WINNSBORO — The long awaited announcement of Fairfield County School District’s first ever Hall of Fame class came to an end Wednesday, with five names fitting the ballot for their 2014 induction as the inaugural class.
Superintendent J.R. Green announced that Jeff Archie, Maude Ross, Vernon Kennedy Sr., Elizabeth Martin and Carnell Murphy (deceased) will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on May 24 at the new Carolina Evans Center in the BI-LO shopping center on the 321 Bypass in Winnsboro.
Over 50 community members showed up to the district office to hear the release of the Hall of Fame’s first class. Eligible candidates include people who have made significant contributions to the community, profession, society or the district.
Nominees can include anyone from Fairfield County School District alumni, employees, community members, parents or board members.
“Eligible persons don’t have to necessarily work in Fairfield or have gone to school in Fairfield,” Green explained. “These are people who have made significant contributions to our community, either living or deceased. “
After receiving 30 applications, a four-person committee was appointed by the school board.
The selection committee included Sandy Geiger, Stella Feaster, Carolyn Walters and Bob Drake.
Green believes the committee’s task of whittling down the list of 30 to five was a difficult one.
“I really do not envy the committee,” he noted. “There are so many outstanding people on that list that definitely need to recognized and will be recognized.”
Green emphasized that just because names are not inducted in the present year, they might be inducted in the following year. He compared it to the Football Hall of Fame.
The induction service May 24 at 6 p.m. at Carolina Evans Center, which is a brand new facility that is being developed as a banquet facility. For more information about the ceremony, call the district office at 803-635-4607.
Archie is a native of Jenkinsville and a graduate of McCrorey-Liston High School and obtained a bachelor of science degree of mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina in 1981.
In 1978, he began his career at SCE&G at the V.C. Summer nuclear facility.
Archie’s titles during his tenure have included general manager of engineering, general manager of nuclear operations and vice president of nuclear plant operations.
As a supporter of community organizations, he serves on the Fairfield County CEO Round Table, Midlands Technical College Quick Job Advisory Council, American Red Cross board of directors and the Palmetto Conservation Foundation board.
“After meeting with Mr. Archie I can tell you that even though he does not live in Fairfield County, his heart is still very much in the county,” Green said. “He always very interested in what he can do and how he can use his influence and connections to help further the education of students in Fairfield County.”
Ross’ name was announced on the same day as her 90th birthday. She is a 1942 graduate of Fairfield County Training School.
Ross received a bachelor of arts degree from Allen University and continued her studies at the University of Missouri, University of South Carolina and Columbia University Teachers College where she received a masters degree in guidance and personnel administration.
“It has been a pleasure working with our youth,” Ross stated after the announcement.
Ross is a native of Winnsboro and retired from the Fairfield County School District after 35 years of public education. She received multiple recognitions of service from county council.
“Ross is a giant in the community, we appreciate all of her service over the many years and look forward her continued service, she is definitely deserving of this honor,” Green said.
Vernon Kennedy Sr.
Kennedy is a 1992 graduate of Fairfield Central High School.
“He is mere baby compared to the rest of this class, but a very accomplished baby,” Green said with a chuckle.
Kennedy received a bachelor’s of science in psychology from the University of South Carolina-Upstate and masters of arts degree in human resource development from Webster University.
He is the director of Fairfield County Behavioral Health Services, president of the Winnsboro Rotary Club and has worked in several management roles as a substance abuse prevention specialist.
“I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Kennedy during the announcement of me coming to Fairfield County,” Green remembered. “And he expressed how involved he wanted to be in our vision to improve the lives of young students. He has done more than just talk about it, he has been about it.”
Martin is a 1942 graduate of Pearl High School in Nashville, Tenn. She majored in romance language and in 1984, she earned a masters degree in education administration from Winthrop University.
As a former Fairfield County educator, administrator and principal, Martin has taught English, social studies, french and Spanish. Since, Martin has been a volunteer at many Fairfield County schools and supported the Fairfield County School District adult education program.
She currently serves on several local boards including Fairfield County Friends of the Library, Fairfield County Council on Aging, United Way of the Midlands for Fairfield County, Fairfield County Hospital Foundation and Fairfield County Museum.
“I see Mrs. Martin just about everywhere, so that should let you know how active she is,” Green noted. “Regardless of what is going on in the district, you can count on her being there. She always very involved and I am very impressed with that.”
The late Carnell Murphy was represented by his wife Elizabeth Murphy. Carnell was a 1965 graduate of McCrorey-Liston High School.
He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in political science from Voorhees College. Carnell served as a member of the Fairfield County Council for 22 years, with 14 of those years as chairman.
He was a member of the NAACP, regional youth action council, rural transit assistance program, central midlands council of government and Fairfield recreational board.
Carnell retired from Fairfield County School District after working as a teacher, coach, athletic director, transportation supervisor, coordinator of the Stay in School program and coordinator/director of adult education.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know Mr. Murphy very well because he passed not too long after I arrived,” Green accounted. “But it is obvious he has made a tremendous impact on his community. It gives me great pleasure to be able to recognize Mr. Murphy.”