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The 2014 eighth grade graduation event at Palmer Elementary School was an emotional one this year. Mr. Raymond Hargis, 86, was honored with the Fourth Annual “Friend of Palmer School” Award and his son, retiring Grundy County Director of Schools, Jody Hargis, and incoming Director Dr. David Dickerson, both spoke to the assembled multitude.
Palmer and Palmer School hold a special place in Mr. Raymond’s heart. After serving in the U.S. Army and getting his college degree, he and wife Doris and daughter Deborah lived in the old house that I now occupy while he served as principal from 1955-1958. He is the only member of the faculty or support staff of cooks or custodians from that time period still living. Exactly 40 years later (1995) his son Jody served as Palmer Principal.
Mr. Raymond began his political career while still principal in 1958 by being elected County Court Clerk (1958-1968) and served as Grundy County School Superintendent from 1968-1976 and 1987-1992. The Hargis’ are believed to be the only father and son School Superintendent/Director in Grundy County history.
Upon hearing that Mr. Raymond had been honored, former student and Gruetli-Laager Piggly Wiggly employee Rev. Jacob Anderson said, “He was a good principal.” Indeed he was.
A sincere “thank you” to school board member Charles Edgar Sanders and Principal J.R. Jones for making this special honor happen.
This story may be viewed soon on the Grundy County Historical Society website at www.gchs.homestead.com.