Long-time educator Minard Duncan will join 60 other outstanding Colonists in the Anaheim High Hall of Fame when he is inducted March 4 at a reception in the school’s library. Duncan was selected for his decades of work as an educator and for his role as an activist who has made a significant impact in his community.
Duncan has been highly involved in the North Orange County community for more than 58 years, serving children in the Fullerton School District. An educator who never left a child behind even before it was a national mandate, Duncan created programs that increased test scores and parent involvement and also founded a free children’s dental clinic with the help of Anaheim dentist Dr. Harris Done.
A home-town boy who attended Lincoln Elementary and Fremont Junior High before attending Anaheim, Duncan went on to Santa Ana College where he earned an A.A. degree in 1952. His education was interrupted when he joined the U.S. Army in 1952 to serve in Korea through 1954. As soon as he returned home he enrolled in CSU Long Beach and earned his B.A. in elementary education in 1957. Shortly thereafter, he began his 41-year career with the Fullerton School District, where he taught elementary school for eight years and served as a principal for 33 years.
During that time he earned his master’s degree from CSU Long Beach in elementary education with an administrative emphasis, as well as a master’s in governance from the California School Board Association. He retired from the District in 1998, but continued working in education for CSU Fullerton until 2002, when he was elected to the Fullerton School District Board of Trustees, a position he held for eight years.
Duncan made a major impact in the lives of the children he served by recruiting the help of local business owners. When he took on the principalship of a low performing school, he recruited 50 small businesses to provide incentives to increase parent participation which, in turn, helped increase test scores from a 22 to 80 percent pass rate.
Another example of his town-and-gown efforts included starting the first free dental clinic in the City of Fullerton for children without dental insurance. He still is involved by securing funding for the clinic.
Duncan has received numerous awards for his work in education and the community, including the PTA Golden Oak Award, the highest PTA award presented; the Orange County Department of Education Outstanding Contribution to Education Award; the CSU Fullerton Honored Educator Award; and the Spirit of Volunteerism Award from the Volunteer Center of Orange County and the Orange County Register and the Leon Owens Foundation Making a Difference Together Award for Education Services.
Still an active community member, Duncan continues to participate in numerous organizations, including serving on the board of Pathways of Hope (formerly known as the Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Service); the Rotary Club of Fullerton; and on the board of the Museum of Teaching and Learning (MOTAL), an organization whose purpose is to educate people about education with traveling exhibits on subjects including the Mendez vs. Westminster School District court case that consequently desegregated schools in the United States
In his spare time, Duncan enjoys golf, reading, water volleyball, camping and travel and, of course, spending time with his family, including son Phillip Duncan, daughter and son-in-law Denise and Richard Godhardt, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A founding member of the Anaheim High School Alumni Association, Duncan is also busy supporting his alma mater by participating in alumni events and serving as one of his class leaders who have helped plan reunions for several decades.