Hall of Honor 2017 Inductees

Dr. Helen P. Hall

  • Helen Phillips Hall Helen Phillips Hall, daughter of Verner and Margaret Phillips, shared growing up in Caldwell County with four sisters and one brother. She graduated from Freedman High School in 1962. Thereafter, she achieved the Bachelor of Arts Degree at North Carolina Central University, formerly known as North Carolina College at Durham (1966). From Appalachian State University she achieved the Master of Arts Degree in Gifted and Talented Education (1983), the Specialist in Education Degree (1987), and the Doctor of Education in Education Leadership (2001). She graduated with honors from the North Carolina Institute of Government’s Principals’ Executive Program (1991).

    Helen Hall’s experiences as a teaching professional include positions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools; Hertford County Schools; Augusta, Georgia; Ansbach, Germany; Hertzo Base, Germany; Prince William County, Virginia; Caldwell County Schools; Appalachian State University; and Lenoir-Rhyne University. She taught language arts and social studies courses primarily.

    After receiving exceptional recognition as teacher of the gifted and academically talented at William Lenoir Middle School, she was chosen to serve as Caldwell County’s Instructional Resource Consultant for the Academically Gifted. As a school administrator, she served as assistant principal at Gamewell Middle School, principal at Valmead Elementary School, and principal at William Lenoir Middle school. In district-wide administration, she served as Caldwell County Schools Personnel Administrator.  Expanding her career of over 34 years, she chose the role of adjunct professor at both Appalachian State University and Lenoir-Rhyne University serving aspiring teaching professionals. She helped develop the NCTEACH Program (North Carolina teachers of Excellence for All Children) at Lenoir-Rhyne and served as the Site Coordinator. Additionally, she was an instructional consultant in North Carolina’s New Schools Project.

    Helen Hall was selected as Caldwell County’s Principal of the Year and was further selected as the Northwest Educational Region’s Principal of the Year (1991-92). She served eight years on the Board of Education of Caldwell County Schools and also served on the Board of Directors of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Board of Governors of the Governor’s Schools of North Carolina, Caldwell County’s Hospice Board, and the Board of Directors of the Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Council. She received Distinguished Woman of the Year Award presented by former Governor Jim Hunt; represented Caldwell County Schools as Gifted Teacher of the Year; served on task forces on Gifted Education for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Dr. Harley Edison Jolley

  • Dr. Harley Edison Jolley Harley Edison Jolley was born on July 5, 1920 in Hudson, North Carolina. He graduated as Valedictorian from Kings Creek High School in 1937. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps as a means of bettering himself and providing financial support to his mother Sallie. The positive attributes he developed during CCC membership would serve him well as he would join the United State Army Air Corps in 1939. 

    Harley was a member of the Headquarters Squadron 11th Bombardment Group at Hickham Field, located near Honolulu in the US Territory of Hawaii. He survived the attack by the Japanese on Hawaiian Air and Naval Bases surrounding Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. Continuing his enlistment throughout WWII, Harley was later redeployed in the European Theatre of the war, before finally returning home in 1945.

    Using his GI Bill benefits for advancing his education, he enrolled in Appalachian State Teachers College in Boone where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree and met his future bride Betty Cornette. He continued his education, earning his Master’s Degree at the University of Tennessee in 1949. That Fall, he began his tenure as a professor at Mars Hill College and on Christmas Eve of the same year, the beautiful Betty became his bride. While teaching at Mars Hill College, Harley continued his education with coursework at the University of North Carolina and later at Florida State University, becoming Dr. Jolley upon completion of his doctoral degree in 1964. In the meantime, Harley and Betty began to expand their family with the birth of their first son, Benjamin, in 1951, and later with the addition of Stuart in 1964. 

    In 1958, Harley began a second career as a Season Ranger for the National Park Service, serving as Park Historian for the Blue Ridge Parkway during his summers off from teaching at Mars Hill College. His work along the Parkway inspired him to write several books including The Blue Ridge Parkway, UT Press, 1969 and Blue Ridge Parkway: First Fifty Years, Appalachian Consortium Press, 1985. Additional books by Dr. Jolley, published after his retirement from Mars Hill College in 1991 include Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Westcliffe Publishers, in 1997, and most recently, That Magnificent Army of Youth and Peace: The Civilian Conservation Corps in North Carolina, 1933 – 1942, Historical Publications Section, NC Division of Archives & History, in 2007. Dr. Jolley has been included in several television documentary broadcasts produced for PBS. He was interviewed as an historical expert on the Great Depression and the Civilian Conservation Corp.     

