2012 EVSC Hall of Fame Honorees Named

EVSC and EVSC Foundation have announced the 12 honorees in the 2012 EVSC Hall of Fame. The 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 community and inspires EVSC students to seek excellence in their own education and careers.

The 2012 EVSC Hall of Fame honorees are:
Dr. Joey Barnett
Dr. Barnett graduated from Central High School and the University of Southern Indiana. Dr. Barnett continued as an undergraduate research fellow at Argonne National Laboratories and the University of Chicago, subsequently earning a Doctorate in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Dr. Barrett vigorously researches in his field as well as serving as the President of the American Heart Association Greater Southeast Affiliate and serves 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, Senator 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 EVSC Foundation and EVSC. Senator Becker received the Celebration of Leadership Winternheimer/Lamar Public Service Award 2011; United Way Advocate Award; ARC Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education Legislator of the Year Award. Senator 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; Leadership Evansville Alumni; Commission for Excellence in Health Care; and the Board of ARK Crisis Prevention Nursery.

Wilfred (Bill) C. Bussing, III
Mr. Bussing, an attorney and the owner of the Evansville Otters, is a long time supporter of education in Evansville and Vanderburgh County.  A major supporter of EVSC Foundation, Mr. 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, Center on Philanthropy at IU; Niel Ellerbrook Community Service Award from the United Way of Southwestern Indiana; and the Jefferson Award for Community Service. He created and chairs the Southern Indiana Grantmakers (SING), a coalition of foundation directors and philanthropic companies in order to maximize their resources for the good of the community. Mr. 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; Evansville Police Department Foundation. He also serves on the Glenwood Neighborhood CDC, and the Jacobsville Initiative Steering Committee and the EVSC Superintendent’s Business Council, an advisory council of distinguished corporate leaders, to help realize a vision of excellence in EVSC schools. 

Karen and Niel 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  & CEO of Vectren Corporation. The couple has served the Evansville community by chairing 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 extremely successful $8.8 million dollar capital campaign at Ivy Tech Community College within months of his arrival in Evansville. The Ellerbrook's were early supporters of EVSC Foundation. Mr. Ellerbrook was the moving force at Vectren for the initial major gift to EVSC Foundation, which continues to benefit the Foundation today. He was also the moving force at Vectren to establish the Evansville Diversity Lecture Series to promote and improve diversity in Evansville.
Under Mr. 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.

Mrs. Ellerbrook is a founding member of the Da Vinci Institute which is partnering with McGary Middle School to integrate Arts into the STEM (Science Technology Engineering 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 her time at Rocking Readers at Glenwood Leadership Academy.

Alan B. Graf, Jr.
Mr. 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.  Mr. 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.  Mr. Graf is a member of a five person Executive Committee which is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of business operations.  Mr. 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.  Mr. Graf also serves as a Trustee for the University of Memphis; the University of Memphis Athletic Board; the Herff Trust; and the Indiana University Foundation.

Bettye Lou Jerrel
Mrs. Jerrel graduated from Bosse High School. 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
Mr. Jones is the CEO 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.  Mr. 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.  Mr. Jones has also played a fundamental role in providing funding to jumpstart the EVSC’s marketing endeavors. He led the charge to honor teachers by personally calling on area business leaders to publicly thank teachers for their dedication to students through billboards and a reception in their honor. Mr. 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. Mr. Jones is extremely active in the community, serving on the boards of the University of Evansville; Evansville Regional Business Council; 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
Dr. Neal graduated from University of Evansville and Indiana University with a Masters degree in education. He taught at EVSC’s Chestnut-Walnut Elementary School and Lincoln High School. After working with CAPE, Dr. Neal began his long history with EVSC, becoming the Integration Advisory Specialist in 1970, 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 dollars annually, and had continued his work in race relations. Dr. Neal is credited for the organization of the EVSC African American Chorale Ensemble interstate performances and EVSC African American Saturday Academy of Black History. Dr. Neal’s work was honored with two community-wide appreciation celebrations in 1988 and 2010. Out of these initiatives, the Ira T. Neal Community Volunteer Development Scholarship Fund (1988-2007), New Hope Music Academy, EVSC Elementary African American Chorale Ensemble, and the USI Multicultural Center were formed. Dr. Neal served as a Trustee of Vincennes University, member of the IU Medical Center Advisory Committee and corporate scholarship application committees. He currently serves on the USI Foundation Board.

