2017 Hall of Fame
Posted on 08/31/2017
Pictures on the wall

Orange County Public Schools continues to honor its latest class of inductees to the Orange County Public Schools Hall of Fame. They are now on display in the lobby of the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center in downtown Orlando.


Wayne Brady (Dr. Phillips High ‘89) is best known as a prime-time Emmy Award-winning actor, singer, comedian and television personality, known for his work on Whose Line Is it Anyway? and currently as host of Let’s Make a Deal. He started performing in community theater and at the Orlando improv school Sak Comedy Lab.


Professor S. James Gates, Jr. (Jones High ‘69) is a theoretical physicist, known for work on supersymmetry, supergravity and superstring theory. He is currently the professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. He also served on President Barack Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. In 2013, he received the National Medal of Science.


In the Community Champion category, Toni Jennings (Winter Park High ‘67) was Florida’s first female lieutenant governor, two-term president of the Florida Senate, successful businesswoman and former fifth-grade teacher, Toni Jennings is among the most prominent public figures in Florida’s history, dedicating more than 27 years to the citizens of Florida.


David “Deacon” Jones (Hungerford High ‘57) was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame after a stellar career as a defensive end with the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins. A native of Eatonville, he and his wife Elizabeth established the Deacon Jones Foundation when he retired from football to assist young people. Jones died in 2013 and will be represented at the induction by his sister.


In the Distinguished Educator category, Jim Schott served as Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools from 1980 – 1992. He was responsible for forming the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, developing the first magnet and International Baccalaureate programs and nurturing a leadership team of future superintendents like Donald Shaw, Ronald Blocker, Eric Smith, Joseph Joyner and Barbara Jenkins.


The Hall of Fame is a tradition created by the School Board in 2014 to honor people who have made a name for themselves and the school district throughout its long history – since December 1869, 147 years ago. The Hall features inductees in three categories: distinguished educator, community champion and distinguished alumni.