The Norman Public Schools Foundation honored two champions of its work with induction into its Hall of Honor Tuesday.

The foundation, which supports Norman Public Schools teachers via grants for classroom projects, inducted Randy Laffoon and Jenny Dakil into its Hall of Honor Tuesday.

Dakil is a recently-retired former executive director of the foundation. Laffoon, who died in September 2020, was a foundation board member for years.

Laffoon, the founder of SportsTalk Media and a member of multiple community boards, was a “transformational” NPSF board member, said Jim Wade, president of BancFirst Norman. Wade, who presented Tuesday’s honors, knew Laffoon for years and said he was not only a ready and effective fundraiser for NPSF, but a mentor and teacher to other board members,

Laffoon joined the NPSF board in 2001 and served across NPSF committees and even as president. Wade called Laffoon “one of the greatest men I’ve ever encountered” Tuesday.

“He believed that you can’t have a prosperous community without a great youth, because they are the future,” Debbie Laffoon, Randy’s wife, said when she accepted the honor.

Dakil, who officially retired from leading the foundation in 2021, is a former NPS teacher and NPSF board member who became the foundation’s executive director in 2000.

Under Dakil’s leadership, Wade said, the foundation went from giving out $50,000 in grants each school year to distributing $250,000 in teacher grants each year.

Dakil also established sudden opportunity grants, which, among other things, helped about 20 kids get scholarships to attend NPS summer enrichment programming last year.

“Yes, Randy would be a guy who would push, and he was a consummate sales guy ... but there had to be somebody with the thought, with the vision and with the ability to just say ‘we’re going to get this done, and I don’t care what it’s going to take or what we’ve got to do, but we’re going to get that done,’ and that was Jenny Dakil,” Wade said.

Emma Keith is the editor of The Transcript, where she covers Norman Public Schools and the University of Oklahoma. Reach her at ekeith@normantranscript.com or at @emma_ckeith.

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Emma Keith is the editor of The Norman Transcript, where she also covers Norman Public Schools and The University of Oklahoma. She is a 2019 OU graduate.