RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Every year, WakeEd Partnership and the Wake County School System honors individuals who have made a significant impact on the community.

Inductees into the WCPSS Hall of Fame are described as “outstanding educators, alumni and community leaders who through their lives have either deeply impacted WCPSS or, as an alumnus, dramatically added to the quality of life in our city, state or nation.”

Honorees are inducted at WakeEd Partnership’s Stars of Education gala.

This year, Academy Award winning actor Ariana DeBose will be one of seven people joining the WCPSS Hall of Fame. Debose was selected for the Arts category. She is a graduate of Rolesville High School.

DeBose is most recently known for her role as Anita in West Side Story. She won an Oscar, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and SAG Awards for performance.

With her win, DeBose became the first Afro-Latina and openly LGBTQ+ actor to win her category. She was previously nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She was part of the original Hamilton cast on and off-Broadway.

The actor’s photos can still be seen lining the walls at CC and Co. Dance Complex in Raleigh. Debose trained as a dancer in the studio throughout much of her childhood. She has since returned to speak with aspiring dancers.

Seven others will join DeBose in the WCPSS Hall of Fame. The remainder of the categories include Athletics, Business, Community Service, Education, and Entrepreneurship. Inductees include:

  • James “Twiggy” Sanders, Former Harlem Globetrotter
  • Jim Hansen, PNC Bank
  • Caitlin Gooch, Saddle Up and Read
  • Peggy Barfield Churn, Educator, School Leader and Equity Champion
  • Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough, Raleigh Denim Workshop