Chickasaw citizen inducted into Edmond Public Schools Hall of Fame
November 19, 2020
EDMOND, Okla. – When Chickasaw citizen Caleb McCaleb received notice in early 2020 he was nominated for induction into the Edmond Public Schools Hall of Fame, the year looked promising.
"I was very honored to be nominated and was one of three selected for the honor," Caleb said. The ceremony was planned in April to honor 1980 graduates.
However, a viral pandemic was sweeping the northeast and organizers believed it too dangerous to host a large gathering of people.
By June, the pandemic was plowing through southern states and a "virtual" honors evening went forward with Oklahoma City's television channel Fox 25 airing it live.
On hand to honor Caleb was his father, Neal, who serves the Chickasaw Nation as U.S. Ambassador at Large to the United States. He also worked as Assistant Secretary of Interior for Indian Affairs during President George W. Bush's administration and has been a state political leader and state transportation leader for decades.
"Caleb was always a self-starter. He had visions about where he wanted to go, and he had the determination to see it through," Neal said of his son.
Despite being a celebrated homebuilder, businessman and former advisory council board member for the Kansas City Federal Reserve, Caleb is a servant leader and leading philanthropist on dozens of causes close to his heart and that of his wife, Terri.
She and Caleb are high school sweethearts who married more than 30 years ago and have three children, Carter, Braden and Kylie. Each child graduated from Edmond public schools and all are involved in the family business, McCaleb Homes.
Caleb is a lifelong resident of Edmond. In his business, he is responsible for land acquisitions, finance and design of the company's master plan communities. He is a 35-year veteran of the home building business and works with many local, state and national community leaders to promote the success of the new home building industry.
He has served on the National Association of Home Builders Board of Directors and Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association Board of Directors. He has been recognized as OKC Builder of the Year, Central Oklahoma Builder of the Year, two-time winner of Edmond Builder of the Year and four-time winner of the Green Builder of the Year.
Caleb's passion for building and his love for kids has led to a lifelong commitment of philanthropic projects. Caleb and his team have organized multiple Dream Home Tours, charity home builds and Street of Dreams events, raising record sums for Children's Hospital Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Hearts and Hands International.
His team is currently building a "Tiny Home" project with Turning Point Ministries in Edmond to benefit Turning Point's building mission. Caleb's hands-on approach to mission work has led to his teams with Henderson Hills Baptist Church constructing more than a dozen churches in Nicaragua, Brazil, Ecuador, Wales and Mexico.
Caleb said the honor was particularly important for him because he attended Edmond Public Schools through all grades. He was nominated anonymously. He and his wife have dedicated themselves to helping schools provide "children with an extraordinary education," he said. "We must prepare the future generation to lead."
Caleb involved himself in most everything he could at Edmond Memorial High School but also worked 30 hours per week at a lumber company for five years, beginning as a sophomore.
"Back in those days, you worked. You didn't have video games or smartphones to entertain you. You worked," Caleb said with a laugh concerning the low-tech life of an average teenager in the late 1970s.
Between that job and his father's involvement in home building and community service, it was only natural Caleb embrace the work that would define his life.
"We have not had a homebuilding year as good as 2020 in our history," Caleb said.
For Caleb, the most memorable experience of his formative school years was a teacher, Babe Hamilton.
"She was an older teacher and had been with Edmond a long time. She loved every single child in that class. Every morning, she would line us up and have us touch each other's shoulder blades. She would say, 'See, those are your wings about ready to sprout.' She would literally go around the room every morning and hug each of us. For me, that is where my love for school began," he added.
Caleb joins a unique group of leaders inducted into the hall of fame, including Bill Self, Kansas University basketball coach, and Oklahoma broadcast news anchors, Kent, Kevin and Kelly Ogle.