Dr. Vernon Price.
It’s very possible the name might be one of the most recognizable to students at Henderson County Junior College/Trinity Valley Community College student over the past 50 years.
In addition to learning from the biology teacher in the classroom, many students would likely also say they were positively impacted by his book “What Every Student Should Know About
Dr. Price will receive his plaque for 50 years of service at the annual TVCC Christmas luncheon Thursday.
After five years working in the food industry in a research and development position that required lots of travel, Price, a young father of two, could not bear the thought of raising his children in the big city. Moving back home to Athens seemed like the perfect fit. So without hesitation, the Price family did just that.
Dr. Price began his career at HCJC (now TVCC) in August of 1969. Price had served as a graduate assistant teaching lab courses while he was finishing his education, and knew he was drawn to teaching.
“I loved teaching from the first day,” said Price. “TVCC is such a family-orientated place to work, and there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching students, if you asked me.”
Dr. Price moved to Athens in 1945 and graduated from Henderson County Junior College in 1961 with his associate degree. He has fond memories of the Athens campus, the county fairgrounds when Price was a child.
“I can remember attending the circus there, and specifically remember seeing my first elephant there as a child,” said Dr. Price. “What is currently the Liberal Arts building was the old livestock barn, and it later became my office in the TVCC science department.”
Price also has fond memories of catching crawfish in Dilsey Creek in his early years.
Dr. Price has no plans to retire anytime soon, but he does have three criteria that must remain true to continue teaching. First, he must have no pain or health problems. Second, he must still enjoy his students. Third, he must be able to walk in to his classroom and teach with no notes, as he’s done for years.
Following graduation from HCJC, Price received his bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from East Texas State University.
Dr. Price remains very active, playing tennis and lifting weights regularly. He will celebrate his 78th birthday the day after Christmas this year.
· He has taught under all HCJC/TVCC presidents.
· He has most likely taught more students than any other faculty member at TVCC.
· He had current biology instructor, Thomas Booth, in class, as well as TVCC Board of Trustees member Steve Grant.
· For 27 years, Dr. Price operated a wedding photography business on the weekends.
· He acted as the general contractor and built his own house.