The Leader invites you to a reception honoring Carolyn Estes from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 27 at the Oologah Chamber office downtown.
Estes to be inducted into Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame
By JOHN M. WYLIE II, Editor
First it was Will Rogers, the Oologah-born philosopher-humorist who was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame when it was founded in 1971.
Then it was John and Faith Wylie, publishers of the Oologah Lake Leader, who were inducted in 2012.
Now it is Carolyn Estes, the fourth journalist from Oologah to be honored.
She will be inducted April 24 for her nationally-known work in Newspaper in Education and her enormous civic contributions to Oologah and Green Country.
She serves the Leader as marketing and NIE director.
“Carolyn has earned statewide admiration in the press for her enthusiasm and unselfish service to her town, her paper and to newspapers and education,” said Dr. Terry M. Clark, director of the Hall of Fame.
Estes said she was overwhelmed by the honor and never dreamed that she would be considered for the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.
“It’s hard to think of it as a job when you’re doing something that you love so much,” Estes said.
Estes created For the Kid in You, a nationally-syndicated NIE feature, has lectured nationwide on how to start, structure and finance NIE programs, and also developed a partnership between the newspaper and the Corps of Engineers which provides life jackets for children, promotes water safety and sponsors an annual kids fishing tournament.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Carolyn will be part of the Hall of Fame. She is a major figure in promoting reading and newspapers and in showing the power one person can have in making Oklahoma a better place to live, work and play,” John and Faith Wylie said.
Estes was born in 1943, reared in Wellington, Kan., and came to Oklahoma after her husband Ted completed his military service in Korea and returned to his job at American Airlines.
She held a number of different positions in retail management while raising their son, Tod.
The family came to Oologah because of the quality of the Oologah-Talala School District.
She joined the Leader in 1982 as reporter and photographer after suggesting to J.R. Haney, who founded the newspaper earlier that year, that the newspaper needed more and better coverage of the school and its programs.
“We have great kids doing great things. We focus on the good kids, not just a very few kids who do bad things,” Estes said.
Other honorees during the 44th annual ceremony will be Ed Blochowiak, Shawnees News-Star photographer; Thomas H. “Tom” Boone, of the Bixby Bulletin, retired; Jay Cronley, Tulsa World columnist; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman and vice-president of news for OPUBCO Communications Group; Larry Ferguson of the Pawnee Chief; William A. Hamilton, retired; Tim Schnoebelen of the Mooreland Leader; and Jan Stratton, of KSWO-YV in Lawton, retired.
The luncheon program will begin at 11:45 a.m. on the third floor of the UCO university center. Master of ceremonies will be Mark Thomas, executive vice-president of the Oklahoma Press Association.
More than 250 journalists, friends and families are expected for the Hall of Fame, Clark said.
“The event has become sort of homecoming celebration for members of the Hall of Fame to come together and recognize each year’s honorees,” he said.
Luncheon reservations at $15 each may be made by contacting Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 405-974-5122, by Thursday, April 17.
The Leader will host a reception for Estes and for 2012 inductees John and Faith Wylie on Sunday, April 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Chamber office.