Dick Opalka received recognition as Champion of Character for Generosity at a recent Edmond City Council meeting.
Dick said he views generosity as, “The giving of time, talent and/or resources, with kindness”
When Ron Krakowski nominated his friend and colleague for Champion of Character, he said, “There is no other person I know that is worthy of being recognized for the character trait of generosity than Dick Opalka for all the personal time and money he has spent for the good of others.”
The two men have known each other for more than thirty years.
Dick’s career as a petroleum geologist began at Hunt Energy and took him to Sabine Corporation. Later, Dick earned his teaching certificate at the University of Central Oklahoma. He used his talents as a geologist and educator at Edmond Memorial High School and UCO.
He went back to working for the oil and gas industry for a while, but Dick said, “I found that I missed teaching.” So, he returned to his career as an educator and spent 11 years at Edmond North teaching Earth Science, Environmental Science and Physical Science. He retired in May 2019.
Speaking of Dick’s generosity, Ron said, “He has spent much of his own money and resources for the benefit of his students.”
Since 2017 Dick has served as a presenter for More! Rocks in Your Head. The free workshop is available for teachers no matter their previous experience with the geosciences. Its purpose is to equip them so they are able to teach Earth Science with confidence.
Ron said, “Again Dick donated his time and resources for travel and geology rock kits to ensure the success of this program.”
In addition to teaching, Dick has volunteered as a Boy Scout leader, helped in his church where needed and also served as president of the Oklahoma Gem and Mineral Society.
Dick and his wife, Kathy, lived in Oklahoma City after graduate school. They moved when Sabine Corporation transferred him to Houston in 1979. When they returned to Oklahoma in 1985, their family had grown to six, including three sons and a daughter. They’ve made Edmond their home for the past 35 years.
On behalf of the City of Edmond and the Character Council of Edmond, Dick Opalka was honored before the City Council as a Champion of Character for exemplifying the character trait of generosity, “carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.”
Pictured-Emoly Walters, Dick Opalka, and Ron Krakowski..
Please complete the form located on our website to recognize an Edmond citizen for a specific character trait. Forms may be submitted from the website or mailed to the
Character Council of Edmond
Champions of Character
PO Box 392
Edmond, OK 73083-0392.
Champions of Character Honorees
2010 to Present