Written By: Michael Browning
On Thursday, October 18th, 2018 a large gathering formed in the general purpose parking lot of Cocoa High School. Hundreds of persons gathered to commemorate a big name of our local area for his decades of service to the community.
I’m of course talking about Richard “Dick” Blake, one of the most influential people to grace the halls and offices of Cocoa High School, and Rockledge City Hall. In attendance that night were many friends, coworkers, and family of Mr. Blake.
Of those who came that night most notable were Dr. Stephanie Soliven – former principal of Cocoa High, assistant superintendent of Brevard County Public Schools. Representative Bill Posey – who had to be introduced by Mike Blake in a funny manner that garnered laughs from all in attendance, and Rockledge Mayor Tom Pierce.
These people had much accord to say about the “Head Tiger”, Dr. Soliven during her speech said “I had parents come in to my office and say ‘We had Dick Blake.’.” Tom Pierce brought up how Dick would stop a person dead in their tracks during city council meetings. “…They would come into the meeting all prepared with their speeches… and then Dick would interrupt them ‘I think I remember you,’ and if they had a bad attitude he [Dick] would go on ‘Yea you had a 2.4 GPA’.” this would stop them dead in their tracks.
Representative Posey also had remarks to give about the “Man of the Hour”. Early on into the preseeding the Cocoa High Gospel Chorus performed their rendition of “This is me” by Keala Settle. Shortly thereafter Principal Rachad Wilson personally delivered a plaque in Mr. Blakes honor for his dedication of service to Cocoa High School, This was followed by his [Wilson’s] commencement speech to Blake. As the event came to a close Mr. Blake’s Daughter gave a speech, recalling on the many times people have asked her how old her dad was.