Posted Date: 02/09/2024
Members of the Pryor community gathered at the high school on Thursday, February 8, 2024, to celebrate the dedication of the south band hall now officially known as the Roy Jackson Band Hall in honor of former PPS Band Director Roy Jackson, whose 33-year tenure leading the Pride of Pryor left an indelible mark on the traditions of our school and community.
Welcoming the attendees, PPS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Muller explained that although she assumed her role at Pryor Public Schools following Mr. Jackson’s tenure, her background as a former high school band member and twirler provided her an understanding of the importance of music education and the impact a dedicated music teacher has on students.
Jackson’s influence as a music teacher extends beyond our local area. “I’ve had the privilege on two occasions to introduce Roy as a member of the hall of fame for both the Oklahoma Bandmasters Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Hall of Fame,” current Pryor Band Director Kevin Speakman remarked.
Speakman went on to say that Jackson’s commitment to his students was instrumental to the success of Pryor Schools’ music programs. So much so that, when the architects designed the new band halls for Pryor High School, a dedicated space was created to display the pictures of students who had earned their spot on the All-State Band Wall. Speakman said that these student success stories were in large part due to the hours Jackson poured into his students helping them prepare for auditions.
“These students also learned a tremendous work ethic, a desire for success regardless of the activity, and a competitive spirit that led them to always be the best they could be, regardless of their activities or endeavors. It is for these reasons that the south band hall, adorned with the faces of Mr. Jackson’s students, is now named the Roy Jackson Band Hall,” Speakman said.
PPS Athletic Director Gerald Osborne, speaking at the dedication, reminisced how from his first days of coaching at Pryor, he and Jackson collaborated to support students facing the demands of playing in the band while also playing on the athletic field. Osborne highlighted Jackson's focus on his students and the teamwork attitude he and Jackson shared which strengthened their friendship.
Jackson, grateful for the honor, gave much of the credit for his success to his wife Connie Jackson, his family, and his Faith.
Underscoring the central significance of music in society, Jackson said that to put music in a student is to create a better student; to put music in education is to improve education, and to place music in the community is to build a better community. “Pryor has always been a community centered around music,” Jackson said.
Perhaps the most poignant reminder of Jackson’s legacy and impact is the gift from a former student displayed in the PHS fine arts lounge that commemorates 10 years of superior ratings for the Pride of Pryor under the direction of Roy Jackson:
“Tradition Never Graduates.”