BLOUNTVILLE — Charlie Hubbard started as a building trades teacher at the newly established Sullivan North High School in 1980.
Forty-two years later, he was named the Tennessee School Plant Management Association’s 2022 Plant Manager of the Year the week of June 6 at the TSPMA’s annual conference in Gatlinburg.
Additionally, he was nominated by a woman who was a fellow teacher with him at North and the award was presented to him by a man who was a student while the two former teachers were at North.
“I am very proud to recommend Mr. Hubbard for this award. I can’t imagine another facilities manager who has had to deal with the limited staff as much as he has had for the past few years,” Schools Manager Evelyn Rafalowski said in a press release on Tuesday. “Managing a new 1,700-member middle school and high school was enormous, and he did it masterfully on top of all his ‘other’ day-to-day duties.”
After 35 years in the classroom at North, in 2015 he joined the Sullivan County Schools Central Office as the school system’s facilities manager to replace Joe Mike Akard who was retiring.
During those seven years, Rafalowski said, he oversaw the construction of the new Sullivan East Middle School, which opened in January 2020, and West Ridge High School, which opened in August 2021.
“In addition to the two new schools, he was tasked with maintaining 19 to 25 sites during his tenure, which consist of over 2 million square feet on over 487 acres,” the press release reads.
It helped close the old north building after it ceased to be a county school and became a facility owned by Kingsport City Schools in the summer of 2021.
While Hubbard and Rafalowski were teachers at North, Bruce Ratliff was a student. Ratliff works for Holston Glass, which awarded the glass prize and helped present it to Hubbard in Gatlinburg last week.
Hubbard said he never had Ratliff as a student but worked with him as president of a pro club at school.