Jim Purcell

Cumberland County High School has selected Jim Purcell to be inducted into the CCHS Hall of Fame.

A 1955 graduate of CCHS, the Crossville native was born in the Hotel Taylor on Main Street and grew up one block off Main Street in his family's Hotel Henry.

Upon graduation from Tennessee Tech in 1959, he began his career in education as teacher at Pleasant Hill School, where he taught from 1959-'62. After a short absence from teaching, he returned to his career in education at the State Area Vocational/Technical School at Crossville (now the Tennessee Technology Center) in 1969.

His career at the Technology Center spanned a total of 38 years. During those years, he held positions as a teacher, counselor, finanical aid administrator and director.

He served as director for 21 years.

Under his leadership, the school experienced major growth, including a $4 million expansion in 1996. During his tenure at the Technology Center, he served on many statewide and area committees for the Tennessee Board of Regents, assuming a leadership role in many of those appointments.

His retirement in 2007 culminated a successful career in education spanning 41 years.

Purcell's family includes two children and three step-children. He and his wife, Sandra, a retired teacher, have eight grandchildren.

He served in the Tennessee Army National Guard for eight years. He has been actively involved in community activities throughout his career, including memberships in the Crossville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees, Rotary Club, Downtown Crossville, Inc., and serving as scoutmaster of Troop #374 of the Boy Scouts of America.

His active involvement in community restoration efforts includes the Crossville Depot, the Palace Theatre and the Old Cumberland County High School.

Purcell says, "My love for this community kept me involved in the restoration projects. We do not have a lot of historically significant structures in Crossville, and so those we do have must be preserved."

Even though Purcell has retired, he continues to be in the community. He is currently serving as a president of Cumberland Good Samaritans Board of Directors, and is a member of the Palace Theatre Advisory Board, the Cumberland County Playhouse board of directors and the Volunteer Energy Cooperative Shares Board.

He also serves on the Art Circle Public Library Foundation, is a member of the steering committee for the Downtown Crossville Streetscape Improvement Project, and is an active member of the CCHS Red Devils Alumni Association.

He says of his lifelong community involvement, "My father and grandfather were successful Crossville businessmen and contributed to the growth of Crossville. I love Crossville, and feel very fortunate to have grown up here and lived here most of my life. My hope is that my involvement in community activities will in some way help keep Crossville moving forward."

Jim Purcell

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