CISD inducts four into Hall of Honor

Hall of Honor inductees were congratulated by CISD Board of Trustees President Willie Blow and Superintendent Blake Cooper (back row). Inductees include Emmett Day Sr., Harry Champion (represented by his wife, Ann), June Dunn and Dr. Jack Pirkey.
Four of Commerce ISD’s finest graduates and staff members were inducted into the CISD Hall of Honor Friday, October 1. Emmett Day Sr., Harry Champion, June Dunn and Dr. Jack Pirkey were recognized for their contributions to the district, community and society.
The inductees were first honored during a luncheon with family and friends at the new CISD Administration Building. The induction ceremony was the first official event held in the newly remodeled structure which formerly housed A. C. Williams Elementary School. Luncheon guests were greeted by CHS students who formed a victory line at the entrance to the building.

Harry Champion, a former Norris School and CISD employee from 1953 to 1984, received the award posthumously. His wife, Ann, accepted the honor thanking administrators and the committee for honoring her husband. Champion’s leadership supported the smooth integration of Commerce and Norris schools in the early 1960s. He also led the eight-member Norris High School boys’ basketball team to a state championship in 1964.

Emmett Day, valedictorian of the CHS Class of 1933, recalled his time at CHS mentioning the teachers who had a huge impact on his quest for learning which continued with his receiving bachelor’s degrees from East Texas State Teachers College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After receiving his master’s degree at MIT, he moved to Seattle where he was on the faculty of the University of Washington. His research in stress analysis, strain gauges, strength of materials and machine design was relied on by industry leaders such as Boeing and Chance Vought.

June Dunn, a 1953 graduate, thanked her graduating class for her nomination. She was honored as a tireless volunteer in many civic organizations. She was manager of the Commerce Chamber of Commerce during which time she served as a director for the Bois d’Arc Bash and also for the Commerce Leadership Institute. She has been a director of the Meals on Wheels board and a volunteer for the food pantry. She is a Hunt County Master Gardener and she serves on the South Sulphur Regional Development Association. She is also a board member of the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation.

After outstanding success as a student, leader and athlete at CHS, Jack Pirkey went to East Texas State University where he received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. He was a public school teacher in Gilmer, Paris and Commerce. He culminated his career as director of Distance Education for Tarrant County Junior College. His desire to provide financial support for CISD academic programs led to his founding of the Commerce Schools Educational Enrichment Foundation which has provided over $170,000 to CISD teachers for programs to support academic and artistic endeavors benefiting students.

Upon his arrival here in January 2008, Superintendent Blake Cooper noted the need to recognize outstanding students and staff of the district. This first induction ceremony is the beginning of a tradition which will recognize other worthy Commerce ISD staff and students. Honorees were also welcomed to CHS for the pep rally and then acted as honorary captains at the Homecoming game at Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Memorial Stadium against the Caddo Mills Foxes.
Friends of the Champions
Ann Champion receives the award on
behalf of her late husband, Harry
Emmett Day Sr. with Superintendent
Blake Cooper
Dr. Jack Pirkey is congratulated by
Supt. Cooper
June Moore Dunn
CHS students greet the honorees as they arrive.
The Tiger could be seen from blocks away.
CHS jazz band serenades luncheon guests.
CHS cheerleaders serve guests.
June Dunn and Jack Pirkey welcome classmates.
As honorary captains, honorees attend the Homecoming game.

Our Mission

In partnership with families and community, CISD will provide all students an exemplary education, preparing them to be successful, productive citizens. 

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