Hawkins County remains in shock at the sudden and untimely passing of respected, longtime educator Bobby Wines, who died Sunday morning in an apparent swimming accident at his home. The tragic loss took friends, students, school staffs and families by surprise. The standout teacher and principal will be missed by many.
Wines had just taken over as principal of Carters Valley Elementary on July 1 after serving the previous six academic years as principal of Volunteer High School, where he was admired and appreciated. Hawkins County Director of Schools Matt Hixson announced Wines’ passing Sunday to school faculty and staff. “We are truly a family,” Hixson said. “As with any family, we share in the joys we all experience, but also in the hard and troubling times. Now is unfortunately one of those troubling times.”
Hixson added, “As many of you know, Bobby was a soon-to-be 30-year veteran of HCS, serving as teacher, coach and administrator, demonstrating success in every position he held. He was more than that, though. He was a great man who loved students, his staff, and truly enjoyed helping others succeed. Please keep his daughters, his extended family, and girlfriend in your prayers.”
Wines joined the Hawkins County school system in 1990. Prior to being named Volunteer principal, he served as principal at Mount Carmel Elementary and Surgoinsville Middle; assistant principal at Volunteer and Church Hill Middle; and science teacher and coach at Church Hill Middle and Volunteer.
During his nine years at MCES, the school received a number of academic honors including being named as one of three SCORE (State Collaborative on Reforming Education) finalists in 2013-14, as well as being recognized as a Tennessee Reward School for several years.
Hawkins County Board of Education Chairman Chris Christian said he was shocked and saddened by the passing of Wines, who was a lifelong friend. “I’m at a loss,” Christian said. “When you grow up with someone from childhood and work with them in professional life, to see the good he’s done in his life, it saddens me. It’s a sad day. I’ve known him all my life. I thought the world of him. He touched the lives of a lot of people. I never expected this, but we never know when our time comes or what the Lord has in store for us.”
Mount Carmel Police Department Detective Cody Bussell said confirmation of the cause of death is pending completion of an autopsy.
We all know life can be short, that you can be taken at any moment. Of that, Shakespeare said, “so live your life to the fullest, every second of your life, just treasure it.”
We add our grief at the loss of this outstanding educator and leader.