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Honoring a Legacy: Sign Big Al’s eCard Today!

Tana Black 2019-10-10



It was vision and grit that led C. Allen Powell, or “Big Al,” to join forces with Jon and Patricia Poteat and establish the National Technical Honor Society over 35 years ago. Since then, Big Al has faithfully led our organization in growth – from one South Carolina chapter, to over 4,600 member schools and colleges all across the country and abroad.

C. Allen Powell, Co-Founder and former Executive Director with Peyton Holland, Executive Director

Under his leadership, we’ve been honored to become a major scholarship source for high-achieving Career and Technical Education (CTE) students, and we’ve been privileged to award over $2 million in scholarships to date. Throughout his career, Mr. Powell has dutifully championed the benefits and advantages of CTE and training in skilled trades, and leaves behind a remarkable legacy in the hearts of his staff, our Advisors, and our members.

September 30th was Big Al’s last day as acting Executive Director, and on October 1st when Peyton Holland joined our team, he happily stepped into the role of Advisor to the Executive Director. Here, he’ll be able to advise and guide his successor through the end of the year, as Peyton settles into his new role as the leader of NTHS.

NTHS Founders (from left to right) circa 1985: Jon Poteat, Patricia Poteat, Polly Powell, and C. Allen Powell.

It’s no secret that Big Al has touched countless lives and hearts through his dedication and wholehearted enthusiasm over the last 35 years, and many of you have already begun reaching out to let him know. We plan on celebrating his retirement in the near future, and no matter where you live, we sincerely hope you can join us for that… But until then, we thought we’d give everyone a centralized place to leave Big Al some love.

So in the comments below, we invite you to let Mr. Powell know exactly how his work has impacted your life, and how the NTHS legacy he was so instrumental in creating and guiding will continue on through your life and career.

Please make sure to add your name, so we know who the comment is coming from!

79 Replies to “Honoring a Legacy: Sign Big Al’s eCard Today!”

  1. Allen,
    Your contributions are enormous. The impact of your work expansive. Your friendship and partnerships are huge.

    The only thing small about you is your ego.

    Thank you for all that you have done (and will do)!

  2. Enjoy your retirement!

    As an honorary member of NTHS, and currently an adviser, I thank you for your work. I’ve been adviser for three years, and our chapter has really been growing. Students are now seeing NTHS membership (and especially the recognition at graduation!) as an incentive to stay in and get good grades.

  3. Mr. Powell–Thank you for your vision, insightfulness, hard work and dedication to Career and Technical Education (CTE). Here at the Branch Area Careers Center, in Coldwater, Michigan, we proclaim that membership in NTHS is the highest honor a CTE student can achieve–and we BELIEVE it! Students engaged in CTE programs are the backbone to our education system and are the “do-ers” of the United States education system. Thank YOU and your team of founders for establishing an Honor Society that gives recognition to those hard working CTE students. We appreciate you and all you have done to promote NTHS to all of the US. Enjoy your well deserved retirement! God Bless!

  4. …the end of an era but the start of a whole new chapter! Congratulations on your well deserved retirement! A dream that flourished!

  5. Although I’ve never met you personally I’d like to thank you for creating such an amazing organization leaving other members such as myself to feeling special 🤗

  6. Mr. Powell, without your hard work I wouldn’t have been involved in the community I am in today, which has created the path for my future career. Thank you!

  7. Thank you so much for your contributions to this world! Without your leadership, many students wouldn’t be pursuing an education. Without your leadership, many wouldn’t be where they are today. It’s a powerful thing. Much love from Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, PA. Every student there has much to owe you. Every student there appreciates what you do. Thank you!

