By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
The New Albany High School Hall of Fame class of 2013 has a little bit of everything. There is a colonel in the U.S. Army who was an 1876 graduate, killed in action and buried at Arlington National Cemetery, two educators who combined to teach at the school for 87 years, and a 1951 graduate who started a small business which grew into a worldwide leader in the electronic interconnect industry.
The class of 12 is a great representation of the school and its rich history as the oldest public high school in Indiana, according to Hall of Fame Co-Chair Susan Adams. The 12 will be inducted at a luncheon Sept. 29 in the school’s cafeteria. Tickets for the event will go on sale in August.
“The class of 2013 exhibits the committee’s desire to include a variety of people from early- to mid-20th century graduates who returned to NAHS to teach for full careers and graduates who ventured into the world and made their marks in business and industry, sports, the military and civic and philanthropic endeavors,” Adams said. “We also wish to honor faculty who made a huge impact on students and were innovative in their teaching careers. The pool of potential candidates is ever-growing and we hope that others in the community will send in nominations for people whom they consider worthy.”
This year’s class is: Phyllis Breen Cogan, class of 1964; Bob Dusch, class of 1962, faculty from 1966-2013; Lillian Emery, class of 1905; Lee Kelly, faculty, 1973-2013; Hank Klein, class of 1946; Don McMahel, class of 1948, faculty at various schools in the NA-FC School Corp. from 1959-93; Walter Poff, class of 1949; Muriel Ryall, class of 1922, faculty from 1939-71; Sam Shine, class of 1951; Steve Sipes, class of 1967, teacher/administrator from 1972-2009; Stanley Starks, Bulldog bus driver, 1951-80; and Col. John Stotsenburg, class of 1876, who was killed in the Philippines insurrection on April 23, 1899, while leading his regiment.
Two of the hall of famers will now be related. Paul Poff was inducted last year, and his brother Walter is a member of this year’s class. Like his brother, Walter Poff was a star athlete at New Albany, winning the school’s all-sports award his senior year in 1949. He went on to play basketball at the University of Detroit and is a member of that school’s hall of fame. However, that honor, along with many others, don’t compare with hearing the news that he will be inducted into the New Albany High School Hall of Fame, he said.
“I don’t think anyone will ever know what New Albany High School meant to me,” Poff said Monday from his Florida home. “It was wonderful news to hear I was elected to the hall of fame and will be in there with my brother. I have had so many blessings throughout my life and they are all because of New Albany High School.”
Dusch capped off his teaching career last month with the announcement that he was part of the 2013 class. He spent 51 years at the school as a student and teacher, and will continue to coach tennis there.
“I can’t say enough about it,” Dusch said of going into the hall of fame. “It’s a great honor. It thrills me.
“I always thought all people who get into a hall of fame are old so that bothers me a little,” he said, laughing. “I will miss dealing with the kids every day. Out here [tennis courts] two or three hours a day helps me forget about everything.”
Dusch is one of six former educators in the New Albany-Floyd Co. School Corp. among the class of 12.
Klein earned his nod through his generosity of helping others. For years he made wooden toys to give away to needy children through The Salvation Army at Christmas. He died in 2009, but his wife Wilma said he will continue to give back as the family will fund a scholarship for a senior at NAHS each year.
“I am just so elated that he has been selected,” Wilma Klein said about her husband’s election. “I am so pleased that community service is recognized as one of the areas. He took such pride in making those toys and worked around the clock. It made him so happy ... it was his passion. He dedicated his life to it.”
The 12 new inductees bring the total of NAHS Hall of Famers to 76. The Hall of Fame began in 2007 with 10 inductees.