The Norwalk Community School District is proud to announce the 2024 Norwalk Alumni/Staff Wall of Fame Inductees: Alex Dorr (Graduate 2009), Tony Spencer (Graduate 1961) and Tom McLaughlin (Employee 1967-2024) 

Congratulations to this year’s 2024 Norwalk Wall of Fame Inductees who will be recognized at Norwalk’s 2024 Commencement Ceremony at the Norwalk Physical Education and Competition Center (NPECC) on Sunday, May 19.

The purpose of the Norwalk Wall of Fame is to recognize the accomplishments of Norwalk graduates and staff. Anyone can nominate a candidate for induction. Nomination forms and criteria can be found on the Norwalk website on the drop down under District. 

Alex Dorr, Graduate 2009

  • Author and youngest individual to receive the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) credential, Top 5% Speaker in the World
  • Leadership keynote speaker delivering 150-175 presentations per year to clients such as Bank of America, Ely Lilly, Washington Commanders (NFL), Mayo Clinic, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Stanford Medicine, and the US Department of Commerce among others
  • Former professional basketball player in England, winning 2014 EBL Division II Championship and Player of the Year

Alex Dorr is an author and leadership keynote speaker delivering 150-175 speeches per year across the globe. In 2023, he received the coveted Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) credential, placing him in the top 5% of speakers worldwide. He is among the youngest speakers on record to receive the award. His list of clients includes Bank of America, Ely Lilly, Mayo Clinic, Washington Commanders (NFL), United Healthcare, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Stanford Medicine, Nationwide, Caterpillar and the US Department of Commerce among others. Although Alex was diagnosed with a rare hip disease at the age of five called Legg-Calve-Perthes he was able to persevere and eventually play professional basketball overseas in England, winning the 2014 EBL Division II Championship along with MVP and Player of the Year honors. He currently lives in McKinney, TX with his wife Ana and their three children – Archie, Augie and Alvina.

Tony Spencer, Graduate 1961

  • Teacher, Coach, Athletic Director, Principal, Superintendent
  • Superintendent of International Schools in Tarsus, Turkey and Alexandria, Egypt
  • PhD Iowa State University
  • Inducted into the Simpson College Football Hall of Fame  
  • Red Cross Volunteer Disaster Deployments 

After graduating from Norwalk in 1961, Tony received his teaching degree from Simpson College in 1965. He became a lifelong educator serving for 5 years as a teacher of math and assistant coach for the 1970 Davenport State Championship Basketball team. The next 35 years were spent as an Assistant Principal, Principal, Athletic Director, Curriculum Director, and Superintendent in multiple Iowa and Missouri school districts. Tony was inducted into the Simpson College Football Hall of Fame in 1976. He earned his PhD in Educational Administration from Iowa State University in 1988. His last 8 years were spent as the Superintendent of International Schools in Tarsus, Turkey and Alexandria, Egypt. During his tenure as an educator Tony was selected to serve on multiple North Central School Accreditation Team, the most recent being Beirut, Lebanon in 2007. After retirement in 2008, Tony and Dellaine (his wife of 56 years) were Red Cross volunteers for 8 years. They were deployed to multiple disasters across the US. Tony and Dellaine have 3 sons and 8 grandchildren. 

Tom McLaughlin, Employee 1967-2024

  • Teacher, Coach, Principal, Special Education Director, Buildings and Grounds Director, and a man of strong faith
  • National Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, Norwalk Athletic Hall of Fame, BJ Stroud Lifetime Achievement in Special Education, Norwalk Educator of the Year, Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Footprint Award
  • “Everything we do in life is a matter of will, it is not what we know, but rather our thirst to find out that matters.”

Tom Mclaughlin came to Norwalk in 1967. He was a teacher and started the wrestling program. He was the head wrestling coach for 13 years. His teams accumulated a record of 114 wins and 28 loses with 40 tournament championships. Tom was principal at Lakewood, Oviatt, and the Mac Multiage school. During his principalship, Tom and his staff implemented Cooperative Learning, reorganization of grade levels, all-day kindergarten, student portfolios/student-led conferences, all day kindergarten, preschool handicapped program and Head Start. As special education director, Tom and his staff developed Norwalk’s state recognized full inclusion program, building assistance teams, and Collaborative classrooms. Tom and his teachers initiated staff development for over 300 schools. Tom is married to Stephanie and has four children Monica, Shannon, Luke, and Madison. Tom is active in his church and has been an ALPHA leader and is currently assisting in the development of a Fellowship of Christian athletes for Norwalk. Tom will be retiring after 57 years of service at Norwalk.