  8. Mr. Powell-Jeff and I hope that you and Polly are having the time of your lives. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for you and this organization. You will always be family to me. Carry on, sir!
    With love and blessings

  9. Al,
    Thanks to your hard work and dedication to this organization I got to realize a dream at 37 that I wasn’t able to accomplish as a child in school. I have ADHD and I have struggled with it all my life that I can remember. In school I was misunderstood and labeled a troublemaker due to the relative ignorance to my condition in the late 80’s/early 90’s. No matter how well I did my academic accomplishments were ignored. Thanks to NTHS and everything you all have done the last 35 years, when I graduated with my Barbers certificate I was able to hold my head up high and be proud of myself as my name was announced as graduating with honors. It was one of the proudest moments of my adult life. If it wasn’t for NTHS working to recognize the accomplishments of trade students, I would have never known this amazing feeling of accomplishment. Thank you for everything you’ve done for students like myself and enjoy your well earned retirement.

  10. Since the day I joined NTHS; I know I’ve changed a lot that really helped me to become a better person inside and out. NTHS is one of the reasons why I’m always trying my best. Thank you Mr. Powell! We all appreciate you in so many ways.

  11. NTHS has opened a lot of doors and given me many skills. It’s probably one of the biggest factors to my current and future success right now. Thank you!

  12. Hello Big “AL” , I know retirement. I am a proud recipient of the Poteat Scholarship Award 2019. I graduated 6-21-2019 and passed the boards 8-16-2019. Today I am a Licensed Practical Nurse working in Pediatrics. I am 57yrs old, and accomplished this after retiring from the State of NJ with 32yrs of service. Becoming a Nurse was always a dream and now I found my purpose. Your dedication and service touched my heart and impacted my life. I will help others as you have helped me. Hard work and the recognition of this fine society gave me hope and direction when I needed it most. I am forever grateful. Congratulations and God bless you!!

  13. Thank you so much
    For your contribution, as a national member of technical honor society you’ve inspired me. Thank you for giving us members the opportunity to be a member, you’re contributions impacted many in positive ways, Mr. Powell, I wish you well may God continue to bless you, enjoy your retirement.

  14. Mr. Powell,

    Thank you so very much for leading a very special organization that led me to what I am doing in my life right now! This isn’t the end for you! It’s just a new beginning! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  15. Thank you for everything you have done for NTHS. Being a part of this organization has kept me motivated to keep my grades up even in the toughest of times. I am proud to be a member of this community that you have built. Now it’s time for you to relax and enjoy yourself! Happy retirement!

  16. Congratulations on your retirement Allen. You have made a tremendous positive impact on many young lives. It was a pleasure serving on the board.

  17. Thank you for creating this amazing community. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be apart of something so special. Happy retirement!

    Deana Kellermier

  18. This organization has made so many amazing things possible for me that I simply wouldn’t be able to express my full gratitude in mere words! Thank you so much for all you’ve done for the technical college system. Without you, we wouldn’t be who we are today, and for that, we are eternally indebted to you!

  19. Enjoy your retirement, I want to thank you for all you have done. Your such a amazing person and very kind/ thoughtful. May you have nothing but greatness.

  20. Thanks, Al for what you’ve done to help further my career and help me get the education I’ve desired my whole life!!! Happy retirement!!

  21. Mr. Powell,

    Thank you for leading the way in the creation of NTHS. I think the organization has shown students what it means to be involved in a CTE career and are able to get excited for what their future holds when they see the real world applications. I, myself, am ready for the real world, and am grateful for the courage you have bestowed upon me.

  22. Allen,
    Thank you for your contribution to this county. We all appreciate what you do for us and will always keep you close to our hearts. We will miss you dearly but we understand everyone needs to take some time off after working so hard for so many years. We will keep you in our prayers and we hope to see you sometime in the future. I hope everything goes smoothly for you

    Gabrielle Coolidge

  23. Thank you for helping to showcase and put the spotlight on Career and Technical Education students and the invaluable skills, knowledge and abilities they possess. There’s a quote that states, “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” (John C. Maxwell). I say that “People don’t truly appreciate how much our students know until they can’t find anyone with the needed CTE skills!” Thank you for honoring our CTE students who demonstrate their command of these necessary skills as they take their place as the cornerstone of our country’s economic foundation.

  24. Thank you for all that you have done for NTHS Mr. Powell! Payton has some big shoes to fill but with your guidance and expertise, he should have no problems! Good luck on yourfuture endeavors!

