Hardison and Edens retiring from Marshall County schools

Friday, June 6, 2014

By Julie Cook

Special to the Tribune

At the end of the 2013-2014 school year, Cornersville High School will lose two educators who have shaped and supported the foundation of education in Marshall County. Bob Edens, principal, and Ginger Hardison, teacher, are retiring to pursue personal interests and spend time with family. They will be greatly missed by the faculty, staff, and students at CHS as each has served so many roles for so many.

Mr. Edens began his teaching career in 1968 in Murfreesboro as an elementary school teacher. He moved to Lawrence County in 1969, where he began his high school teaching career, and in 1973 he transferred to Lincoln County. Mr. Edens' Marshall County teaching career began in 1977. He taught drivers' education at Marshall County High School and coached football there from 1977 to 1999. He led his team to the state playoffs numerous times and won the state championship in 1984. In his own words, "What a year, 1984 -- 14-0." The field house at Preston-Hopkins Field bears his name.

Mr. Edens left MCHS in 2001 to assume the principal's position at CHS, the school from which he is retiring. Debbie Cole, Laura Ledford, and Brent Adcox, all current CHS faculty as well as former students of Mr. Edens, have seen him in two different lights. Laura remembers a time during her teen years when she was driving down Highway 50 in the drivers' education car, and Mr. Edens used his passenger side brake to stop the car. She says, "He looked at me and said, 'Why don't we stop the car right here?'" She also remembers him disciplining a student whom she had taken to the office by saying, "Put that chin up. We are going to learn from this mistake."

In 2013, Mr. Edens received an email from a former student who struggled just to get to school and stay awake each day. She was thanking him for preventing her from quitting school and informing him of her job as a full-time Phlebotomist at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Debbie Cole states, "He was great as a teacher but better as a principal."

"My relationship with Coach (Edens) has changed over the years," says Brent Adcox. "It has grown into a strong friendship. I know that I can always call on him for help at school but also call on him as a friend." During Mr. Edens' time as principal of CHS, one of his most frequent quotes was," We are a family." He meant it.

Mrs. Hardison has taught school in Marshall County for 34 years. She began her career at MCHS; however, most of those years have been at Cornersville High School, where she has taught all levels of high school English as well as journalism. She is a Certified Journalism Educator and has consistently met yearbook deadlines from Jostens. In 2012, her staff was the only yearbook staff in the state to receive the National Yearbook Program of Excellence Award. Rebecca Kilday, the Josten's representative who serves Marshall County, says, "Mrs. Hardison's dedication to having an inclusive yearbook and her attention to detail have helped propel this program to the national scene. I have learned so much from her, and I am touched by how much her students love her."

Brent Adcox, states, "I wanted my students to respect my class the same way her students respected her and her classes. She was driven and always pushed her kids to do better."

Amber Blalock, a former journalism and English student of Mrs. Hardison's, has fond memories of both classes. "We were encouraged to be creative and focused daily. When I walked out of those classes my last day of senior year, I wanted to be a better student going forward." Amber shared a quote which came to her mind in regard to Mrs. Hardison: "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." - William Arthur Ward. Amber adds, "Thank you for the inspiration!"

Both Mr. Edens and Mrs. Hardison will be missed at Cornersville as well as in the Marshall County School System. Their devotion to education is immeasurable as each has touched so many lives.