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Massey chose career in education over baseball

POSTED: May 26, 2013 11:25 p.m.

Dr. David Eugene Massey, who wore many hats in the Hall County School System, passed away Thursday at Emory Hospital in Atlanta at age 74.

Massey dedicated his entire professional career to education. He was recognized and admired for his devotion to helping students be the best they could be, said Will Schofield, superintendent of Hall County Schools.

“In my interactions with him, I developed a great deal of respect for his knowledge and professionalism,” Schofield said. “He committed his working life to improving the quality of public education.”

Born in Trion on Sept. 3, 1938, Massey attended the University of Tennessee on a baseball scholarship. He played on baseball teams throughout school, and he was offered the chance to be drafted by both the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox Major League Baseball teams. Still, his passion for education, for which he had obtained a bachelor’s degree, overruled his chances to play in the big leagues of baseball.

He declined the offer and went on to earn his master’s and doctorate degrees in education to begin teaching.

His career in education began as an English and reading teacher for middle school students in Summerville. He then came to the Gainesville City School System to teach reading for middle school and became director of reading.

He eventually advanced to become director of reading for Hall County Schools and went on to become assistant superintendent for curriculum and planning, interim superintendent and finally associate superintendent for instruction and assessment.

During his career in education, which lasted for 43 years, he also worked hard to help school systems all over Georgia become accredited by heading committees for the Southern Accrediting Association of Colleges and Schools.

He was also a speaker on different educational issues in Georgia and other states in the region.

Those who worked with him over the years in the Hall County School System were impressed by his professionalism and reserved, yet friendly demeanor, said Gordon Higgins, spokesman for Hall County Schools.

“He was just a person with wisdom and experience,” Higgins said. “He was always thinking about different approaches and different ways to make the school system better and the education for the children of Hall County better.”

Higgins said that although Massey was not particularly outspoken about his opinions, he never hesitated to help and befriend others.

“He was also extremely cordial and friendly to anyone he met,” Higgins said. “He was a very gracious individual. I think that’s the thing I remember most about him.”

Massey's funeral was Saturday.

Arrangements were handled by Memorial Park North Riverside.


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