Excellent Educators: Jacob Harrell

Excellent Educators

Gates County High School teacher Jacob Harrell was nominated as an Excellent Educator by Gates County Public Schools.

Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the coronavirus pandemic. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!


Name: Jacob Harrell

Division: Gates County Public Schools

Position: Health and physical education teacher and athletic director at Gates County High School

What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Jacob Harrell is not only a dedicated health and physical education teacher, but also serves as the athletic director for Gates County High School. He collaborated with the other teachers in his department to set up online courses and added weekly physical education logs to encourage physical activity at home. Since returning to face-to-face instruction, his students are in the gym daily to learn warm-up routines, play individual sports, and get active. 

Harrell worked with other athletic directors in the area to develop coronavirus protocols so that our student athletes could participate in the sports that they love. He has also expanded the athletic program at Gates County High School, even during a pandemic. This year he has added golf to our available sports. He also wrote and received a grant through the Professional Disc Golf Association to purchase equipment to teach disc golf in school. 

Harrell is the first to hit the court or the field, and the last to leave after every game. He made sure that the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s guidelines are followed to ensure that every athlete, spectator, and staff member is safe during events. He personally marked areas to ensure that six-feet guidelines were followed and after indoor games, donned his jet pack, and did not leave until he had sanitized the building. 

Harrell has been instrumental in getting students and coaches recognized for their efforts. In particular, he worked with coaches to create athletic recognition videos at the conclusion of each sports’ season. Harrell created a spreadsheet to help the data manager determine which student athletes qualified as scholar athletes and which teams meet the criteria to be recognized for academics by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

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