Education Foundation Hall of Fame Inducts Three
Dr. Stanley “Pete” Cullen Cox issued a gentle reminder to the teachers.
“Each and every day that you spend in the classroom you recognize that you could be influencing and educating the next John Monroe,” he said.
Dr. John Lauchlin Monroe was one of three men inducted into the Moore County Public Education Found-ation’s Hall of Fame during the third annual Graduate’s Hall of Fame celebration last Thursday night in the grand ballroom at the Carolina Hotel. Coach Felton J. Capel Jr. and the late H. Clifton Blue were the other two.
The Hall of Fame recognizes graduates of Moore County public schools who have distinguished themselves in their chosen occupation.
A retired surgeon, Monroe thanked the teachers who helped his sons become successful and credited three women in his life — two aunts, Blanche and Alberta, and his wife, Ebbie — for contributing “immeasurably” to his lifetime education.
He also stressed the importance of the foundation and its role in helping teachers and students.
“Helping teachers become more effective is likely the single most productive use of education funds,” Monroe said.
The Public Education Foundation created this annual celebration in 2007 to commemorate its silver anniversary and chose the third week in November for the Hall of Fame dinner to dovetail with National Education Week.
Following his graduation from the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Monroe spent his 32-year career in medicine as an Air Force flight surgeon and as the area’s first otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) with Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and Moore Regional Hospital.
He served as president of the hospital medical staff and president of the Pinehurst Surgical Clinic. Toward the end of his career, he chaired the FirstHealth Foundation’s “In Love and Service” campaign to raise $10 million to build a comprehensive cancer center, patient tower and new emergency facilities.
Monroe was introduced by Cox and Fred Bruton Monroe, one of his four sons.
Capel fell in love with basketball as a small boy, and his passion eventually led him into coaching. Capel spent 12 years as a head coach at three colleges — Fayetteville State, North Carolina A&T and Old Dominion, where he led his teams to two NCAA Tournament and one NIT postseason berths.
He coached the Fayetteville Patriots of the NBA Development League for two seasons, and he has served as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Bobcats, since its inaugural season in the NBA.
Capel and his wife, Jerry, are the parents of two former ACC collegiate basketball players, Jeff Capel III (Duke) and Jason Capel (UNC). Both are now coaches in the college ranks — Jeff III at Oklahoma, and Jason at Appalachian State University.
Capel, who was introduced by his father, Felton, was unable to attend the ceremony but offered a brief message via video.
“While it’s nice to be recognized, I try to pattern my life based on experiences and the knowledge I received in the Moore County school system as well as the values taught to me by my parents,” he said. “As my career and life move forward, I plan to be someone the foundation holds in high regard.”
His mother, Jean, accepted his award.
Blue graduated from the Vass-Lakeview High School and was accepted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but because of the ravages of the Great Depression, he was unable to attend. He eventually got a job at a local newspaper that paid him $5 a week.
He used his entrepreneurial skills to eventually become the owner of several newspapers. He later served in the N.C. legislature for 18 years and was elected speaker of the House in 1963. While in the legislature, he was a big promoter and supporter of the community college system and higher education in general.
The community college system became a reality, and he pushed hard to ensure that one of the community colleges would be located in Moore County. He was appointed the first chairman of the board of trustees of Sandhills Community College and held that position for many years.
Blue’s award was accepted by his grandson, H.C. Blue III.
“On behalf of the Blue family, we are deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of my grandfather,” Blue said. “Growing up, my grandfather didn’t have a whole lot of material things, but what he did have were big dreams and a distinct vision for his future. He knew early on that being a dedicated student in the classroom would allow him to make something of himself.
“One of the things that was closest to his heart was being a voice for our schools and colleges. He knew that education was the key to success and opportunity.”
Monroe, Capel Jr. and Blue joined a distinguished group in the Hall of Fame that includes Dr. Andy Kiser, Jeff Moody, Teena Little, Ben Owen III, Blanchie Dowdy Carter, Lewis Cooper and Norris Hodgkins.
Also during the event, Susan Purser, superintendent of Moore County Schools recognized eight teachers who received monetary awards from the foundation. Those honored were Elizabeth Gingerich, Jill Hartsell and Renee Robbins, all of West End Elementary; Sheila Self and Livera Hussey, both of Carthage Elementary; Tracy Cropley, of New Century Middle; Marci Houseman,of West Pine Middle; and Bradley Kidd, of Union Pines.
In 2010, the foundation has given more than $8,000 to help teachers further programs to benefit their students.
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