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New class for Hall of Pride announced


The list of the 2022 inductees for the Tallassee High School Hall of Pride has been released. The ceremony is scheduled for Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. The venue has yet to be determined.

This year's class includes: Colonel Jesse Charles (Jake) Bush Jr., Dr. Boyde Jerome (Jerry) Harrison and Coach Howard Dean Tippett. The service award recipient is Russell Hill Stokes.

Bios are listed below.

Colonel Jesse Charles (Jake) Bush, Jr.
Class of 1941
Inducted 2022

Colonel Jesse Charles (Jake) Bush, Jr. was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on November 13, 1922, but lived his early life in Elmore County, Alabama.  He graduated from Tallassee High School in 1941.  His parents were Jesse Charles Bush, Sr. and Mary Estelle McCain Bush.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corps (now the USAF) in Montgomery when he was 20 and completed radio operator training at Sioux Falls Army Airfield in South Dakota.  In August, 1944, he completed basic and advanced pilot training at Columbus Army Airfield, Mississippi.  He graduated and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and received his aeronautical rating (pilot wings).

In 1945, Lieutenant Bush was assigned to Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, as Administrative Officer (Adjutant) and later as aide-de-camp (Personal Assistant) and pilot to the Commanding General.  In 1948, he was transferred to Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany.  While enroute, the Berlin Blockade began.  He was diverted to participate in the Berlin Air Lift (1948-1949).  During the fifteen months blockade by the Soviet Union, Lieutenant Bush flew C-47 and C-54 flights over Berlin.  The American, British, and French air forces delivered 2.5 million tons of necessities (fuel, food, etc.) for the East German people.  In December, 1949, Bush was deployed to Erding Air Depot Wing, Erding, Germany, to fly with Europe Air Transport Squadron.

Captain Bush, in 1951, was reassigned to Air Force Special Mission (SAM), where he served at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C.,  Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; and Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia, where he transported high-ranking military officials and dignitaries.  From 1954 to 1958, Captain Bush was professor of air science, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at Auburn University.

Major Bush’s next assignment was at Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, where he served as operations officer for the Military Airlift Command. In 1960, Major Bush was reassigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Texas, as logistics officer for the U-2 Wing, where he participated in the 1962 Cuba Missile Crisis.  Lieutenant Colonel Bush was sent to Tachikawa Air Force Base, Japan, as operations officer and Commander, 7th Aerial Port Squadron, 315th Air Division.  Later, the squadron moved to Okinawa, Japan, where he flew the venerable C-130 transport over Vietnam.

Colonel Bush was then assigned to March Air Force Base, California.  He was Director of Transportation, 15th Air Force.  He later served in the same position as Strategic Air Command (SAC) Headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Nebraska, and in the Pacific Air Command (PACAF), Hickman Air Force Base, Honolulu, Hawaii.  His last duty assignment was at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Florida, where he served as Deputy Director, J-3 (Logistics) for the U.S. Readiness (Strike) Command.

Colonel Bush’s awards and honors include: Legion of Merit; Air Medal with 3 oak leaf clusters; USAF Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters; Medal for Humane Action (Berlin Airlift); and the USAF Outstanding Commander, 7th Aerial Port Squadron.  His community service includes YMCA volunteer for 7 years, member and officer of the National Fraternity of Military Pilots and member of the Military Officer Association of America.  In 2019, Auburn University honored Colonel Bush at a football game in Jordan-Hare Stadium, for his career in the Air Force.  He is also the oldest living Tallassee High School graduate, at age 99.

Dr. Boyde Jerome (Jerry) Harrison
Class of 1970
Inducted 2022

Dr. Jerry Harrison is a medical doctor serving Haleyville, Alabama.  He is a 1970 graduate of Tallassee High School.

During his time as a student at Tallassee High School, he was a member of the band, The Long Blue Line, and played the piano for his parents’ gospel quartet (grades 7 to 10).  He played football his junior and senior years and was elected class president and Mr. THS his senior year.  He worked on a farm baling hay and in the cotton mill on the third shift during high school to help pay for college.

After high school graduation, Dr. Harrison attended Birmingham Southern College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1974.

He attended graduate school at Tulane University (biochemistry) and graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1980.

Dr. Harrison has been in private practice in Haleyville for 40 years and is president and co-founder of the Alabama Medical Directors Association.

He has also served as president of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, the Medical Association of the state of Alabama (2018-2019), and was the chairman of the Rural Health Scholarship Board.  He is a member of the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners and the Alabama State Committee of Public Health.  He served as chairman of both of those organizations.

Dr. Harrison has also served on the Governor’s task force for opiod use, the Alabama Task Force for Medicaid Transformation, and the Alabama Medicaid Drug Utilization committee.  He has been a delegate to the American Medical Association and is the only physician to serve on the Winston County Hospital Board.  His role on the board helped prevent the closing of the hospital in Haleyville.

He gave pivotal testimony during the accreditation process for the osteopathic medical school in formation of VCOM at Auburn University, and established a lecture series on prescribing for Alabama prescribers.  As of 2021, he has presented to over 15,000 Alabama prescribers.  

Dr. Harrison has been instrumental in multiple medically-related statutes and laws over the past 20 years.  He received the 2016 Garber Medical Political Award from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine Alumni Association in 2016 and was selected as “Top Doctor” in Birmingham Magazine in 2020 and 2021. In 2018, he was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame.

Coach Howard Dean Tippett
Class of 1953
Inducted 2022

Coach Howard Dean Tippett was born in Tallassee and graduated from Tallassee High School in 1953.

