Junior & Donna High and their grandchildren Houston, Hunter, Lawton & Carolina
For the very first installment of High's Heroes I couldn't think of a more deserving person than my Dad, Junior High.
Yes, his real name is Junior Lee High.
Dad was born in 1948 in Tompkinsville, Kentucky where there was no concept of a junior high school. In fact Dad attended a one-room schoolhouse growing up. It wasn't until he came to the big city of Nashville to attend Lipscomb as an education major that people began to question my Papa Dave & Granny Nell High's sanity when they named their child Junior High.
Dad put 30 years in as a teacher and
principal in Metro Nashville Public Schools. He now serves as the Director of Undergraduate Education at Lipscomb University, teaching teachers to teach.
Dad is the definition of a servant leader. Ever since we were young he taught us the importance of putting others' interests ahead of ourselves. He continues to do that to this day as he serves the Lipscomb community. He also serves as an elder at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville.
Dad taught us the value of hard work growing up. We painted houses for more summers than I would have liked. Not only was he teaching us work ethic, he was reminding us that unless we wanted to be painting two-story overhangs and gutters and dodging wasps 20 feet in the air we'd better make good grades. We weeded plenty of gardens growing up too.
Dad never had any hobbies. He didn't have time for them. When he wasn't working he was doing something for us or for other people. He coached our teams, was PTA president, helped start "Children's Church" at Brentwood Hills, was at church camp every year and attended every one of our baseball games.
Dad served hundreds and hundreds of low-income children and families during his stint as principal at Hattie Cotton Elementary in East Nashville. He started the "Thanks For Giving" program in that community more than 25 years ago that is still in existence today - providing a Thanksgiving meal for more than 1,000 families each November.
When an inner-city family's home was in violation of codes and they were threatened with being evicted, Dad stepped in and rallied a group of church folks who went in and gave that home an extreme home makeover.
There are dozens and dozens more stories like that one I could share.
Dad has led by serving. He has been a voice of peace and reason many times over the years in many different forums.
People are always coming up to me telling me what a great dad I have. I've gotten to the point where I just say, "I know. Isn't he the best?!"
I love you Dad. Thank you for being my #1 hero.