The community is still reeling from the tragic news that former Harnett County School Superintendent and Triton High School Principal Dan Honeycutt, 68, died following a tractor accident last week.
“This county is worse off without Dan Honeycutt in it,” Sheriff Wayne Coats said. “He was a good, Christian man and a family man. We have been friends a long time and his family is in my prayers.”
Such sentiments are widespread, as Mr. Honeycutt had so many good friends throughout the region and his many former students remember him so fondly.
Mr. Honeycutt spent his entire career with the Harnett County School System. He started as an agriculture teacher at Coats High School. He was also well recognized in the athletics community, serving as a softball coach.
When Coats consolidated with Erwin and Dunn High schools to form Triton High School, Mr. Honeycutt moved to the new school and moved into an assistant principal’s position and continued his coaching career.
During his career as a coach, Mr. Honeycutt’s teams won 11 conference championships and made 12 state playoff appearances. In 2011, he was inducted into the North Carolina Softball Hall of Fame.
Terry Byrd, who was Mr. Honeycutt’s secretary at Triton High School and then at the central office, said, “The children of Harnett County Schools and his staff were always Mr. Honeycutt’s priority. He was always looking for the good in people and he wanted people to see qualities in themselves they didn’t know they had.”
Many organizations — and thus many people — benefited from Mr. Honeycutt’s efforts. The Dunn Police Athletic League posted a statement pointing out that he had helped arrange transportation for students involved in PAL. “He understood the need for community and school relationships,” the statement read.
H.L. Sorrell of Coats, a former chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, taught Mr. Honeycutt at Coats School before later working with him as a colleague.
“He was an outstanding individual who was well liked by his students,” Mr. Sorrell said. “This is just a shock to our community.”
Mr. Honeycutt also served on the board of trustees at Central Carolina Community College and was a member of the board at Good Hope Hospital.
Former Superintendent Phil Ferrell worked under Mr. Honeycutt as an assistant superintendent.
“He had confidence in me to hire me as an assistant superintendent and I will never forget that,” Mr. Ferrell said. “I have fond memories of working with him and I think together we helped move the Harnett County Schools forward. He was my buddy and I will miss him.”
Indeed, so many people were positively impacted by Dan Honeycutt. And we will all miss him.