A longtime teacher at Paris High School became the latest inductee into the Paris Hall of Fame on Friday, May 12 when graduation exercises were held for the PHS Class of 2017.
Rick Trusty, who is retiring after 38 years as a teacher at the school, was inducted into the 2017 Paris Hall of Fame “for his lasting legacy of Eagle spirit and community support,” according to School Superintendent Wayne Fawcett who presented the induction speech for Trusty.
In his time at PHS, Trusty has seen over 3,500 seniors graduate. Fawcett said Trusty’s Eagle pride and spirit is unsurpassed, with his “give me an E” chant becoming a long-time tradition.
The Paris Hall of Fame was established by the Paris Board of Education because, according the mission statement, “the board realizes that the success of a school and community is determined by the combined dedication and efforts of many people. However, the contributions of individuals can have a significant impact on the whole.”
Individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame are selected by a five-member committee composed of school staff and board members as well as members of the community. Selections are based on the contributions of the individual to school, community or country. Inductees must be an alumnus of Paris High School, a former employee of Paris School District or a benefactor of the Paris School District.
Trusty’s connections to the Paris School District date back to 1963 when he entered the first grade at Paris High School. While at PHS, Trusty lettered in football, basketball and track. He graduated in 1975. He graduated from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville in 1979 and later that year became a teacher at PHS.
As a teacher at PHS, he has taught American history, world history, Advanced Placement American history, Pre-AP American history, current events and contemporary American history. He has served as girls track coach, chess coach, cheer coach and established the Paris Pond Fishing Club. He has worked to update all of the Paris High School sports records and worked with students to develop and display all of the memorabilia in the PHS cafeteria. He has also been the Paris football team statistician since 1980.
On a regular basis, on game days, he supports all Paris Eagle teams with the now famous “gimme An “E” in the high school lobby surrounded by Paris High School students.
“In all of these endeavors, classes, clubs, sports and events he has taught his brothers, cousins, nieces, nephews, his own children and many Paris Eagles,” Fawcett said. “He has even taught many of his co-workers and even some of his bosses. I know that I, and previous superintendents, have gone to his classes just to hear his lectures on various topics.”
“In order for history to be interesting to students it must be made relevant to their lives.” Fawcett said. “He is a master of making even the most arcane historical topic relevant. If you went through his classes you were prepared for anything that any college might have to offer.”
Presenting the plaque to Trusty was his brother, Reggie Trusty, who currently holds a seat on the Paris Board of Education.