Harrodsburg school renamed in honor of longtime principal

July 29, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - It turns out that Hughes Jones dislikes changing names of buildings, but Wednesday he accepted the change of the name of the building where he worked to the Hughes Jones Harrodsburg Area Technology Center.

The announcement of the change came at a reception honoring Jones on his retirement after 28 years as principal of the school that now bears his name.

The school serves the three school systems in Mercer County and the Anderson County schools. The four superintendents, Sonny Fentress of Anderson County, Richard Webb of Burgin, H.M. Snodgrass of Harrodsburg and Bruce Johnson of Mercer County, were on hand for the get-together and all praised Jones' work with the technology center he served for so long.

"We're losing a first-class educator," Webb said.

Snodgrass made the presentation and announcement of the name change and said the superintendents wanted to honor Jones in a way that went beyond words. He said they learned after they decided to change the name of the school that Jones did not like changing names of buildings, but he did not argue.


Rather than complain, Jones was clearly stunned into silence by the honor. When he found his voice, he said he felt like he was in a surreal dream and then said, "I certainly am honored. This is awesome.

"This school belongs to everyone in this room. Everyone in this room has played a part." On hand were teachers in the school, state vocational workers and representatives of industry.

Also present was Duane Flora, the person taking Jones' job as principal of the school. "It's good to be home," said Flora, who grew up in Mercer County and taught at the Harrodsburg school earlier in his career.

"Hopefully I can ride the shirttails of (Jones) and the staff," Flora said. "He is a great educator."

Before the reception got under way, Jones talked a little about his career in vocational education and the way it has changed. The school teaches the basics of welding, carpentry, automobile service and electricity.

Now the school is in a relationship with CISCO Systems and is teaching personal computer repair and Web design and works with Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.

While concern for vocational education has changed over the years, Jones said, "society seems to have decided what we are teaching here is what's needed." At 62, Jones said he wants to get back to the family farm in McAfee, but mostly he wants to spend more time with his children and grandchildren who live out of state.

"I'd rather spend time with kids than cows," he said.

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