Schools Hall of Fame announces 2017 class
The Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame has revealed its class of 2017. The organization's sixth group of inductees includes individuals in six categories and offers special recognition for a notable team. The inductees will be recognized at a dinner on Aug. 26 at Woodford County Middle School, and they will be introduced during the halftime ceremony of a Woodford County High School football game on Aug. 25. Nominated by friends, family members and a committee composed of Woodford County alumni and educators, the 2017 inductees are listed by category. Academics (Distinguished achievement as a student, teacher, professor or administrator): . Mark Gormley Jr., M.D. (WCHS, 1979). One of the world's leading experts in pediatric rehabilitation medicine, Gormley has cared for children-and presented lectures to other physicians-in 20-plus countries and nearly every U.S. state and Canadian province. After serving as the youngest chief of staff at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minn., Gormley is now the medical director for pediatric rehabilitation medicine at the 200-year-old facility, the oldest and largest hospital for children in the world. . John Lodmell (Woodford County High School, 1992). Lodmell has turned his stellar academic achievements into a successful and diverse career. A WCHS graduate earning Highest Honors, Lodmell was appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was a Distinguished Graduate with a degree in astronautical engineering. Lodmell later earned an MBA at Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management, graduating No. 1 in his class. After serving in the Air Force, Lodmell has enjoyed a career in financial analysis. Arts and Humanities (Widespread public acclaim in the arts: performing, visual or literary): . Megan Schenck Dragoo (WCHS, 1997). After success as a competitive dancer during her school years, Dragoo moved to New York City for a career in show business. She danced for two stints with the Radio City Rockettes, from 1998 to 2001 and 2004 to 2007, performing on TV shows, in parades and at two presidential inaugurations. In between her time with the Rockettes, Dragoo was an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning revival of "42nd Street," sharing the Broadway stage with her sister, Joni, and appearing on TV shows. Athletics (Extraordinary achievements as a high school athlete or as a coach in a Woodford County school): . William Bland (WCHS 1966). A longtime educator and coach, Bland was also an accomplished athlete. At Versailles High School and then WCHS, Bland lettered in basketball, baseball, track and field, and cross country. He was twice named to the Central Kentucky Conference's All-CKC basketball team. Bland earned a basketball scholarship to Tennessee Tech University and was a three-year starter. When he returned to Woodford County High School, Bland taught physical education and coached for 32 years. . Joe Carr Jr. (WCHS 1997). At a school with the state's preeminent wrestling tradition, Joe Carr stands the tallest. His four state championships, 242 career wins and 1997 First Team All-American status place Carr among Kentucky's finest high school wrestlers. He was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2008. At West Virginia University, Carr notched 101 wins and qualified for the NCAA tournament four times. Returning to Woodford County to teach and coach, Carr was assistant coach for two state team championships, in 2005 and 2006. Career Achievement (Extraordinary achievement through exceptional leadership or service): . Teresa Jones James (WCHS, 1980). A licensed clinical social worker since 1993, James served as commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services from 2011 to 2015, overseeing nearly 4,600 employees and a budget of $1 billion. As an educator on the issues surrounding domestic violence, James has trained thousands of medical professionals on recognizing abuse and neglect. James has been recognized for lifetime achievement by Eastern Kentucky University, and in 2014, she was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Social Work Hall of Fame. . James McAfee (Versailles High School, 1947). Teacher, coach, education leader and state administrator, McAfee built a career-and legacy-of service. Before becoming a high school principal, McAfee taught and coached in Montgomery and Woodford counties. He served the state of Kentucky, first as a leader with the Department of Education for 18 years, then as a finance manager with the Department of Surface Mining. McAfee served on many education boards and committees, and his influence on students, players and colleagues was immense. McAfee died in 2016. Patron (Advanced a Woodford County public school as a non-alumnus, through leadership or donation of time or money): . Jack Kain: A national leader in the automotive sales industry, Kain is also a community icon. Through Jack Kain Ford, he has supplied vehicles for driver's education, special events and Project Graduation. By sponsoring fundraisers such as Drive One for Your School, Kain has raised thousands of dollars for Woodford schools. He also has supported athletic teams through sponsorships and donations. And he has helped Woodford students focus on the future by sponsoring career programs and field trips, speaking to classes and hiring a succession of graduates. Public Service (Extraordinary achievement in public service): . Walter Bradley (Simmons High School, 1943). Historian and civic leader, Bradley was the first African-American elected to serve on the Midway City Council. Through articles he contributed to The Woodford Sun, Bradley educated others on the accomplishments of black inventors and leaders. Bradley renovated and resided in the 1872 building that housed the Pilgrim Baptist Church and, later, the Midway Colored School, which he attended. Bradley died in 2004, and Midway's public park is named in his memory. . Decima Carl Osborne (VHS through 1951). For 38 years, Osborne was the first teacher for thousands of Woodford County children who attended Jack and Jill Preschool. After the final class left the school in 2007, Osborne continued to work with small children at Falling Springs, building on decades of service as an arts and crafts teacher for Woodford County Parks and Recreation. She also led a dance team and choreographed for local pageants and theatre groups. Osborne has been honored by the U.S. Congress, Transylvania University and the city of Versailles. Special recognition for a notable team: Honored this year is the 1986 WCHS mock trial team, which won the Kentucky state title and advanced to the National Mock Trial Tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. In mock trial competition, students are judged for their performance in hypothetical court cases. Members of the team were Sarah-Andrea Adler, Anthony Atwood, Evan Bledsoe, Geri Etherington, John Meholovitch, Tanya Mirilovich, Sarah Pryor, Lucy Vance and Brenna Venis. The team was coached by faculty sponsor Dan Cassity and by local lawyers Ralph Combs and Bob Swisher. About the Hall of Fame: Launched in 2012, the Woodford County Public Schools Hall of Fame promotes the heritage of Woodford County public schools by honoring its most accomplished alumni. Most members are alumni of Woodford County High School and the county's public schools that preceded it, including Versailles High School, Midway High School and Simmons High School. The Patron category honors non-alumni, and the Athletics category is open to alums and also to Woodford coaches who did not attend Woodford County schools. Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring the Hall of Fame may contact Bob Gibson at (859) 879-4600.