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Five New Members Inducted Into Trojan Hall of Fame

The Trojan Hall of Fame is a time-honored tradition at West. Alumni, former teachers and former coaches who are upstanding members of the community are eligible. The honorees are chosen by a committee who consider a myriad of factors. Such as, impact on the community and even impact on the national scale. This year, five alumni of Morristown-West joined the hall of fame. All of whom are in some way, pillars in the community, whether that be supporting education, the arts, or serving their country. All of these people have had an impact on

Morristown.


Michael, “Mike” Abbott


Michael, “Mike” Abbott Jr. graduated from Morristown West High School in 1996. He was a nationally ranked member of the Forensics/Speech/Debate team under Coach Suzanne Terry and appeared in countless local theatre productions. As a sophomore he attended the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts in Drama. He was “The Voice” of Trojan basketball in his junior and senior years. Mike attended the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts conservatory acting program and graduated with a BFA in Drama in 2000. Mike moved to New York City and became a member of John Houseman’s Tony Award-winning Acting Company. He has appeared in numerous stage productions in New York City and in productions across all 50 states. Mike has performed in many of the nation’s most prestigious theaters, including The Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Mike’s feature film debut came in 2007 in the critically acclaimed Shotgun Stories. He has since appeared in a myriad of roles as an award-winning actor, writer, producer and director, working with such names as Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the Actors Equity Association. Mike uses his skills to serve communities far outside the entertainment industry. Following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Mike co-founded the non-profit organization ONE-TRUCK.ORG to bring long-term sustainable housing and water filtration systems to the most decimated areas of the country. Closer to home, The Appalachian Community Fund of America honored Mike with a national award for his steadfast commitment to working for social, economic, racial and environmental justice in central Appalachia. Mike’s loyalty to Morristown continues to this day as he works on behalf of disabled youth to secure funding for wheelchair accessible vehicles and ongoing medical expenses.


Dr. Ashley Campbell Lindley


Dr. Ashley Campbell Lindley graduated from Morristown West High School in 2004. Her time at West revolved around her studies, playing the flute in band, the scholars bowl team and Beta Club. She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Morristown, participating in the music program and youth group. After graduation, she attended the University of Alabama at Huntsville. While at Alabama, she pledged Delta Zeta Sorority and her sorority sisters became her friends for life. She continued her service as an Alumna Collegiate Chapter Delegate and was recognized by Delta Zeta’s “35 Under 35” program for her outstanding professional accomplishments. Dr Lindley earned her undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral degrees in Physics. After earning her doctorate in Astrophysics, Dr Lindley worked for the United States Missile Defense Agency. Later, she worked for Northrop-Grumman Corporation, working on national defense systems. Dr Lindley was considered a Radar subject matter expert and the only Radar Analyst on the Hypersonics National Team. She was recognized several times for her career in a male-dominated Fortune 500 company that specialized in fighting the war on terror and making this country safe from foreign missile threats. Dr Lindley was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church of Madison, Alabama, as well as Rotary International, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra Guild, the North Alabama Photographers Guild and the Huntsville Photographic Society. She loved traveling the world from East Tennessee to Southeast Asia, carrying her camera across the globe in search of another stunning picture. Dr. Lindley passed away in 2019, at the age of 33, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was survived by her husband, Simon, along with their dachshund, Cooper.


Frank McGuffin


Frank McGuffin is a 1982 graduate of Morristown West High School. He lettered in swim and tennis all four years at West and was part of an All-Conference swim team during these years. Frank was also involved with the Interact Club, serving as President during his senior year. Frank attended the University of Tennessee before returning to Morristown to work in his family’s business. Frank and his family have owned numerous businesses, including McGuffin Lumber, Tidi Waste, McGuffin Partners, Quality Waste and Chuck’s Package Store. Frank’s contributions to the Morristown community are extensive. He served on the Morristown City Council for eight years and was selected the 2004 Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman. Frank currently serves on the Planning Commission, Airport Commission, Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce Board, and the Executive Committee for the Walters State Foundation Board of Trustees. Frank’s community involvement extends beyond the business community. He has served on many non-profit boards, including MATS, Humane Society, and SunTrust Advisory Committee. He was a founding member of Encore Theatrical Company and served as President of the Board at All Saints Episcopal School. He is currently serving on the Boys and Girls Club Board and the Boys and Girls Club Foundation Board. Frank’s financial contributions spread across multiple organizations including The Trojan Army, Boys and Girls Club, MATS, Food on Foot, United Way, Serenity House, ALPS, WSCC, Morristown-Hamblen Hospital Foundation, Kingswood Home for Children and YoungLife. Frank and his wife Whitney have two daughters, Addison and Harper, who are now West Trojans.


John Litz


John Litz, a 1979 graduate of Morristown West High School, has deep roots in Hamblen County. A 4 th -generation farmer, he was raised on the farm that he and his wife Kathy now share. Its operation currently includes 3,000 acres of corn, soybeans, turf grass and a vineyard. At Morristown West High School, John excelled in vocational agriculture, which helped cement his future role as a farmer and community leader. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, John was an owner/manager of a 2,500+ head feedlot operation, in charge of animal health and assisting in row crop management. John also graduated from the University of Kentucky’s two-year leadership development program. John was selected as Lancaster Sunbelt Farmer of the Year for the state of Tennessee. He has received numerous awards that include Hamblen County Farm Family of the Year and Hamblen County Agribusiness Person of the Year. He currently serves on the UT Agricultural Regional Advisory Committee and is a member of the BPOE (Elks Club), Hamblen County Democratic Party, numerous local and statewide Farm Bureau committees, and attends All Saints Episcopal Church. John served as Vice-Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party and was a member of the Tennessee State Democratic Executive Committee. John also served four terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives, where he sat on the Agriculture Committee, State and Local Government Committee, Elections sub-committee and was an officer as a freshman on the Calendar and Rules Committee. In 2022, President Joe Biden appointed John a Farm Service Agency State Executive Director. John is responsible for day-to-day operations of 59 county offices and 250 employees. John and his wife Kathy enjoy traveling and spending time with friends both in Morristown and in Nashville.


Suzanne Cox


Suzanne Cox, a 1986 graduate of Morristown West High School, is a native and lifelong resident of Hamblen County and the President of Tennessee College of Applied Technology. After graduating from West High, she earned her post- graduate degree in Educational Leadership from Tennessee State University. Her time at TCAT has given Ms. Cox first- hand knowledge of the importance of technical education and the value of professional training. The value and reward of careers in a technical field was taught to Ms. Cox by her father, a skilled auto repair technician who owned and operated his own business for over 20 years. Ms. Cox is a firm believer in giving back to the community and encourages students and employees to be active in community service efforts. She has served as a mentor with Tennessee Achieves, completed both the Leadership Morristown program and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission Leadership Fellows Programs and served on the Academic Affairs sub-council for the Tennessee Board of Regents. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Business Affairs Sub- Council for Tennessee Board of Regents, and numerous other teams and committees. She is committed to the widespread growth of technical education, student success, and community and workforce development. She has been married to her husband Dan for 33 years. They have two adult daughters, Brooke Banks and Bailey Mery, along with two grandchildren, Jase and Addy Sue. She enjoys spending time with her family and finds tremendous joy in every moment spent with her two grandchildren.


Each of the inductees gave a brief speech, sharing a life lesson, such as believing in yourself, cherishing those around you, and rising above what life throws at you. After all was said and done, one thing was clear, the lives of the seniors were just beginning.


Trojan Hall of Fame

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