2009 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Orlando Singleton

Sumner High School, 1977Orlando Singleton

Orlando Singleton shows his dedication to the community and the students of Kansas City, Kansas on a daily basis. As a campus police officer at Eisenhower Middle School, he is the first face most students see in the morning, and many times the last one they see at the end of the day. He knows every student and thrives on being someone on whom they can depend.

He has been with the district since 1991, and is also a reserve sheriff's deputy.

Singleton said the most rewarding part of his job is sitting down to talk to a student after an encounter or problem has been brought to his attention. Giving the student a listening ear makes all the difference in the world.

Although it's not part of his job description, Singleton takes it upon himself to be an advocate for students, especially those who are struggling. He's not afraid to share his personal experiences with them, and sets strong examples for them to follow.

"There are no bad apples in the bunch," he said. "We may have a few bruised ones but they actually turn out to make a good pie in the end."

His wish for students is that they could come to realize the tremendous impact their teachers are having on them — now instead of later — so that they could soak it all in. He remembers the many teachers who touched his life and gave him reason to believe in himself when he was growing up. One was Melba Hall, who taught English literature at Northeast Junior High. She was insistent that her students practice public speaking, and to this day, Singleton is grateful.

"Mostly I'm just grateful to have a chance to share my experiences and knowledge with the students of Wyandotte County," he said.