Central Heights is known for its circles. A circular school, circular gymnasium.
That’s why the district decided to name its first-ever annual wall of honor celebration the Ring of Honor.
“The heritage of Central Heights is very strong, and this just pays homage to that,” Brian Spencer, Central Heights school district superintendent, said Monday. “We’re hoping people understand how important prior generations throughout the district were.”
The idea for Ring of Honor first came up during the district’s 50th anniversary two years ago. Since then, at site council and school board meetings the idea has continued to grow.
“That got the ball rolling a little bit, and talking about the history of the district, who the important players have been in the district and those things,” Spencer said. “So that’s what started the discussion.”
The school board began to look for volunteers to serve on the Ring of Honor committee. That committee decided the first class of inductees, which will be different than in the future, Spencer said.
“To get it started and going, the committee thought, ‘We should take care of that first board of education that had the foresight to put this district into one building here and unify us.’ And so that was well-received by the rest of the committee.”
These board members, and the 2017 inductees are: Hobart L. Betz, Victor L. Montague, George Snow, Raymond B. Wagner, Gene Vining, Ardyce A. Wilson. All served on the school board when the decision was made to combine all Richmond, Rantoul, Lane and Princeton schools into one location, which is still today’s campus.
Other inductees for 2017 include Bob Redeker, a teacher in the district prior to and after the consolidation; Bob Erisman, teacher and principal in the district at the time; and Leo (Bud) Laird, Jr., who served many roles, including superintendent, teacher, principal and board member, according to a news release.
In the future, Spencer said it will likely be a nomination process for inductees.
“This first go-around, we did it differently than it will be done going forward,” he said. “Since it’s new, we will still continue to tweak it and make it fit what we’re doing.”
The Ring of Honor will be displayed in the commons area outside of the main gymnasium door, between the gym and the high school, Spencer said.
“It’s kind of ironic, where we’re going to display this is probably the flattest, squarest wall of the whole facilities right now,” Spencer said. “I can foresee in the future, we thought maybe we’ll hang it in the gymnasium or something in the roundhouse, something like that, so that’s where the term, ‘ring’ came from.”
The inductees will be recognized 6 p.m. Friday prior to the home football game. A banquet and induction reception will take place starting 6 p.m. Saturday with a social hour, followed by a meal and ceremony.
For those wishing to attend this year’s banquet, RSVP by calling the Central Heights District Office at (785) 869-3455.