EDMOND — A major benefit, awards ceremony and inaugural hall of fame induction are scheduled Friday at Oak Tree Country Club by the Edmond Public Schools Foundation.
The foundation is a private group that helps supplement funding to the school district and donates volunteer hours.
Making up the inaugural class are former Edmond superintendent Randall Raburn, longtime foundation supporter Ken Rees, and Capt. Steven Farley, an Edmond Memorial High School graduate killed in 2008 while serving in Iraq.
Event organizer Bryan Evans said the foundation also will honor teachers and hold an auction to raise as much as $60,000 for the schools.
“There is a misconception that Edmond just has wealthy families and kids,” he said. “We have an incredible number of kids on reduced and free lunches.”
Evans said that in the 30 years of the foundation, more than $1.5 million has been awarded. Some of that goes for special programs such as Rachel’s Challenge, which fights bullying.
Evans expects more than 300 people to attend the banquet. The hall of fame will become an annual feature of the banquet, he said. The names of members of this year’s class, as well as future classes, will be on display at the administration building.
“Besides providing teacher and student scholarships, the foundation helps to fill the gap by funding items that are used daily in our schools such as technology, musical instruments and textbooks,” Edmond Schools Superintendent David Goin said. “We value the foundation members’ dedication and their willingness to help every child in our district succeed.”
The banquet starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call 286-2335.
Raburn has been an educator 47 years, serving as a school administrator for 26 years and spending 19 as a superintendent in four school systems, according to information provided by the foundation.
In 1995, he concluded his career as superintendent of Edmond Schools and began a 13-year tenure as executive director of the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration. He is a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Oklahoma.
Raburn has served as a leader in several education organizations and has a reputation as an innovative instructional leader and promoter of high ethical and professional standards for school leaders. He has been a tireless advocate at the Legislature for better school funding and higher standards. He was a leader of the successful legislative effort to abolish retirement benefit caps for educators.
Raburn’s honors include Oklahoma Superintendent of the Year in 1983 and 1991; 2004 College of Education Hall of Fame at Oklahoma State University; and 2006 Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame.
Rees was born in 1942 to Ken and Eloise Rees and traces his Edmond roots to Isaac Rodkey, who founded the Rodkey Mill in 1893, according to the foundation.