DECATUR CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

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Alumni of the Year


At one of the first meetings of  the Alumni Association, the idea was brought up that we should start honoring those grads who have done something special, different, or had sacrificed for others.  It was decided that an award for the DCHS Alumni of the Year would be given out at the annual all-class dinner.  Then came the hardest part, who should get the first award. 

 

We have lots of amazing grads, from Indiana Supreme Court Justices, to state legislators, to educators and everything in between. 

 

To nominate someone for one of these awards in 2017, print out one of the forms below and submit it to one of the officers of the Decatur Central High School Alumni Association:

 

Alumnus of the Year

 

Educator Award

 

Honorary Alumni of the Year

 

 

2016

 

ALUMNI OF THE YEAR

 

Morris Mills, Class of 1947

 

HONORARY ALUMNI OF THE YEAR

 

Devere Fair

 

DECATUR TOWNSHIP EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

 

Todd Sconce - DCHS current Assistant Principal

 

2015

 

ALUMNI OF THE YEAR

 

Terry Obermeyer, Class of 1988

 

HONORARY ALUMNI OF THE YEAR

 

Matthew J. Prusiecki, Superintendent

 

DECATUR TOWNSHIP EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

 

Susan Adams, Valley Mills Elementary Principal

 

2014

 

CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR

 

Jeff Jones

Dale Henson

 

HONORARY ALUMNI OF THE YEAR

 

Sharon David

 

DECATUR TOWNSHIP EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR

 

Sheila Corbin

 

2013

 

2012

 

CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR

 

Patricia A. Poehler

 

     Patricia Poehler currently serves as Executive Director, Decatur Township Educational Foundation, and Director, Outreach and Financial Development, MSD Decatur Township Schools. Patty is a 1973 graduate of Decatur Central High School and the University of Indianapolis. She assumed her current responsibilities after retiring from a 35-year career at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, where her last position held was Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. Patty also serves on the Board of WFYI, chairing the Community Relations Committee; on the Board of the Mooresville-Decatur Rotary Club, chairing the Events Committee; and is a member of the West Side Chamber of Commerce. Patty and her husband, John, live in rural Brown County.

 


Dave Oberle

 

     Dave Oberle currently teaches at Decatur Central High School. He has formed and helped mentor many programs within the school for academics, athletics and extracurricular success. Always ready to help students teachers and parents, one factor that stands out in his success as a teacher and basketball coach - his love and concern for his students and his school. Students respectfully greet him and respond without reluctance to his greetings and banter. Not to mention the hundreds of students he has taught how to drive. Always working to keep everyone in the area safe whether it be offensively or defensively.

 

 

2011

 

CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR

 

Cimberly Borud McClelland

 

     Cim Borud McClelland is a 1992 graduate from Decatur Central High School.   Cim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Social Studies from Indiana University, Bloomington.


     Cim has served on countless committees and continues her community involvement outside of her daily teaching duties:  She is the current DCHS Interact Club Sponsor, a service learning organization, and the high school partner of Rotary Club. She is also affiliated with Interact Club Service Projects which includes:  Decatur Township Relay for Life, DCHS recycling program, Waste Not Program – which takes the DCHS food leftovers and transports them to the Goodwin Center, Partnership with the Concord Center (which is an after school program in Indianapolis), and raised money to purchase the Hawk Mascot costume!   This list is nothing compared to what she has actually collected, donated and helped with over the years.

 

Cim has held several leadership roles and has received several awards and honors, one of which she was named the Decatur Central Teacher of the Year in 2009!

 

Cim and her husband, Greg, live in Mooresville with their three children – Gabriel, Elizabeth and Abigail.  Cim is the daughter of Bruce and Cheryl Borud.

 

Decatur Township is truly blessed to have Cim as a part of the staff at DCHS.

 

 

Larry Kugelman

 

 

Larry is a 1956 graduate from Decatur Central High School.
 

Through his lifetime of community involvement, Larry has sought to improve the quality of life for citizens of Decatur Township. A lifelong resident of Decatur Township, Larry is currently serving his 21st year as District 5 representative to the Decatur Township Advisory Board. He is presently the longest serving member to this elected position. In this capacity, he as been instrumental in the development of the Decatur Township Government Building, the George T. Goodwin Community Center, Decatur Fire Station #74, and the new Camby Fire Station. A loyal member of the Decatur Township Republican Club, Larry will be found serving township residents from dawn until dusk at every election. Larry was appointed by the Mayor of Indianapolis to The Polling Place Advisory Council, which works to enhance accessibility and enable persons with disabilities to participate in the political process.
 

