Don Pouncey retiring as HJHS principal (updated)Published 11:55am Friday, June 28, 2013
Don Pouncey, a native Mississippian who devoted 39 years to educating and coaching kids in Alabama, is retiring as principal at Hartselle Junior High School, effective July 31.
“I’m leaving the school as its third principal, and the decision to do that didn’t come easy,” Pouncey said. “I’ve been surrounded by wonderful students, teachers and colleagues, and I know I’m going to miss being around them. But after considering the pros and cons of continuing my career or retiring, I decided to go ahead and retire,” he pointed out.
“I don’t have any definite plans but I will have more time to do the things I enjoy doing, such as gardening, landscaping and golfing. I am also interested in doing volunteer work, giving back to those who have supported and helped me,” he said.
Pouncey, 59, had the option of taking the principal’s position at the new 7-8 Hartselle Junior High School had he opted to stay. His current position will be filled by incoming School Superintendent Vic Wilson. Terry Graff, a Huntsville native who formerly held a principal’s position in South Georgia, will serve as principal of Hartselle Intermediate School, which will be located in the last year’s HJHS campus.
Pouncey said the relationships he has developed with other educators and students are what he values the most about his career.
“I was fortunate to have great bosses like the late J.P. Cain, Frank Parker and Jerry Reeves help me along the way,” he said. “I hope in my career I was able to make a difference in the lives of the students I taught, the athletes I coached and the colleagues with whom I worked.”
A native of Enterprise, Miss., Pouncey graduated from Southern Mississippi University with B.S. and M.S. degrees in secondary education and earned an AA certificate from Alabama A&M University.
He began his education career at Shelby County High School as a driver’s education teacher and assistant football coach.
He joined the faculty at Hartselle High School in 1980 where he served as a driver’s training teacher, assistant football coach, boy’s head varsity basketball coach and assistant principal for 20 years. He transferred to Hartselle Junior High as assistant principal in 2000 and served as principal for nine years. He was also principal at F.E. Burleson Elementary School.
Pouncey is married to the former Mitzi Gorham of Hartselle, a career nurse. She is currently on staff at Decatur Morgan Hospital and was the head nurse at the former Hartselle Medical Center. They have a daughter, Allyson Pouncey, a graduate student at the University of Alabama and a deceased son and stepson, Zach Tosti.