They are credited for contributions to education and health care, devotion to civil justice and leadership in government and the religious community.
Saturday, six community members will be honored for their contributions during Richland 1’s Hall of Fame Induction Gala Dinner and Dance at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
The Hall of Fame, in its ninth year, recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the school district, their communities and their professions.
“Our annual Hall of Fame Induction Gala provides us with an opportunity to recognize Richland 1 graduates and other persons with close ties to the district,” said Richland 1 board chairman Jamie Devine. “Many of the persons who have been inducted ... are unsung heroes whose stories might not otherwise be told were it not for the Hall of Fame.”
Here is a look at this year’s Hall of Fame class:
• Pastor Sam Goodwin, a 1961 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, was a star basketball and football player in high school and at S.C. State University. He later became a pastor and founded Stedfast Christian Center in Columbia.
• Jean Sanders Hopkins is a 1950 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. Her contributions to the nursing profession include more than 16 years of service as a Richland 1 school nurse.
• Phil Leventis is a 1964 graduate of A.C. Flora High School. He is a former fighter pilot and a retired brigadier general in the S.C. National Guard. He served in the state Senate for 32 years.
• Martha Cunningham Monteith, a Union native, organized the first speech pathology program in South Carolina’s public schools. She served 45 years in Richland 1 before retiring as coordinator of speech pathology.
• Jasper Salmond, a Camden native, is a former district elementary school principal. He later joined Wilbur Smith Associates consulting firm and served on the Richland 1 board 20 years. He is now serving as Richland County’s interim elections director.
• Albert N. Thompson Sr. (honored posthumously), is a1936 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School. He successfully brought a lawsuit against Richland County schools in 1944 to equalize the salaries of African-American teachers with those of white teachers. He later was a professor at Texas Southern University for 50 years after he and his wife were terminated from their teaching jobs in Richland County.
Since the district established the Hall of Fame in 2004, 47 people have been inducted, including this year’s class.
“We hope that these pioneers, trailblazers and history-makers serve to inspire students today and generations to come,” Devine said.