In the past, Larry served as a baseball coach for both of his son's baseball teams and as President of Decatur Township Junior Baseball Association. He also served for two years as President of the Decatur Township Civic Council and was instrumental in working with former Indianapolis Mayor, Richard Lugar, on the development of Carson Park. When Mayor Lugar’s Unigov act was adopted in 1969, the Carson Park property was transferred to the City of Indianapolis. Larry played an integral role in this process, as well as assisting in the development of the first master plan for Carson Park in 1974. Senator Lugar remembers Larry’s efforts every year by including him on his Christmas card list.

 

In an effort to provide even more to the residents of Decatur Township, Larry faithfully served three, four-year terms on the Decatur Township School Board, five years of which he served as President. In this capacity he oversaw the primary responsibility of the Board insofar as setting district policy. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Larry sat on the podium as President when we received our diplomas.

 

As a member of the Board, he was responsible for working with the superintendent who in turn hired staff to put policies into practice. It was always his policy to engage the public in establishing the mission and direction of education. As a result, Larry lead the way in building community involvement and support for public education, while serving as the district’s vital link to the public – as well as being an advocate for public education.  His son, David can remember many nights he was on the phone with a concerned parent until past midnight. He didn’t do it for glory, but because he thought it was the right thing to do.

 

During his tenure, Larry made decisions related protecting the morals and health of students, establishing budgets, asking voters to approve bond measures and local levies for facilities and operations, guiding collective bargaining, determining the school year calendar, adopting curriculum and textbooks, and choosing transportation systems.

 

Larry also served Decatur Township by serving on the Decatur Township Civic Council. Several of those years Larry served as President. This was during the time when William Hudnut was Mayor of Indianapolis, which was a tremendous period of growth for the then Weir-Cook Municipal Airport. When the airport got its International designation in 1975, Larry worked with the Indianapolis Airport Authority representing the residents of Decatur Township in an effort to make sure their quality of life would be maintained.

 

Larry was a 25 year employee of Stokely Van Camp and also was employed as the Deputy Treasurer for Marion County. He retired as the Chief Deputy for the Decatur Township Assessors Office, as his years of service to the residents of Decatur Township continued.

 

For the past 40 years Mr. Kugelman has been a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Decatur Township. He has served as a Sunday School Teacher, Treasurer, Youth Leader, and Volunteer Counselor to several United Methodist Church Camps. He currently chairs the Finance Committee.

 

Larry also has volunteered as a tax aid for the AARP at Decatur Township’s George Goodwin Community Center. Additionally, he is a lifetime member of the Parent Teacher Association and served every office in that organization. Larry is also a past member of the Decatur Township Lions Club.

 

Larry is the son of the late William and Laura Kugelman.  Larry has been married to his wife JoAnne for 52 years.  Larry and JoAnne have two sons – Mike (DCHS graduate – Class of 1978) and David (DCHS graduate – Class of 1982).  Larry and JoAnne also have 5 grandchildren and 2 great grand children.

 

HONORARY ALUMNI OF THE YEAR

 

Pat Jones

 

 

Patricia Jones, Senior Director of Student Services for MSD of Decatur Township, is responsible for providing student support services that address the academic, emotional, social and developmental needs of students.  She serves as the parent liaison for the superintendent, implements the desegregation plan and supervises the Student Support Staff. 

 

Pat serves on the Leadership Council and chaired the District-wide Kindergarten Restructuring Committee.  She implemented the following programs: Family Math Program; Pre-First Grade and Student Leadership; Participating Parents for Progress, and Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage.  Patricia received the Teacher Expectation and Student Achievement Training Award; the Loyalty Award for Decatur Township, and the Certificate of Recognition Award from the Indiana Department of Education.  She was featured in the third edition of Who’s Who in Black Indianapolis and was the district nominee for the Center for Leadership Development Education Award.  Pat serves as a student advocate for children in Marion County and presents workshops and presentations for educators and not-for-profit organizations.

 

Pat was appointed by the City-County Council to serve on the Early Prevention Planning Council representing the township school districts. She was a board member for the Girl Scouts of Hoosier Capital where she received the Administrative Award.  She was appointed to the newly created Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Incorporated Board of Directors 2007.  Mrs. Jones also received the Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated Leadership Award. 

 

Pat is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the American Association for School Administrators, Circle City Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and past National Associate Chairperson of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated.  Additionally, she is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the Indianapolis Chapter of the Moles, and University United Methodist Church.

