OXFORD – David Branham’s daughter Hollyann will enter her senior year at Syracuse University this fall. She wouldn’t be there, he says, if it wasn’t for Jim Podraza.
According to Branham, the former Oxford High School principal was instrumental in helping his daughter get into the school, which was Podraza’s alma mater.
Hollyann is not alone. She is one of countless students he helped, both directly and indirectly, during his years as an educator and into his retirement.
Podraza passed away in December at the age of 75, but his efforts to ensure Oxford students achieve their higher education goals lives on through what is perhaps his greatest legacy to the community: the Oxford Chapter of Dollars for Scholars.
According to Kate Constantine, Podraza was the “driving force” behind establishing the chapter in 1991. The long time Oxford High School math teacher serves as the liaison between the school and the community members on the group’s volunteer board.