Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Oneida/Huntsville celebrated 50 years this past Tuesday night. There are 27 TCATs in Tennessee, but the Oneida/Huntsville campus is unique in the school’s origin. Senator George Alvin Terry represented Scott County in the Tennessee Senate when the funding for the area vocational schools was approved in 1966. Senator Terry was able to leverage his vote to assure Scott County got one of the new schools. This school was also unique in the fact that the Oneida Special School District donated the property and was the governing agency when the school opened in January 1967. The Oneida Special School District Board of Education consisted of W. Claude Terry, Jr., Mrs. Alta Carson, L. E. Stanley, and Dr. Milford Thompson. This Board had the insight to partner with the State of Tennessee to provide all of Scott County the opportunity to have the new technical school. All Tennessee counties wanted vocational schools, but the partnership and cooperation of the State Department of Education and the Oneida Special School District allowed Scott County to be a site of one of the original area vocational schools.
Tuesday night was a wonderful night honoring those with the foresight to establish this area vocational school, now college; and giving honor to the staff and students from the beginning throughout the 50 years history of the institution. TCAT-Oneida/Huntsville’s 2016 Outstanding Student of the Year, Latasha Cross, welcomed the attendees on behalf of the students and Institutional Advisory Committee Chairman Greg Jeffers led prayer. Director Dwight Murphy presided over the celebration with retired Director Arvis Blakley and retired Assistant Director Norina Litton addressing the crowd. Retired Assistant Director Litton stated, “During the 41 years working with this college, I've had the opportunity to visit our businesses, offices, banks, community organizations, and manufacturing companies and to see our students working in the field they were trained, advancing in that field, or using the training as a foundation for other opportunities. It's a heartwarming feeling. Now we are celebrating
50 years of inspiring individuals to achieve their goals and beyond
50 years of community leadership
50 years of preparing and supporting our community's success
50 years of improving the quality of life for so many
50 years of providing hope where sometimes that hope seemed nonexistent
I am just so proud and humbled to have been a part in the lives of so many of our students, employers, our staff and our college.”
Extending his appreciation for the present and past staff and students of TCAT-Oneida/Huntsville for reaching this 50 year milestone was Tennessee Board of Regents Vice Chancellor of TCATs, James King. Then 1966 to now 2016 -“WorkFORCE development; it’s what we do!”
Picture .2 Representing the W. Claude Terry, Jr., member 1966 Oneida Special School District Board of Education, and Senator George Alvin Terry family members (L to R) daughters of W. Claude Terry, Jr., Patricia Terry Walls and Dr. Gail Terry; daughter of Senator George Alvin Terry, Stephanie Terry Faulkner; wife of W. Claude Terry, Jr., Fayrene Terry and son Claude Terry III; daughter of Senator George Alvin Terry, Saralee Terry Woods.
Picture .4 Retirees honored at the TCAT-Oneida/Huntsville 50 year celebration (L to R) Becky West, Account Clerk Supervisor; Second Director, but held the longest tenure, Arvis Blakley; Vivian Bowling, First Office Occupations Instructor and then Counselor; Sue Dourm, License Practical Nurse Instructor; Norina Litton, Second Office Occupations Instructor then Counselor and retired as Assistant Director; Elmer Jeffers, Maintenance. Pictured with the honorees (far left) is current Director Dwight Murphy, joined by (far right) current TBR Vice Chancellor, James King.
Picture .6 In front of the TCAT-Oneida/Huntsville cake is the family of the first hired employee, George Cross. (L to R) Front row are grandsons Noah and Jonah Donock. Back row are daughter-in-law and son Carmelita and Steve Cross, wife Ann Cross, and daughters Jane Cross and Beth Cross Donock.