Foundation announces 2022 Wall of Fame honorees
Distinguished Oklahoma City Public Schools alumni will be inducted at a special ceremony in October
OKLAHOMA CITY (July 21, 2022) – The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation will induct four new members into the Wall of Fame on October 17 at the 38th annual Wall of Fame Humanitarian Awards reception. The event celebrates the long, rich history of OKCPS by recognizing alumni who have gone on to become some of the city’s and nation’s most influential community leaders. In 2020, the Unsung Hero category was also added as a way to acknowledge OKCPS alumni who may not always get the accolades and recognition of our traditional group but have been making a difference while mostly staying out of the spotlight. This year’s class will include three traditional honorees, and one designated as the Unsung Hero honoree.
The 2022 honorees will join 96 other Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) alumni who have been inducted since the creation of the Wall of Fame in 1985.
Dr. Karl Hansen graduated from Northwest Classen High School and currently serves as a professor and James A. Merrill Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Having developed a robust Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility program, Dr. Hansen’s research efforts have focused on women’s reproductive aging process and on improving outcomes for couples with unexplained infertility. Nurtured by a loving mother who taught math in the Putnam City school system, Dr. Hansen’s love for education developed early and now, as a nationally recognized researcher, teacher and lecturer, he continues to invest in the next generation of physicians.
Dr. Kathryn Jeffery is a graduate of Douglass High School, and she currently serves as the Superintendent/President of Santa Monica Community College District (SMCCD). Dr. Jeffery’s four decades of diverse higher education experience has spanned leadership roles in Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Nevada, and Texas where she is highly regarded for her equity-driven approach to educational leadership, student services, and Career Technical Education (CTE). Informed by her professional and personal experiences, Dr. Jeffery is known as a compassionate, student-centered leader who has championed issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout her extensive higher education career, encompassing efforts to broaden support for basic needs of college students including food, housing, and physical/mental wellness and wellbeing services.
Gerald McCoy is a graduate of Southeast High School. As a result of his extraordinary performance on the Southeast Spartans football team, he was named a five-star recruit and was approached by nearly every major school in the country before committing to the Sooners. He attended the University of Oklahoma and was a defensive tackle on the football team under Coach Bob Stoops from 2006-2009. After a wildly successful college career as a two-time team captain and starting in all 40 games during his career, he was one of the top prospects in the 2010 NFL Draft, ultimately becoming the 3rd overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After nine outstanding seasons in Tampa, he went on to play with the Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, and Las Vegas Raiders. During his youth, Gerald’s father and late mother Patricia Diane instilled in him a deep appreciation for giving back to the less fortunate, which grew during his time as a Spartan and Sooner, resulting in Gerald and his wife, Ebony, investing much time, talent and treasure to support a variety of organizations throughout his career.
Gregory McPherson II is the Foundation’s “Unsung Hero” honoree of this year’s class. He is a graduate of Capitol Hill High School and is the Founder of Vizionaries ENT, PoetryAndChill OKC and PoetryAndChill OKC Kids. This non-profit organization offers a platform for artists to showcase their talent, and promote new music, projects, books, and other ventures. Their literacy workshops help students improve their writing, reading and communication skills and provide a safe space for students to speak freely about their feelings and opinions in a judgment-free zone. From discussing real life events and issues, they break down poems and rap lyrics from popular artists and movies, ultimately providing a chance for individuals to think critically, gain knowledge and information, and grow within themselves. One of PoetryAndChill’s premier partnerships is with Oklahoma City Public Schools, where they recently engaged with more than 200 students as part of OKCPS’ Summer Learning Program.
“We are thrilled to announce our 2022 Wall of Fame honorees,” said Foundation president and CEO Mary Mélon-Tully. “The years these leaders spent with OKCPS served as an important building block to the incredible success they’ve seen in their respective fields. We look forward to coming together with OKCPS alumni and our community in October to honor their accomplishments, knowing their stories are sure to inspire today’s students to dream big.”
The Wall of Fame Humanitarian Awards early evening reception will include an hors d’oeuvres buffet and beverages on Monday, October 17 at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City. The program will begin at 4:30pm.
The OKCPS Foundation is currently seeking sponsors for this year’s event. For sponsorship information, please contact [email protected].
ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION
Created in 1984, the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance excellence, advocate for equity and build strong community support for lasting success in Oklahoma City Public Schools. The Foundation works closely with the District and business community to align strategies and priorities for sustained performance improvement. Please visit us online at www.okckids.com for more information on our focus areas and volunteer and giving opportunities.