Few people have made the impact in so many lives as Joe Forgety. Not only was he a member of the Chamber, he was a good friend. He supported the Chamber by serving as Chair for the Golf Committee and over the years on the Education Workforce Committee and the Teacher’s Banquet Committee. We pay tribute to our special friend by sharing words from Larry Foster, former Anderson County Schools Director and Dr. Tim Parrott, current Anderson County Schools Director.
“We were saddened when we heard that Joe was in the hospital fighting this dreaded disease, COVID-19. I was able to talk to him briefly and knew he was struggling, never thinking it would have such a tragic ending.”
“Joe and I have been friends for over 40 years and shared a kindred spirit with both of us beginning our teaching career as agriculture teachers. Just like he was taught by Dr. John Todd at the University of Tennessee, Joe was a community person at heart. He made home visits, involved the family, worked long hours preparing for FFA contests and teaching those leadership skills that makes our country strong. Joe was very active in the agriculture professional organizations, playing a very active role in state leadership…you might say he was the “go to man”. He got things done. He was given the challenge to reopen the agriculture program at Clinton High School. The program had moved to ACCTC where Joe had started his teaching career. So, with a set of keys he singlehandedly built the program back to being recognized in the state as one of the best in the state. He grew the program to the point of needing a second agriculture teacher. Mr. Phil Warfield was hired as the second teacher. Together they built a great agriculture and FFA program.”
“Joe’s leadership skills took him beyond the classroom. He was named as Anderson County’s Job Placement coordinator, placing career and technical students in industry jobs. Later he coordinated the School-To-Work Grant setting up a 6-county consortium…recognized as the best in the state, bringing in thousands of dollars to the county. He was named Principal of Norris Middle School and continued to be recognized for his leadership skills and was named director of the Adult Basic Education program. He was asked to take on the dreaded task of Transportation director due to a vacancy during the middle of the school year. This was additional duty and was quite challenging. However, he rose to the occasion having many sleepless nights and mornings checking the roads during inclement weather. He was good at it. He was so clever in his data collection process, recommending we close schools early due to predictions of bad weather. He would say, “If all 3 TV stations are aligned then we probably are safe to call school off”…he was correct, always. I would call school off and no snow at 8:00 a.m….then at 10:00 a.m. the snow would come and Joe would be a hero! He always put the children’s safety first. “If we were going to make a mistake, let’s make it on the side of safety”.”
“Later Joe became the first Anderson County Schools Safety Director….again making sure that our students were being educated in a safe environment. He was good at all that he did….even playing golf. However, we would love to get into his ‘mind’….which could cause him to have a frustrating day. He loved his church and loved his family and later we would talk about grandchildren, realizing that we were both getting older and closer to the finish line. He officially retired on October 13, 2020. Only six weeks of retirement…. ‘I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.’ 2 Timothy 4:7 Farewell my good friend.” Larry Foster, former Anderson County Director of Schools
“There is an old saying that if you see a turtle on a fence post you can bet he had a lot of help to get there. For me, Joe was that person in my life. From my first interview as a new CTE teacher to when I put in for the director of schools, he was always there to support and encourage me. But more than that Joe was my best friend. He has always been there to encourage, guide, and support me and my family in life. Joe lived his faith out loud in Jesus Christ and was the first to step up when someone was in need. He was a great educator and worked tirelessly to make sure every school was a safe place for every student. I am going to miss all of the talks about family and God. Joe Forgety was and is one of the best people I have had the pleasure to know and I am honored to call him my brother in Christ.” Tim Parrott, Ed.D., Director of Schools, Anderson County Schools.
Joe was a beloved educator in the Anderson County School System, and recently retired, after 40 years of service. He was a faithful member of Callahan Road Baptist Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher of young adults. Additionally, he was a Minister of Music at Fisher Creek, Norwood Baptist and Bethel Baptist, where he also served as an ordained deacon. One of Joe’s many hobbies included playing golf with his friends and sons. He also enjoyed spending time with his family, doing activities with his three precious granddaughters, and preparing for this fourth granddaughter.
If you would like to support the Joe Forgety Memorial Scholarship Fund please send checks to the information below:
For Joe Forgety Scholarship
212 North Hicks Street
Clinton, TN 37716