Fall 2023 CCPS Hall of Fame Class celebrated

Published 4:11 pm Thursday, August 24, 2023

Many came to Cardinal Stadium at George Rogers Clark High School last Friday night in anticipation of the season opener for the Cardinals football team.

However, there was even more to celebrate.

Before the game began, members of the fall 2023 Clark County Public Schools (CCPS) Hall of Fame class were introduced to a rousing ovation by those in attendance.

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“Tonight, we will round out the inaugural class of 2023 with ten new inductees,” said public address announcer Kenny Howard. “Clark County Public Schools is committed to honoring and acknowledging success both in and out of the classroom. Thank you to our first inaugural class for laying the foundation and being the true epitome of greatness.”

In February, the Clark County Public Schools Hall of Fame celebrated its first elected members during a ceremony at GRC Arena.

The CCPS Hall of Fame was created to recognize individuals who have contributed to their profession and community and practice strong qualities such as perseverance and self-discipline.

The fall 2023 class includes Katherine Dewitt (Baker) Estes, Lori Bayless, Charles F. Campbell Jr., Nell Sue Cheatham, Terry DeCapio, Odell Gross, Tom Harper, Joyce Morton, Dr. Maisha Thomas Jack and Ruthie Thornberry.

Matt Ginter, elected previously but unable to attend, was also involved in Friday’s ceremony.

The ceremony began with each individual – many of whom were present with family and others whom family or close friends represented – named along with their accomplishments.

The first individual to be named, Katherine Dewitt Baker Estes, graduated high school in 2003 and – after graduating college with a degree in mechanical engineering – obtained a position at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Among other projects, she was a lead engineer for the Space Launch System program and helped facilitate the successful launch of Artemis I – in Nov. 2022.

Artemis 1 marked NASA’s return to lunar exploration following the conclusion of the Apollo program in 1972.

“It’s just a little bit of a whirlwind it’s so surreal, especially seeing the new campus and how much it’s grown,” said DeWitt Baker Estes, noting that a favorite part of the evening was reconnecting with former teachers. “They were a huge part of me being where I am today.”

After each individual was announced, they walked in a line while being congratulated by various officials, including CCPS Board of Education Chair Bill Taulbee, CCPS Chief Operations Officer Brandon Watkins, Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Superintendent Kelly Fithen, and CCPS Superintendent Dustin Howard.

Afterward, both individual and group photos were taken.

With individuals from various backgrounds, including athletics, science, education, and more, being recognized, CCPS has much to look upon favorably.

“Your contributions to Clark County Public Schools are appreciated and will have a lasting impact for years to come,” Howard said