Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill honors legendary educators

The first class of Fort Mill School District Hall of Fame inductees honored

A ceremony to induct the first class of the newly created Fort Mill School District Hall of Fame was held at the district office Tuesday evening.
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A ceremony to induct the first class of the newly created Fort Mill School District Hall of Fame was held at the district office Tuesday evening.

The inaugural class of the Fort Mill School District Hall of Fame was inducted in a ceremony at the district office Tuesday evening.

Family members of the inductees – Francis Murray Mack Sr., J.H. “Hoss” Nesbitt, Alfred Oscar “A.O.” Jones, Harold “Mac” McCallum and Phoebe B. McCallum – attended the ceremony to accept plaques in their honor. The Hall of Fame does not yet have a physical space, but a school district members and a committee of volunteers are working on plans to create one.

Working with the premise that the school district is at the center of the Fort Mill community – and a major driver of explosive growth for more than 20 years now – the Hall of Fame was created about two years ago to recognize those who represented the district with honor and contributed to its success.

The Fort Mill school board appointed Fort Mill History Museum board members Mike Hill and Rudy Sanders, Mayor Guynn Savage, White, now former school board Trustee Scott Patterson and Jeff Updike, a longtime Tega Cay resident, as the selection committee in charge of reviewing applications and bringing nominees to the school board for consideration and induction.

Michael Harrison: 803-326-4315, @MikeHarrisonFMT

Here’s a look at the inaugural class of the Fort Mill School District Hall of Fame:

AO Jones

There was just 11 grades when Jones, a native of Fort Mill born in 1899, graduated from Fort Mill High school in 1916. Despite putting his college career on hold to serve in World War I, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Presbyterian College and later received a master’s degree from University of South Carolina, Hill said. Jones started teaching in the district in 1921 and was soon named Fort Mill High School’s principal and later superintendent.

Phoebe McCallum

Winthrop alumna, the late Phoebe McCallum, never missed a day of teaching in 25 years. She taught typing at Fort Mill High School and was the adviser for the student newspaper, The Loudspeaker, Hill said. McCallum was a member of both St. John’s United Methodist Church and the Fort Mill Women’s Club for more than 50 years and a lifetime member of the Fort Mill Chamber of Commerce.

Mac McCallum

The late Harold “Mac” McCallum, who had a 28 year career with the district, joins his wife in the Hall of Fame. Both were honored when a scholarship fund in their name was established in 1992. McCallum taught agriculture at Fort Mill High School, passing on skills necessary for success in the then textile and farm-based Fort Mill community, Hill said. McCallum helped integrate Fort Mill Schools and has been named Fort Mill Man of the Year and Fort Mill Area Chamber of Commerce Civic Volunteer of the Year, Hill said.

Francis Mack Sr.

A former military governor of Korea, Fort Mill native Francis Murray Mack, Sr. served in the National Guard, fought in World War II and, from 1921 to 1938, served as superintendent of Fort Mill schools. He joins the first Hall of Fame class.

Hoss Nesbitt

Born in North Carolina, J.H. “Hoss” Nesbitt came to Fort Mill to serve as principal of Fort Mill High School in 1952. He was superintendent of the district for nearly 20 years and, along with the Leroy Springs Foundation, established tuition reimbursement programs for teachers seeking master’s degrees, Hill said. Nesbitt also spent time as a Fort Mill Town Council member and served two terms in the South Carolina House of Representatives.

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