John Black's Retirement Celebration

John Black's Retirement Celebration
Posted on 05/22/2016
black retiring

HPS Superintendent, Dr. Robbie Adell, presented the Governor's Award "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" to John Black during Mr. Black's retirement celebration.

Dr. Adell shared the following words:


"Not many school teachers start out their careers thinking beyond the immediate need for supplies, maintaining discipline—and creating engaging lesson plans.

For young teacher, John Black, who spent his first four years of teaching in Ohio, he was probably like most of us: “Let me get through just one more day!”

But he stuck it out. He loved the kids! Wherever Mr. Black journeyed…hugs were plentiful! His trademark was observed in every classroom—and down every hallway.

John Black truly loves children. He cares about their learning, their lives—and their futures. And the most rewarding part—the kids love him, too!

That’s why today, after 35 years in education, with 31 in North Carolina—and all 31 years with Hickory Public Schools – we must celebrate the journey of this excellent educator!

And so going back to that first year of school in Ohio – a young Mr. Black never envisioned that he would one day be selected as the Principal of the Year—for the State of North Carolina!

From this relatively small district in Hickory, North Carolina—where John Black had been elected TWICE by his peers to serve as the district’s principal of the year, the State of North Carolina, in 2004, chose him as the best of the best!

Mr. Black has led as principal of three schools with our district—starting at Southwest in 1990, Longview in 1996 (where he helped lead the school to recognition as a National Title 1 Distinguished School) and Jenkins in 2012.

He was also an assistant principal at Hickory High—where he had previously served as a social studies teacher.

And now, after serving education for a grand total of 35 years—and raising five boys with his lovely wife, Cheryl, John Black has decided to try new adventures outside of the classroom.

What will be his next venture? It could be fishing and camping for the rest of his years. And why not?  He deserves every opportunity to enjoy leisure time with his family.

Whatever he decides to do—we are confident that John Black will be successful, joyful and share his passion for helping others.

In recognition of his steadfast service to the children of North Carolina—and in particular, Hickory Public Schools, we present this special plaque from the Governor of North Carolina:

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor—and is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state.

Congratulations, Mr. Black—thank you and we wish you the very best!"

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