Last week, the Southeast Polk Hall of Honor welcomed new inductees at a special event held at the Southeast Polk High School. The ceremony recognized these outstanding individuals who have impacted our school district and community in numerous ways.
The Hall of Honor was established to recognize outstanding alumni, educators and community leaders who, through achievements, endeavors, leadership and character, are positive role models for the student body of Southeast Polk Community Schools. Through an initial grant from Prairie Meadows, the Hall of Honor began the recognition at the 2009 Homecoming game.
Members who are recognized are honored at an induction ceremony as well as the football game. In addition, all members are recognized with a plaque placed on the SEP Hall of Honor wall at Southeast Polk High School
We are proud to welcome the following into the SEP Hall of Honor:
Jerry and Marla Carr
“Our Hearts Belong to the RAMS”
Jerry and Marla Carr graduated from Albia High School in 1970 and 1974. Jerry graduated in 1974 from Truman State University with a degree in Criminal Justice. In 1978, Marla graduated from Drake University with a degree in Secondary Education with an English major. Jerry worked for the Attorney General’s Office’s Consumer Protection Division for 5 years and then was an insurance adjuster for American Family Insurance for 35 years. In retirement, he delivered groceries and flowers for Hy-Vee and relocated cars for Enterprise Car Rental. But what he enjoyed most in life was his family and supporting the Southeast Polk Rams, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the Chicago Cubs. Marla’s first and only teaching job was at Southeast Polk teaching 7th grade English and Reading for 33 years. She felt 7th grade was a critical turning point in a young person’s life, and she wanted to make a difference. She and her husband Jerry were big RAM fans from day one of her employment at Southeast Polk. They attended many Southeast Polk events before they had children and continued to take their young sons to many Southeast Polk football and basketball games. They couldn’t wait until their boys could become Southeast Polk RAMS. They both supported them in their activities and continued to attend many Southeast Polk events even after they graduated. Marla always enjoyed watching her own students perform on the court, the field, or the stage. In 1989, Jerry and Marla received the Southeast Polk Super Fan Award, and in 2018 Jerry received the Outstanding Southeast Polk Fan award at the Iowa Girls’ State Basketball Tournament. He spent many years running the chains at the RAMS football games, running the clock at the girls’ and boys’ basketball games, and was a timer at track meets. They were both chaperones on the UN trip for juniors to Washington, DC, and New York City several times. One of Jerry’s highlights of being a Southeast Polk fan was getting to run the chains for the football team at the dome. Besides being Super RAM fans, they were also active in the Southeast Polk Community. Before he passed away, they were both members of the Altoona United Methodist Church, and he held several leadership roles there. They both sang in the church choir, and Jerry played church softball. Marla taught Sunday School, Bible School, and helped with Midweek activities. Currently, she attends a church circle and a Bible Study, supports missions, helps with hospitality and attends a 55+ Seniors Group. In retirement, she substitutes for the Southeast Polk Schools, helped to teach her grandson during Covid, is President of the Des Moines Area Retired School Personnel Association, belongs to a Book Club of retired teachers, member of the Friendship Force of Greater Des Moines, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority member, bike rides, and loves to travel. Marla was married to Jerry for 43 years before he passed away in June of 2019. Their sons, Bryan and Eric Carr, both graduated from Southeast Polk. She now has two grandsons, Nile and Hudson Carr, who are the children of Eric and Michelle Carr and attend Mitchellville Elementary. It makes Marla’s heart happy that her grandsons are Southeast Polk Rams. Even in his death, Jerry remained a Southeast Polk fan by requesting that people who attended his funeral wear black and gold to honor the RAMS and the Hawkeyes. He also chose the Southeast Polk Booster Club as one of the organizations to give a memorial donation in memory of him. He truly was a Super RAM Fan that is missed and remembered for his enthusiasm for Southeast Polk that Marla and her family continue to try and spread throughout the district.
“Dedicated Public Servant / Community Volunteer”
Denny is the eldest of six siblings born to Joyce and Jack Parker, of Altoona. Denny is a 1974 graduate of Southeast Polk High School. Denny has been married to his high school sweetheart, Cathy (Dawson) Parker for 45 years. They have a son, John Parker and Grandson, Kael. Denny’s wife, five siblings and son, all graduated from SEP. Denny began a long and rewarding law enforcement career in 1973, when he joined the Altoona Police Department Cadet Program. He went on to become Altoona’s first police auxiliary officer, and then became a full time officer in 1976. Denny attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, graduating in 1978. During his lengthy tenure with the police department, he served as Officer Friendly in the SEP elementary schools, teaching children about “stranger danger”, “home safety”, “use of the 911 emergency system” and other personal safety related topics. Denny also initiated and taught the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in SEP elementary schools, beginning in 1991. Denny was promoted to Detective in 1992, Sergeant in 1995, and Lieutenant in 2004, retiring in 2015. Denny lived his childhood dream of becoming a police officer and fireman, by joining the Altoona Volunteer Fire Department in 1978, where he volunteered for over 20 years as an emergency medical technician/firefighter. Denny also is a past member of the Altoona Little League board of directors, coached and officiated for the “Little Rams” football and basketball programs. Denny also worked part time as a bus driver for the SEP school district, and has volunteered for the football chain crew, and as the varsity wrestling announcer since 2007. One of his proudest accomplishments is when he organized a fundraiser by the fire and police departments, to raise over $20,000 to purchase AED”S (Automatic External Defibrillators) to place in all police cars, and select businesses within the city of Altoona.
Congratulations and thank you for all you do for our SEP Community! We commend you!
To see a complete list of all Hall of Honor Recipients, follow this link: Hall of Honor