The Oklahoma Eagle Newswire


Mr. Orlando Hazley, Jr. will be one of ten inductees to the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame, Inc. on Friday, September 24, 2021. He is a retired career educator who taught in Tulsa Public Schools. The ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City will start at 7:00 PM; doors will open at 6:30 PM.

Orlando was born June 16, 1933 to Orlando E. Hazley and Jennie Lee Hazley in Enid, Oklahoma. He and his siblings were quite rambunctious, and his parents knew just how to reign them in; firmly and lovingly. In sixth grade, he moved to Seattle, Washington to live with his older sister and her family. Four years later, he returned home to Enid to complete his education.

After earning his high school diploma in 1952, he relocated to attend Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma. After one year in college, he was drafted by the United States Army. After training, he was assigned to the Air Force base in Guam where he worked as a clerk-typist. It was there that he developed and honed his athletic prowess. Orlando played football and ran track and excelled at both sports. In 1955, he became a Worldwide Air Force champion in the 100-yard dash. In 1956, he received a full scholarship in track and field to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater where he became the first African American to earn athletic letters. In 1960, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education; however, it was the thirty hours he accumulated in science that sealed his future in education. Later, he returned to college to earn his master’s degree at Central State University (UCO) in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Mr. Hazley’s teaching career began he when he was hired to teach science at Moon Junior High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After six years there, he accepted a coaching and teaching position at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was an avid science teacher and his love for teaching was obvious to the students. His goal was to impress upon each and every student the joy and importance of learning. He believed that teaching was comparable to investing in students. He strived to ensure that every student who he taught knew of his expectations for them.

In 1973, Mr. Hazley was selected to be the Assistant Principal at Booker T. Washington in Tulsa. He stepped into the role with vigor and a readiness to elevate the minds of students. In this role, he was charged with insuring that the district implemented programs were beneficial for students. Because the students were expected to demonstrate academic growth, they had to be able to navigate the dynamics of the programs.

Orlando was tabbed to be the principal at McClain High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1977. The most critical challenge at the secondary level was truancy. A student had to be present in order for the teacher to teach, and the student to learn. Mr. Hazley developed an accountability method to track and reclaim truants. It required that the truant student along with a parent meet with him and create a plan for the student to return to learn. The number of students on the truancy list decreased expeditiously; the method proved successful for McClain High School.

In 1986, due to his success at reclaiming truants at McClain, he took the helm at the Tulsa Public Schools Drop-out Program. For five years, he executed the mandates of the court system by identifying dropouts and contacting parents. In 1991, after 36 years in education, Mr. Hazley retired.

Mr. Hazley is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he was selected Outstanding Alpha Man. In 1965, he was honored by the Tulsa Links organization for his dedicated service in the community. He was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Honor in 1984. In 2001, Orlando was honored as Outstanding African American Men in Sports. Additionally, he was a member of Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, Oklahoma Education Association, National Education Association, and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc. For twenty-four years, he sang with the Rotary Men of Note – North Tulsa Rotary Club.

Orlando was married to the late Velda Tutt Hazley of Hennessey, Oklahoma and then to the late Antoinette Johnson Hazley of Tulsa. He has a daughter, Natasha C. Hazley Franks of Orange, Texas and a son, Orlando Jeffry Hazley of Tulsa. He has eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Tulsa.

Mr. Orlando E. Hazley, Jr. strived to meet all students where they were academically. He refused to give up on any student, and he firmly believed it was important to provide ample opportunities and experiences for students to find their niche. With his guidance, support, and encouragement, many of his students did find their niche and excelled; and today, are productive and successful citizens in society.

Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame President, Dr. Donnie L. Nero, Sr., invites the public to attend the 10th annual O.A.A.E. Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, especially community leaders and former students of this influential inductee. For more information about tickets, phone 918-698-6037.