  25. Thank you for everything you’ve done for all of us in the NTHS Organization. I’ve never met you before but from what I’ve heard your a great person and I wish you a happy retirement.
    Thank you

  26. Thank you for everything you have done for the Honor Society!!! You have helped so many students over the years!! It is a great privilege to be part of this organization.

  27. Mr. Powell,
    Your contributions to NTHS are unrivaled and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with you as an NTHS advisor of 13 years. I will forever cherish the extraordinary experience we shared at the Mountain Trail Outdoor School in 2010 and the opportunity to visit NTHS headquarters at the end of our weekend. I wish you good health and happiness in your retirement!

  28. Congratulations on your retirement and all that you have accomplished! I am honored that my son is a part of such a wonderful organization. We wish you much happiness as you begin your new adventure!

  29. Thank you dear friend for ALL you have done for so many kids and teachers over these many years. You are one of the most talented and inspirational educators with whom I ever had the pleasure to work! Some people come into our lives for a short while and are gone. But others, leave footprints on our heart, no matter the length of the stay, and we are forever changed. You are one such person ! Enjoy this new chapter of your life… knowing you – you will find many new adventures and joys!

  30. Congratulations on your retirement! I hope you are able to really take reflect and appreciate the impact you have had on many lives and families across the country. What a legacy! And many thanks for your commitment to stay engaged with the State CTE Directors.

  31. Happy Retirement!! When I retired there was a sign in Human Resources that said you needed to have 8 activities to replace your employment. I hope the Butler Family is one of these activities!! HA!

  32. Congratulations Brother!

    It all started in the basement of Jon and Pat stuff in’ all those darn envelopes with all the kids running everywhere! Seems like yesterday but we are sincerely happy and pleased your dream and visionary leadership persevered when so many in secondary education plus the state department tossed hurdles and roadblocks in your path. …but YOU did it big brother!

    The solid foundation has been cast for the society to evolve into an even greater source for students seeking challenging careers when our country’s future looks even more prosperous for the industrial and business sectors!

    It was all possible because you maintained a “servant’s heart” toward this endeavor!

    Enjoy retirement you’ve earned it, spoil the grandchildren and look forward to another Powell Grand Reunion!

    GO TIGERS🐅
    WAR EAGLE 🏈

    Lil brother,
    Bob & Teri

  33. Big Al,
    Congratulations on your retirement!!
    If you find you need some lessons on how to completely enjoy retirement let Eleanor and I know!!
    Our rates are very competitive!!

    Steve and Eleanor Collins

  34. Your honoring your mother’s wishes and your gift of hospitality have provided years of delightful times for many of us at The Clinton Presbyterian Community. All of us consider the visits to Flat Rock as some of the very best! Best wishes for retirement to a kind, generous gentleman!

  35. Big Al
    Congrats on your life’s accomplishments!! You should be proud of what you have built and can leave as a legacy!!

  36. NTHS would not be around to honor students without the work you have done. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to honor the work of students as an NTHS advisor. I hope that you have a long and fruitful retirement!

  37. Big Al,

    What a blessing that you were able to turn something that was a passion of yours from a young age into an organization that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. We are proud of you and love you! Now enjoy that next season, you have earned it!

  38. Allen,

    Congratulations on your retirement! Your dedication to NTHS and partnership with Blue Ridge Community College will last forever. We will miss you but always know that you have an open invitation to the College at anytime. Thanks for all the hard work!

  39. Big Al: Your vision, dedication, and commitment to the founding, and growth of NTHS is unparalled and an everlasting tribute to your leadership over the past 35 years. Career and Technical Education would not be the same dynamic and quality program that it is without recognizing its best and brightest students and that is what NTHS has done over the past 35 years. Thanks for your hard work and exemplary leadership throughout your tenure. You will be missed.

  40. Thank You Mr.Powell
    I appreciate all your hard work and dedication. Please go and enjoy all your time off doing what makes you happy.

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