Educators, entrepreneur among AHS honorees

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, July 26, 2012

     Editor’s note: Today The DAILY LEADER continues a series highlighting the 16 inductees into the 2012 Alexander High School Hall of Honor. Four honorees are being featured each day during the series.

  Willie Helen Kelly Buie, Billy Campbell, Eva Hall Harris and  Willie Albert Harrison will be inducted into the Alexander High School Hall of Honor during a reception and program Friday at the Old National Guard Armory, 689 Highway 51 North, Brookhaven, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, July 27. The program will start at noon.

Willie Helen Kelly Buie

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     Willie Helen Kelly Buie, daughter of Willie and Katie Ruth Kelly, is a member of the Alexander High School Class of 1968. She matriculated at Alcorn Agricultural & Mechanical College, now Alcorn State University, to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education. She later received a master’s degree in Mathematics from Jackson State University.

     Honoree Buie is a noted educator having taught school in the South Pike County Schools, Brookhaven Public Schools (1977-1989), and the DeKalb County Schools (1989-2009). She is presently an adjunct mathematic instructor at Georgia Perimeter College, the Georgia State University Upward Bound Program and the DeKalb Online Academy.

     Buie’s accomplishments include being named 1975 Mississippi State Department Outstanding Secondary Educator of America, 1987 Alexander Junior High School Teacher of the Year, 1994 Georgia Math and Science Roundtable, Outstanding Georgia Mathematics Teacher, 1998 Lithonia (Georgia) High School Teacher of the Year, 2005 Georgia Perimeter College Clarkston Campus Part-time Teacher of the Year, 2008 Office of Educational Opportunity and TRIO Programs 5th Annual Community Connections Award, 2008 Lithonia High School Teacher of the Year, and the 2008 DeKalb County High School Teacher of the Year.

     Her community involvements include the Georgia Association of Educators and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is a member of the Greater Saint Paul Church of God in Christ, where she works with the Evangelist Missionary Society.

     Honoree Buie is married to Leroy Buie and resides in Conyers, Ga.

Billy C. Campbell

     Billy Campbell is one of eight children born to Albert Campbell and Annie Mae McGee-Campbell. He attended Della Green, Fannie Mullins and Alexander High School. While a student at Alexander High School, he was an active member of the marching band and choir.

     In 1959, he relocated to Los Angeles, Calif., to further his education and seek better career opportunities. He graduated from Belmont High School in the winter of 1961. After graduating high school and having a strong desire to contribute to his family’s well being, he decided to work for his older brother Albert in a lamination shop. Although he had major financial responsibilities to his family, he still had a conviction and was very determined to further his education. In the spring of 1962, he enrolled in evening classes at Los Angeles City College taking various courses in Business Administration.

     In the spring of 1963, he married his childhood sweetheart, Ernestine Hill-Campbell, also of Brookhaven. To this union, two children were born, Helene Patriece and Gregory William.

     Campbell always enjoyed the concept of being an entrepreneur. In 1967, he decided to enter into the insurance business. As an insurance agent, he was able to start his own agency and develop it into one of Allstate’s premier agencies. He became an Allstate Exclusive Agent in 1977 being one of the first agencies to open its doors in the inner city of Los Angeles. He is currently an agency owner with a support staff of four and accounts in excess of 3,500.

     Honoree Campbell has earned various awards during the past 30 years. The awards include Honor Ring winner (18 times), National Conference winner (10 times), Line Leader (two times), and Quality Agent Award (two times), which are reserved for Top Allstate Insurance Agents in the United States. He was also selected to be a member of the California Allstate Regional Advisory Board and the Allstate National Advisory Board; these agents are selected to assist in establishing company policy and sales goals for Allstate Agents in the United States and Puerto Rico. The above mentioned accolades have afforded him the opportunity to travel to such places as England, France, the Caribbean, Mexico and Hong Kong.

     He has truly enjoyed working and growing his agency. It has allowed him to provide a stable life style for himself, his family and his staff. Having a career as an insurance broker has allowed him to invest in real estate and become one of the largest landowners in Brookhaven. These accomplishments have afforded him the opportunity, to give back to the community, whenever and wherever possible. He is currently a Rotarian, first vice president of the Inglewood Lions Club, former president of the Board of Directors for Inglewood Neighborhood Housing, a member of the Small Business Advisory Board for California State Assemblyman and now State Senator Curren Price, a member of Mayor Roosevelt Dorn’s Community Relations Board/Appointed City commissioner an active member of Trinity Baptist Church, and small business advisory for Senator Rod Wright of Inglewood.

