Harold Morrell, an Elizabethton resident and one of the four original faculty members employed at the State Area Vocational Technology School in Elizabethton, was honored Tuesday by faculty, staff, students and friends at a “second retirement” celebration.
Morrell joined the faculty on July 2, 1979, and served as the school’s welding instructor for 24 years until he retired on June 30, 2003. Dale Hicks, one of Morrell’s students, succeeded him as welding instructor.
Even in retirement, Morrell continued to provide advice and counsel to a countless number of students and adults the past 10 years while serving as a part-time student recruiter for the Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton, now known as the Tennessee College of Applied Technology Elizabethton.
“The time has come for me to devote more time to my family and take care of my chores around the house,” Morrell said. “I have enjoyed working at the technology center and directing prospective students toward the training program best suited for them, based on their background, experience and future aspirations.”
Morrell praised the school where he has worked for so long.
“Carter County is fortunate that the vocational technical school was located in Elizabethton, thanks to State Sen. Herman Robinson of Elizabethton, and that a $16 million construction project is underway at the Ma
in Campus on Highway 91, thanks to State Rep.
Kent Williams, former speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives,” Morrell stated. “I believe residents in our community, and those in surrounding counties, are not fully aware of the impact the school has had on so many people. The school has changed people’s lives. I have witnessed that. It is a big asset to the area.”
TCAT Director Dean Blevins praised Morrell for his unfaltering discipline in the classroom, teaching students the necessary job skills to be welders, and encouraging students to be reliable, dependable and successful in their future employment.
State Rep. Kent Williams presented Morrell with a House-Sen
ate Joint Resolution commending his service to the state, his country and students.
Morrell attended Hunter Elementary and Unaka High Schools in Carter County prior to enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in March of 1960. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in March 1964, holding the rank of Corporal E-4.
Morrell attended the Johnson City Vocational School from 1966 to 1968 to obtain welding certification and was enrolled in the bachelor of science degree program in education at the University of Tennessee from 1980 to 1982.
Morrell began his employment with the State Area Vocational Tec
hnical School, the forerunner of the Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton, and became one of the four original faculty members employed at the school at the time. He received welding certification from the American Welding Society and American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1980.
Morrell received tenure on July 1, 1985, became an intermediate teacher on July 1, 1986, and senior instructor on July 1, 1997, prior to retirement on June 30, 2003.
He has continued to provide advice and counsel to countless numbers of high school students in Northeast Tennessee while serving as a student recruiter for the Tennessee Technology Center at Elizabethton.
Morrell and his wife, Shirley, are the parents of two children, Greg and Melissa.
They also have four grandchildren.