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
We have lots of
amazing grads, from Indiana Supreme Court Justices, to
state legislators, to educators and everything in
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
Honorary Alumni of the Year
ALUMNI OF THE
Morris Mills, Class of 1947
HONORARY ALUMNI OF THE YEAR
TOWNSHIP EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
Todd Sconce - DCHS current Assistant Principal
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
CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
HONORARY ALUMNI OF THE YEAR
DECATUR TOWNSHIP EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
Patricia A. Poehler
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.
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.
CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
Cimberly Borud McClelland
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
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
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.
Township is truly blessed to have Cim as a part of the staff
Larry is a 1956 graduate from Decatur Central
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
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
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
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
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
OF THE YEAR
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Dick Givan died at home at the age of 88 on July 21,
2009, surrounded by his daughters, Madalyn, Sandy, Patty and
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
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
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
CO-ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.