Meet the NAU College of Education Hall of Fame inductees
Dr. Richard A. Smith
Dr. Richard Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and English, a Master of Arts in Physical Education Administration, and a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Smith has more than 35 years of experience in education as a teacher, football coach, college faculty member, and administrator. In the 1980s, he served as a teacher and head coach for the state champion Flagstaff High School Eagles football team. He then moved into higher education, serving multiple roles for Northern Arizona University, including Assistant Football Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, Assistant Director of Student Services and Athletics, faculty member in the College of Education, and Director of the High Altitude Sports Training Complex. Other higher education roles include Vice President of University Advancement at Boise State University and Wichita State University. Dr. Smith also served as National Executive Director of the American Youth Soccer Organization. He is currently the President and CEO of the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation where he works tirelessly to serve the people of northern Arizona. Dr. Smith’s many accomplishments are a source of pride to NAU.
The Honorable Bob J. McLendon
Bob McLendon earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Arizona State University. He began his teaching career in Yuma, AZ in 1961, where he taught American History and Government and also coached basketball. Bob served as an elected member of the Arizona House of Representatives and as the prestigious House Democratic Leader. Along with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, he helped secure funds in the Arizona State budget to create NAU–Yuma. As a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, Bob was instrumental in securing capital funds for significant building and campus development at Northern Arizona University. Bob worked tirelessly to support education throughout his career; Proposition 301, approved by voters, provided a $400M investment in K–12 education for 20 years. He has served as a dedicated community advocate at the local, state, and national levels for decades.
Dr. Gary Philip Damore
Dr. Gary Damore earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language, and his Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership, all from Northern Arizona University. Dr. Damore has worked in the field of education for more than 40 years as a teacher, principal, superintendent, college faculty member, and provost. He served as principal for Paradise Valley High School for 12 years and superintendent for Scottsdale Christian Academy for 8 years. He transitioned into higher education as both professor and chair of the education department and served as provost for Arizona Christian University for 4 years. Dr. Damore leads by character, example, and the love of learning. He is an inspiration to students, faculty, and administrators. Whether investing in aspiring educators or those who currently serve in that capacity, his dedication to develop the best in others has produced skilled educators at all levels.