Champions of Character


Dick Opalka Rocking Generosity

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..

To Nominate a Champion of Character

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

  • Dick Opalka Generosity February, 2019
  • Yara Ford  Attentiveness  March, 2019
  • Chrislyn Sperry  Respect   January, 2019
  • Kathryn Olds Persuasiveness  November, 2018
  • Jill Castilla  Creativity  September, 2018
  • Maureen Coury Compassion  January, 2018
  • KC Williams Dependability October, 2017
  • David Ford  Humility  July, 2017
  • Richard Killgore  Generosity  February, 2017
  • Peggy Geib Gratefulness  January, 2017 
  • Dustin & Erikka Ault  Initiative  January, 2017
  • Chris Waugh  Initiative  January, 2017 
  • Nathan Walters  Orderliness  November, 2016 
  • Kris Rush  Diligence  March, 2016 
  • Jason Henley Compassion  January, 2016 
  • Ray Vaughn Dependability  August, 2015 
  • Jean Holt  Sensitivity  April, 2015 
  • Brian Maughan  Availability  April, 2015 
  • Chris Shorow  Joyfulness  October, 2014 
  • Virginia Peters  Endurance  September, 2014 
  • Bea Sprouse  Discretion  August, 2014 
  • Krista Law  Creativity  July, 2014 
  • Cora Stamps  Initiative  January, 2014 
  • Christy Fine  Gentleness  October, 2013 
  • Larry Tettleton  Determination  September, 2012 
  • Judy Farley  Availability February, 2012 
  • Tana Stufflebean  Thoroughness  November, 2011 
  • Verla Raines  Dependability  November, 2011 
  • Mary Ann Coffman Discernment August, 2011 
  • Harry & Pat Knickerbacker  Hospitality  January, 2011 
  • David Johnson  Diligence  November, 2010 
  • Theresa Hoffhines Meekness  October, 2010 
  • Scott Streller  Security  October, 2010 
  • Steve Kreidler  Endurance  August, 2010 
  • Diane Emmons  Dependability  July, 2010
  • Lauren Nelson-Faram  Faith March, 2010