O.L. Sherrill honored as a local ‘Living Treasure’

Staff reports

O.L. Sherrill, a veteran educator who served as a role model for generations, was one of three people named to the Fall 2015 class of Asheville Living Treasures. The Black Mountain resident was honored Oct. 25 at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center, along with two other designees, Oralene Simmons and Clark Olsen.

Sherrill, 85, has lived in Black Mountain since 1962. He had an illustrious 27-year career as a teacher and administrator with Asheville City Schools where he was a father figure and mentor to hundreds. He spent most of his adult life spreading the message of education and the doors that it will open.

Sherrill has served on numerous boards and committees. His focus and commitment to improved race relations has influenced many of Asheville’s prominent leaders for more than 40 years.

Simmons is an Asheville activist who founded the city’s annual Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast. Ollsen was a young minister who was beaten by racists while joining King’s 1965 march to Selma. Each “treasure” received an honor certificate, as well as recognition from City of Asheville and Buncombe County representatives.