The Pearl River Community College 2012 Distinguished Service Awards is going to Herbert Ray Nobles, a retired educator. Nobles, of Petal and South Mississippi Electric Power Association, retired as superintendent of the Petal school district in 1987, and has served as the Forrest County representative on the PRCC board of trustees since 1994.
Nobles grew up in the Midway community of Lamar County and graduated from Sumrall High School before coming to Pearl River in 1949. He played offensive and defensive tackle for two years at Pearl River before attending Auburn University for a semester and then transferring to then-Southern Mississippi College. He earned the bachelor’s degree in biological science and physical education and began his career teaching and coaching football, basketball and baseball in 1953 in Brooksville. Other teaching and coaching positions followed in DeKalb and Lucedale as Nobles earned a master’s degree in school administration. He was junior high principal and high school football coach from 1961-63 in Petal and won the DeSoto Conference championship while at Lucedale and Petal. Nobles also served as coach, teacher or principal in Leakesville, Prentiss and Wiggins before returning to Petal as a principal. When the Petal Separate School District was formed in 1976, he became its first superintendent.
He and his wife, Betty, have been married for 61 years and have four children, three of whom attended Pearl River, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
State legislator Herb Frierson of Poplarville has earned the PRCC Alumni Association’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year award. Frierson carried on a PRCC tradition established by his maternal grandfather, Homer Ladner, who graduated from Pearl River County Agricultural High School before World War I. The tradition was continued by his parents, Mauree Ladner Frierson and J.Q. Frierson, in the years immediately before World War II.
Frierson enrolled in the fall of 1976. A marketing major, Frierson transferred to Mississippi State University after one year at PRCC. He earned the bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State in 1981 and coached and taught high school in Columbia and Picayune and taught at Stone County High School. His teaching career ended in 1991 when he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. Frierson has been re-elected four times and works as a real estate appraiser when the Legislature is not in session. He currently serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and as a member of the Apportionment and Elections, Conservation and Water Resources, Education, Legislative Budget and Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks committees.
Frierson and his wife, Cheryl, have a son and a daughter.