EASTERN HANCOCK — During a recent stroll through Eastern Hancock High School, principal Adam Barton remarked on just how unique, even special, the school district and high school where he feels fortunate to work really is.
“We’re here every day so we sometimes forget just how neat this place really is,” Barton said.
That type of view is just one of the reasons Barton and other district officials recently decided to develop an Eastern Hancock High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. The new program hopes to identify the first class this spring with the thought of adding to the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame each year.
The program was founded to recognize and celebrate the positive accomplishments and contributions of Eastern Hancock High School alumni. Barton noted that graduates of Eastern Hancock as well as Charlottesville, Westland and Wilkinson High Schools are all eligible for consideration.
“We had a few community members over the past couple of years who brought it to our attention that this type of program is something we were missing,” Barton said.
The district has an Athletic Hall of Fame but had not created a Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame yet and felt now was the time to do so.
They believe creating a program recognizing graduates will do two positive things. First, they could honor those graduates who have accomplished much and contributed to society since graduation and, secondly, they could display the information on the walls of the school’s hallways so that current students would have a chance to see they too have an opportunity to make their mark in the world.
“We want the kids to see just what are some of the things Eastern Hancock graduates have done,” Barton said.
District officials work hard to show students there are many paths to success, and district officials are hoping when students see all the positive work graduates have done in many fields of work, they too will be inspired to make a difference.
“We want to share some of those great things that our graduates have accomplished,” Barton said. “We’re really looking forward to getting a collection of those folks together and honoring them.”
Barton, a former Eastern Hancock graduate himself, as well as a few other graduates and community leaders, spent some time this past summer looking into other school district programs like this and came up with a nomination form. They are now asking folks to nominate some distinguished alumni. They’ll be accepting nominations through Jan. 15.
“We’re then looking at some dates in late April to host an event where we will team up with our Education Foundation and have perhaps a dinner or some kind of event where we will introduce our first class,” Barton said.
The goal is to nominate several people for the first class and then put a cap of two or three people each year as the program grows.
“We feel like we’re going to get a number of good nominations right off the bat,” Barton said. “We don’t think people will nominate themselves, but we are looking to recognize some good people.”
It is the purpose of the Alumni Hall of Fame to recognize such individuals who have, through their performance, conduct and achievement, brought credit and honor to themselves and Eastern Hancock High School. Their public example will hopefully serve to inspire future graduates to perform and serve in the same spirit.
Honorees will be recognized for outstanding achievement in their chosen field, leadership, the arts, volunteer and community service. Nominees with outstanding records of achievement deserving of special recognition are eligible.
Barton, who has been in the community for decades, noted that while he does know of a few people who have gone out and accomplished plenty since graduating from Eastern Hancock, he knows they’re going to be thrilled learning about other great achievements from former students.
The nomination forms are located on the district’s website at www.easternhancock.org and are open to anyone who knows a former Eastern Hancock High School graduate who has made a contribution or is making a difference in the world.