20 Educators Picked for SHHS's First Teacher Hall of Honor Induction

20 Educators Picked for SHHS's First Teacher Hall of Honor Induction
Posted on 06/17/2013
Monday, June 17th, 2013

  Twenty former South Houston High School teachers -- including the school's first band director, first head football coach and first librarian -- have been chosen for induction in a new portion of the South Houston Hall of Honor to be dedicated to distinguished faculty and staff.
  The list of inductees includes Thomas Gorsuch, South Houston's original band director; Margaret Lodge, the school's original librarian; and Harry Morgan, who coached the first 10 Trojan football teams.
  All were South Houston faculty members when the school opened its doors in 1957. James Barber, another inductee, was an assistant football coach under Morgan when the school opened. Barber later became dean of boys at South Houston and from 1981 to 1991 served as the school's principal.
  The inductee list also includes Janet Barnett Reed, whose 41-year tenure ranks as the longest in school history. Reed taught history and government at the school from 1967 until her retirement in 2008.
  The 20 educators chosen represent a total of 475 years of teaching, coaching and administrative experience at South Houston High.
  The inductees will be honored at a reception scheduled for Oct. 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the school. A permanent plaque display -- to be titled "Distinguished Faculty and Staff" -- will be unveiled that night.
  All nine living inductees are expected to take part in the ceremony. Family members representing all 11 deceased inductees have been invited and several have indicated plans to attend.
  The teacher portion of the Hall of Honor will supplement the alumni section, which was unveiled in 2011.
  "The Hall of Honor currently stands as a testament to the great accomplishments of our alumni," said Dr. Steve Fullen, South Houston's principal.
  "The addition of a section honoring outstanding educators will recognize those educators who laid the foundation upon which our honored alumni built their success. It is a logical progression in celebrating the positive impact of all Trojans -- alumni and educators."
  Selections for the teacher portion of the Hall of Honor were made by the school's baccalaureate committee and based largely upon input from alumni and former colleagues. The committee plans to add inductees on an annual basis with an induction ceremony to be held in conjunction with homecoming football games.
  The first teacher induction ceremony will launch the school's 2013 Homecoming Week ceremonies. The Trojans' Homecoming Game is set for Oct. 4 against Pasadena. Three new members of the Alumni Hall of Honor, to be named soon, will be formally inducted during pre-game ceremonies.
  The teacher inductee list includes four of South Houston's first five head football coaches: Morgan, the late Ray Cleckler, Bill Newcomb and Dick Nance.
  Cleckler, who coached from 1968 to 1980, holds the record for Trojan coaching victories. Both Newcomb, who coached from 1981 to 1987, and Nance, who coached from 1991 to 2001, went on to become Pasadena ISD athletics directors.
Both were long-time football assistants at South Houston before becoming the school's head coach.
  Gorsuch is one of three performing arts teachers on the inductee list. Richard "Tom" Myers and Sally Schott, whose back-to-back tenures as South Houston choir directors stretched 42 years, were both selected. Myers led the choir from 1962 to 1974. Schott took over for Myers and directed the choir until 2004.
  Prominent on the list are teachers who began their careers during the school's first decade and whose tenures stretched across generational lines.
  Among that first wave, inductees include Dennis Skarda, a chemistry teacher who arrived in 1963 and taught at the school for 16 years; Dorothy Williams, who joined the faculty in 1961 and taught until her retirement in 1984; and John Lyday, and American history teacher whose South Houston tenure lasted from 1963 until his retirement in 1987.
  Lyday served as lead counselor for most of his final two decades at the school.
  Four English teachers were selected, including three whose careers were an integral part of the South Houston experience in the 1960s.
  English teachers named were Ina McDaniel, who arrived in 1959 and taught until 1982; Carolyn Perry, who came to South Houston in 1961 and taught until she was hired away by San Jacinto College in 1970; and Hanna Timmons, who left her job in the trucking industry to enter teaching. She taught at South Houston from 1960 to 1974.
  Timmons is fondly remembered for her speech classes and for her work with South Houston debate teams.
  Kathy Dittmar, another inductee from the ranks of South Houston's English Department, is one of three inductees with long tenures that ended in 2008. In addition to Reed and Dittmar, inductee John White retired in 2008 after 31 years as a South Houston history, economics and sociology teacher. Another inductee, JoAnn Stringer, retired in 2011 after 24 years as a science and biology teacher at the school.
  One inductee, Walter "Jerry" Dunaway, was a member of the South Houston faculty as recently as two years ago. Dunaway, who established and coached the school's highly regarded fencing program, died in 2011 at the age of 51. Dunaway spent 24 years at the school as a science teacher and fencing coach.
  Of the original South Houston faculty members named to the Hall of Honor, two are still living. Morgan, now 87, retired from the Pasadena ISD in 1988 after 39 years of service to the district. Lodge, who started the Pasadena ISD's first National Honor Society chapter at South Houston and served as the school's librarian until her retirement in 1978, still lives adjacent to the school.
  Lodge will celebrate her 100th birthday this December.
  Both Morgan and Lodge have indicated they will attend the induction ceremony.
  Those to be inducted posthumously are Barber, Cleckler, Dunaway, Gorsuch, Lyday, McDaniel, Myers, Perry, Skarda, Timmons and Williams.