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What is the Heroes of Imagination project?

This project champions the vision of the men and women of Pennsylvania who "see things not as they are, but as they should be."

The project will serve as an academic and business "hall of fame" of our alumni and the many unsung heroes from the region. Our children are quick to recite the stats of their favorite ball player, but they may never have heard the name of the person who lived down their street who helped develop a human growth hormone that changed the lives of children around the world. This project is our response to the lost names of these true heroes, who are often eclipsed by the latest celebrity with the most notorious fifteen minutes of fame.

What kind of person is a Hero of Imagination?

There are people in our local region who can serve as better examples for our students of what kind of possibilities are available to those who dare to dream. People like:

  • The local man who went to raising millions to build several internationally recognized museums
  • The neighbor kid from a forgotten railroad town who grew up to patent a genetic engineering process that has now saved thousands of lives and changed the future of medicine forever
  • The businessman from our town who went from capturing the portraits and weddings of our local citizens to capturing the hopes and dreams of the entire world with a single picture that he created at the United Nations.

Can you name these people? Did you know they lived in your community? But, perhaps even more important, do you children know that they can also do these things and so much more! Things that you and I have not even thought of yet!

How would they know where to begin to find out about these people and such unlimited possibilities? For that question, our answer is this: Heroes of imagination--the DigitalFolios of the Men and Women of Vision from Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Project Overview

Heroes of Imagination: DigitalFolios of the Men and Women of Vision from Southwestern Pennsylvania is a "hall of fame" of alumni of the Derry Area School District, or of local figures who contribute to our region in a positive way.

The current format for the project is a series of large, full-color posters that are on display in the halls of the high school. The project is on-going and nomination forms with complete details are available upon request.

heroes hall

Selection Criteria

  1. The person who best demonstrates the phrase from the project mission statement:                                                 "to see things not as they are, but as they should be."
  2. The vision can be evident either through a career in public service or through their                                    charitable gifts, their volunteer activities or philanthropic contributions.
  3. The common thread among all disciplines and careers will be "the power of the                                                   creative spirit."
  4. The awardee will have achieved some measurement of personal success, but not                                                      necessarily known as being rich or famous.

Other considerations: Although preference will be given to official alumni, candidates that are from nearby communities or that have adopted our region as their home (or as a beneficiary of their goodwill) will also be considered.

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