Sunday’s Lawrence High School Hall of Honor inductions are another reminder of some of the outstanding people who have moved through the Lawrence public schools.
The four people honored this year were a highly decorated Special Olympian (Brady Tanner), a member of the Colorado State Senate (Nancy Knox Todd) and two federal judges (U.S. District Judge Monti Belot III and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sri Srinivasan).
They join an illustrious group. The Lawrence High Hall of Honor was begun in 1994 and has honored dozens of alumni who have distinguished themselves both here in Lawrence and across the country in business, sports, government, the arts and other fields. Srinivasan’s sister Srinja, then a vice president of Yahoo, was inducted in 2002.
The Hall of Honor and the annual Lawrence Education Community Breakfast, which raises funds for the Lawrence Schools Foundation, offer continuing examples of people who have achieved great things since their school days in Lawrence. Corrine Brinkerhoff, this year’s Community Breakfast speaker, has forged a high profile career as a television writer and producer. Other speakers at the breakfast event have included the likes of Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally and Google executive Brian McClendon. Both also are included in the LHS Hall of Honor.
When these alumni return to Lawrence, they are universal in their praise of Lawrence schools. They recognize the value of a superior public school system and the vital role of the dedicated teachers who work there. Interestingly, the teachers they seem to remember and appreciate the most are those who were tough and demanding, the ones who made them toe the line and earn their grades.
Lawrence has always placed a high priority on the excellence of its schools. The outstanding former students who return to accept honors and comment on the experiences in local schools are both an endorsement of the school district’s past and a challenge to push for more excellence in the future.
It’s always a treat to see such notable alumni honored by the Lawrence High Alumni Association. Free State High School now has about 15 years of alumni to draw on. Maybe it’s time for Free State alumni to launch a similar effort to honor their own.