On graduation night May 26, the class of 2020 inducted two new members into
the Hennessey High School Hall of Fame.
The HHS Hall of Fame Award is an honor selected annually by each HHS graduating class from a group of individuals nominated by the community. This award recognizes Hennessey Men & Women who have gone above and beyond to inspire and touch the lives of those around them. This year, the Class of 2020 recognizes two special Hennessey individuals who display these characteristics and serve as inspiration to our class: Ralph J. Butch Choate, Class of 1965 and Eileen Roe, Retired Faculty 2012.
The first Hall of Fame inductee for the class of 2020, is Ralph J. Choate, also known as “Butch”. Butch was a 1965 Hennessey High School graduate and a lifelong resident of Hennessey. He was an outstanding and charitable individual who was always seeking to serve and improve his community.
He attended the University of Oklahoma and Phillips University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He served in the U.S Marine Corp from 1966-1967, spending 13 months in Vietnam after being stationed at Camp Pendleton in California for basic training. After his military service, he returned to Hennessey where he was a local business owner and political leader on both the local and the state level.
As a businessman, he owned and managed the Ford House in Hennessey, worked with his father, Jack H. Choate in the oil and gas business and later owned and managed the Turkey Creek Golf Course for 14 years all while supporting Hennessey’s schools, charities, and athletic organizations.
As a political leader and active community member, he served on the Hennessey Town Board of Trustees, the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission, the Pioneer Telephone Board of Trustees, and more. He was also a member of the Hennessey First Christian Church, Lion’s club, a 32nd degree Mason, and a part of various other civic committees in town.
His experience on the town board led him to later pursue political office at a state level. He ran for state House of Representatives where he served as our State Rep from 1980-1982. After that, he moved on to be a State Senator from 1982-1988. During his political career, he was always firm in his political views but was without fear of debate.
He was a unique individual who could tell a grand story and easily entertain a single person or an audience of any size. He was charming, engaging and well-loved by his friends and family. He left a lasting impression to those around him and we, as a community, are better for his contributions. It is my pleasure to award this 2020 Hennessey High School Hall of Fame award to the late Ralph J. “Butch” Choate.
His award will be presented to his wife Jan and his son Judson Choate and Family of Scottsdale AZ.
The second inductee to Hennessey High School Hall of Fame, is Mrs. Eileen Roe. Mrs. Roe retired from Hennessey Public Schools in 2012 and currently resides in Edmond with her husband Mundy Roe. They raised two children, Kyle and the late Kacie Roe, who both are HHS graduates.
Mrs. Eileen Roe was a professional educator for twenty-six years. In 1981 she earned her Bachelor’s of Education degree at Oklahoma State University in Special Education. Afterwards she received her Master’s degree at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Counseling in 1997.
Mrs. Roe started her teaching career in Cushing, OK and taught Pre-school multi-handicapped students for two years. She took a break to start a family and started teaching again at Hennessey Public Schools in 1990.
Mrs. Roe taught high school special education for 10 years; she was a middle school counselor for 10 years;and was an elementary school principal for four years until her retirement. During her tenure, Mrs. Roe received several awards such as Teacher of the Month 10 times and the Student Council Life’s Example Award.
Her purpose at the high school was to increase her student’s academic skills while preparing them for their future. She sought to motivate her students to believe in themselves and their capabilities as young adults. Her goals in the middle school as a counselor were to stop bullying, introduce career programs, and promote Red Ribbon Week, all while assisting students in dealing with the ups and downs of life.
Her time as an elementary principal was all about teaching character education and spreading kindness. The students recognized how she cared about them, and she cultivated their drive to be the best that they could be every day.
Mrs. Roe cared deeply about all of her students and treated them as if they were her own. She believes she created an impact in all of their lives by encouraging them to Follow their Dreams, Never give up, always be Kind, and show Respect for others. She had great dedication and passion for what she did and it showed.
As a student who had Mrs. Roe as a principal,I remember her friendly hello that made me feel welcomed. Our class was truly influenced by her kindness, and we hope to make it a goal to be the best that we can be following her example.
Although circumstances prevent her from being here with us at graduation but I know she is watching us on the live stream, and on behalf of our class thank you for all you have done for us and we are pleased to present this award to you, Mrs. Roe!
Hall of Fame nomination forms are available on the HHS website or by calling the High School.