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SPS picks 3 for Hall of Fame

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Springfield Public Schools selected a councilman and two entertainers to induct into its Hall of Fame.

The ninth annual class of Hall of Fame members are Dr. Tom Prater, Kim Crosby and Homer Boyd. Hall of Fame members are SPS graduates who have given back to the community, have been successful in their profession or have distinguished themselves in another way to make them standouts, according to a news release.

A 1975 graduate of Glendale High School, Prater has been the Zone 2 member of Springfield City Council since September 2016, when he filled the vacancy left by Justin Burnett. Prater was elected by voters in April 2017.

"Since I know people involved in the city government and the community, I felt it'd be pretty easy to step in and help out for a couple years,” said Prater, who’s also an ophthalmologist who helped found Mattax-Neu-Prater Eye Center Inc., in the release.

Crosby returned to Springfield in the mid-2000s after acting in three Broadway musicals, spending four years touring in “Peter Pan” and playing the original Cinderella in the hit musical “Into the Woods,” according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

"I would have to say that what I eventually did and became was certainly nurtured through public school. I'm really grateful there were so many opportunities in the arts this school system has, which is easy to take for granted," said Crosby, a 1978 graduate of Kickapoo High School, in the release.

The third inductee, Boyd, is being honored posthumously; he died in 2016. Boyd was a member of the The Philharmonics, which was the first group of black performers to perform on “Ozark Jubilee,” an ABC music TV show based in Springfield. He graduated in 1951 from Lincoln High School.

"I have never met a person that didn't like my uncle Homer,” said James Boyd, his nephew, in the release.

Past SPS hall of Fame inductees include Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards and Askinosie Chocolate founder Shawn Askinosie.

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