Honoring an inspiration

Kathy, left, and Rick Orr take center stage at South Sevier High School in Monroe Friday night. Rick was inducted into the school’s hall of fame for his years of coaching, teaching and mentoring.

MONROE — The packed gym at South Sevier High School stood in applause as the community saluted Rick Orr Friday night. 

Orr was inducted in the school’s hall of fame.

“This is a validation of my life,” Rick said. He said he was thankful for the award, and that he appreciated being able to stand in the center court with his wife, who has supported him all these years. 

He said it was Kathy who said, “We’re staying,” when they first arrived in Monroe. 

Orr has been hugely influential through his teaching and coaching career, said SSHS Principal Randy Madsen. He said Orr coached him in high school, which inspired his choices to go into education and coaching.

Mike Willes, Sevier School District assistant superintendent, said in a recorded message that Rick was the primary reason he chose education and coaching for a career. 

Rick has a 37-year career teaching English. He’s also coached football, baseball, golf, wrestling and assisted with girls’ softball. He delivered South Sevier’s 1977 state championship in baseball. 

The Rams’ baseball field was named as the Richard Orr Stadium in 2014.

Orr has also written and published two books. 

 In his time at SSHS, he was named Teacher of the Year four times. He was also named the Teacher of the Year for all of Sevier School District in the 2003-04 year. 

Upon retirement, Orr ran for and was elected to a position on the Sevier School District Board of Education in 2010. He was later selected to serve as the board president.

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