Friday, August 19, 2016

Loyce Meadows Memorial

Loyce Meadows
As the Highlands High School Boys Football team prepares to kick-off the season tonight, one can’t help but reflect back on the many athletic successes the boys and girls of HHS have had over the years.  However, it was not too long ago that those successes were enjoyed only by the young men.  But thanks to the work of Loyce Meadows throughout her 32-year teaching career at HHS spanning from 1955-1987, girls were afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts.  Loyce Meadows died earlier this summer but the indelible mark she left on the community will live on.  In her honor, this Saturday August 20, a memorial service will be held at the New Hope Church in Southgate from 12-2 PM.

Meadows was featured last summer on FTM when she was the first female inducted into the Highlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a part of the inaugural class.  A fitting excerpt from that story:

“Loyce Meadows was a true pioneer for the advancement of girls’ sports at Highlands.  During her 32-year teaching career at Highlands (… she) was instrumental in getting girls involved in sports. She strengthened the Girl’s Athletic Association. (…) Th(is intramural afterschool) program included sports such as bowling, volleyball and basketball. (…) One of her goals was to promote college scholarships to young women who might not have been able to obtain a college degree.

Loyce was one of the founding members of the NKY High School Coaches Association. She served on KHSAA committees during the developmental years of adding girls’ basketball as a state recognized sport. Additionally, she was the coach for cheerleading and tennis. Loyce was the first woman to be inducted into the NKY Athletic Directors Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame as well.”

Nancy Barre, former PE teacher in the Fort Thomas School district and long-time friend of Meadows’, said of Meadows, “I would say her biggest legacy would be her role in the promotion of girls’ sports at the high school level. She was one of the leaders to develop coaches associations for volleyball and basketball (and) helped to get basketball sanctioned at the state level through Title IX.”  Barre went on to say, “I believe that Loyce would want to be remembered as a teacher who cared for all of her students, whether an athlete or not.  Saturday would have been her 89th birthday and she was as sharp as a tack until the last week of her life. When I interviewed her for the Highlands Hall of Fame, I was amazed (at) the number of details she related about so many people. She was able to work with so many of the male coaches to get the best for her students and athletes.  Many girls at Highlands had opportunities to play intramural sports that most girls in the state did not have.”

Barre, who took over for Meadows as PE teacher in 1975 when Meadows moved over to teach Social Studies, knew Meadows since Barre was a first-grader.  Additionally, Barre had Meadows as a teacher from 7th through 12th grade during which time Meadows was also her basketball, tennis, and volleyball coach.  Later in life, she was Barre’s supervisor during Barre’s student teaching. To assume she was a major influence on Barre’s life would seem to be quite safe.  And in her death, Barre wants to ensure she is memorialized for her contributions to HHS and the Fort Thomas community.

The Memorial service will be held this Saturday from 12-2 PM at New Hope Church in Southgate. It is located on William Blatt Street across from Southgate Elementary. There will be a short service followed by a reception at the church.

Meadows’ obituary can be found here

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