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Harrison High School
Harrison High School
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harrison high school history

Carl Harrison High School is proud of its tradition and excellence in academics, athletics, the performing arts, and engagement in community. Opened in 1991, with the slogan "The Tradition Begins With Me," and we are proud to continue the rich tradition and history of Harrison High School. 

Senator Carl Harrison: A Political Pioneer in Georgia

In 1991, Harrison High School in Cobb County, named after the late Carl J. Harrison, opened its doors for its inaugural year. Harrison High School is honored to carry on the legacy left by this outstanding, passionate individual who made such a great impact on Cobb County and the state of Georgia.

Early Years

Born on October 24, 1928, in North Carolina, he moved with his family to Georgia and graduated from Fulton High School in Atlanta where he played both basketball and baseball. He then went on to graduate from Georgia State College and later received the Distinguished Alumni Award. 

After college, Carl Harrison created the Harrison Glass Company in 1963 and demonstrated his determination when he risked financial security to follow his dream of running his own business. A well-rounded man, Mr. Harrison dedicated his time to both education and his family. He and his wife, Betty, had three children: Diane, Pamela, and John.

Cobb County Board of Education 

Mr. Harrison received recognition for his commitment to Cobb when the people elected him to the Cobb County Board of Education. He was the first Republican to serve as chairman of the board and the second Republican ever elected in Cobb County. His peers praised him for his passion for education and his commitment to Cobb County. Mr. Harrison’s dedication toward the students and his optimistic attitude made him unique among the board members. Dr. Thomas S. Tocco, former superintendent of Cobb County, described Harrison as a "man that truly cared about what was good for children in this state." Harrison served four years on the Cobb County Board of Education. Due to his phenomenal character and work on the school board, Mr. Harrison received the Marietta Daily Journal Citizen of the Year award in 1987.

Later Years

In 1975, Harrison left the School Board after his election to the Georgia House of Representatives where he served for seven years. Mr. Harrison continued to advocate for education as a member of the prominent education committee where he diligently worked to improve Georgia’s school systems. Because of his extraordinary work in the House, he was elected to the Georgia State Senate. Senator Harrison continued to fight for education during his remaining years in office, but his term was cut short due to his death in 1988 at the age of 59.

Raising awareness about heart transplants was important to Mr. Harrison based on his first-hand experience. Bo Pounds, one of his close friends, explained his strong character, stating, "Not once did he mention the hurt of his [heart transplant] operation." After surgery, Mr. Harrison joined the Transplant for Life Committee, an organization dedicated to making it a priority to help transplant patients. He used his position in legislation to push bills through the senate including a bill requiring insurance companies to provide optional coverage for heart transplants to the same extent of coverage as other physical ailments. As a result of his heart problems, Harrison died on June 30, 1988, from a massive stroke.

His achievements in education and government make him a role model for all of the students at Harrison High School. Carl J. Harrison’s work ethic and passion live on here at Harrison High School. A friend of Mr. Harrison, United States Senator Johnny Isakson, recalled Harrison’s death as "a real loss to the county and the school system, which he built."

The students of Harrison High School exhibit the same passion of Carl J. Harrison in their academics, sports, and extracurricular activities. Carl J. Harrison was always concerned with the Cobb Community, and Harrison students continue to give back by engaging in activities such as the annual Community Service Day, food drives throughout the year, and Toys for Tots. On Community Service Day, hundreds of students improve the Cobb area by performing such work as cleaning animal shelters and local parks and caring for the elderly. 

Senator Harrison’s spirit of determination can be seen every day here at Harrison High School—in the perseverance of our student athletes and our students’ daily commitment to do their best in all endeavors.