EVSC honors its 2012 Hall of Fame members - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

EVSC honors its 2012 Hall of Fame members

The EVSC honored its 2012 Hall of Fame members on Wednesday night.

Hall of Fame members are recognized for their positive impact on public education and inspiring EVSC students to seek excellence in their education and careers.
"When you have really good teachers that invest time in students and they're able to see things in their students that the students don't even see in themselves, work to bring those out, it presents to you possibilities that the student wouldn't have guessed for themselves," Dr. Barnett said.

The 2012 Hall of Fame Members recognized at Wednesday night's event included:

Dr. Joey Barnett

Dr. Barnett graduated from Central High School and the University of Southern Indiana. He continued as an undergraduate research fellow at Argonne National Laboratories and the University of Chicago, subsequently earning a Doctorate in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University.

After completing a fellowship in cardiovascular research at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Barnett returned to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he currently serves as acting chair of the Department of Pharmacology and as a professor of pharmacology, medicine, pediatrics, and pathology, microbiology and immunology. His research focuses on cardiovascular development and pediatric heart disease.

He serves as the president of the American Heart Association Greater Southeast Affiliate, and on the USI Foundation Board of Directors. He is currently serving as the Honorary Chair of the Central High School Annual Campaign and is a passionate supporter of the Medical Professions Academy at Central High School.

Senator Vaneta Becker

A graduate of North High School and University of Southern Indiana, Sen. Becker was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1981 where she remained until 2005 when she was elected to the Indiana State Senate.

She is a long-time supporter of the EVSC Foundation and EVSC. Sen. Becker received the Celebration of Leadership Winternheimer/LaMar Public Service Award 2011; United Way Advocate Award; ARC Lifetime Achievement Award; and Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education Legislator of the Year Award.

Sen. Becker is the co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Office of Women's Health, Indiana State Department of Health and is also involved in numerous community activities including the Indiana Commission for Women; the Leadership Evansville Alumni; Commission for Excellence in Health Care; and the Board of ARK Crisis Prevention Nursery.

Wilfred C. Bussing, III

Bussing, the owner of the Evansville Otters and an attorney, is a longtime supporter of education in Evansville and Vanderburgh County. 

A major supporter of the EVSC Foundation, Bussing is instrumental in providing an annual gift which provides extra support and programs for needy, deserving EVSC students, as well as other EVSC programs and activities.

He is the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University; the Niel Ellerbrook Community Service Award from the United Way of Southwestern Indiana; and the Jefferson Award for Community Service.

He chairs the Southern Indiana Grantmakers Network, a coalition of foundation directors and philanthropic companies maximizing their resources for the good of the community.

Bussing serves on a large number of trusts which support education:  Bussing-Koch Foundation; Cecil A. and Mabel Lene Hamman Foundation; Bower-Suhrheinrich Foundation; Catholic Education Foundation; and the Evansville Police Department Foundation.

He also serves on the Glenwood Neighborhood CDC, Jacobsville Initiative Steering Committee, the EVSC Superintendent's Business Council, and the Board of Trustees of the University of Evansville.

Niel and Karen Ellerbrook

Karen Ellerbrook graduated from Harrison High School, Indiana State University, and Butler University. Niel Ellerbrook is a Ball State University graduate who relocated to Evansville as the chairman and chief executive officer of Vectren Corporation.

The couple has served the Evansville community by chairing or otherwise playing significant roles in major fundraising campaigns for EVSC, cMoe, University of Evansville, the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana, Wesselman Nature Society, and Joshua Academy.

Mr. Ellerbrook co-chaired the $8.8 million dollar capital campaign at Ivy Tech Community College within months of his arrival in Evansville.

The Ellerbrooks were early supporters of EVSC Foundation. Mrs. Ellerbrook serves on the EVSC Foundation Board of Directors and Ellerbrook serves on the EVSC Superintendent's Business Council.

 Mr. Ellerbrook was instrumental at Vectren for the initial major gift to EVSC Foundation, which continues to benefit the Foundation today. He was the moving force at Vectren to establish the Evansville Diversity Lecture Series to promote and improve diversity in Evansville.

Under Ellerbrook's leadership, Vectren Foundation focused on the importance of education in growing and sustaining a community through direct donations and volunteerism.

He is also a dedicated advocate of public education through his work on boards, as a volunteer consultant, and through his company by setting volunteerism as an expected and important aspect of being a Vectren employee.

Ellerbrook received the Sagamore of the Wabash and was inducted into the Evansville Business Hall of Fame in recognition of his efforts.

