TROY - Tommy Ledbetter, the late Dr. Paul Hubbert and the late Gary Warren were inducted into the Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame at Troy University during a ceremony on Thursday in Jack Hawkins, Jr. Hall on the Troy Campus.
Established in 1982, the Hall of Fame is a cooperative effort of Troy University, the Alabama Association of School Boards and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools to recognize and honor the achievements of outstanding leaders in education within the state. The first induction ceremony was held in April 1984. Portraits of inductees are displayed in Hawkins Hall, home to Troy University's College of Education.
"We are here today to recognize those who have had a tremendous impact on education in this state and made a difference in the lives of our children," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy University Chancellor. "If you look around you on these walls, you see the portraits of the 39 inductees to date. Today, we honor three more that will join their ranks – three whose influence on education will continue to be felt for years to come."
The ceremony included welcoming remarks from Dr. Kathryn Hildebrand, Dean of Troy University's College of Education, comments from Dr. Hawkins and the presentation of inductees by Pam Doyle, Vice President of the Alabama Association of School Boards, Richard Dennis, Principal of Prattville High School, and, Earl Franks, Executive Director of the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools. Dr. Hal Fulmer, Associate Provost and Dean of First Year Studies at TROY, served as emcee.
Throughout his 40-year career, Tommy Ledbetter has made significant contributions to secondary education and served as a role model in his promotion of excellence in leadership and adolescent literacy. Ledbetter has excelled as a school administrator. During his tenure, Buckhorn High School received the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award in 2002 and was named a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School in 2011. He was personally honored as the 2004 Alabama Secondary Principal of the Year and was a recipient of the prestigious Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools' Leadership Award. A past member of the U.S. Secretary of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Advisory Committee, Ledbetter also presented at the National Association of Secondary School Principals' Secondary Literacy Summit VI and at the White House Conference on Adolescent Literacy. He is a past president of the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals and the Council of Leadership in Alabama Schools. In 2013, Ledbetter was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals for his distinguished service to children and education.
"When I look around and see the pictures of the people who have truly defined education in the state of Alabama, it is truly humbling to be recognized among their ranks," Ledbetter said.
Dr. Hubbert, who passed away in October, spent 42 years in Alabama's educational arena as executive secretary-treasurer of the Alabama Education Association. A native of Hubbertville and a graduate of Florence Sate College, now the University of North Alabama, and the University of Alabama, Dr. Hubbert directly impacted every major piece of education legislation for 42 years. During his tenure, teacher's salaries grew from $4,800 to more than $48,000 and excellent retirement and health insurance benefits were secured for all Alabama teachers, administrators and support professionals. As head of AEA, Dr. Hubbert helped push for the passage of numerous bills including statewide kindergarten for Alabama's five and six-year-olds, reduction of pupil-teacher ratios, improved school facilities, equalized state education funding, funding for classroom supplies, free textbooks and more teacher units and the extending of the school year by 5 days of additional instructional time. He served as chair of the Alabama Teachers' Retirement System and also served on the Southern Regional Education Board, the State Literacy Workforce Development Council, the Commission on Health Care Crisis, and the Education Committee of the Alabama State Workforce Investment Board, among others.
Gary Warren, who passed away in April, dedicated his life to the education and advancement of students in the state of Alabama. He served 22 years as an agri-science teacher, more than 14 years as director of the Haleyville Center of Technology, 20 years as a bus driver and four years as the District 7 representative on the Alabama State Board of Education. A graduate of Auburn University, Mississippi State University and Alabama A&M, Warren was a strong advocate for college and career readiness for Alabama students. During Warren's tenure on the state board, which included a stint as President Pro-Tem, the state launched a Workforce Development Month celebration to highlight community commitment to preparing students for career success. Warren helped promote a bond issue for career tech improvements, supported the establishment of a career tech and workforce development position on the state Department of Education's leadership team, and participated in a career tech summit to improve the industry-education partnership. As a state board member, Warren also helped to adopt some of Alabama's most comprehensive education reforms, including the Students First Act, the Every Child a Graduate Plan, and the Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards.
Richard Dennis, Principal of Prattville High School, introduces former Buckhorn High School Principal Tommy Ledbetter for induction into the Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame at Troy University on Thursday. Also inducted during the ceremony in Hawkins Hall on the Troy Campus were the late Dr. Paul Hubbert, longtime executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association, and the late Gary Warren, educator and former member of the Alabama State Board of Education. Established in 1982, the Hall of Fame is a cooperative effort of Troy University, the Alabama Association of School Boards and the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools to recognize and honor the achievements of outstanding leaders in education within the state.