 

Pat received her high school diploma from Anderson High School in 1966 and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University, a Master’s degree from Indiana University with certification in Secondary School Administration and Supervision.

 

Pat is married to Douglas Jones, president of Blinds and Shades, she has two children: Immanuel-Keston, a Cleveland Institute of Art graduate, and Whitney, a Hampton University graduate.

 

Wayne Fisher

 

 

Wayne graduated from Huntington North High School in the class of 1977, and graduated from Manchester College in 1982 with degree in Secondary Education with a major in Physical Fitness and Health and a minor in Psychology. Wayne then worked for the Indianapolis Boys and Girls clubs.  Wayne was hired as Manager of the Armstrong Pavilion in August 1988.  He worked with the administration to develop an operations plan and in the purchase of equipment for the pavilion.  The Armstrong Pavilion opened on February 7th, 1989.  Some of his responsibilities as manager are working with the High School and Middle School Athletic Directors to schedule school time and after school usage of the pavilion, coordinates evening and morning activities at the pavilion, help to train members in the proper use of equipment and answer questions about fitness programs, Wayne also work with the administration on budget issues.  Wayne is involved in working with many Decatur Youth Organization athletic groups in setting up usage time in the pavilion.


Wayne is married to Pam and they have an 11 yr. old daughter named Sydney.  Wayne and Pam have been married for almost 25 yrs. and they are members of Traders Point Christian Church.

 

The Class of 1933 - the first class to graduate from Decatur Central High School - was also honored:

 

Mary Ellen Rand Rink

 

Pete Baldwin

 

 

2010

 

CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR

 

Lena Barnett Mills

 

   Lena Barnett Mills was born January 18, 1920, in Camby, the oldest of five daughters of Walter James Barnett and Muriel Schenck Barnett. She graduated from Decatur Central High School in 1938, as had both her parents in 1914. Her paternal grandfather, Elmer Barnett, was a member of the first West Newton High School graduating class in 1890.

   After one year at Blackburn College, Lena married Lowell Earnest Mills, also a member of the local community.

   A birthright Quaker, she is a 7th-generation member of West Newton Friends Meeting and has been active in the affairs of the local meeting all her life, in addition to participating with her husband Lowell in the wider Quaker organization.  She and Lowell traveled extensively after retirement for the Friends Committee on National Legislation and were consistently involved in the activities of Western Yearly Meeting in Plainfield.  Lena once made draperies for the huge meeting house windows in that building.  Five years ago, she was introduced to a new friend who remembered those draperies from the 1960’s.

   A skilled seamstress, she made most of the family’s clothing. Many 4-Hers were the recipients of her instruction and garments in which she had a hand usually won blue and purple ribbons at the fair.

   Prior to Lowell’s death in 1987, the two of them began plans for a local retirement community for independent seniors, since there were none in the West Newton area. Lena and son Leland brought that to fruition with the opening of The Home Place in the early 1990’s. Her children remember that she spent much time drawing plans for such a community. She enjoyed drawing house plans as well, and at least five residential homes were built on her plans. She was heard to remark that, had she been born in a different time, she might have considered becoming an architect. As it was, her only formal training in that area came from a 7th-grade school art teacher whom she credits with teaching her perspective.

   When her children, Lee (DCHS Class of 1961), Barbara Mills Gibson (DCHS Class of 1965) and Mary Mills Pearlstein (DCHS Class of 1966) attended Decatur Township schools, she was actively involved in the PTA.

   She was always interested in family and community history and began actively researching and compiling records of the Mills and Barnett families.  It was a natural progression for her to begin also documenting the history of West Newton Friends Meeting and its families. This led to more research and careful documentation on the community at large. She is known and admired for the depth and integrity of her research. She was heard recently to remark that the time spent on developing personal ancestry was one of the things which brought her the most pride and pleasure.

   She promoted, organized, photographed and documented the 100th reunion of her family in September of 2000. She and niece Sylvia Mills Graves were primary organizers of the celebration commemorating the 175th anniversary of West Newton Friends Meeting. That led to the creation of yet another document available from WNFM: 175 Years of West Newton Friends.

   In recent years, she has contributed numerous facts, pictures, documents, and books to the DCHSAA and has collaborated with Larry Pellum and Norma Barnett Gaston to make this information available to the public. She has often been able to supply names and dates where there previously were none.  Her hearing and eyesight are failing, but her interest in Decatur Township, its history and its people are as great as ever.