Mrs. Ellerbrook is a founding member of both the Vanderburgh Community Foundation Women's Fund and the Da Vinci Institute which is partnering with McGary Middle School to integrate Arts and Humanities into the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) model at the school.

She is a passionate supporter of early childhood education and the arts in the elementary schools as shown through her volunteer efforts at the Indiana Arts Commission, UE Theatre Society, and at Rocking Readers at Glenwood Leadership Academy.

Mrs. Ellerbrook was recognized for her work as a community leader with the Regional Impact Award from Leadership Evansville.

Alan B. Graf

Graf graduated from Harrison High School, and the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.  

He joined FedEx when the company was in its early stages and had few employees.  Graf helped grow FedEx into a multi-billion dollar, worldwide operation and currently holds the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. 

He is responsible for all aspects of FedEx global financial functions and corporate development.  Graf is a member of a five person executive committee which is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of business operations. 

Graf serves on the Board of Directors for Nike, Inc. and Mid-America Apartment Communities, a self-administered and self-managed real estate trust which owns, acquires, and operates multi-family communities. 

He is vice chairman of the board of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Graf also serves on the Indiana University Foundation.

Bettye Lou Jerrel

Jerrel graduated from Bosse High School and the University of Evansville. In addition to teaching at Washington School, she became a Republican precinct committeewoman at age 20, when the legal voting age was 21.

Mrs. Jerrel was the first female Republican county chairperson and served as vice chair for five different chairmen. Her work on the Vanderburgh County Commission during her six-year tenure led to a major grant for early studies of Interstate 69.

She was appointed to the Indiana Textbook Adoption Committee and on the Commission on General Education. Her early work produced initiatives such as statewide testing and the A-plus program.

Mrs. Jerrel was also appointed to serve as a lay person on the Indiana Public Defender Commission and was instrumental in encouraging Vanderburgh County to establish a Public Defender program to replace the court-by-court appointment of public defenders.

Mrs. Jerrel was named as one of the YWCA's 100 Years, 100 Women honorees.

Robert G. Jones

Jones is the chief executive officer and president of Old National Bancorp, and a member of its Board of Directors. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vectren Corporation and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Board of Directors. 

Jones changed the local landscape of corporate support, increasing support to public education and charities. He was instrumental in making a building available virtually cost free, to house EVSC's Center for Family, School, and Community Partnerships, an innovative concept to bring together many community services for families in one location. 

Jones has also played a fundamental role in providing funding to jumpstart EVSC's marketing endeavors. He led the charge to honor teachers by calling on area business leaders to publicly thank teachers for their dedication to students through billboards and a reception in their honor.

Jones personally is a major supporter of the Harrison High School Capital Campaign. During his tenure, Old National has been nationally recognized, receiving the Award for Excellence for Corporate Engagement by the Points of Light Foundation, the Employee Volunteer Program of the Year for outstanding innovation, commitment and leadership by VolunteerMatch, and has been acknowledged as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies.

Jones is extremely active in the community, serving on the boards of the University of Evansville; Evansville Regional Business Committee; The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana; New Harmony Project; Evansville Police Department Foundation; Riley Children's Hospital; Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana; the Evansville Business Leaders Roundtable for Education; the Evansville Sports Corporation; and the EVSC Superintendent's Business Council.

Ira T. Neal

Neal graduated from Evansville College, BS; Indiana University, MS and Nova Southwestern University with an Ed.D Degree. 

In 2000, he was honored with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Southern Indiana.

In 1960, he began his teaching career at EVSC's Chestnut –Walnut school and in 1962 he was transferred to Lincoln Elementary School. 

In 1965, he took a leave of absence to work for the Community Action Program of Evansville and returned to the EVSC in 1970 as the Integration Advisory Specialist, working to eliminate minority group segregation and discrimination. 

When he retired in 1993, Dr. Neal was the director of federal projects, managing grant funds approaching $4 million annually and continued his work in race relations.  Neal is credited for the creation and organization of the EVSC's African American Choral Ensemble, African American Academy, a Saturday morning enrichment program devoted to the contribution of African Americans to the growth and development of these United States. 

For 40 years, Neal provided the leadership for the Black History Month celebrations.  Neal's work was honored with two community-wide appreciation/celebrations in 1988 and 2010.  Neal's work did not stop with his responsibilities within the EVSC. 

