Four with Oklahoma City school ties to be honored

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame will honor three alumni and one teacher at its annual gala Oct. 25. The event is a major fundraiser for the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Published: October 21, 2012

An educator and three alumni will be inducted this week into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame.

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools will honor the four at a reception and a dinner.

The wall is a way to honor the history of the school district and those who have been a part of it, said Lori Dickinson, president of the foundation. But it's also a reminder that the students who are in school now have great potential, she said.

“We won't see the results of that for 20 or 30 years,” Dickinson said, “but I think it's a way to celebrate the past and the history while being optimistic and hopeful about our future.”

The honorees are the Hon. Timothy DeGiusti, the late Prentice Gautt, Joyce Henderson and Thom Shanker.

The honorees

The Hon. Timothy D. DeGiusti is a U.S. district judge for the Western District of Oklahoma. He attended Columbus Elementary, Jackson Middle School and Douglass High School. He earned his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He worked in private practice and as an Army prosecutor before becoming a federal judge.

Prentice Gautt was a professional football player and coach. He attended Page Woodson Elementary and Douglass High School, where he played in Oklahoma's first integrated high school football game. He was the first black football player at the University of Oklahoma and was named an Academic All-American. Gautt died in 2005.

Joyce Henderson is a retired teacher and administrator who dedicated her career to Oklahoma City Public Schools. She started her career as a teacher at Dunjee High School, which since has closed. She was a student of civil rights activist Clara Luper. Henderson was the first principal of Classen School of Advanced Studies, and she worked at several other schools in the district. She retired in 2006.

Thom Shanker covers national security, the military and the Pentagon for The New York Times. He attended Nichols Hills Elementary, Eisenhower Junior High and John Marshall High School. Shanker co-wrote “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.” He previously worked at The Oklahoman and The Chicago Tribune. He earned his bachelor's degree at Colorado College.

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