Photo Gallery | School district announces Hall of Fame inductees
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The Richland One School District has announced ten inductees to the Hall of Fame. The names were announced Monday.
The Richland One Hall of Fame was created to recognize graduates of Richland One schools and other people throughout the district’s history who have made significant contributions to Richland One, their communities, their professions and society as a whole. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon individuals by the Richland One Board of School Commissioners. Forty-seven people have been inducted since the Hall of Fame was established in 2004.
The 10th Anniversary Richland One Hall of Fame Induction Gala will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
The 10 members of the 2013 Richland One Hall of Fame induction class are:
- Heyward Bannister, a 1969 graduate of Hopkins High School has played a major role in transforming political landscapes by managing and providing consulting services for more than 250 political campaigns, ranging from school board elections to presidential campaigns. He is president and CEO of BANCO/Bannister Company, the public relations, political consulting and marketing firm he opened in 1992.
- Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell, a family practitioner in North Charleston, South Carolina, is a 1962 graduate of C.A. Johnson High School who founded Closing the Gap in Health Care, a nonprofit organization aimed at decreasing health disparities by providing health education for African-Americans and other underserved populations. Dr. Bell has received numerous honors and awards, including the National Medical Association’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award. He also is a world-class runner in Masters Track and Field.
- Shirley Anne Glenn Davis, a graduate of Hopkins High School, served on the Richland Board of School Commissioners from 1992-2000. Her life’s work was dedicated to being the voice for special needs and underserved children and their families. She was the founder and CEO of Beyond the Door Outreach Ministry. Having fought cancer herself, she also founded the “Why You, Why Me” support group for African-American women with breast cancer who struggled with coping with the disease. Mrs. Davis passed away on August 9, 2009.
- Naomi Hall Dreher, a 1939 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, served as a teacher, principal and consultant in Richland One for 43 years. She was the first African-American woman to work as a personnel coordinator in the district’s Human Resources Office where she hired teachers. Mrs. Dreher retired from public education in 1987 but went on to lead the Minority Access to Teacher Education (MATE) Program at Benedict College for 18 years. During her tenure, more than 100 minority students were hired for teaching positions across the country.
- Attorney Francenia “Frannie” B. Heizer is a 1972 graduate of Dreher High School where she was captain of the state championship-winning debate team. As Dreher’s student body president, she helped bring collaboration and harmony in the early years of desegregation in Richland One. In 1986 Ms. Heizer became the first woman to be elected to Columbia City Council and, in 1992, she was the first woman elected Mayor Pro Tempore for the City of Columbia. She served on City Council for 16 years. Her law practice concentrates on public finance and government law. A large part of her practice is devoted to assisting South Carolina public school districts as bond counsel.
- Bette Jamison, a 1969 graduate of A.C. Flora High School, was the second woman producer-director to work for South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV). Her 40-year career began at SCETV in 1973. Ms. Jamison helped to pave the way for other women in South Carolina and across the nation to begin successful careers in a previously male-dominated field. She currently serves as a professional development consultant with the SCETV Education Team.
- Dr. Evaretta Sims Rutherford, a native of Washington, D.C., taught English, Latin and French at Booker T. Washington High School. It was at Booker T. Washington that she met and later married mathematics teacher Harry B. Rutherford. She went on to serve as an English instructor at Benedict College, subsequently becoming director of student teaching and chairman of the Education Division. She later accepted a position as professor of education at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she also chaired the Department of Education. Dr. Rutherford passed away in 1978.
- Dr. Harry B. Rutherford, a 1928 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, taught mathematics at Booker T. Washington and later served as principal of Carver Junior High School, Waverley Elementary School and Booker T. Washington. Under Dr. Rutherford’s leadership (1950-1964), Booker T. Washington often was recognized for having the best-trained and most highly educated faculty in the state. Dr. Rutherford went on to serve as assistant superintendent in the Washington, D.C. school system, while also serving as an instructor and dean at Benedict College in Columbia. He passed away in 1980.
- Catherine B. Davis Thomas, a native of Fairfield County, gave more than 56 years of service as an educator. Her career began in 1951 as an English and reading teacher in Richland One. She also taught in the Fort Alaska Dependent Schools, at Midlands Technical College and at Benedict College. Through the Minority Access to Teacher Education (MATE) Program at Benedict, Mrs. Thomas had the opportunity to work with and impact the lives of students from across the state. Today, many of those students are teachers in Richland One. Mrs. Thomas passed away on August 4, 2012.
- Archie Preston Williams, Jr., a 1932 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, and his mother established A.P. Williams Funeral Home in 1936. He operated the business until his death in 1992. Mr. Williams was one of the first African-American members of the Lexington County and Columbia Chambers of Commerce and one of the first African-American members of the South Carolina Board of Funeral Services. He helped found the Richland County Concerned Citizens Committee which challenged segregation and racial discrimination and advocated for desegregation in schools and public transportation, equal pay for black employees, patients’ rights at the Crafts Farrow facility and the hiring of the first African-American police officers.
For more information about the Richland One Hall of Fame, go to www.richlandone.org
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