He taught for more than 20 years as an adjunct professor at USI, teaching cultural diversity and human relations.  He also served a number of years as a Trustee at Vincennes University, served on the police merit commission, was a member of the IU Medical Advisory Committee, the Vanderburgh County Judicial nominating committee, the City-County Human Relations Commission, and currently serves on the USI Foundation Board of Directors.

Dr. Rodney Perkins

Dr. Perkins graduated from Bosse High School, Indiana University, and undertook his surgical residency at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is an internationally known otologic surgeon who has founded and developed multiple successful medical device companies.

He is the founder of the California Ear Institute at Stanford and a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Stanford. Dr. Perkins has created a number of surgical procedures and techniques that are widely practiced by ear surgeons throughout the world.

He is a founder of three public companies: Collagen Corp. (collagen-based implant materials), Laserscope (surgical lasers) and ReSound Corp. (digital hearing devices). Dr. Perkins was founder and chairman of Cohesion Corp. (bioadhesives, sealants and hemostats) and Novacept (women's health). Dr. Perkins is the founder and chairman of Sound ID (hearing science company) and Pulmonx (interventional pulmonology and emphysema treatment) and was chairman of SurgRX (electrosurgical instrumentation) which was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2008.

Currently, he is founder and chairman and chief medical officer of EarLens Corporation which is developing a new method of sound transduction for hearing improvement. Dr. Perkins is co-founder and chairman of Procept, a company developing a biorobotic minimally invasive solution for benign prostatic hypertrophy. He is also the founder and chairman of SoundHawk Corporation, a company which is developing a new, low-cost hearing device.

Dr. Perkins received the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from Indiana University, has 18 issued patents and is a member of the BioX Advisory Board at Stanford University.

Ron Romain

Romain graduated from Harrison High School and the University of Southern Indiana. He is a major supporter of public education, including the EVSC Harrison High School Multipurpose Complex Campaign, and chairs the Southwest Indiana Business Coalition for Early Childhood Development.

Under his leadership as chief executive officer of United Companies -- which includes United Leasing, Inc., Romain Automotive Group, and Professional Transportation, Inc. -- more than 30 community-wide, nonprofit organizations are supported annually.

Romain spearheaded the innovative fundraising program Golf Gives Back involving the United Leasing Championship golf tournament that offered the opportunity to raise funds with no administrative costs or obligation to more than 600 area charities, with more than $102,500 raised and distributed to the 80 charities that chose to participate.

Currently, Romain serves on the Board of the University of Southern Indiana, the Welborn Foundation; St. Mary's Medical Center; the Signature School Foundation; the Evansville Regional Business Committee; the Evansville Police Department Foundation; and the EVSC Superintendent's Business Council. 

Steven Sater

Sater graduated from Harrison High School, Summa Cum Laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and received a Master of Arts degree in English literature from Princeton University.

An exceptionally talented poet, playwright, lyricist, television writer, author and screenwriter, Sater won two Tony Awards, Best Book and Best Musical Score, for his work on the musical Spring Awakening.

With his creative partner, Sater received the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. In addition, Sater was awarded The Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama Desk, the Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics' Circle, the Drama League Award, and the 2008 London Critics' Circle and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Musical.

Sater's Spring Awakening recently concluded its second national tour and has opened internationally in over 35 countries including: Australia, Sweden, Japan, Israel, Serbia, Brazil, Korea, Argentina, Norway, and Great Britain.

Patrick A. Shoulders

Shoulders graduated from Harrison High School and Indiana University with a Bachelor's degree and a Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude.

Recognized as a Distinguished Barrister in Indiana, he has dedicated his time to serving the Evansville community while building his law career.  Shoulders is a major supporter of public education and the arts in the community including Indiana University, EVSC Foundation, Harrison High School, and EVSC. He is involved with many EVSC programs and activities including the "We the People" program in civic education for middle and high schools.

Shoulders currently serves as the vice president of the Indiana University Board of Trustees, as well as a director of the IU Foundation. He has served as the national chair of the IU Alumni Association; the president of the Evansville Parks Foundation, Evansville Bar Association, Evansville Museum of Arts, History & Science, and the YMCA; as the chair of the WNIN Auction; and as founder & director of the Arts Fest 12K River Run.

He also served as a member of the Board of Park Commissioners; Evansville Convention and Visitor's Bureau; Civic Theatre Board; and on the Public Defender Commission.

His volunteerism has earned him the Kentucky Colonel, Sagamore of the Wabash, the Evansville Bar Association James Bethel Gresham Award and Indiana Bar President's Awards. 

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