Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 23, 2013

Ceremony to honor retired school leaders

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Retired District 80 administrators will be honored with a special brick display at an upcoming meeting of the Mt. Vernon City Schools Foundation.

The new permanent display, made up of engraved bricks, will be installed along the concrete walkway in front of the District 80 administrative office at 2710 North St.

The unveiling ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. Oct. 29, prior to the foundation’s regular meeting. The event is open to the public.

“It’s important for any organization to celebrate their successes and celebrate their people,” said Kevin Settle, president of the foundation and a retired District 80 administrator. “It makes people feel special, so I was glad we were able to make this come together.”

Each commemorative brick will include on its surface an administrator’s name and title, the building they worked in, and the dates they served.

A total of 45 bricks will be installed, 15 of which recognize former administrators who are still living.

The oldest administrator engraved on a brick is E.E. Van Cleve, who was the District 80 superintendent from 1903 to 1908, Settle said.

Organizers are hopeful the living administrators will attend the ceremony with their families, along with the relatives of deceased administrators.

The Foundation Board of Directors is sponsoring this project and planning began last spring. A special committee was formed to help with the effort, made up of retired administrators.

Funding for the bricks comes from an anonymous local donor. District 80 is paying for the foundation work. The total project cost is $2,700.

Settle served as the District 80 assistant superintendent from 1994 to 2002, and was superintendent from 2002 to 2011. He said being recognized in this way is a humbling experience.

“It made me feel very good and appreciative,” Settle said.

Another retired administrator being honored with a brick is Linda Hanson, who worked for District 80 for 36 years.

She started as a teacher before moving into administration. Her later positions included: principal at the J.L. Buford Intermediate Center, principal at the Primary Center, and curriculum director.

Hanson said she’s pleased with the brick display. Some of the district’s schools no longer exist, so it will be beneficial to have a permanent display acknowledging these administrators, she said.

“I’m real excited that they’re doing something that will be permanent,” Hanson said. “I think it’s going to be a nice way to honor the principals of the schools and have it be something permanent they can bring their families by and reminisce about it.”

The unveiling ceremony Oct. 29 will include a brief program featuring several speakers. There will then be refreshments provided inside the District Office.

At 6 p.m., the Foundation Board will hold its regular meeting.