Hall of Honor
induction events
October 19, 2012
• Community luncheon
    12 noon. Administration Building, 
    3315 Washington. Tickets available
    at the Administration Building at 3315 
    Washington St. $15 each 
    October 1 - October 12
• CHS pep rally
• Pre-Homecoming game
  ceremony at Memorial Stadium
2010, 2011 Inductees
Emmett Day Sr.
Harry Champion
Dr. Jack Pirkey
June Dunn
Alvis Alderman
Ann Champion
Bill Fuhrmeister
Mary Hendrix
Loretta Kibler
Janet Peek

The honorees are selected by a community committee, who, as deemed by the Hall of Honor by-laws, remain anonymous. Photos of the honorees will go on permanent display in the CISD Administration Building.

Hall of Honor inductees guests at Homecoming activities

Recognition events held October 19

Three former school administrators were inducted into the Commerce Independent School District Hall of Honor on October 19. Buddy Jones, Sue Sheppard and Norris Tanton were honored at various homecoming activities planned throughout the day. The CISD Hall of Honor was established in 2010 to recognize former students that have had a distinguished career and graduated from either Commerce High School or Norris School. The Hall of Honor also recognizes staff members who have made a significant impact on the students of CISD or Norris.

Buddy Jones
First as a student athlete at CHS and later as a principal at four different campuses, Buddy Jones has left his mark on Commerce schools.

Jones was captain of the district-champion Tiger football team in 1960 and also elected co-captain of the basketball team that year.

After being awarded the Lion’s Club Scholarship, he attended East Texas State University where he received his bachelor of science, master of education and administrator’s certificate. He began his teaching career in Richardson but after two years it was time to head home where he was named principal at A.L. Day Elementary School. Subsequent principal ships landed him at W.J. Wheeler Elementary, Norris Elementary and A. C. Williams Elementary Schools before he retired in 1995.

Jones has also been active in Commerce civic organizations throughout the years. He served as president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and was the charter president of the Commerce Optimist Club for two years. He was chosen District 10 Principal of the Year by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association and chosen administrator of the year by the Commerce Classroom Teachers’ Association on numerous occasions.

Jones and his wife Sarah, also a CHS graduate, recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. Their children, Forrest Jones of Sulphur Springs and Sheely House of Rockwall, are graduated from CHS.

In making Jones’s nomination, the submitter said, “I do not know a more concerned, dedicated, sincere, worthy person,” than Buddy Jones for this Hall of Honor distinction.

Sue Sheppard

Although Sue Sheppard was a teacher for many of her 26 years as an educator, it was her efforts as an administrator to improve Norris School facilities that make her notable and worthy of her Hall of Honor distinction.

Sheppard began her teaching career in Coyle, Oklahoma, in 1967. Two years later, she and her husband Ken moved to Commerce where she began teaching second grade. In 1972, she moved to Norris Elementary School teaching fifth grade. Within two years, she was named assistant principal and then principal in 1976. She returned to teaching at A.L. Day Elementary in 1980, and moved into the brand-new Commerce Elementary School campus in 1991. She retired in 1992.

During her time at Norris, she pushed for and succeeded in getting the school renovated including refurbishing the library, adding a new cafeteria and air conditioning and exterior improvements. As her former students graduated from CHS they were reminded of their elementary days when she presented them a self portrait she had them do while they were elementary students.

Sheppard and her husband, who passed away this year, have three daughters who attended Commerce schools.

Through many events which touched countless lives, Sheppard has left a legacy for students in Commerce.
Norris Tanton, left front row, and Sue Sheppard (right front row) served Commerce schools for many years. Photo shows Norris school staff iin 1978.

Norris Tanton

Tanton was CISD superintendent from 1962 to 1980, tenure rare for today’s school superintendents. He left Commerce High School early to join the U.S. Navy. He was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1941 where he was a firsthand witness to the Japanese invasion. While in the service, he received two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Tanton will be awarded his high school diploma posthumously from CHS during the Hall of Honor induction luncheon, where he will be represented by his daughter Ruth Cherry.

After his military service, Tanton came back to Commerce where he began his pursuit of his own education enrolling at East Texas State Teachers College with special allowances because he did not graduate from high school. His long career in education first began as a teacher at A.L. Day Elementary School and then principal. During his tenure as superintendent, he led the smooth integration of Commerce schools which were absent the turmoil evidenced by other communities.

Tanton is remembered for his firm hand as a leader and his constant belief that all students deserve the best education possible.

Our Mission

In partnership with families and community, CISD will provide all students an exemplary education, preparing them to be successful, productive citizens. 

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