From the Grid Iron to City Hall

Published 8:40 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

By Dr. Rickie Harris

In our final editorial of the school year, I would like to honor and recognize a true Mustang, newly elected City of Orange Mayor Larry Spears Jr.

When it comes to true Mustang pride, it is hard to find someone with blood more blue and silver than Mr. Spears. He represented true Mustang character and pride as a member of the West Orange – Stark High School Mustang football team. As a member of the WOS High School Class of 1998, he continues to exhibit that same pride and dedication to school and community.

He has served in many roles representing Orange: on the City of Orange Board of Adjustment, on the Orange Economic Development Committee, the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Committee, as an Orange City Councilman, and now as Mayor. Congratulations! We appreciate your dedication and willingness to work to make our community better than ever.

Mr. Spears has also served for many years as a board member on the WOS Alumni Foundation; and, he is a member of the West Orange – Cove Education Foundation.

Within WOCCISD schools, he is a part of our Men of Excellence partnership that pairs male mentor figures with campuses. His involvement with our students is deep. He speaks to students in social studies classes about government. He volunteers at Saturday School camps to support instruction. He speaks motivationally at academic pep rallies. Mr. Spears designed and presented a “112% Challenge” program to encourage elementary students to improve attendance and improve grades. He has provided and solicited door prizes for student incentives. He is also present at all types of sporting events to support our athletes.

Mr. Spears has also been instrumental in organizing the Mustang Celebration Parades following our two recent state championships. If anyone would like to talk Mustang sport history, Mr. Spears is a real expert in that area.

Our District can always depend on Mr. Spears to provide support for our students as they strive for excellence. West Orange – Cove is so proud to see how this civic-minded Mustang has flourished as a community leader within the city of Orange. Ultimately, it was a great day to be a Mustang on Tuesday to witness him taking his oath of office as Mayor of Orange. I look forward to working alongside him as we partner with the city and community to provide great opportunities for all.

We believe in John Maxwell’s philosophy that “One is too small a number to achieve greatness.” Go Mustangs!


Dr. Rickie R. Harris is the Superintendent at West Orange – Cove CISD