The Millsap School District is honoring those who have helped it become one of the leading educational institutions over the years with the recent creation of a Hall of Honor (HOH).
The first induction ceremony took place recently with six inductees, Robert Roy (posthumously), Joe Dean Young, Royce Lee Bodiford, Dr. Bill Knight, JoAnn Barnhard and Dana Ables.
The HOH gives recognition to those who have made selfless contributions and played a role in the betterment of Millsap ISD and the community’s culture, spirit, tradition, stature, and prestige.
"Millsap ISD has a rich history, and those selected for the Hall of Honor have made a major contribution to society and/or MISD," Millsap superintendent Deann Lee said. "The Hall of Honor is testament to MISD’s long history of producing successful citizens."
Lee said she believes former Superintendent David Belding brought the idea to the Alumni Scholarship Foundation Board before his departure to lead the Aubrey School District. She said the hope is to have an annual induction ceremony.
"It is not mandatory that someone be added each year if the Alumni Board feels no one has been nominated whom they feel is worthy of induction," she said.
Lee believes the HOH is not only a positive for the school district, but also for the community of Millsap as a whole.
"The Hall of Honor not only exemplifies the model of productive, successful citizens, but it honors those who have given back to their community, thus showing that Millsap is a viable, growing community worthy of time and resources for the betterment of current and future generations," she said.
She also feels it is a great example for the students in the Millsap ISD.
"The Hall of Honor instills pride in MISD students as it honors those whose foundation was laid in MISD or those who chose to serve Millsap and MISD sacrificially throughout their lives," Lee said. "The MISD Portrait of a Graduate states that a Premier graduate will be inspired to have a growth mindset, possess self-confidence and integrity, be a lifelong learner, and be service-oriented. The inductees of the Hall of Honor are examples to current students of the fulfillment of these aspirations.
"Millsap is extremely unique in that a community its size rarely has an alumni association as active and continuously supportive of current efforts to produce successful citizens. It is also unique in its dedication to honor the past. The Hall of Honor creates an opportunity to do both, and MISD is blessed with so many with such forethought to ensure the long-term excellence of MISD."
Below is a capsule look at each of this year's inductees:
▪ Robert Roy moved to Millsap at a young age and spent his school years there. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, attaining the rank of corporal, and receiving the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal. Roy once had 38 years of perfect attendance working for Southwestern Bell. In 1998 at his 50th year reunion, Roy said he would match any funds given for a scholarship fund. The scholarship fund was started with $2,000 which he matched, forwarding his vision for a foundation to afford graduating students whom might not have the ability otherwise the means to fulfill their dream of attending college or trade school.
▪ Joe Dean Young graduated from Millsap High School in 1956. He was the owner of Joe Dean’s gas station/convenience store in Millsap for over 30 years. Young developed property for the growth of the community and is a ranch owner. He is a supporter and member of the Millsap Heritage Society. He donated land for youth baseball fields and serves on the Millsap Water Board.
▪ Royce Lee Bodiford is a class of 1955 Millsap graduate. He was elected to serve as Texas FFA State President 1955-1956 and was elected National FFA Vice President. Bodiford was a broadcaster and general manager (GM) at KGNC TV and radio in Amarillo. He served as president for the Amarillo school board. He was also the GM at KOCV TV and radio in Odessa. He served on the Community Board, was a member of Odessa City Council, mayor pro-tem for seven years and president of Odessa Council for Arts and Humanities. He was inducted into the Panhandle Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame. He served as vice president of the Odessa College Board of Trustees. In November 2014, Bodiford was inducted into the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
▪ Dr. Bill Knight was Millsap High School 1951 valedictorian. He taught at Weatherford High School and was principal of Millsap High School for four years, was superintendent of Saltillo ISD for four years, and superintendent of Mineola ISD for 23 years. He was Superintendent of the Year for Region 7 and a state finalist for Superintendent of the Year in 1988. Knight was Man of the Year for the City of Mineola in 1985, president of Rotary Club in 1973-1974, and president of Chamber of Commerce for Mineola in 1972. Knight wrote a book about his family and his older brother, Jack Knight, who was killed in Burma during World War II. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Weatherford College in 2015.
▪ Jo Ann Barnhart graduated from Millsap High School in 1962. She retired from the post office as postmaster and remains active in community service. Barnhart is active in the Abandoned Cemetery Association of Parker County. She is a member of the Millsap Garden Club, is on the board of the Millsap Alumni Foundation and is dedicated to fundraising. She is caretaker for Poe Prairie Cemetery, is active with the Heritage Society and serves as treasurer. She is also an election work for county elections.
▪ Dana Ables was a first-grade teacher at Millsap Elementary for 45 years. She was honored in the Senate of the State of Texas in 2015 for her outstanding service at Millsap ISD for nearly half a century.