Tony Harrison is a Buford High School alumnus from the class of 1963. Tony was born and raised in Buford in the Harmony community by his parents Luke and Mozelle Harrison. He has two sisters, Charlotte, 89, also a BHS graduate, and Laura, who passed away at the age of 18 months.
Tony attended Harmony Elementary from first grade until eighth grade. He came to Buford High School because his older sister, Charlotte, had graduated from BHS a few years prior. During his time at BHS, Tony participated in several extracurricular activities. He was a member of Beta Club in his junior and senior years, as well as a Beta Club officer as a senior. He participated in Hi-Y from sophomore year to senior year, and served as an officer as a junior and senior. Tony was involved in the mixed choral group as a sophomore and in Annual Staff as a senior. He competed in One Act Play his junior and senior years and the District Literary competition from sophomore to senior year in boys quartet, for which he won first place in district as a junior and senior and first place in state as a senior. Additionally, Tony participated in Boys’ Declamation as a junior and senior, and he was awarded several senior superlatives. Tony was also an honor graduate, and he was ranked fifth in the class of 1963 academically.
In high school, Tony’s favorite subject was English. The teacher who had the greatest influence on him during his time at BHS was Mrs. Burch, his typing teacher.
“She was very influential and special to me,” Tony said. “She was demanding enough, but took time to know us personally. She also wrote a note in my senior yearbook that meant much to me.”
After graduating from BHS in 1963, Tony attended Oxford College of Emory University, earning his two-year diploma in 1965. He then attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English. He later returned to UGA to earn a master’s degree in elementary education in 1976, and later on, an education specialist degree in guidance and counseling in 1982.
While at Oxford College, Tony was a member of the Oxford Chorus, and he also was a member of the University of Georgia Chorus during his years there. He was also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education in 1976. Tony also participated in the UGA Communiversity Big Brother program in 1980 and 1981.
Tony is a retired elementary school counselor in Sugar Hill. He chose to be a counselor after happily teaching elementary school for 13 years in Gwinnett County Public Schools. The opportunity arose to apply for a sabbatical to study guidance and counseling. Tony had been thinking and praying about studying counseling for several years, so he applied, and he was awarded one of the sabbaticals for that year. He took it as a confirmation that his calling was changing to school counseling. Tony retired after 32 years at Sugar Hill Elementary School.
Tony is married to his wonderful wife, Glenda, who worked in the front office at BHS for 10 years from 1988 to 1998. The couple has one daughter, Mary Frances, who graduated from BHS in 2011. They also have one granddaughter, Raylee Everett, who is 7 years old.
Some additional distinctions Tony has earned throughout the years include: Sugar Hill Elementary Star Teacher (1973); Sugar Hill Elementary Teacher of the Year (1979); Finalist, Gwinnett County Public Schools Teacher of the Year (1979); Who’s Who in the South, Southwest (1986); Excellence in Education Medal, GA Board of Education (1987); Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers (1994); Gwinnett County Public Schools Counselor of the Year (1986); Georgia Elementary Counselor of the Year (1986); Georgia School Counselors Leadership Award (1986); and ASCA National Elementary Counselor of the Year (1986).
Tony has also been published a few times. His poem “Healing” was published in the Elementary School Guidance and Counseling Journal in April 1985, and his poem “The Caretaker” was published by the American Poetry Association in the book American Poetry Anthology. Tony also received several accolades for his military service, including: Battalion Soldier of the Month, October, 1970; School Brigade Soldier of the Month, October, 1970; US Army Southeastern Signal School Soldier of the Month, October, 1970; and Fort Gordon Center Soldier of the Month, October, 1970.
Tony is heavily involved at his church, having served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and adult choir member at New Bethany Baptist Church. At Buford First Baptist Church, he has served as deacon, youth activities director, RA leader, Sunday School teacher, children’s worship director, adult choir member, Silvertones senior adult choir member, young adult ensemble member, publicity committee member, family ministers chairperson and buildings and grounds committee member.
Congratulations to Tony Harrison for a very successful and rewarding career in education. He is an excellent product of Buford High School, and we are proud to call him a Buford alumni. Once a Wolf, always a Wolf!
The Buford High School alumni spotlights are made possible by the generosity of the City of Buford.