MONROE — A man who has been integral to the education at South Sevier High School for decades is being inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame Friday, Jan. 31, at the SSHS' boys' basketball game, which begins at 7 p.m.
“Rick is one of the nicest people around,” said Randy Madsen, principal of SSHS. “He’s a man of great integrity. If he says he’ll do something, he does it.”
Orr retired from the school in 2010. He taught English at SSHS from 1972-79 and again from 1987-2010. He also taught physical education and served as an advisor for students.
He was also a prolific coach. Orr has 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.
“This man is a hero to me, and he’s deserving of this honor,” said Ron Cropper the day of the dedication.
Orr has also written and published two books.
“A lot of people I run into tell me that he was one of the great influencers on their lives,” Madsen said. “They think of him as a father figure.”
While teaching at SSHS, Orr got involved with many of the school’s activities, including the annual Giving it Back program. Each year the program raises money to help a family or individual in the South Sevier area. Orr has allowed his chest to be waxed and his ear to be pierced upon the school reaching certain thresholds for fundraising.
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.
When he retired, Orr didn’t wait long to find a new way to serve the needs of education in the region. He ran for a position on the Sevier School District Board of Education in 2010, earning the position. He was later selected to serve as the board president.
Orr is also known for being a top-notch golfer, hitting the links at Cove View Golf Course when he has the time.
Rick and his wife, Kathy, live in Monroe. They have three children and eight grandchildren.