     He has been a Black Business Association Honoree accomplished individual personally and professionally. His achievements and accomplishments have made him a distinguished entrepreneur in the insurance industry. Campbell is a member of Black Business Association and the Life Underwriter Training Counsel. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Airport/Marina Chamber of Commerce.

     His personal accomplishments are equally impressive, winning Father of the Year in 2003, for the Los Angeles Area-Allstate Insurance Company and Volunteer of the Year by Inglewood Neighborhood Housing. Campbell sponsored the Dorsey High School Football Team pre-game meals from 1996-2001. He is greatly committed to youth education and development.

Eva Hall Harris

     Eva Hall Harris was born in Lincoln County to Mr. and Mrs. Beauregard Hall. She attended elementary school in Lincoln County and Brookhaven Schools. In 1927, she completed her high school education at Prentiss Institute in Prentiss. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Alcorn Agricultural & Mechanical College, now Alcorn State University, in 1942. She later received her Master of Art Degree in Supervision and Administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1959. Because of her dedication and devotion to education and outstanding contributions to children, she received an Honorary Doctorate degree of Humanities from Prentiss Institute in 1968.

     Harris was the Jeanes Agent in Jefferson and Lincoln counties for 16 years. She taught summer school classes at Piney Woods Country Life School, Rankin County and at Alcorn.

     During the 1960-61 school years, the Lincoln County School Board of Education named the newly constructed high school the Eva Hall Harris School. March 12, 1961, the school was dedicated and she was named the school’s first principal; a position she served in for four years. After 37 years of educating young people, she retired in 1965. In 1967, she was one of five women honored for excellence in human relationships at the annual convention of the Federated Women at Piney Woods Country Life School.

     Harris served the community through many organizations. She became a member of the Mississippi State Federation of Colored Women’s Club in 1926. She served as vice president for four years and financial secretary for four years. Harris was a charter member of the Eureka Art Club at Prentiss Institute. She was the organizer and director of the Seventh District Federation for eight years. She was responsible for organizing both the Bethune Literary in 1927 and Arts Club and the Bertha L. Johnson Literary and Garden Club in Brookhaven. She also organized the Curley L. Sims Club in McComb. She was president of the Sixth District for 10 years. Harris served as the chairman of the Advisory Board of Colored Women’s Club and the supervisor of the Poverty program. She was also a member of the Lincoln County National Education Association, Mississippi Teacher’s Association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

     Honoree Harris was the recipient of numerous citations and awards for contributions in education and humanities. She was listed in the 1981 edition of Personalities of the South. She was married to the late Rev. Versie Harris. Eva Hall Harris died in 1994.

Willie A. Harrison

    Willie A. Harrison is the son of the late Ella Mae Howard and John Harris. He attended Alexander High School graduating in the Class of 1960. After high school, he attended Mississippi Vocational College, now Mississippi Valley State University. In 1965, Harrison received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. He later received his Master of Science degree in Educational Administration from Jackson State University, Jackson, in 1989. He has completed additional studies at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn.

     After graduating from college, he taught math and government at the J.E. Johnson High School in Prentiss from 1965 until 1970. He taught physical education at Prentiss High School from 1970 until 1971. In 1971, he was hired as the study hall teacher, football and track coach at Brookhaven High School. He became the assistant principal of Brookhaven High School in 1992 and in 1998 was named co-principal at Alexander Junior High School. Harrison was the second African American officer hired in 1964 with the Brookhaven Police Department. He was a lieutenant when he left the Department in 1983.

     Always striving to make this community better, Harrison is the former president and member of the Mount Wade Brotherhood Ministry and secretary of the Brookhaven School District Board of Trustees. He is currently serves as the Brookhaven School District Board vice president. He is a member of the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees, Brookhaven Recreation Department Board, Promisekeepers, Alexander High School Legacy Committee and former national officer with American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). He is a founding member of the R.O.T.A.P (Reaching Out to Another Person) Ministry. In his church, Mount Wade Missionary Baptist Church, he is a deacon and head of Audio Ministry. He has also served as a Sunday school teacher.

     Harrison has received many awards and honors. He has been an “Unsung Hero” by the Brookhaven DAILY LEADER twice; he served as the grand marshal for the 2010 annual Brookhaven Christmas Parade and was named Outstanding Coach in girl’s track and football.

     Known by many as “Doc,” his motto is “If I can help somebody as I travel along; If I can cheer somebody with a word or a song; If I can tell somebody where they’re traveling wrong; Then my living shall not be in vain …”

     He is married to Clementine Booth Harrison and they are the parents of one daughter, LaRenda Jenee’.