DeSoto ISD Announces Hall of Honor Class of 2020

2020 hall of honor
Donald Gant and Linda Murphree

DeSoto ISD Class of 2020 Hall of Honor Inductees

DeSoto ISD announces the Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2020! This year we honor two hard-working and long-serving individuals, Donald Gant and Linda Murphree, with the Distinguished Service Award! Due to the health concerns related to Covid-19, the induction ceremony will be virtual and shown on the DeSoto ISD Facebook page on Tuesday, June 30, starting at 6 p.m.

In 2011-12 the district launched the Hall of Honor to recognize two categories of honorees – the DeSoto High School Alumni Hall of Fame and the DeSoto ISD Distinguished Service Award. Thousands of educators, parents, community supporters, business people and elected officials have made significant contributions to the development and improvement of DeSoto ISD. While a minimum of 10 years of consistent contribution is required for nominees to be considered for the Distinguished Service recognition, the two individuals celebrated have contributed over 50 years of service to DeSoto ISD!

Donald Gant

Donald Gant, 2020 Hall of Honor Distinguished Service Inductee:

  • DeSoto ISD school board member 2000 – 2018 (18 years)
  • Director of North Texas Area Association of School Board (2014-2018)
  • Board of Directors, Texas Association of School Board (TASB 2012- 2018)
  • Secretary/Treasurer – National School Board Association (2016 – 2018)
  • Senior Member/Committee Chair – Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members (2002 – 2018)
  • School Board Advocacy Network – NSBA (2010 – 2018)
  • Man of Distinction Award (2018 – 2019) – ALTRUSA International of Southwest Dallas County
  • TASB (Texas Association of School Board) State Convention Service Award
  • City of DeSoto (Mayoral Awards for Service to the Community and School District) 2018
  • Helen Giddings former State Representative – Award for Service to Community and School District
  • 2001 Volunteer of the Year Ruby Young Elementary
  • DeSoto ISD Service Award (2018)
  • Assisted with City of DeSoto’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner to serve the displaced Katrina evacuees.
  • Participated in the JOINT National Night Out, between the City and the School District. (2006).
  • Hosted (prepared and served) the Annual Appreciation Christmas Dinner for the DeSoto ISD Plant Services Department from 2008 – 2018.
  • Annually provides meat for Kwanzaa Event sponsored by Concerned DeSoto Citizens (CDC).
  • Annually made monetary contributions to the DHS Choir for travel.

Linda Murphree (Posthumously), 2020 Hall of Honor Distinguished Service Inductee:

  • DeSoto High School Cheerleader sponsor for 10 years (1977-1987) (no stipend in those days). She was usually the “taxi” for her cheerleaders, ferrying them to countless football, basketball and baseball games.
  • Red, White and Blue Club sponsor (1976-1980’s) – a club for DeSoto High School students to exhibit patriotism, citizenship and school spirit; this organization was responsible for displaying the American flag that covered the football field at every home game and for ringing the “liberty bell” when each touchdown was scored.
  • Member of Silver Serenaders of Texas, America’s Premier Senior Adult Choir (2005-2018) and serving as music librarian for 10 years. Linda and her group performed all over the state of Texas, in California and on international cruises.
  • First counselor for WINGS (Where I Now Gain Success), the alternative high school for DeSoto ISD (2010-2016); assisted in getting the program started
  • Election clerk for Glenn Heights for at least 10 years
  • Calvary Baptist and Hampton Road Baptist member – served as Sunday School teacher, sang in the Adult Choir, worked with the youth ministry and went on mission trips.
  • Active member of the Beta Iota Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international women educator’s sorority – serving as president, altruistic chair, membership chair, historian.
  • District President of Alpha Delta Kappa (covering Dallas and Collin Counties) – 1980’s-1990’s; Linda served on the Alpha Delta Kappa State Scholarship Committee and served as chair for three years (1990’s)
  • Meritorious Volunteer Service Award for Susan G. Komen Foundation (early 2000’s)
  • Four DeSoto ISD Service Awards
  • Served as a mentor for first year teachers through the DeSoto ISD Retired Teacher
  • Mentor program (early 2000’s)

DeSoto ISD congratulates and celebrates the generous contributions of Mr. Gant and Ms. Murphree. Join us on Facebook Tuesday, June 30 at 6 pm for a special video presentation in honor of this year’s inductees and share your congratulations, memories, and photos in the comments.