By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Booker T. Washington High School is set to celebrate its 106th year of education Friday October 4th at BTW Homecoming 2019. The homecoming game starts at 7 p.m. which features the BTW Hornets vs. The Bixby Spartans.
The tradition rich learning institution will begin its celebration with the Mr. and Mrs. Hornet assembly Thursday morning. On Friday afternoon it will continue with a pep rally that will transition into the all class and alumni tailgate beginning at 3 p.m. on the BTW family lawn. One of the fun events during the tailgate is the “8th Annual BBQ Class Cook Off” which always has its twist and turns. Each year a different class has won the contest with the BTW Class of 1981 as last year’s winner.
The first honoree for this year are Coach Verdell Schoats. Coach Verdell Schoats was a counselor as well as a football coach from 1979-1990 at Booker T. Washington H.S Under the Direction of Head Coach Irvin Brown and Larry McGee, as the Offensive Coordinator.
In 1984 Booker T. Washington Hornets Won the State Championship in Football. Coach Shoats retired in 1990 from coaching. Coach then continued working around the Tulsa Area, at Central High School, Metro Christian Academy, Gilcrease, and Clinton Middle School.
Coach Schoats has 3 beautiful Kids, Brandon Roger, Joye Schoats-Davis and In Loving Memory Verdell Lynn Schoats whom he coached better known as “Bam Bam” to many.
The second honoree is Nancy McDonald. Nancy McDonald was a leader in desegregating Carver Elementary, integrating Booker T. Washington High School, and introducing the magnet school concept to Tulsa in 1972.
Because of Nancy’s activism in the 1970s, when President Reagan started an initiative to get corporations involved in education in the 1980s, Nancy was one of five people selected to participate in the White House Symposium on Education and Corporate Engagement.
Nancy’s visionary leadership laid the foundation for the magnet school system in Tulsa Public Schools.
The third honoree is Clyde Yeldell. Sr.: Clyde Yeldell earned the title of “Senior Bandsman of the Year” at Texas Southern University in 1960. He was such an outstanding student that the TSU Music Department recommended him for the open teaching position in Tulsa, Oklahoma as the Band Director and Instrumental Music for Booker T Washington High School. BTW Alumnus and R & B sensation Charlie Wilson was one of his bands Drum Majors.
Over his first 3 years, he worked closely with band teachers from feeder schools and built the Marching Band up from 35 pieces to 90 pieces! He went on to earn his master’s degree in counseling and spent the 2nd half of his 30-year career as a school counselor at McLain High School. He retired in 1990 after 30 years with Tulsa Public Schools.
After the homecoming game the Booker T. Washington National Alumni Association is hosting a free mixer at The Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge and Lefty’s on Greenwood on the corner of Archer and Greenwood Avenue with special entertainment being provided by Parry and Val Harding with the Black Wall Street Band.
Saturday morning BTW Alumnus will be participating in the 2nd Annual BIZZ Konference 2019 at the Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge ‘Coming Home with A Purpose’ is a collaboration between community contributors to enlist the support of Booker T. Washington High School Alumni into community service opportunities during Homecoming weekend. Tulsa youth are targeted as mentees to professionals during workshops over various areas that include coding and S.T.E.M., fitness and health, financial literacy, kidpreneurship/entrepreneurship, money management, emotional Intelligence, wealth building, estate planning and more.
Saturday evening will be hosted by the BTWNAA and BTW Class of 1984 at The Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge on Greenwood.
BTW Homecoming Sunday Morning Worship Service at 10 a.m. October 6th at Friendship Church 1709 N Madison. Pastor Jamaal Dyer a graduate of the BTW Class of 2004 stated: “We are excited to welcome the Booker T Washington Hornet Family to Friendship Church.”
For further BTW Homecoming 2109 events and updates got to BTWNAA on Facebook.