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Hall of Fame Edit
THS announces two new members to the Tascosa High School Rebel Hall of Fame: Mrs. Darleen Russell: Faculty Member from 1958-1979

Mr. Gene Gifford: Class of 1959
"From left to right: Mrs. Grace Vachon, daughter-in-law of the late Mrs. Russell, Mr. John Cunningham, brother of the late Mrs. Russell, Nikki Ralston, Student Council Secretary, Mr. Gene Gifford, Coleman Carter, Student Council President. Mrs. Darleen Russell A member of the first faculty of Tascosa High School, Mrs. Russell taught English and Spanish from 1958 to 1979. In addition to her teaching duties, she tutored students in reading and speed reading and sponsored the THS Wrestling team, the newly organized Spanish Club, and the Rodeo Club. Born June 17, 1920, in Iowa Park, TX, Mrs. Russell attended North Texas State Teachers College in Denton where she was a member of the Sigma Tau Delta National Honor Society. She earned her degree and immediately began her teaching career in Morse, TX, in 1941. She taught for only one year because after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mrs. Russell reported to Lubbock, TX, where she was sworn in as an officer in the United States Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. She served her country as a Second Lieutenant until she was honorably discharged in 1944. In 1944 Mrs. Russell married Peter Vachon and they had one son, John, in 1945. For the next ten years, she worked out of the field of education at Mobil Oil Corporation. In 1957, she returned to teaching after earning her Masters in English from West Texas State University. She taught at WTSU for one year until joining the faculty at the new Tascosa High School. Mrs. Russell continued to maintain correspondence with many of her former students and US Service personnel from her home in Tomball, Texas until her death in 2008. Mr. Gene Gifford A member of the 1st graduating class of Tascosa High School in 1959, Mr. Gene Gifford was Tascosa’s first football captain of the Rebel Football Team. He was a member of the first All-City Team and was voted to the 2nd team on the Texas All-State Team his senior year. Mr. Gifford was also honored as the Globe News Most Valuable Player at the first Tascosa Football Banquet in 1958. His success in football led to his full scholarship to the University of Texas where he played from 1959 to 1963. Upon his graduation from the University of Texas, he received a commission in the United States Air Force and served as a member of the Blue Fox 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. In 1968 and 1969 he flew 175 combat missions over North Viet Nam and Laos. For his service, Mr. Gifford received the Viet Nam Service Medal, the Bronze Star, and the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement. When he returned to Amarillo in 1969, he began serving his community. Mr. Gifford coached Kids, Inc. football for seventeen years and served on the board of the Kids, Inc. Foundation. In addition he served on the boards of the Maverick Club, Camp Alphie, The Tri-State Fair and the Will Rogers Range Riders Club. He is a member of the Khiva Shriners, a Master Mason, and a Scottish Rite Mason, and has returned to Tascosa several times to speak at the Rebel Football Banquets. A financial consultant for Merrill Lynch for over 35 years, he is very active in team roping in the Amarillo area. Mr. Gifford and his wife Liz have been married for over forty years and have a son, Justin, and a daughter, Kelly. The Giffords currently reside in Amarillo." --Admin, 03/19/09
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