EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -Today, the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation announced the 13 inductees for the EVSC’s Hall of Fame, Class of 2020. The biennially-awarded EVSC Hall of Fame honors distinguished individuals who exemplify outstanding achievement in their life’s work and who have made a positive impact on public education in the greater community. It also emphasizes the importance of service to the community and inspires EVSC students to seek excellence in their own education and careers.
“To say that we are extremely proud and humbled by the quality of the individuals in our Class of 2020 would be an understatement,” said David Smith, EVSC Superintendent. “Their work in our community and the differences they have made are extremely impressive, and we are truly honored for them to represent the EVSC in this manner.”
The final 13 inductees were among numerous nominations and were selected by a panel of judges. The inductees will be honored in July 2021 at the Evening to Remember celebration dinner sponsored by the EVSC Foundation. For sponsorship or ticket information regarding the event, please call the EVSC Foundation at 812-435-0913.
The 2020 EVSC Hall of Fame honorees are:
Joycelyn Winnecke is a graduate of Thompkins School and Central High School. Following a 35-year career as a journalist and media executive, she works as a strategy consultant and is a civic leader in Chicago. Winnecke began her journalism career as a high school student, writing obituaries at the Sunday Courier & Press. After working in Washington, D.C., and Indianapolis, Winnecke served as Managing Editor of the Chicago SunTimes, Vice President and Associate Editor of the Chicago Tribune, and President of Tribune Content Agency. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Lana D. Burton is a graduate of Bosse High School, Culver, & Glenwood elementary schools. Burton has spent the past 40 years educating, empowering, and enhancing children and their families in Evansville. During her 40-year tenure, she was a teacher, assistant principal, and principal throughout the Bosse District, while laying the foundation to many enrichment programs we see in our community today.
Dr. Stephan Graham is a graduate of Stringtown Elementary and North High School. Graham holds an AB in Geology from Indiana University, and MS and PhD degrees from Stanford. He serves as the Dean of the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. He holds professorships in geophysics, geological sciences and energy resources engineering. Over the 40 years that he has served as a professor at Stanford, he has mentored countless students.
Phyllis Kincaid is a graduate of Reitz High School, completing her early years at Culver K-8 school where her aunts were both teachers. Kincaid holds a Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern University as well as a Master of Arts from the University of Evansville. She began her teaching career at Hebron and Plaza, teaching music. In 1987, Kincaid became Director of Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana, a pilot program developed by the National Crime Prevention Council and funded by Lilly Endowment. She held this position for 15 years. In this capacity, she integrated community service with education, developing programs such as Teenpower Camp, Teen Advisory Council, and Evansville Youth Coalition. Since its inception, Youth Resources has involved over 149,850 students, and continues to thrive today.
Lilly King is a Reitz High School alumna and a graduate of Indiana University. King has represented Team USA for several years in domestic and international competitions. In 2014, King won her first junior national title while still a student at Reitz, breaking the national age group record in the 100 breaststroke. She went on to represent the USA at Junior Pan Pacific Championships, World University Games, World Championships, and the Olympic Games. She claimed Olympic gold in the 100 breaststroke and also won gold as a member of the 4 x 100 medley relay. King is the current world record holder in the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke, and also holds the Olympic Record in the 100 breaststroke.
Carol Koehler is a Central High School alumna, graduate of UE, and received her Master’s from IU. She served in the roles of educator, counselor, assistant principal, director of curriculum, and executive director of curriculum in the EVSC. Koehler spearheaded the creation/founding of several academic, fine arts and enrichment programs that are staples in the EVSC today, including: Summer Musical, Academic Olympics, Signature School, College Corps, International Baccalaureate, and JROTC.
Dr. Gerald Oakley
Dr. Gerald Oakley is a graduate of Reitz High School. Dr. Oakley holds a Doctorate of Education from West Virginia University, a Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law, and a Masters and Bachelor of Science from Indiana State University. Oakley has worked for the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, both located in Washington, D.C. Oakley has established several scholarships for students in the EVSC.
Walter “Walt” Lewis graduated from Bosse High School and afterward served nine years of active duty in the army/air force. He used the GI Bill to earn undergraduate and master degrees in education and began his teaching career at Harrison High School. Continuing his career at Central High School for eleven years as disciplinary assistant principal, he was later named the first principal of Stanley Hall Enrichment Center. His last ten years were spent as the principal of Harrison High School. After his retirement from the EVSC, Walt worked for thirteen years at the University of Evansville as an assistant professor and the interim chairman of the school of education. He served over twenty years in the U. S. Army Reserves, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. His community service includes various veterans associations, the Public Education Foundation, the Green River Kiwanis Club, and the Evansville Retired Teachers Association, recently serving as president.
Mike Owen lived a life of integrity and service. He was a proud graduate of Bosse High School and Murray State University. As both a teacher and coach for over 40 years in the EVSC, Mike shared his wisdom on the field and in the classroom. Mike accumulated over 300 high school wins coaching tennis, and he coached 11 sectional championship teams. Mike was inducted into the Indiana High School Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. His football honors included coach of the year awards and championship seasons, but nothing was more important or valued to Mike than the memories of players and assistant coaches because of the lifetime friendships. With a generous spirit, teaching and sharing came naturally to Mike as he strived to help young people improve, learn, and begin their lifelong careers.
Archie and Louise Owen*
Archie Owen taught for three decades in the EVSC. As Bosse’s head football coach, Archie led the Bulldogs to a school record 111 wins. Among his other coaching achievements are an undefeated season in 1967, eight city championships, and many SIAC titles and seven coach of the year honors. Archie was a 1947 graduate of Reitz High School, starring on Coach Herman Byers first ever undefeated football team. A member of the Indiana Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the University of Evansville Hall of Fame, Archie was a friend, mentor, and inspiration to many. Archie left his footprint on our city—with his service and dedication.
Louise Owen was a standout athlete and educator who taught at Reitz High School for 31 years. She taught physical education and coached tennis, basketball and track. In 1981, she led her Reitz girls’ basketball team to the IHSAA state championship. Louise was a pioneer in women’s sports and a legendary tennis player. She won city, state, and national championships as well as often ranking internationally in senior women’s tennis. She was inducted to many Hall of Fames; including University of Evansville Athletic Hall of Fame, Indiana High School Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Louise’s devotion and dedication to high school students and athletes inspired a generation of young people. Coach Owen left her footprint on our city—with her service and dedication.
Dr. Eric Schultze is a graduate of Central High School who went on to build a career in the field of biomedical sciences. He holds a PhD in Pathology/Environmental Toxicology from Michigan State University, DVM from Purdue University, and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from Indiana University. Schultze joined Eli Lilly and Company (2000 to present) to contribute to the development of medicines that will help the world—one of his most notable accomplishments being leadership in developing cardiovascular safety tests in nonclinical toxicology studies
Amy Walker has been a dedicated supporter of EVSC students for more than 30 years, serving as Executive Director of the Public Education Foundation of Evansville (PEF) for 26 years. Under her leadership, PEF has provided nearly $8 million for educationally enriching programs for Vanderburgh Co. students, including: Summer Musical, House Project, Technology Showcase, Career Exploration Day, Missoula Children’s Theater, and Classroom Grants for teachers. Walker has been a long-time PTA member, past PTA president, past president of the Area Council PTA, and officer with Indiana PTA. She attended Stringtown Elementary and North High School.