The Mid Del School Foundation Wall of Fame honoree for 2017 is attorney Steve Coleman who accepts this award on behalf of a family having ties strong and deep with Mid Del Schools. Steve's parents Gus and Carolyn combined for almost 50 years of service to the District in the capacities of teacher coach and principal.
Steve and his wife Lori are both graduates of Del City High and of their six children, four are grads of Midwest City High and two are Carl Albert alums. Like Gus and Carolyn, Lori is a career Mid Del educator. Likewise, for numerous aunt’s uncle’s cousins and nieces of Lori, Steve and their children. The total number of years this family has with the Mid Del School District as students or professional educators is in excess of 250.
Steve Coleman was the first President of the Mid Del Schools Foundation and was among the community leaders who founded the organization in 1988. He has since served a second term as President and as a member of the Board of Trustees. He also worked as a classroom teacher in this District (also Crooked Oak) while in law school.
As a patron he has served as officer in PTA and presided over booster clubs for state championship wrestling and pom squads. He presently serves as a Regent at Rose State College, a position held by his father 30 years ago.
Before graduating from Del City High in 1966 Steve attended and graduated from Epperly Heights grade school and Kerr Jr High. He was an All-State football player and was awarded a full scholarship to play football for Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference. After graduating from Vandy in 1970 Steve entered evening law school at OCU and graduated in 1974.
In addition to maintaining a law practice since 1974 Steve served 15 years as the Municipal Judge of Del City and another 15 years as an adjunct professor at Rose State College. His peers have elected him to serve on the Oklahoma County Bar board of directors and chosen him to receive the Oklahoma County Bar Association Community Service Award; the Oklahoma Bar Association award for Lawyers Who Make a Difference and the Journal Record Leadership in Law award.
Serving as Chairman of the non-profit Oklahoma Honor Flights since 2009 tops Steve's civic accomplishments. He has either been President or board member of the Tinker Area YMCA, Mid-Del Youth and Family Center, the Chambers of Commerce of both Midwest City and Del City, Mid Del Tinker 100 Club, Mid Del Group Homes, Del City Rotary Club, Midwest City Economic Development Commission and the Midwest City Hospital Trust Authority. He has been inducted into the Halls of Fame for both Del City High and Midwest City High and received the WP 'Bill" Atkinson award for leadership and community service.
2016 Honoree: Carolyn Leslie
Carolyn Leslie is a native of Wewoka, Oklahoma, the capital of the Seminole Nation. She moved with her parents to Midwest City in 1955, when her father, Calvin T. Smith, became the first principal of Monroney Junior High School. She is a 1958 graduate of Midwest City High School and later earned both a B.A. in Language Arts and M.A. in History from The University of Oklahoma.
Carolyn was a career teacher for 38 years. She was with the Mid-Del School District for 37 years and at a Monroney for 34. Carolyn was chairman of the social studies department at Monroney and served on numerous district committees.
Carolyn was selected as Mid-Del Teacher of the Year in 1978. She was the recipient of the Edward L. and Thelma Gaylord Oklahoma Territory Award for Excellence in Teaching Oklahoma History from the Oklahoma Heritage Association in 1989. She also received the “Distinguished Service” and “Soul and Spirit” awards from the Mid-Del Schools.
Mrs. Leslie assisted in the writing and development of a grant for the Harn Museum to establish a traveling teaching unit on “Pioneer and Early Day Oklahoma “. She also served on the Oklahoma History Task Force for the Oklahoma State Department of Education. She was a consultant for an elementary Oklahoma History text. She was a contributing author for a textbook, Oklahoma: Land of Contrasts that was adopted by more than 80% of the public and private high schools in this state.
