Mr. Ethan Sickels introduced the winner of the 2017-18 Outstanding Staff Member award, Mr. Craig Walker.
Towards the finish of every RPHS awards assembly the winner of the 2017-18 Outstanding Staff Member Award is announced. As the introduction is read those in attendance try to figure out who the winner is.
Following is the introduction read by Mr. Ethan Sickels on Thursday, May 10, 2018.
While not growing up here in Missouri, our recipient of the JH/HS Outstanding Staff Member has now lived in Missouri over 20 years. After graduating from SUNY-Cortland, he and his wife moved to Missouri in the summer of 1997. This outstanding educator began his career in the Mound City R-II School District, teaching K-12 PE and coaching a multitude of sports including girls’ and boys’ basketball, football and track. Mr. Ken Eaton, current Superintendent of Mound City, had this to say about our recipient:
“I hired him over the phone sight unseen a week before school started that year. I told him that he would be the head coach of girls basketball as well as our PE teacher. We talked about basketball and he was super excited for the opportunity……..being the D’Youville College “Player of the Year” twice…….he felt he was ready to win a state championship as a coach……I told him that we had a great group of kids that worked hard, but we just didn’t have a whole lot of talent and that we would probably win 2 games that year. I remember him looking at me like I was crazy and didn’t know anything. That season the team won exactly 2 games (in the same week and the end of February- Tuesday then again Friday). After the Friday night victory I went to congratulate him, he was so excited that he yelled “Mr. Eaton we are UNDEFEATED…..This week! That is what makes him a great educator, that fact that even in the middle of a not so great situation he remains positive and poised!”
It didn’t take long for him to eclipse that two win total the next year, and in 2004, just six years later, he took the Lady Panthers to the Final Four. Eager for a new challenge after nine years in Mound City, he moved over to North Andrew R-VI, where he continued to teach K-12 PE and coach girls’ basketball and assist with football. After his five years at North Andrew, he began his administration career at Craig R-III, before accepting a 7-12 Principal position here in Rock Port beginning in August 2012. For the last six years he has been one of the biggest supporters of the Blue Jays, from both of his roles as a 7-12 Principal and Superintendent.
Mr. Craig Walker has contributed so much in his stay here in Rock Port. The addition of the gym we are standing in today is one of the blessings we have to thank Mr. Walker for, as he went out door-to-door drumming up support from the community members for this new facility. He has been instrumental in helping to increase our technology in the District, as we have added Chromebooks and iPads to where we have more technology devices in the District than we do students. His love of education, and his caring and concern for the students, staff members, and community members who enter our building is contagious. He simply is one of those people who can put a smile on your face when you have the opportunity to see him.
Although their love of the Buffalo Bills and the Syracuse Orangemen make the Walker family stick out here in northwest Missouri, they have truly made this area home. While we are saddened to lose them from our school and community, we know they will be a huge asset to the North Andrew School District. We are also confident that somewhere down deep, Mr. Walker will continue to bleed blue.
Ladies and gentlemen, as voted on by the JH and HS staff, the winner of the 2017-18 Outstanding Staff Member is Mr. Craig Walker.