Dr. Rodney Perkins

Dr. Perkins attended Bosse High School, Indiana University, and undertook his surgical residency at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Perkins 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 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 eighteen issued patents and is a member of the BioX Advisory Board at Stanford University.

Ron Romain
Mr. Romain graduated from Harrison High School and the University of Southern Indiana.  He is a major supporter of public education and of the EVSC Harrison High School Multipurpose Complex Campaign. As the Owner and President of United Companies, Mr. Romain also serves as the Owner and President of United Leasing, Inc., Romain Automotive Group, and Professional Transportation, Inc.  Under his leadership, United Companies, Inc. supported more than 30 community-wide, nonprofit organizations in the past year. Mr. Romain created an innovative fundraising program in concert with 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 over $102,500 raised and distributed to the 80 charities that chose to participate. Currently, Mr. 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
Mr. Sater attended Harrison High School, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and received a Master of the Arts in English Literature from Princeton University. An exceptionally talented poet, playwright, lyricist, television writer, author and screenwriter, Mr. Sater won two Tony Awards, Best Book and Best Musical Score, for his work on Spring Awakening. With his creative partner, Mr. Sater received the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. In addition, Mr. 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. Mr. 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
Mr. Shoulders graduated from Harrison High School and Indiana University with a Bachelors degree and a Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude. He has dedicated his time to serving the Evansville community while building his law career.  Mr. Shoulders is a major supporter of public education and the arts in the community. He is involved with many EVSC programs and activities including the We the People program for middle and high schools. Recognized as a Super Lawyer in Indiana, Mr. Shoulders has achieved an elite peer rating as performing at the highest level of professional excellence based on ethical standards and legal ability. Mr. Shoulders currently serves as the Vice President of the Indiana University Board of Trustees as well as a Director of the IU Foundation, a member of the Board of Governors of the IU Center on Philanthropy, and a member of the Well House Advisory Committee. He has served as the President of the Evansville Parks Foundation, Museum of Arts & Sciences, and the YMCA; as Chair of the WNIN Auction; Founder & Director of the Arts Fest 12K River Run; and is a Member of the Board of Park Commissioners; Evansville Convention and Visitor's Bureau; a Civic Theatre Board; and is a Public Defender Commissioner. His volunteerism has earned him the Kentucky Colonel, Sagamore of the Wabash, and the Indiana Bar President's Awards. He is a major supporter of Indiana University, EVSC Foundation, Harrison High School, and EVSC.

This distinguished group joins 12 members of the inaugural class of EVSC Hall of Fame members from 2010: Brent Beeler, Chuck Bundrant, Gayle Cook, Lee Hamilton, Don Korb, William Mays, James McCarty Sr., Mattie Miller, William Ridgway, Randall Shepard, John H. Schroeder, and Matt Williams.
Honorees were selected following nominations made during October to EVSC. Five judges reviewed biographical material to make their selections.  Judges were: Superintendent David Smith, members of the inaugural Hall of Fame Mattie Miller and Brent Beeler; School Board President Mike Duckworth; and President of EVSC Foundation Amy Barron.

The 2012 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored on March 20, 2013 at a celebration dinner sponsored by EVSC Foundation at 6 p.m. Co-chairing the celebration are community leaders Ben Shoulders, Wayne Henning, and Randy Miller. For information on the event, please call Amy Dressel at 812-435-0229.

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