Connor, Moroney Earn Alumni Awards

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The Hillsboro Education Foundation honored two Hillsboro High School graduates, Dr. Joseph Connor from the class of 1970 and Kelly Moroney from the class of 1980, with Distinguished Alumni Awards during a reception Thursday afternoon, Aug. 5, at The Abbey on Broad in Hillsboro.

Moroney was introduced by Mike Plunkett, and Dr. Connor was introduced by his sister, Mary Reynolds.

Moroney, who has worked at the Montgomery County Housing Authority since 1992 and has been CEO since 2005, has changed the look of affordable housing throughout the communities the authority serves.

“This is the vision that I have had for the authority since the first day I started working,” Moroney said, “to develop affordable housing in Montgomery County for the families who need a decent, safe, and affordable place to live, and to manage them with pride and dedication to keep them viable for years to come.”

Sharing a story of a former employee who grew up in Long Avenue public housing 40 years ago and was ashamed to let her friends know where she lived, “children do not have to be ashamed to invite their friends over anymore,” she said.

In addition to the education foundation, Moroney thanked her staff and board, contractor Windsor Development, the Montgomery County Board and Chairman Evan Young, state and federal agencies, and the city of Hillsboro and Mayor Don Downs.

Dr. Connor, a veterinarian who lives in Carthage, is credited with helping revive the Midwest swine industry and is one of the foremost swine veterinarians in the world.

“I knew early on I wanted to be in ag,” Dr. Connor said.  “Education was the pathway for someone like me.”

He established a general veterinary practice in 1976, and over time, grew to specialize in swine with 13 vets working in his practice around the state.

“The production technology we use today has now been copied around the world,” he said.

In addition to thanking the foundation for the award, he also acknowledged his family in Hillsboro: his sister, Mary and her husband, Jim Reynolds; his late brother, Tom Connor, sister-in-law, Joyce Connor, and nephews Jeremy and Chase Connor.

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The foundation has honored 36 alumni of schools in the present Hillsboro School District with the award since 2001. Before this year’s awards were presented, foundation President Gene White remembers 2014 award winner John Paden who had just died on Sunday, Aug. 1.

He also introduced foundation directors present at the reception, and noted that the Hillsboro Education Foundation has given over $950,000 in scholarships since its inception, including $122,000 this spring.

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