The Portland High School Class of 1977 planted a tree in the memory of their beloved principal John Meece, who passed away in April.
He served as the principal during their high school years. Several members of the class of 1977, friends, and teachers met on the school campus Nov. 1 to participate in the ceremony. The tree was donated and planted by J. B. Donoho Nursery. A plaque will be placed by the tree in the future.
Meece grew up in Cincinnati and spent his professional life in Sumner County serving as an educator. He joined the PHS faculty in the late 1960’s where he served as teacher, assistant principal, and principal.
He was promoted to the central office as a supervisor and then became head of the human services department. When he retired after 34 years of service with Sumner County Schools, he continued to do consulting work and shared interims as counselor with his wife, Beverly Meece at both Westmoreland High School and Rucker-Stewart Middle School.
Meece and his wife loved their church and both had a positive Christian influence on others. He was a mentor and source of encouragement to family, students, teachers, and friends.
He received his bachelor’s degree from David Lipscomb University and his master’s degree from Western Kentucky University where he also received his Plus 45. He taught English, history, government, and drama. As drama instructor, Meece was in charge of the school plays.
Meece was known for his smile and was a compassionate friend. He was a man of conviction and faced life’s challenges with courage. He was an inspiration to those around him.
Vickie Hendrick said at the gathering, “He never lost his sweet smile. It always stood out to me.”
Jane Story Huddleston added, “Mr. Meece was a life-long friend to many students, fellow teachers, and the community. He was a humble man. His smile would light up a room.”