At Tallassee High School, Coach Tippett played four years of football, basketball, and baseball.  He received thirteen varsity letters; one in 8th grade as varsity football manager.  In 1952-53, he was elected captain of the football and basketball teams. 

Coach Tippett attended East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, from 1953 to 1958, where he graduated in 1958 with a B.S. degree in Physical Education and Political Science.  He lettered all four years in football and baseball and was elected captain of the Buccaneer football team in 1956.  In the 1957 Buccaneer yearbook, he was voted the most popular male student.

For five years, from 1958 to 1963, he was a high school history teacher and assistant football coach at LaFayette High School, Lexington, Kentucky, (1958-1960); Dupont Manual High School, Louisville, Kentucky (1960-1961), and Thomas Jefferson High School, Port Arthur, Texas (1961-1963).

Coach Tippett’s remarkable college football experiences, of 13 years, began in 1964 at Tulane University (SEC), New Orleans, Louisiana (1964-1965); West University (Big 12), in 1966 and 1967; University of  Houston (Independent) from 1967 to 1969.  In 1969, at the Blue Bonnet Bowl in Houston, Texas, he coached in the University of Houston (winner) vs. Auburn University game.  He then coached at Wake Forest University (ACC) in 1971 and 1972; Mississippi State University (SEC) from 1973 to 1974 and again in 1979; University of Oregon (Pac-12) in 1978 and 1979; and the University of California, UCLA (Pac-12), in 1980.

His extraordinary professional football coaching career of 22 years began in 1975, when he coached the Jacksonville, Florida Sharks (later the Express) of the World Football League, Eastern Division.  Then he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1981-1986) and the 1981 NFL Pro Bowl, Buccaneers vs. Miami Dolphins.  He also coached for the Green Bay Packers, 1981-1986; Los Angeles Rams, 1992-1993; Detroit Lions, 1994-1996; St. Louis Rams, 1997-2001; and the 2000 Super Bowl, St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans.  He is a 35 year member of the American Football Coaches Association.

Coach Tippett coached the following Hall of Fame/Pro Bowl players:  Lee Roy Selmon, defensive end, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Doug Williams, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Kevin Greene, defensive end, linebacker, Green Bay Packers; Jackie Slater, offensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams; Marshall Faulk, running back, Kurt Warner, quarterback, and Orlando Pace, offensive tackle, all three with the St. Louis Rams; and Barry Sanders, running back, and Lomas Brown, offensive tackle, Detroit Lions.

Coach Tippett is the son of Lloyd Dean Tippett (1908-1974) and Mary Jo Howard Tippett (1908-2000).

Mr. Russell Hill Stokes  (November 2, 1935-August 4, 1998)
Tallassee City Schools, 1958-1991
2022 Service Award

Russell Hill Stokes was born November 2, 1935, in Fort Deposit, Alabama, and graduated from Lowndes County High School.

Mr. Stokes joined the Army after high school and served for three years as a paratrooper in the Airborne Infantry.  After his discharge from the Army, he joined the Alabama National Guard and retired in 1996 after 42 years, achieving the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Troy University.  Upon graduating from Troy University, his first and only job in the field of education was with the Tallassee City School system, where he served for 31 years as a teacher, assistant coach, principal, and interim superintendent.  During his career in Tallassee, he earned a master’s degree from Auburn University.

During his time with Tallassee City Schools, Mr. Stokes was also active in the community.  He served on the Little League, Babe Ruth, and Dixie Youth Baseball boards and was instrumental in establishing a Babe Ruth league in Tallassee.  He helped build the first Babe Ruth field, located in Carrville, and served on the Tallassee Parks and Rec Board.  He spent many hours volunteering for the children and youth of Tallassee, including keeping the clock at almost every home game for the Tallassee Tigers basketball teams.

Many students remember Mr. Stokes for his unique way of disciplining students, including putting them in the “sweat box” and making them hold up the outside wall of the gym at Southside Jr. High (now Southside Middle School). 

In his letter of recommendation for Mr. Stokes’ nomination, retired THS football and basketball coach Woody Weaver had this to say about him:  “Mr. Stokes was a very loyal, honest, hard working person…He excelled in his position of principal of Southside Middle School.  He ran a very tight, disciplined school.  He was the most dedicated principal I ever worked with in education.”

Mr. Ron McDaniel, who taught science at Southside when Mr. Stokes was principal and later served as principal himself, said, “He was very supportive of the teachers as well as the students at the school.  His greatest attribute would be his fairness to all.”

Mr. Stokes, his wife Zelda, and their three sons, Steve, Mike, and Randy were members of First Baptist Church and all three sons graduated from Tallassee High School.  The Stokes grandchildren are Courtney Stokes Watson, Kyle Stokes, Russ Stokes, Hill Stokes, and the late Timothy Popwell.  The Stokes great grandchildren are Elijah, Sam and Mattie Watson, Keely Stokes, Jackson Stokes and Sawyer Stokes.

The late Jack B. Venable, former editor of the Tallassee Tribune, once wrote an opinion piece about discipline in the schools. The piece evolved into a tribute to one of the school system’s most famous disciplinarians.  “In his 16 years as Southside principal, the infamous ‘sweatbox’ came into being.  Mr. Stokes’ reputation preceded him, and fourth graders visiting Southside for the first time would ask…reverently…to see the sweatbox…If ever there was a disciplinarian in the Tallassee City Schools, it was Russell Stokes.  Few administrators and even fewer teachers have ever earned the respect students had for him.”