Since her retirement in 2003, Carolyn has continued her service to the community. She serves on the board of the Midwest City YMCA, represents Midwest City on the Metropolitan Library Commission, and is active in P.E.O., Chapter FF. Carolyn is also an adult department director at the First Baptist Church, Midwest City,
Carolyn and her husband, Lee Alan Leslie, were married for 47 years prior to his death in 2010. They are the parents of Shannon, a high school Latin teacher at Bard High School Early College in Queens, New York, and Eric, a video production specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Both Shannon and Eric are Comets, Thunderbirds, Bombers and Sooners.
2015 Honoree: Robert H. Croak
Robert is a long-time Mid-Del resident, businessman, and philanthropist. A proud graduate of Midwest City High School, Robert has been involved in supporting the community and especially education in Mid-Del for over 50 years.
His leadership at FNB Community Bank as well as his volunteer service through, among others, the Midwest City Rotary Club, the Midwest City Chamber of Commerce, Rose State College and Mid-Del Public Schools made him a unanimous choice by this year’s Wall of Fame Committee.
Robert H. Croak
2014 Honoree: Brenda Bodenheimer
Brenda Bodenheimer is a career educator, serving as a high school teacher, counselor, and administrator in various states where her husband Colonel Ed Bodenheimer was stationed. After moving back to Midwest City in 1984, she was an English/Psychology/ACT teacher and counselor at Carl Albert High School and concluded her career at the Mid-Del Schools Central Office where she directed district counseling programs, public relations, and the Mid-Del Public Schools Foundation.
Brenda graduated in 1959 from Midwest City High School, where she was the first Miss MCHS. She attended Oklahoma State University where she was selected the Outstanding Graduate in 1963. She earned her master’s degree from Rollins College, Florida.
She remains active as a civic volunteer, museum docent, church volunteer and choir member. Her special interests are music and international travel with 41 countries visited so far!
Brenda and Ed’s two daughters, Brett and Heidi, were born in Maine. Brenda has three grandchildren, Julia, Bret Robert & Hannah.
2013 Honoree: John Smith
John Smith is a name synonymous with wrestling success.
A native of Del City, Oklahoma and a product of the Mid-Del Public Schools, John compiled a 105-5 record as a wrestler at Del City High School. His collegiate wrestling record at Oklahoma State University was 154-7-2,including NCAA individual championships in 1987 and 1988. John was a three-time All-America selection and to this day, is the Oklahoma State record holder in career victories, single-season victories, career falls, and single-season falls.
Prior to graduation from college, John began to compete internationally, winning the first of six world championships after his junior year. Smith remains the only collegiate wrestler to win a world championship. Following graduation, John qualified for the U.S. Olympic freestyle team, finishing with a gold medal at the 1988 games in Seoul. He claimed his second Olympic gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona games, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
In 1992, John became the head wrestling coach at Oklahoma State University, where he has led his Cowboys to five national championships. He has coached 24 NCAA individual champions and five Olympians. He has been recognized twice by the National Wrestling Coaches Association as Coach of the Year.
John is married to the former Toni Donaldson. The couple has three sons: Joseph, Samuel and Levi and two daughters: Isabell and Cecilia.
Dr. Tony Thomas
2012 Honoree: Dr. Tony Thomas
A long-time advocate for public education, Dr. Tony Thomas served on the Mid-Del Board of Education for over 30 years. He served as president of the board for at least seven years, as president of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association, and has served on several education-related boards at the state and national levels.
Dr. Thomas graduated from Shawnee High School in 1950, having grown up on a farm in that area. Dr. Thomas credits the local Women's Home Extension Club for giving him a $100 scholarship for his decision to attend college. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from OSU in 1961. He and his wife, Julia Mae, then moved to Midwest City, where he began work at the Midwest City Veterinary Hospital, where he continues to practice 50 years later.
Dr. Thomas joined the Mid-Del Board of Education after he was approached by several community leaders about running. When he stepped down decades later, he became active in the Oklahoma State School Board Association, traveling throughout Oklahoma to consult with local school boards and provide board development sessions. Julia Mae and Tony Thomas have two children and four grandchildren.