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The 2013 Celebration of Excellence, the annual Lancaster County School District’s salute to the best in education and service, included its annual induction of hall of fame members.
Four deserving individuals, who made an impact in the classroom and beyond, took center stage on Monday, April 29, at the Lancaster Golf Club’s Fairway Room.
The latest inductees included Bennett Gunter, C.C. Hanson, Ann Hough and Floyd White.
Gunter made an impact in the Indian Land area, having a major hand on the Panhandle schools through an influence still felt today.
Gunter rose through the ranks as a teacher, coach and administrator.
Just recently ground was broken for the new elementary school in the Indian Land area. Gunter, who served the northern Lancaster County community for 29 years, pioneered the way for a new Indian Land High School, which now serves as Indian Land Middle School.
His effort to lead that construction came without a tax increase.
That type of leadership is greatly appreciated even more today when dollars for schools and education are tight.
Gunter, a former IL football coach and athletic director, also led the way for Warriors Stadium, now hailed as “The Reservation.”
Gunter’s legacy to county education includes the fact he helped mold the young lives of District Superintendent Dr. Gene Moore and Don McCorkle, the Indian Land school board member.
Former Indian Land teacher Norma England said Gunter had a unique approach.
“He asked us to see the potential in every child,” England said during Gunter’s induction. “He would also remind us that every child had different talents and gifts and that we needed to work together so each child learned to use his or her potential and talents to the fullest.”
Hanson served Lancaster County as a teacher and principal at the Brooklyn School, Springs School and later Brooklyn Springs Elementary and South Junior High. Lancaster businessman Mike Jenkins, a student under Hanson, said his discipline made a difference in his and many lives.
“As an adult, I realized that this disciplined environment was the foundation of my education,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also noted Hanson had an impact which carried far beyond the days at the elementary schools and junior high as he stressed the importance of giving back to the community.
“I’m just one of the thousands of students he taught along the way, but tonight, we say ‘Thank you, Mr. Hanson, for your love of teaching.”
Hough also had a special way of teaching and education in her English and composition classes at Kershaw and Andrew Jackson high schools.
Billy Boan, a former student of Hough’s, said he often remembers lessons learned in class. Boan is a former teacher, coach and legislator.
He noted 12 members of the class of 1967 at Kershaw High became teachers and five taught English.
“Her classes emphasized the proper way to communicate – verbal and written, and she introduced us to the legends of literature,” Boan said.
Karen Hough, speaking for her husband Pete, Mrs. Hough’s son, said tough love was part of the lessons in Mrs. Hough’s class.
“I remember reading in one of my high school yearbooks, ‘It’s tough with Mrs. Hough,” Pete Hough wrote. “It was tough, but when we grew older, many of us realized our lives would have been even tougher without her having been tough on us.
“Very simply, it was because she cared so much for us that she made it tough.”
White, a former coach, teacher and administrator, dedicated some 43 years to education at Barr Street and Lancaster high schools and South Middle School.
White also was known for being tough, but fair and connected well with students and athletes.
“I had many students tell me firsthand that he was the only father figure they ever had,” said Bobby Bailey, who worked with White during his career.
“Coach White is called father, teacher, friend, activist,” Bailey said.
“He has touched the lives of thousands of students throughout his years.”
It was obvious that all four inductees had a major hand in molding and guiding lives.
That had plenty to do with them taking their special place in the Lancaster County School District Hall of Fame.