Meet Harmon Tison! Harmon is an engineering teacher at Flowery Branch High School, as well as one of the TSA (Technical Student Association) advisors for FBHS. He works with students in a pathway class, allowing him to teach them from their freshmen to senior year, as well as going on state and national trips with them for TSA.
Harmon attended Georgia Tech Institute of Technology and is originally from Eastman. He is married to Jackie and the couple has two son. When he isn’t teaching, Harmon like to fish, hunt, coach youth sport and home improvement projects.
Abernathy Cochran intern Julia Peake sat down with Tison to discuss his time in Hall County as a high school teacher.
Question: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
Answer: “I have lived in Hall County since 2004, and I have worked in Hall County since 2013.”
Q: Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met in Hall County?
A: “My neighbor, Coach Robert Sapp, he’s a former UGA baseball coach and also the former coach at Middle Georgia College, and I grew up about 15 miles south from Middle Georgia College, which is in Cochran, and when I was a kid I used to go to this baseball camp that he only hosted at Middle Georgia College.
“When I first moved in, I was in my driveway doing something, and he comes over and introduces himself as ‘Robert Sapp’ and I’m like ‘Coach Sapp?’ I went inside and got a picture from when I was about, 9 years old, of all my friends and the baseball coach at my high school who drove us all the way, everyday to baseball camp for him. So, just meeting him and knowing the success he’s had, he’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame for the state of Georgia, was just really interesting.”
Q: What inspired or led you to your current career?
A: “I’ve always enjoyed working with young people, and developing relationships and building character is something I’m kind of passionate about. Through networking opportunities, one thing led to another. Through some people in Hall County and some people I know saying ‘you’d make a great teacher’ and that they had an engineering position at Flowery Branch…and it just worked out.”
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Hall County?
A: “My favorite restaurant Carniceria Tapatia, next to Stevie B’s in Gainesville, there’s a little grocery store there and I love their burritos. In the back they have a little food corner, and food counter, and their burritos are excellent and they’re cheap. They’re the size of your leg and 5 bucks! It’s fresh, it’s fantastic. It’s locally owned. Actually, my kids go to WLA with their kids, and that’s kind of how I heard about it.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: “I’ve been to Italy, but I would like to go to China, because of the culture, and also the history. I would love to see the Great Wall. Just all the history and how that society has survived and changed.”
Q: What advice would you give to a crowd of people?
A: “If all you do is all you’ve ever done, you’ll never be anything more than you are right now. I mean, pain is associated with growth and change, that’s why pain is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Q: What’s something on your bucket list?
A: “I would like to skydive. I think the adrenaline rush and just the experience of hoping the parachute opens, ya know? Just having that experience and the view from 3500 feet.”
Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
A: “When I was little I wanted to be an engineer, not like the kind that I am but, a train engineer, a locomotive engineer, and my favorite childhood memory is we used to have this Audi fox, which is like a Volkswagen, Fox type. It had a sunroof, and I would stand on the driver’s seat and on the passenger’s seat and stand outside the sunroof and my mom pull right up to the train tracks when the train would come by, just so I could see it. And I would wave at the engineers and I just remember doing that and that it was kind of cool.”
Q: What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theater?
A: “The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was The Empire Strikes Back, in 1980.”
Q: What are three bands you would like to see, alive or dead?
A: “I like all kinds of music, if you looked at my Pandora playlists, there’s 50 different stations
from like Will Smith rap to Willie Nelson country to 90s Alternative Rock, it’s just really a mix. If I
had to pick three bands I would love to see Billy Joel, Hank Williams Jr, The Rolling Stones.”
Q: Choosing anyone, past or present, with whom you’d like to have lunch?
A: “I would love to have lunch with George Lucas, just to say that I did it and pick his brain just about did he ever envision his little space movie being the phenomenon that it is, ya know?”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Hall County?
A: “I think my favorite thing about Hall County is there’s no gnats, or there are very few gnats. But really the geographic location. The proximity but also the convenience, the beauty But really the geographic location. The proximity but also the convenience, the beauty of the mountains.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: Still teaching, any school, somewhere in Hall County, hopefully. I’m still young so hopefully
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I’m a huge Star Wars fan, I mean, I have Star Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. And I will beat anybody
that wants to come over and play it.”
Q: What are three words that make you think of HOME?
A: “Mom, Farm, and Food.”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.