 

Judge Richard M. Givan

 

   Richard Martin Givan, “Dick Givan,” was born June 7, 1921 in Indianapolis to Clinton Hodell Givan and Glee Bowen Givan.  After graduating from Decatur Central High School in 1939, Givan farmed until he entered the army in 1942.  From 1943 through 1945, he served in the Army Air Corps as a fighter pilot; in addition, he participated in the Green Project flying troops home from Europe.  For five years following World War II, he was a flight instructor in the Air Force Reserve at Stout Field in Indianapolis.

          Givan entered Indiana University at Bloomington in 1946 and graduated from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1951.  While attending law school, he served as assistant law librarian and law clerk for all five of the judges of the Indiana Supreme Court. 

          Following graduation from law school, the Supreme Court appointed him Deputy Public Defender, a position which he held for one and one-half years.  From 1953 to 1964, he served as Deputy Attorney General.  He served as Deputy Prosecutor in Marion County from 1965 to 1967.  On two occasions, he argued cases before the United States Supreme Court.  For seventeen years, Givan maintained a private practice, first with his father, and later with the firm of Bowen, Myers, Northum and Givan.

          In 1966 Givan was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives.  In 1968, he was elected to the Indiana Supreme Court.  He took office January 6, 1969 and served the then constitutional term of six years.  He received confirmation votes in 1974 and 1984 for ten-year terms.  During his tenure on the court, he served as Chief Justice from November 1974 through March 1987.  He retired from the court December 31, 1994.

          Givan was a fourth generation lawyer.  His great-grandfather, Noah S. Givan, was a Circuit Judge in Dearborn County before 1900.  His grandfather, Martin J. Givan, was a Dearborn County trial lawyer.  His father, Clinton H. Givan, was Judge of Marion Superior Court, Room 4 for one term and practiced law in Indianapolis for 40 years.

          Givan was twice appointed Sagamore of the Wabash.  This honor was given to him by both Governor Bowen and Governor Bayh.

          On February 28, 1945, Givan married Pauline Marie Haggart.  Dick and Pauline had four daughters, fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.  Pauline died in 2008, just one week before their 63rd anniversary.

          For nearly 60 years, Givan was an active member of the Fairfield Friends Meeting, where he had served as chair of the Property Trustees and clerk of the Monthly Meeting.  He also served as a trustee of Earlham College for ten years.  He was a member and past president of the Decatur Central Lions Club.

          Givan raised, trained, and showed Arabian horses.  He had served as president of the Indiana Arabian Horse Club and as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Arabian Horse Association.

          From 1964 through 1989, Givan photographed the Indianapolis 500 and numerous other races for WRTV 6, WISH TV 8, and Championship Racing Films.  He attended 76 Indianapolis 500 races; his first was in 1925.  He was a 21-year member of the 500 Old Timers Club.  To celebrate his 83rd birthday in 2004, Givan rode hot laps in a two-seated Indy car with driver Sarah Fisher at the Speedway.

          Givan is remembered as a devoted husband, father and grandfather, a lawyer and judge of uncompromising integrity, a funny and self-deprecating storyteller, and a tireless and happy worker.

          Dick Givan died at home at the age of 88 on July 21, 2009, surrounded by his daughters, Madalyn, Sandy, Patty and Libby.

 

Dave Rather

 

   Dave graduated from DCHS in 1967. After graduation Dave attended Indiana University with a BS in education and M.S. in Secondary Education Administration and Ed.S. Specialist in Education. Dave married Kathy Auble (DCHS Class of 1967) in 1970.
   Dave has had several roles within the Decatur Township School system. He was DCHS social studies teacher from 1977-1988. During those years, he was also the Athletic Trainer for all DC sports. He served as Assistant Principal of DCHS from 1989 until 2000. In 1993 he was also named Athletic Director of DCHS and served in a dual role of Assistant Principal/Athletic Director until 1999. In 2000 he was named Director of Operations for Decatur Township. Since 2001 Dave has been Assistant Superintendent.
   Dave has inducted into the Decatur Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and was named the 1993 Assistant Principal of the Year for Central Indiana.
   Dave is on the board of the Decatur Township Educational Foundation and a lifetime member of the DCHS Alumni Association.  Dave and Kathy have two children, Brooke and Brad and have three (3) grandchildren.  Dave is the son of Paul and Mary Rather.

 

2009

 

CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR

 

Beth Lucas


Beth Minnich Lucas (class of1949) was born in Indianapolis, the third child of Bertha and Garner Minnich.  She was raised in Perry Township, until her sophomore year, when her family moved to Decatur Township.  Beth was active in 4-H activities and even considered becoming a Home Ec. Teacher.  Her biggest interest though was in dance.  She and her two sisters had taken dance lessons at the Hoosier Athletic Club in downtown Indianapolis.  They loved performing and often danced for WW II troops at Camp Atterbury and at the Athletic Club.
 

