Simley High School Hall of Fame seeks nominations

A high school hall of fame not only recognizes the most accomplished student-athletes from a school, but it can also serve as a way to preserve history, build a sense of a community and connect the past with the present. 

That’s what Ron Haala is striving for as he takes over as chair of the Simley High School Hall of Fame. Haala spent 36 years at the Inver Grove Heights school before retiring at the end of the 2018 school year. Haala was a math teacher, football and baseball coach, and the longtime announcer of Simley basketball.

Through the years, Haala watched as several student-athletes not only accomplished great things at Simley, but also succeeded in college athletics and in their personal and professional lives.

One way to recognize alumni for their accomplishments is through the Simley Hall of Fame. Longtime Simley activities director and wrestling coach Jim Short started the Hall of Fame in the 1980s, and about 70 former Simley student athletes have been inducted, but the Simley Hall of Fame has never really generated a buzz among the community or with alumni.

Haala is leading the movement to change that. Simley High School’s Hall of Fame exists to honor those individuals who have distinguished themselves in the areas of academic achievement, athletic achievement or humanitarian achievement. 

“Simley High School and the Inver Grove Heights community are proud of our rich tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, post-secondary accomplishments, and/or humanitarian efforts,” said Haala. “Simley High School’s Hall of Fame seeks to honor these accomplishments and share them with future generations.”

Haala has organized a nine-person committee — made up of current or retired Simley High School teaching/coaching/support staff, as well as active alumni of Simley High School — and the group is seeking nominations for the 2019 Simley Hall of Fame Class. 

Nomination forms and additional details can be found at www.simleyathletics.com/hall-of-fame. The nomination deadline for the 2019 class is April 15.

 

Qualifications

Any alumni or friend of Simley High School may submit the name or names of nominees who meet the following requirements:

• The nominee must be a graduate of Simley High School. A nominee becomes eligible for induction to Simley High School’s Hall of Fame five years after graduation. The nominee may also be a former employee or support staffer.

• The nominee under consideration must be a person of good character, a good citizen and a credit to the community.

• Nominations to the hall of fame must be made by a person other than the nominee.

• Nominees must have distinguished themselves in one or more areas — academic achievement, athletic achievement, post-secondary achievement or humanitarian achievement — to be considered for election.

• A nominee must be voted in per voting rules of the selection committee in order to be inducted into Simley High School’s Hall of Fame. 

“The goal of the Hall of Fame is to promote a sense of pride and community, preserve the history of Simley High School and recognize the accomplishments of the many outstanding student-athletes who attended Simley High School,” said Haala.

Simley’s first graduating class was the Class of 1961, with 19 graduates. Today, Simley High School is a comprehensive secondary school with a student population of about 1,200 in grades nine through 12. 

As part of the hall of fame festivities there will be an induction ceremony for the 2019 class on Friday, Sept. 13, at the Simley High School football game. Before the game, inductees and their families can get a tour of Simley High School, and a post-induction gathering for inductees, their families and Simley alumni and supporters will take place at a location to be determined in Inver Grove Heights after the game. 

“We encourage alumni and friends of Simley High School to submit nominations as we work to grow and promote the hall of fame and recognize the many great accomplishments of Simley graduates,” said Haala. 

 

—submitted by Matt Krumrie

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