Belleville East High School on Friday night will honor the four newest members of the school Wall of Fame.
This year former English teacher and debate coach Morris Snively (1970-2002), longtime teacher and administrator K. Lane Miller, 1978 graduate Lt. Col. David P. Cooley, and 1975 graduate Robert Haida will be honored in a ceremony just prior to the 7 p.m. home game between Belleville East and Edwardsville High School.
* Snively taught at East for 32 years and during that time he was an outstanding teacher, debate coach, and union leader, according to Belleville East principal Stephanie Posey.
During his tenure as a debate coach his students won two IHSA state championships. Chris Pflug and Derrick Eihausen won as a team in Policy Debate in 1994, and Tara Coburn won in Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1997.
Snively won the Edith Harrod Award in 1997 which is given by the Illinois Speech and Theater Association to one of its members who has provided distinguished service to the organization.
In 2000, Snively won the W.P. Stanford Presidential Award, an award given to the Illinois Speech and Theater Association for significant contributions to speech and theater and exceptional extended service to the Association. Morris also received the Marcella E. Oberle Award in 1996 from the National Communication Association. He passed away in 2009.
* Miller started his career in 1950 in Northern Illinois, where he was hired as a teacher out of college and then became the youngest principal in the state two years later. He came to Belleville in 1961 when District 201 Superintendent H.J. Haberaecker ask him to be principal at Township High School.
Four years later he became superintendent of the district and presided over the time when an enrollment of 4,200 students forced a second high school to be opened.
Miller still holds the honor of being the longest-serving superintendent for District 201 at 18 years.
* The son of an Air Force airman, Cooley was born in 1960 at R.A.F Mildenhall, a US Air Force base in England. His family later moved to Fairview Heights, and he attended Belleville East High School, graduating in 1978. Cooley was captain of the soccer team and after graduation attended the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he graduated in 1982.
Cooley retired from the Air Force in 2003 after a career as a test pilot of F-111, F-15 and F-117 fighters. After retirement he worked as a test pilot for aircraft manufacturer Lockheed -Martin. He was killed in 2007 in a test mission of the F-22 fighter at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
* Haida is a 1975 graduate of Belleville East who received his undergraduate degree from McKendree University and a law degree from St. Louis University.
He served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Illinois and as an assistant state's attorney in St. Clair County prior to being elected state's attorney in 1991. He was elected as a judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit in 2010.
A noted advocate of children, Haida has donated his time as chairman of the St. Clair County Child Advocacy Board, co-chairman of Illinois Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, and to area youth sports programs.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 239-2626.