The Shawnee Education Foundation held their annual Hall of Fame Banquet Monday night in the Geiger Center on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University where they honored Senator Ron Sharp, educator Mary Oppegard and raised over $27,000 for grants.
The evening began with a performance from the Shawnee Middle School Choir led by director Melissa Lee and an introduction to the Banquet and its purpose.
According to President of the Foundation, Michael Cappo, each year one person is awarded the Max Brattin Award and one person is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“They’re always people who are recognized by the community as having been involved in significant things,” he said. “For the Hall of Fame award, it may be someone who may have been involved in another community, but they’ve really made an impact for themselves. Both of the awards are for people who Shawnee is really proud of.”
This year, Oppegard was awarded the Max Brattin award for her career as a history teacher at Shawnee High School from 1974-1993. She taught other subjects as well including Economics, International Relations and U.S. government.
The educator was honored to receive her plaque, and many applauded her achievement.
“I loved every moment of teaching…I want to thank the Shawnee Education Foundation for my selection for the Max Brittin Award,” Oppegard said. “It’s wonderful to be awarded for something you love to do, and I just appreciate it.”
Next to receive his award was Senator Sharp who expressed extreme gratitude to the foundation and community for his induction.
Before he was Senator, Sharp worked as a history teacher and tennis coach in Shawnee Public Schools.
“I can’t think of any higher honor. For 38 years I taught at Shawnee High School and (coached) tennis, it (was) just the greatest experience of my life, and to be honored here tonight in the Hall of Fame, when you look at all the individuals who got this, I am very humbled…,” Sharp said.
In addition to the awards, several educators from various schools throughout Shawnee were recognized for the grants the Foundation awarded them.
Following dinner, each table was encouraged to donate money and which ever table raised the most was chosen to select a handmade cake from chefs at the Grand Casino.
Funds from ticket sales and the desert auction will be used for future grants Cappo said.