At the insistence of her music teacher, Betty Fields, she began her teaching career at the old Decatur High School.  She taught in Quonset huts outside the school, carrying her record player, records, mats and schools in the trunk of her car.  After high school, Beth attended classes at the Jordan School of Music at Butler University. 
 

In 1953 Beth married her high school sweetheart and classmate, Jim Lucas.  Beth and Jim raised five children, all DCHS graduates.

During all the years of raising her family, Beth continued to teach dance first in Mooresville and then in her home on Thompson Road.  The Beth Lucas School of Dance has performed at 62 annual dance recitals.  Over the years, Beth organized shows and took students to perform at numerous nursing homes, service organizations, hospitals, and Decatur 4-H Fairs.
 

Beth was also active in a Decatur Township Homemakers Club and the Decatur Business Association.

 

Kenneth Almon


Kenneth Almon (Class of 1953) graduated from the General Motors Institute in mechanical engineering and received his MBA from Butler University.  Ken is active in the Decatur Township Lions Club and has chaired the Dollars for Scholars selection committee, served in the Decatur Township Civic Council, was on the MSD Decatur Township School Board for eight years.  A few times a week he volunteers for IRIS (WFYI’s Indiana Reading and Information Services) where he is recorded reading the paper or a magazine.  He is a volunteer as a school tutor, and has volunteered with the Indiana Land Trust to help conserve nature in Indiana. 
 

Ken is married to Mrs. Donna (Champer) Almon, a 1953 DCHS graduate. His sons are John Almon (1977 DCHS graduate) and Joe Almon (1980 DCHS graduate).

 

Ken is a great role model for the students and citizens in Decatur Township. 

 

 

2008
 

Jef Farmer

 

Jef Farmer is the most giving alumni. He has supported our schools and our community in every way imaginable. Has given to the youth of our community invaluable advice, support, and love that only he could give.
 

Jef is a man who has dealt with hundreds of our kids of varying backgrounds and temperaments and has met with much success.  He has served as high school girls' basketball coach. He worked hard, gave of himself, never gave up, and, in that process, managed to uplift and inspire any person lucky enough to have him as a coach and friend.

 

2007

 

Daniel Howe

 

In 2007, one name came to the forefront; a recent grad.  The committee decided he was the one.

 

Daniel Howe had enlisted in the army just after graduation from DCHS in 2005.

 

By August, he was overseas in Germany, preparing to go to Baghdad. Daniel’s job kept him mostly inside the base, but on his first trip out, his unit was alerted of a terrorist in the area. They were given a description of the suspect's vehicle.

 

When the terrorist saw the convoy,  he panicked. He was carrying five EFPs (explosively formed penetraters) - explosive devices used to bomb military trucks. He detonated all of them, killing himself and others, wounding several. 

 

The driver of the convoy had a broken jaw and other injuries.  The unit's gunner was killed.  Howe was sprayed with shrapnel; one piece hit an artery on the right side of his neck.  Most of his injuries were on his right side, but some of the shrapnel ricocheted off of the metal interior of the vehicle and wounded him on his left side.

 

Daniel was kept in an induced coma for two weeks.  Doctors said he would probably never come out of the coma.  That was in April.   Then they said he wouldn't be able to talk or use his right arm.  The doctors have been wrong.

 

Lots of progress has been made since then.  He has regained some of his sight and is getting stronger. At the all-class dinner dance in May, Daniel's brother, Jonathan Howe, a 2004 Decatur Central High School graduate, and his mother, Bobetta Cornelius, accepted the 2007 Alumni of the Year Award in Daniel's name. Daniel could not be away from the hospital for that long.

 

MSD Decatur Township School's Superintendent Donald Stinson and Decatur Central High School Alumni Association President Norma Gaston presented Cornelius with a trophy for her son, which was donated by Bright Ideas in Broad Ripple and owner Bev Frye Middaugh, another DCHS graduate.

 

The Alumni Association has given Howe a lifetime membership in the association.  The school district bought a brick for Howe in the Alumni Walkway.

 

Daniel came back to Indiana briefly and stopped by to say thank you to Gaston for the award. He told her he intends to get better, go to college, and become a teacher back in his own community.

 

"The DCHS Alumni Association awarded Daniel the honor, because of his sacrifice and the fact that he was a recent graduate. He serves as a representative for all our former students who are serving their country,” said Norma Gaston, Association President.



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