SIKESTON -- Almost 10 years ago, Roger Sherman and about 30-40 members of the community met one evening for a few hours to discuss a way of acknowledging the men and women who have contributed to the Sikeston Public Schools in various ways over the years.
Their answer? The Hall of Fame-Honor Wall recognition.
Today, Sherman, who spent 36 years in the Sikeston School District as a coach, teacher and administrator, is the chair of the committee who chooses the recipients based on nominations from the Sikeston community.
"I think it's a distinctive honor," Sherman said about being inducted into the Hall of Fame-Honor Wall. "Sikeston schools goes through a lot of fine people who contribute so much to the students and the schools. We've had some of the best board members ever. Many of the honorees have given without asking."
Since 1995, the SPS Honor Wall has recognized individuals for their good service to the Sikeston Public Schools. These honorees are usually a past teacher, administrator or school board member.
The SPS Hall of Fame recognizes individuals and/or teams who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the Sikeston Public Schools in the field of athletics and school activities.
"This was his (Sherman's) dream -- to find a way to honor people who had given their time to the Sikeston Public School system," noted Sally Lape, committee member.
Strict guidelines must be adhered to when nominating a person, Lape said. For example, only those who graduated in 1998 and before are eligible for nomination this year since SHS students cannot be honored until five years after they've graduated, she explained.
"But just because 1998 graduates and on are eligible doesn't mean someone who graduated in the 1940s or 1950s should not be honored this year," Lape reminded.
Last year, Dr. Ruth Ann Roberts, a 1964 graduate, was inducted into the Honor Wall. She currently works as an assistant professor in the educational administration department at Southeast Missouri State University.
"I was proud to be nominated," said Roberts. "It makes me proud to have a plaque that recognizes my contributions to education. I've always wanted to educate and have always felt positive about teaching."
Prior to working at Southeast, Roberts worked for the Sikeston Public Schools from 1970-1999 as a teacher and building administrator, and she worked in the central office for 14 years.
"It's an honor," Roberts said about the induction. "It's like them saying, 'Hey, we appreciated and appreciate all you have done for us.'"
Committee members and other guests also enjoy when someone is inducted, Lape said.
"It's really great to watch the reactions of people who dedicated their time to Sikeston Public Schools when they're honored," Lape said. "They're just overwhelmed with humility and school spirit."
When a person is honored, they are given a plaque and a duplicate also hangs in the Sikeston Field House on either the Wall of Fame or the Wall of Honor.
The Sikeston Public Schools Hall of Fame committee is also accepting donations from both individuals and local businesses to help purchase plaques for the recipients, Lape said.
Donations can be made by contacting Sikeston Schools Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller at the board office or Charlie Vickery at the high school.
While the committee hasn't had any problems receiving nominations, they do encourage the community to pick up applications at the Board of Education office as soon as possible.
It's an honor to be inducted and the community does need to be involved, Roberts said. The committee needs nominations so they can be examined and recipients selected, she explained. And as Lape pointed out: "It's not the committee's place to nominate -- it's the community's."
The deadline to receive nominations is Aug. 1. The inductions ceremony is Sept. 12 during the Sikeston/Charleston football game. A tail gate party for honorees as well as past honorees and their families will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Nomination applications are available only at the Board of Education Office, 1002 Virginia St. For more information, contact the Board of Education office at 472-2581.