Kentucky Guardsman inducted into high school’s hall of fame

Story by Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

1SG Robinson

1st Sgt. Richard Robinson of the Kentucky Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters stands with the trophy presented to him by Johnson Central High School for his induction into the school’s hall of fame. Robinson graduated from the school in 1988 as an award-winning musician and undefeated drum major for the marching band. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Johnson Central High School stands in Paintsville, Ky., in the midst of Appalachia. For the people of Eastern Kentucky, roots can run deep. Many will always hold on to where they came from, even if they have left. The same is true for the towns, schools and businesses left behind; they don’t forget either.  Examples of this pride can be found in the high school hall of fame.

The school has been inducting students and faculty into the hall since  2006. In the years since, more than 125 teachers, athletes, musicians and students have been honored, recognizing past accomplishments and paving a bright future for the school.

On Jan. 12, 2013, several new names were added to the roster of the elite from Johnson Central. One was the Kentucky Guard’s own 1st Sgt. Alan Robinson of Joint Force Headquarters in Frankfort.

Robinson graduated from Johnson Central in 1988 after an extremely successful career with the Golden Eagle Marching Band.  He holds the JCHS record for the only undefeated Drum major in school history.  During his senior year, Robinson won seven first place awards in competitions as the Drum Major.

“At first I didn’t know what to think and didn’t really expect much but once I got there I saw how cool it was, I felt very honored to be a part of it,” he said.

People associated with the school have called the hall of fame one of the greatest ideas Johnson Central has come up with, recognizing excellence on the field, floor and in the classroom.

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Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Spears (left) of the Georgia National Guard and 1st Sgt. Richard Robinson of Kentucky’s Joint Force Headquarters stand beneath the plaques of inductees at the Johnson Central High School Hall of Fame in Paintsville, Ky., Jan. 12, 2013. (Courtesy photo)

“The whole experience was fantastic, they have a very nice hall of fame,” said Robinson.  “Most schools just have a sports hall of fame induction but this school encompasses sports, music, the arts, anything that has been a large contributor of the school.”

Also inducted was Georgia National Guardsman, Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Spears, a 1981 graduate.  The Blairsville, Ga.-resident has spent 32 years in the military with six deployments and three combat tours. Spears was recognized by the state of Georgia for his heroic actions during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.

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