School district seeks nominations for newly created Hall of Fame

Class Notes 10.01.15
Class Notes 10.01.15
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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— Orange County Public Schools’ new Hall of Fame will recognize both outstanding graduates and former educators.

ORANGE COUNTY — The first School Board of Orange County met in December 1869, when W.A. Lovell was elected to serve as the first superintendent of the new school district. This board was tasked with finding qualified teachers for the county’s four major communities, and the first new schoolhouse for 15 students was approved in 1871. Schools had to be at least three miles apart, and the families had to construct their own building.

Orange County Public Schools has come a long way from its one-room schoolhouses and is getting ready to celebrate its 145th anniversary. To mark this milestone, it is creating a Hall of Fame to recognize the county’s extraordinary teachers and administrators and standout graduates.

Nominations are open until Dec. 18, and the public can go online and recommend someone in one of three categories: Community Champions, Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Educators. As many as five inductees will be chosen by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

Nominees for all categories must exemplify the highest standards of ethical conduct and moral character. All candidates will be judged on their significant or long-term contributions.

The nominee can be living or deceased, but nominated educators must be retired. A nominated educator should have devoted the majority of his/her career to teaching or being a school or district administrator in public schools in Orange County.

The first class will be inducted May 15, 2015, at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando. Those inducted will receive a personal keepsake, and their induction will be memorialized on the Hall of Fame wall in the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center in downtown Orlando.

Kat Gordon, Orange County School Board member, suggested the idea of a Hall of Fame at a board retreat last year as a way of “looking at its history to define its legacy,” said Dylan Thomas, OCPS director of public relations.

“Now in its 145th year, there’s plenty to highlight,” Thomas said. “In concept meetings between staff and individual board members, a celebration was planned and a hall of fame was designated as a suitable signature component of our historical celebrations. With five inductees each year, there will be five illustrious stories to tell that help define our legacy.


• A Community Champion is anyone who has been a loyal and devoted supporter of an OCPS program, school or the district for a minimum of 10 years.

• A Distinguished Alumni nominee must have graduated from an Orange County public school or have attended one or more OCPS schools for at least three years and must have been out of high school for at least 10 years. Nominations can be made under the subcategories of Athletic Achievement, Professional Achievement and Humanitarian Achievement.

• A Distinguished Educator can be an administrator, coach, teacher or staff member and must have held a position within OCPS for a minimum of 10 years.

For a detailed list of criteria, visit and click on the Community Page. Some nominations must include endorsements or letters of recommendation.

A downloadable document will be posted on the web page, or the public can request one by emailing [email protected].

 Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].


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