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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Seven to be recognized for contributions

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

SIKESTON -- Individuals who have made contributions to the Sikeston R-6 School District over the years will be recognized during the Sikeston Public Schools Hall of Fame ceremony during the Sikeston/New Madrid football game Friday.

And while each individual's contributions are unique, they're all linked by a common thread -- their passion for the red and black.

Since 1995, the Sikeston R-6 Honor Wall has recognized individuals for their service to the Sikeston Public Schools. These honorees are usually a past teacher, administrator or school board member.

This year Dr. Sharon Gunn and Jerry Dyer will be added to the list of honorees.

Since 1960, Dyer has worked the chains for Sikeston's home football games and has missed only two games in that span of time.

In his nomination letter, Lee Shell of Sikeston wrote: "I have known Jerry since 1950 and feel that the service and time given by him gives him the honor to be put on the wall."

Most recently Gunn was recognized by the Southeast Missouri State University for her meritorious service to education. The 1967 Sikeston graduate served Sikeston R-6 for 30 years as a teacher, administrator, director of special services and assistant superintendent in charge of elementary education, special services and several grants.

Gunn initiated several programs, particularly the Missouri Preschool Project, which offered a daycare program for the community as well as training for the students.

"No one is more deserving than Dr. Gunn. Her dedication and devotion were evident in everything she undertook," wrote Dr. Larry Bohannon.

Brandon Barnes, Bob Deneke, Brian Harper, Blake Ledbetter and Charles Vickery will all be added to the Sikeston Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame recognizes athletes who have received state honors or beyond. For the Hall of Fame, the school district honors past graduates who have been out of school for five years which means 1999 graduates and before are eligible this year.

A 1999 graduate of Sikeston High School, Barnes' football accomplishments in high school include being named to the first team of the All-Region Offensive and Defensive Teams in 1998 as well as the Top Special Team Player on the All-Region Team. He went on to play four years for the University of Missouri special teams as a receiver, defensive back and started as an inside linebacker. This year, Barnes was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in their mini-camp and received a one-year contract.

Deneke was a member of the Sikeston Bulldogs football team for four years and chosen for the 1946 All-Conference Football team and the Southeast Missouri District football team his senior year. Upon receive a four-year scholarship to the University of Missouri-Columbia Deneke played in the New Year's Gator Bowl for Mizzou in 1950.

"Throughout his life, Bob has exemplified true sportsmanship, friendship, leadership, integrity and the highest moral values," wrote Ned Tanner in his nomination letter.

A 1985 graduate of Sikeston High School, Harper was part of the 1982 and 1985 Sikeston High School District-winning baseball teams. At Southeast Missouri State University, the left-handed pitcher set the record for most strikeouts in a season and the most wins in a season in 1988.

That same year Harper was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies and graduated from Semo in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He currently works as the chief administrative officer of Montgomery Bank.

Ledbetter graduated from Sikeston High School in 1995 and lettered in football and baseball his junior and senior years. During his senior year, he was named to the first All-Conference, first All-District and first All-State teams in baseball in 1995.

After setting two records for Sikeston baseball: 13 home runs and 49 RBIs, Ledbetter earned a baseball scholarship at Southeast Missouri State University. He was drafted and signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals.

For 26 years, Vickery served as the head football coach for the Sikeston Bulldogs. During that time his teams won 156 games and lost 104 games. His tenure is the longest of any coach in Sikeston High School history. In 2003, Vickery was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

"Charlie is a quality human being who enjoys and respects his family," wrote Roger Sherman. "He is a man who believes in himself and his fellow human beings."

When a person is honored during the Hall of Fame/Honor Wall ceremony, 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.

A tail gate party for honorees as well as past honorees and their families will begin at 6 p.m.