The Talon

The Student News Site of Rockwood Summit High School

The Talon

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Hall of Fame inducts new members

Mary Corkery
From left to right: Glenn Hancock, class of 1996; Renata Walsh, class of 1998; and Brandon Nelson, class of 2003. Pictured is Nicholas Sloan, class of 1998, who passed in 2004.

The Alumni Association held its first Hall of Fame induction ceremony since 2019 on October 6.

The inductees included Glenn Hancock, class of 1996; Brandon Nelson, class of 2003; Nicholas Sloan, class of 1998; and Renata Walsh, class of 1998. The Hall of Fame began in 2014, and held annual inductions until the pandemic halted the Alumni Association’s activities. Now, Alumni Association President Lucas Benson said that the organization is getting back on its feet.

“We haven’t done it since 2019 because of COVID. We kind of had to reboot the organization a little bit because during COVID we did nothing, so we’re kind of getting back into it,” Benson said.

The honorees were invited back during homecoming week and honored at the pep rally and football game in addition to the ceremony. Walsh, who is an actress and model as well as entrepreneur and mentor, said that she was shocked but impressed by the changes that the school has undergone since it opened 30 years ago, though she was happy to see that some things have stayed the same.

“I haven’t been here since 1998, so it’s overwhelming. It’s very different, like this whole [theater] wasn’t here. I love it. Change is awesome, and I’m also still glad that they still have some of the stuff that we saw in ‘98. I went to my old woodshop class and basketball courts— still the same,” Walsh said.

In order to be inducted, alumni must have been nominated and achieved unique accomplishments in their life post high school. As a philanthropic professional, motivational speaker, and co-founder of Summit’s Football Alumni Mentorship program, Nelson said that the honor was especially important to him because he was a part of the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC). He said the induction shows that his efforts to come to Summit while living in St. Louis City were worthwhile.

“It’s a full circle moment. As a VICC student, I spent over 7,000 hours on the bus. So, to be recognized, that means that those things, though they weren’t seen, they’re acknowledged,” Nelson said. “ I love Summit. I absolutely do. It’s good to be back to a district and a school that meant so much to me during my time here and my developmental years.”

The induction held a unique significance for the Sloan family, as it honored the officer who was killed in 2004 while working in the Narcotics Division of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Sloan’s sister Heather Claspill said the family was glad to see him memorialized at the school.

“It makes our family very happy and very proud of him, and it’s nice that people still remember him after 20 years,” Claspill said.

Twenty-four members currently make up the Hall of Fame, and Benson said that honoring these alumni helps strengthen the feeling of community between current and former students, especially as the school’s legacy grows and more alumni return to send their children to their alma mater.

“I think it is important because it helps build a connection between our graduates and our current students and staff members and our community. I find it amazing that more and more of our graduates from those early years have families and kids that attend here now. I think that’s one thing that helps establish the culture in the community of our school, our expectations, and just the desire to make the school a better place for students to learn how to be the best person they can be,” Benson said

After graduation, Hancock stayed inside the Rockwood community as a teacher and district administrator, receiving honors such as the ROSE Award and ITEF grant. He said that he is proud to be inducted, and believes that being in the district has allowed him to see how many people are also worthy of the honor.

“I feel honored. Not only being a graduate, but also being a staff member here, I’ve seen the wonderful things that students as well as my fellow classmates have done. I feel that there are so many students who are deserving of being in the Hall of Fame as well,” Hancock said.

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About the Contributor
Mary Corkery, Editor-In-Chief
Class of 2025 Time on staff: 3 years Favorite newspaper memory: My first January stay late when our editor accidently stole a pizza Favorite song: "Bottle Rocket" by Briston Maroney and Manchester Orchestra

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    Kathy MichalekOct 17, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Nice job on this article! As a retired Summit English teacher, I tried to read it as a member of the Alumni Association, but I ended up reading it like an English teacher! Great job on both counts! Very well done!