    Harley E. Jolley continues to live in the home in Mars Hill where he and Betty raised their family. His son, Benjamin, and his wife Brenda have lived in the Charlotte area for many years as do their two sons, David and Christopher and David’s wife Britney. Dr. Jolley’s younger son, Stuart who has remained in Mars Hill even after college, his wife Jackie and their two sons, Samuel and Johnathan moved back in with Dr. Jolley after the loss of his wife of over 57 years in the summer of 2007.

Jack Hoke

  • Jake Hoke Jack Hoke is a Caldwell County native and 1970 graduate of Hibriten High School.  He graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and also received his Master's degree in Public School Administration and his Education Specialist degree in Public School Administration from Appalachian State University.

    He worked in the Caldwell County School system for 22 years, serving as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, and then as principal at Baton Elementary School, William Lenoir Middle School and Hibriten High School.  Following his tenure in Caldwell County, he served in the Alexander County School system for 15 years, first as Associate Superintendent, and then as Superintendent for 12 years. He retired from the public schools in 2012 with 36 years of service in education.  Following his retirement from public education, Jack was named Executive Director of the North Carolina School Superintendents' Association where he continues to provide professional development and mentoring to North Carolina superintendents, assistant and associate superintendents and aspiring superintendents.  He has also worked with Gardner-Webb University's Educational Leadership program as Quality Assurance Coordinator.

    During his career, Jack has been a part of numerous educational and community boards, committees, and organizations, including the following: American Association of School Administrators; Hunt Institute Board of Directors; Alexander County Public Education Foundation, serving as both member and Executive Director; Catawba Valley Community College Education Foundation Board; North Carolina State Board of Education as Superintendent Advisor; and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors.  Prior to moving to Alexander County, Jack was an officer with Lenoir/Caldwell County Crimestoppers and a member of Caldwell County Rotary Club.  He is also a former youth Sunday School teacher.

    Jack is the recipient of several honors and recognition, including: Hibriten High School Athletic Hall of Fame, as both school administrator and student athlete; North Carolina High School Athletic Association "One Hundred To Remember School Administrators"; North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine recipient; NWRESA Superintendent of the Year;  North Carolina Superintendent of the Year finalist;  NCASA Raymond Sarbaugh State Leadership Award; NC High School Athletic Association Superintendent of the Year; Caldwell County Wachovia Principal of the Year; and Caldwell County Rotarian of the Year

Walter James Lenoir

  • Walter James Lenoir Walter James Lenoir was born in Caldwell County, in the area now called Happy Valley at Fort Defiance on the Yadkin River, on August 2, 1862. He was the son of Rufus Theodore and Sarah (Gwyn) Lenoir. He was the great-grandson of General William Lenoir, for whom the county seat of Caldwell County was named.

    W. J. Lenoir was educated in the Caldwell County Schools of that time and graduated from Finley High School, the forerunner of Lenoir High School, in 1879.  He attended the University of North Carolina for two years in the early 1880's. He engaged in farming on his father's land in Happy Valley and in the late 1890's, he entered the mercantile business with his cousin, Samuel L.  Patterson in the area now known as Patterson. While living on the Yadkin, Mr. Lenoir served as a magistrate for his district.  In 1899 he was elected to the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners serving until 1901. He was elected to the Caldwell County Board of Education where he served for eleven and one/half years as Chairman of the Board.

    In 1907, he decided to move to Lenoir to pursue the mercantile trade in a larger way. He gathered support from other prominent men of the community, purchased the Commercial Hotel on the square, razzed the building, and constructed the largest brick building in town. They opened the Lenoir Furniture and Hardware store there in 1908. Mr. Lenoir would later be instrumental in the establishment of many other businesses in Lenoir, including The First National Bank, Mutual Building & Loan Association, Caldwell Motor Company and the Caldwell Creamery.

    Shortly after moving to Lenoir, Mr. Lenoir entered into the political life of the town. He was elected to the Lenoir City Council in May of I907 serving until 1910. In 1917 he was elected Mayor of Lenoir. He served three consecutive one-year terms. In 1933 he was again elected Mayor of Lenoir, serving two two-year terms until 1937.

    Mr. Lenoir married Harriett Augusta Horton in 1893. They were the parents of seven children, several of which were prominent citizens of Lenoir, Wilkesboro, and Caldwell County. Mr. Lenoir died August 12, 1952. Walter J. Lenoir, the heir of a famous name, built upon that fame through his stewardship to his community, not only Lenoir but all of Caldwell County.