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CISD Hall of Honor ceremonies Friday

By Scott Harvey


Commerce – A series of events are planned to formally recognize The Commerce ISD's Hall of Honor class of 2010.

Inductees of the first annual event include Ann Champion (representing her late husband Harry), Dr. Jack Pirkey, Emmet Day Sr. and June Dunn.

All will be honored Friday during a luncheon, at a CHS pep rally and then introduced during pre-game activities during the Tiger homecoming football game. Their photographs will be displayed in the new administration building, now the old A.C. Williams Elementary School.

A selection committee was appointed last year by Superintendent Blake Cooper, and the inductees were named this summer.

Above, hear KETR News Director Scott Harvey's interview with the 2010 Hall of Honor Class.

Although Harry Champion is deceased, former students still refer to him as Coach and he is remembered for having led the eight-member Norris High School boys' basketball team to a state championship, a feat unmatched since the 1964 win. His leadership as a CISD administrator supported the smooth integration of Commerce and Norris schools.

After a successful career in education, culminating as director of Distance Education for Tarrant County Junior College, Dr. Jack Pirkey founded the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation which provides financial support for CISD academic programs.

Dr. Pirkey, working with a committed group of CISD alumni as directors of the Foundation, has presented over $170,000 to teachers for specific projects to enhance student learning.

The youngest son of former superintendent A.L. Day, Emmett Day Sr. left Commerce and East Texas State Teachers College in 1936 to teach industrial arts in San Antonio. However, his desire to become an engineer, led him to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received another bachelor's degree and a master's in mechanical engineering.

A visit to Seattle in 1947 led him to join the teaching faculty at the University of Washington going from instructor to full professor in a short, unprecedented seven years. His research in stress analysis, strain gauges, strength of materials and machine design led him to be called on by commercial companies such as Boeing, Chance Vought and others for his knowledge in the design of airplane skins.

Name any community activity where the hungry are fed or new leaders are led and you will find June Dunn an active participant. As a tireless volunteer in many different civic organizations, Dunn lends her steadfast commitment to excellence which is reflected in everything she does, according to a fellow alumna making her nomination.

As manager for the Commerce Chamber of Commerce for five years, Dunn served as a director for the Bois d'Arc Bash and also for the Commerce Leadership Institute.