Public Education Foundation Celebrates 'Hall of Fame' Grads
A memorable celebration of education in the Sandhills was held Thursday, March 26, as the Public Education Foundation of Moore County held its inaugural "Graduates' Hall of Fame" dinner at National Golf Club.
Four of Moore County's finest -- Dr. Andy C. Kiser, the late Teena Little, Jef Moody and Ben Owen III were inducted into the new Hall of Fame amid a packed ballroom of educators, county leaders, families and other supporters.
Dr. John Dempsey, president of Sandhills Community College, served as master of ceremonies for the evening, and Dr. Susan Purser, superintendent of Moore County Schools, delivered a keynote speech extolling the dedication and work of the foundation's volunteer board of directors.
In her comments, Dr. Purser reviewed the creative educational projects developed by the teachers who were granted monetary awards by the foundation during 2008.
The Public Education Foundation created what is to become an annual celebration in order to commemorate its silver anniversary of service to the county's schools.
During the foundation's 25-year history, approximately $250,000 has been awarded to help education in the county. The organization's fundraising recognizes and facilitates teachers' creative classroom projects that would otherwise go unfunded.
Foundation president Penny Hayes explained that the actual "Hall of Fame" concept was developed to celebrate education in Moore County, build awareness of the accredited nonprofit organization, raise money to fund future projects, and recognize county graduates who have risen to significant prominence in their chosen professions.
The four inaugural inductees all graduated from various Moore County high schools.
Andy Kiser, a thoracic surgeon who has created new surgical procedures that are now in widespread use, graduated from Union Pines High School in 1984 and was introduced by former teacher, coach and mentor Bill Medlin.
The late Teena Little, a member of the county and state boards of education who was also president of the Public Education Foundation, graduated from Pinehurst High School in 1958 and was presented by George Little.
Jef Moody, a teacher, coach, mentor and Olympic caliber track and field star, who graduated from Pinecrest High in 1975, was introduced by Harry Webb, a former teacher and mentor.
Owen, who learned pottery from his famous grandfather and has gone on to be one of the world's most famous potters, graduated from North Moore in 1987 and was presented by John Dempsey.
Those wishing to help further public education in Moore County and who would be interested in serving on the board of directors, should send a letter of interest to the Public Education Foundation of Moore County, P.O. Box 1992, Southern Pines, NC 28388.
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