QUINCY — Four long-time employees of the Quincy School District comprised the inaugural class of recipients of the Legend Award, which was presented by Quincy School Board members at its Wednesday night meeting.
The board recognized four men who died during a nine-day span last fall. Sayeed Ali, president of the board, presented surviving family members with a glass trophy.
“There’s no way to measure how important these four men have been to this district,” Ali said. “They have their fingerprints all over the school system, and that does make us extremely proud. These guys lived a life of service. They served God and served our country and (served our) community school district. Most important, probably to all of us, is our children.”
- Richard Moore, who died Oct. 25. He began his career teaching the sixth grade in Nauvoo. Moore returned to Quincy in 1959, where he taught at Quincy Junior High School and Quincy High School. He retired in 1993 as an assistant principal of Quincy High School.
- William Fessler, who died Oct. 28. In his 33 years as an educator, he touched the lives of hundreds of students and teachers, first as an accounting teacher at Liberty High School in 1961, then with Quincy Public Schools as a sixth-grade teacher at Franklin in 1964 and later as principal there in 1971. He was principal at Webster in 1973, and director of Quincy Area Vocational Technical School in 1981. He was principal at Highland Riverside in 1982, principal at Baldwin in 1983, and finally principal at Ellington until his retirement in 1993.
- Bill Brothers, who died Oct. 27. He retired from the Quincy Fire Department, then started driving a bus full-time for the Quincy School District until he retired a second time.
- Charles Akright, who died Nov. 3. The Quincy Public Schools hired him as a teacher at Washington Elementary in 1960. During his years as an educator in Quincy, he was a teacher, principal at three elementary schools, a Title IV director, and retired from education as the assistant regional superintendent.
Ali said the idea for the Legend Award was created soon after the deaths of the four men.
“I just remember looking at the obituaries and being like, ‘Oh, my goodness,’” he said. “It was all just in a short period of time. I talked to (Superintendent) Roy (Webb) about holding off saying a couple words in November and December, because it’s kind of hard to get people together during the holidays.
“We knew we wanted to do something in January, then it got to a point to where we were like, ‘Let’s not just say something and move on. Let’s do something that can kind of live on.’”
Ali says the awarding of the Legend Award will become an annual event.
“It’s always going be on the board to handle this,” he said. “You have seven board members. They volunteer their time, and they’re totally invested in our community and in schools. This is our project. There are tons of different awards out there, but this one’s just kind of carved out for the school board and how we want to recognize someone.”
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