IM this article to a friend!

January 25, 2006

MSD to rename library after McCallister

From: Fulton Sun, MO, USA - Jan 25, 2006

The Fulton Sun

Years of dedicated service to advancing public education have earned one prominent local his own library.

The late Rev. Raymond McCallister served on the Fulton School Board, the Missouri State Board of Education and was a one-time president of the Missouri School Boards' Association.

In a special ceremony on Thursday, the Missouri School for the Deaf will honor him by renaming the library at Stark Elementary School the Raymond F. McCallister, Jr. Library.

At 2 p.m., the school will host a dedication ceremony at Stark, which will be open to the public.

“He's just been a very strong friend and supporter of the School for the Deaf, and we wanted to honor him,” said MSD Superintendent Barbara Garrison. “It was a combination of his being a good friend of MSD and the state board also wanting to honor him.”

McCallister's wife, Marilee, said he would have appreciated the gesture.

“It was a very pleasant surprise, a very nice honor,” Marilee McCallister said. “I know he would be pleased.”

The Missouri State Board of Education and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also will be paying tribute to McCallister on Thursday, and representatives from both organizations will be present at the dedication ceremony.

“He became an influential figure in state policy through his work with legislation and the example he set for other (state) board members,” said Jim Morris, a spokesperson with DESE. “He was a community leader in a lot of ways for most of his adult life, and part of that leadership was on the state school board.

“Rev. McCallister always had a special place in his heart for MSD, so we felt this would be an appropriate tribute.”

Garrison said McCallister did much to help the school while he was a member of the state board, which is responsible for MSD.

“He let people around the state know about the school and what we were doing as far as educating our deaf children,” she said. “He would still stop in and visit, long after he served on the state board of education.”

Perhaps McCallister's biggest contribution to MSD was his influence in helping the institution secure the money to build Stark.

“A number of people locally were asking him to support the school,” Marilee McCallister said. “He went to bat for them and got the funds.”

Because of his connection to Stark, officials said the library seemed like the logical choice to honor McCallister.

“Since Stark was built during his time on the (state) board, we thought it would be appropriate to name the library after him,” Garrison said. “It's an opportunity for us to come together and recognize his good works and support of education, and recognize the family for allowing him to devote the time.”

Copyright © 2006 The Fulton Sun. All rights reserved.