Herbert Ray Nobles, a longtime member of Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees, grew up as a “poor county boy.” He started football his senior year of high school, which propelled him into a 27-year career with the Petal School District and 25 years at PRCC.
Nobles, 89, received a proclamation recognizing his retirement from the PRCC Board of Trustees during the Forrest County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday to celebrate his work in the community as president and superintendent of the Petal School District, as a football coach and educator and as a member of the PRCC Board of Trustees.
“The man never missed a meeting in 25 years. Put your mind around that,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood, said of Nobles. “He was truly remarkable personally to me, helping me in my early days.”
Supervisor for District 3 Burkett Ross presented Nobles with the proclamation. He complimented Noble on his decision-making skills as superintendent of petal school districts in 1987, as well as, the decisions he helped make over the last 25 years in the PRCC board of trustees.
“[Nobles] has a real legacy in Forrest County in the school system. He affected the lives of many students in a positive way,” Ross said. “I call him coach—he’s Mr. Nobles, I guess, but he’s coach to me.”
Breerwood said he was happy to see Nobles receive this recognition for his service to not only the school district but also the county as a whole throughout his life. Breerwood said Nobles was extremely consistent in his duties to the board of trustees.
“It is great to see him get this recognition. It is well deserved,” Breerwood said. “[Nobles] knew his importance. He was there to represent his constituents. He was there to help us with our initiatives. His impact on our college will be everlasting, and he will certainly be missed.”
In the proclamation, the board of supervisors attributed much of PRCC’s growth to Nobles, but Nobles gives all of the credit of his own growth to PRCC.
“If I am anything today, Pearl River is responsible because if it had not been for them, I would not have gotten an education,” Nobles said. “I love Petal school district and Pearl River Community College.”
Nobles wife Betty Nobles said she and her husband saw many changes in the school district in their time. She said he helped form the Petal school district into what it is today. Herbert Nobles attributed Petal school system not just to himself but also the teachers and faculty of the schools.
“It didn’t take me long to see that the county was not providing what our students needed, so that is when I made an effort to reform or school district,” Herbert Nobles said.
Betty Nobles said her husband enjoyed working in the school system the whole time he was there. Herbert Nobles said there was “Some good. Some bad,” during his time working in the public school system.
“You couldn’t please everybody, so student come first, teachers came second, and then we tried to meet the needs of parents in the third place,” Herbert Nobles said. “If we were not there for the student, then we didn’t need to be there.
Nobles said he did not expect the proclamation, but Ross told him the week before that he would receive it. He said he appreciated what Ross and Breerwood said about him.
“[Nobles] has represented you well,” Breerwood said. “We are certainly going to miss him, but we are happy that he’ll have a few years to enjoy his beautiful wife and settle down.”