintendent from 1934-1972. Although a very successful baseball player, his first love was education. His leadership was instrumental in a successful consolidation of schools and integration of students. His love for the Rutherford County students was a catalyst for his involvement in the founding of Isothermal Community College. He was known as a “gentleman in charge” and compiled many local and state accolades in his educational career.

Robert & Janice McNair

These names have become synonymous with students’ pursuit of post-secondary education in Rutherford County Schools. The Robert & Janice McNair Education Foundation is unique to Rutherford County Schools and is a model for student mentoring programs across the nation. The programs initiated by their education foundation provide guidance, academic support, post-secondary opportunities, and scholarships among a list of many other benefits to students. As a former student of Rutherford County, McNair, along with his wife Janice, continue to invest in the future of our greatest asset, our youth. They strive to remove barriers that would prohibit the students of Rutherford County Schools from attending college.

Roger T. Petty

Former teacher, principal, and 17-year superintendent, Mr. Petty served during a period of major restructuring of the educational services and facilities of the county schools. As a principal he implemented the first kindergarten services in Rutherford County, ensuring that students had the proper foundation upon which to build a successful educational career. Named superintendent in 1987, he then was responsible for oversight of the Rutherford County Schools facility transformation in the 1990’s. He also was very instrumental in founding and structuring the McNair Educational Foundation in the county.

J.J. Tarlton

Former principal of Hollis School from 1925-1931, Harris School from 1931-1934, Cliffside in 1934, and Rutherford County Schools Superintendent from 1934-1961. He supervised the merger of the city and county school systems in Rutherford and was instrumental in the building of the original R-S Central High as well as Chase High. A constant advocate for better education for students, he was very active in church and community organizations. Later in his career, he led the steering committee for the establishment of Isothermal Community College.

Henrietta C. Twitty

An educator ahead of her time. Although teaching at Dunbar and Proctor, Twitty is best known as a teacher in The Grahamtown School from the 1920’s until the late 60’s. She mainly taught 6th and 7th grade. She was known to follow and enhance the prescribed school curriculum by making the learning relevant to her students by incorporating African American History and Culture into her lessons. She was very well rounded and even incorporated vocational education into her core curriculum. She had a passion for all her students to learn and succeed. Many doctors, artists, authors, and other professionals attribute the foundation of their success to her classroom.

These inductees will be recognized at the first Rutherford County Schools Hall-of-Fame Gala on Saturday, April 13 at 5 p.m. The ceremonies will be take place at the Carolina Event & Conference Center beginning at 5 p.m. A reception to welcome the inductees and/or their families will be held from 5-5:45 p.m. Dinner and ceremonies will begin at 5:45 pm.

The public is invited to attend and may reserve tickets until Thursday, March 28 by calling or emailing Kevin Bradley at 828-288-2340 or Tickets may also be reserved online by following the links at