By: Joe Johnston | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: March 2019
Art Fleak, Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame.
What do rock and roll legend Leon Russell and S. E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, have in common? They are both members of the Tulsa Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame.
They’ll be joined by a new class of Hall of Fame inductees during ceremonies March 29. Included is R. David Bynum, cell biologist and innovative leader in STEM education. Also Art Fleak, Tulsa County’s first juvenile public defender and author of the state’s juvenile justice code. They’ll be joined by Pat Kelley, guitarist, composer, and member of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, and Sherryl Mellott McGuire, special education pioneer and a longtime OU faculty member in nontraditional postgraduate studies. Also, Richard Meydag, Marine aviator, recipient of the Silver Star, and presidential helicopter pilot.
Members of the Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame are selected by the Will Rogers High School Community Foundation and are honored with a display in the hallways of the school. Bynum, Fleak, Kelley, McGuire and Meydag will be formally inducted with a ceremony that is free and open to the public in the auditorium of the beautiful art deco school at 9 a.m. March 29. They’ll also be honored at a dinner that evening at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown, with tickets on sale through the Will Rogers High School Community Foundation website, www.willrogersfoundation.net.
A few years ago, Will Rogers High School almost closed because of low enrollment and budget concerns. Fortunately, it was saved, largely through the efforts of the Foundation. It became a select magnet school, was renamed the Will Rogers College Junior High and High School and allows students who meet the entrance requirements to start in seventh grade, take college classes on campus, and graduate with both a diploma and college credit.
Pat Kelley, Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame.
The Will Rogers High School Community Foundation enhances educational opportunities for Will Rogers students and empowers their teachers, families and the community through charitable contributions. According to Board Chairman Loretta Roberts, “The all-volunteer Foundation is a community organization, with Roper alums at its heart, but also including individual friends, businesses and other neighbors of the school who collectively have a mission to support the School, faculty, staff and students. While the list of prior inductees into the Tulsa Will Rogers Hall of Fame is inspiring, by helping the School provide the best possible educational opportunities to its students, the Foundation is working to ensure there will continue to be equally inspiring future inductees.”
Working with the principal, Nicolette Dennis, the Foundation has provided a half-million dollars in academic grants and other support for the arts, athletics and various activities. The Foundation funds such necessities as classroom projects, student trips and science, music and art equipment. There’s now a waiting list to enroll in Tulsa Will Rogers, and the Foundation continues to promote “Will on the Hill” as Tulsa’s school of choice.
The Hall of Fame honors distinguished alumni as an inspiration to all Tulsa Will Rogers students. Past luminaries include NBA and NFL athletes, a Broadway actress, ground-breaking medical researchers and educational leaders, along with David Rader, State Senator and former TU head football coach, and Rodger Randle, former Tulsa Mayor and President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, who currently serves as the Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.
R. David Bynum, Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame, 2019.
Richard Meydag, Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame.
Sherryl Mellott McGuire, Will Rogers High School Hall of Fame.
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