West High is filled with dozens of wonderful staff members. One staff member in particular has gone above and beyond giving away his time to not only teach but to also coach a golf team, drive students home from school, and also transport student workers to and from Dollywood, not only during the school year but also during the summer as well. Coach Ralph Noble has become a large influence to the students and adults around him, not only from West but to all Hamblen County Schools.
Noble graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama which is where he met his wife. He began teaching at Pelham High School also located at Birmingham, Alabama. He taught there for seven years before moving to Tennessee where he taught at Sevier County High School. He then moved to West, where he has been Trojan strong for 22 years.
Noble has been a lover of golf for years and is even the golf coach at West; this year his team has had amazing success. The team qualified for regional championships and are to play Sept. 27, 2021.Noble said, “Without a doubt, the secret to the success of our golf team is the hard work, dedication and commitment by our players. They play and practice all year, not just during the season. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
In 2019, Noble got word that Dollywood was having an incentive program for teachers. He had always thought it would be fun working at an amusement park so he jumped at the opportunity. After he was hired, Charles Carter, CTE director, and Daniel Aldridge approached Noble asking if he would be interested in driving students to and from Dollywood for the new Work Based Learning program that was starting. Noble agreed, and in the winter of 2019 he traveled with a bus load of 50 to 60 students. Sadly during the fall of 2020 the Dollywood transportation was on hold due to Covid but it has been up and running since the beginning of 2021 helping students earn money to help pay for bills and other expenses. Carter said, “Over the past three years, Hamblen County CTE has partnered with Dollywood/Splash Country to provide WBL internships to our juniors and seniors. Mr. Noble has stepped in and stepped up to become the go to for all things Dollywood/Splash Country. His organizational skills and dedication to this role have made the program a huge success for our students and our community. Coordinating trips, committing endless hours on the road and at the park, Mr. Noble has taken this position and turned it into a positive experience for Hamblen CTE. I would have to say that I have not had to worry about the transportation of our students to Dollywood since our partnership started, and a large part of that is due to the relentless stamina and commitment to the job being done right! We appreciate Mr. Noble and enjoy working with him!”
With all the activities Noble is involved in, his priority is managing time for his family. Noble is very proud of his family. His wife, Kristie, is a health care worker. His daughter, Rebecca is attending her second year at Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama where she is working towards her doctoral degree in Physical Therapy. His son Nicholas is attending Walter State on a choir and cross country scholarship. Noble expressed how he lacks confidence in his time management skills. Noble spends most of his time at school where he teaches, coaches, and drives a bus. away from school, he travels to his son's cross country meets and spends time with his family.
Noble’s hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. He has impacted many co-workers and students in his years as an educator at West. Coach Jennifer Murphy said, “Mr. Noble was one of the first people in this building to welcome me 16 years ago. It helped that we also taught the same subject and shared a love for sports. I have sought him out for help on many occasions including math questions as well as personal advice. He is a great person who has an amazing heart. He loves our kids and puts 100% of his being into helping others. We are lucky to have him.” Noble always tries to make people smile or laugh. He said, “As I have gotten older, I try to make it a point to be an encouragement to those who might be struggling. Whether it’s just being kind or merciful, or whether it’s cracking a joke or giving a hug, I try to help people know that they can come to me when they are feeling down.” Noble admits that he has been in the wrong on occasion he has been working on saying “I’m sorry” when he comes off too harshly.