EIS to honor distinguished alumni

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Eight included in 2014 class

By Anna Taylor

Elizabethtown Inde­pendent Schools will award eight alumni with a Tradition of Excellence Alumni Award in Sept­ember.

Those awarded this year are Lawrence R. French, Robert C. (Bobby) Hamilton, Ann Hodges, Scott Hubbard, Paul Edward Kerrick, Ken Maffet, M.D., Col. Constance L. Garrett Scott and Gary P. West.

The recipients of the awards will be recognized during the Fall Homecoming Parade at 4 p.m. Sept. 19 at halftime of the football homecoming game and in an awards ceremony starting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Elizabethtown Country Club. Tickets may be purchased for $10 each from the EIS Central Office at 219 Helm Street.

 French graduated from Elizabethtown High School in 1950. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1954 with a degree in math and an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. French taught at Lincoln trail Elementary for one year before starting his 30-year military career in June 1955 with the Air Force.

During his military career, French was awarded two Commendation Medals and five Meritorious Service Medals. Upon retirement from the military in 1985, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, one of the highest awards in the U.S. Air Force. He and his wife, Betty Sue, also fund two scholarships for local students going to WKU and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

 Hamilton graduated from EHS in 1960. After graduation, Hamilton served in the United States Marine Corps until 1962, serving in Cambodia and Vietnam. He joined the Jefferson County Police Department in 1965 and achieved the rank of detective in 1986.

Hamilton was a five-time nominee for Police Officer of the Year, receiving the award in 1973 and 1984. He was presented the Blue Knight Award for Heroism in 1983 and the 110 Percent Award every year from 1983 through 1985. Hamilton was awarded as for Police Pistol Marksmanship Expert from 1965 through 1986 and received the Retiree of the Decade Award from the Jefferson County Police in 1999.

A certified athletic trainer, Hamilton was appointed by past Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton to serve on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Athletic Training Society and was one of the first inductees in the Kentucky Athletic Trainers Society Hall of Fame.

Hodges is a 1956 graduate of EHS. After graduation, she moved to New York City to become a June Taylor dancer on “The Jackie Gleason Show.” Her television career includes credits from “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Steve Allen Show,” and “The Arthur Murray Dance Party,” among other titles and a short stint for “Search for Tomorrow.”

Hodges was chosen to play the role of Gabrielle Bertin in “No Strings” and has worked in every phase of show business including Broadway, off-Broadway, radio, TV, dinner theater, industrial shows, summer stock, revues, night clubs, advertising, commercials and movies.

Hubbard graduated from EHS in 1966. He has been engaged in space-related research as well as program, project and executive management for more than 35 years including 20 years with NASA, culminating as director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. Hubbard currently chairs the SpaceX Commercial Crew Safety Advisory Panel and served as NASA’s first Mars Program Director.

He successfully restructured the entire Mars program in the wake of mission failures. Hubbard is the founder of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission with its airbag landing and was the manager for NASA’s Lunar Prospector Mission.

 Kerrick is a 1935 graduate of EHS. After graduating from WKU in 1939, he taught in Missouri for 1.5 years and worked as a chemist in Ohio for one year. Kerrick returned to Elizabethtown in 1943 as a science teacher at EHS. Before the school year ended, he entered the U.S. Navy and served two years during World War II. Returning to EHS in 1946 as chemistry teacher for six years, Kerrick then became principal at the school for 20 years.

He then served the district as director of pupil personnel for seven years and as director of food services for another seven years before retiring in 1986 with more than 40 years of service. Kerrick died in 1994. During his career in education, he saw EHS grow from 210 students to more than 800 students.

 Maffet graduated from EHS in 1961. While a medical student, Maffet joined the Air Force in 1968 through the Senior Sponsorship Program and did his internship and residency in internal medicine at the ASAF Medical Center at Keesler, Mississippi. Following his residency, Maffet served as chief of Internal Medicine at the ASAF Medical Center at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois., chief of Hospital Services at the ASAF Hospital at Luke AFB, Arizona and was selected to be the internal medicine consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General in 1979.

In 1985, Maffet became commander of ASAF Regional Medical Center in Wiesbaden, Germany where under his command a rapid response medical team was established to respond to both natural disasters and terrorist activities resulting in mass casualties.

Maffet’s military decorations include the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the National Defense Medal with oak leaf cluster.

 Scott is a 1960 graduate of EHS. She joined the United States Army in 1980 and spent 24 years on active duty as an Army Nurse Corps Officer. Throughout her military career, she served in various roles of increased responsibility ending in her assignment at Deputy Commander for Nursing at Madigan Army Medical Center and Regional Chief Nurse Executive for the Western Regional Medical Command in Fort Lewis, Washington, covering the west coast from Alaska to California.

Her awards and decorations include Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Accommodation Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Army Legion of Merit. Scott currently works as director of clinical services at Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 West graduated from EHS in 1964. He has been writing books and contributing to Kentucky Monthly and Kentucky Living magazines, in addition to writing a syndicated newspaper column, “Out & About...Kentucky Style” for about 10 years. He served as executive director of the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation at WKU, where under his leadership the foundation became the first organization in WKU’s history to raise more than $1 million in one year.

He also was on the Hilltopper Basketball Broadcast team for 13 years. In 1993, he became executive director of the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau where he was directly involved with bringing the National Corvette Museum to the city.

Anna Taylor can be reached at 270-505-1747 or ataylor@thenewsenterprise.com.