Plato PTCO (Parent Teacher Community Organization) began taking nominations back in September for a Plato “Wall of Honor” featuring people with ties to the Plato area who have done incredible things.
Several nominations were submitted, and with the help, experience and objectivity of the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, three nominees were selected for the inaugural class, to be inducted on Friday, Jan. 17, at the Plato School Homecoming: Donald Payton, Captola Lewis and Susan Biram.
Payton may have grown up in Plato, but his career as a journalist, playwright and poet ensured his reach was felt well beyond his hometown. Regionally, he helped develop his alma mater, Missouri State University, in enrollment, physical facilities and freedom of expression. Nationally, he has published over 75 plays, many of which are still produced today.
As Plato Schools superintendent, Lewis’ efforts to modernize helped make it one of the first schools in Missouri to have classroom air conditioning, and put Plato on the map as one of the first villages incorporated during the new millennium, and ensured his legacy as a champion for education. He was a greatly admired administrator whose legacy lives on in the school and village.
Biram spent more than 30 years teaching English, German, public speaking, drama, debate and Spanish in the Plato School District. Even after her retirement, she returned to the school when called on to act as an ELL teacher for students who were struggling with language barriers. Her influence as an educator and First Lady of Plato is long and lasting.
The ceremony is planned to occur between the JV and varsity basketball games, or approximately 7 p.m. More detailed information about each inductee will be provided during the night’s program.
The 2021 Plato PTCO Wall of Honor nomination forms will be available that night at the Plato PTCO Wall of Honor inductee display table.