Elizabethtown Independent Schools is honoring eight of its distinguished alumni this month during the 2019 Tradition of Excellence Alumni Award ceremony.
Recipients of this year’s awards are Bradley Bale, John Willmoth, Brenda Skillman, David Kerrick, Harrison Evans Jr., Ann Duggins Schell, Linda Ramsey and Kirk Jenkins.
The annual ceremony is at 5 p.m. Oct. 19 at The State Theater in Elizabethtown. Tickets for the dinner and ceremony cost $15 each and can be purchased at the EIS Central Office at 219 Helm St. or by calling 270-765-6146.
In addition to the ceremony, recipients have been invited to tour Elizabethtown High School and attend the pep rally with students at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in Charlie Rawlings Memorial Gymnasium.
They are honored as grand marshals of the school’s annual homecoming parade, which begins at 4 p.m. They also are being recognized at halftime of the football game that evening.
EIS provided biographical information about each honoree.
• Bale, M.D., graduated in 1966. He is a clinical associate professor at WSU College of Medicine, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, adjunct professor at Texas Tech Health Science Center and runs a private practice in Gallatin, Tennessee.
Bale is one of the nation’s leading specialists in preventing heart attacks, stroke and diabetes. Since 2001, he’s given numerous presentations to medical and dental groups internationally.
• Willmoth graduated in 1982. He began his career at First Chicago, where he gained exposure to corporate finance, venture capital and private equity. He joined Nextel Communications as one of its earliest employees and became a key member of Nextel’s management team over a 17-year career that included the company’s initial public offering and culminating merger with Sprint.
In 2006, Willmoth moved back to Kentucky to continue his career in venture capital. Willmoth served as a Venture Partner with Chrysalis Ventures for more than a decade and in February 2019, he founded Poplar Ventures L.P., a dedicated venture capital fund investing in software technology companies.
• Skillman graduated in 1968. She went on to attend the all-black Bond-Washington School. In 1972, she was one of the first two black students to graduate from the College of Allied Health Professions of the University of Kentucky. Skillman retired after 45 years as a medical technologist (ASCP) at Hardin Memorial Hospital. She was the first black employee in the hospital laboratory.
She now is a volunteer with the Hardin County Detention Center Jail Ministry, Prison Fellowship Ministries, the Bill Glass Evangelistic Association and the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Skillman is the prison ministry unit leader for the Baptist Women’s Missionary Convention of Kentucky.
• Kerrick graduated in 1972. He was commissioned a U.S. Marine Corps second lieutenant upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1976 and was designated a naval aviator in 1978. For the next several years, he was assigned to various Marine helicopter squadrons on the east coast and in Hawaii, completing numerous deployments in support of U.S. military operations overseas.
Also, during this time, he served as a Forward Air Controller with the 2nd Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company. Kerrick is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, U.S. Army Airborne School and the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, the Marine Corps’ equivalent of Top Gun.
• Evans graduated in 1955. He was class valedictorian and recipient of the Andrew Clay Johnson Jr. Most Outstanding Student Athlete-Academic Honors Award for Excellence. Evans attended the University of Kentucky, achieving Kentucky Certification No. 5492 of Registered Professional Engineers in the branch of Highway Engineering and No. 300 Registered Land Surveyors.
He also held a Mississippi State Professional Engineer and Land Surveyors Certification No. 10524. Evans obtained a B.S. in business administration from Spalding University and a Master of Public Affairs from Kentucky State University and the Public Affairs Distinguished Student Award with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
• Schell graduated in 1960. She was a cheerleader and active in other school organizations including the Beta Club. She went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky. After undergrad she worked as a market researcher for Procter and Gamble and taught high school English in Cincinnati and then Louisville, where she resides.
In 1972, she graduated from the University of Louisville Law School and subsequently obtained a Master of Law (in Taxation) degree from NYU Law School. Schell continues in the private practice of law, where she represents clients in estate planning and probate. She has facilitated client donations of millions of dollars to charitable organizations, including Best Scholarships to Elizabethtown High School.
• Ramsey, M.D., graduated in 1970. She entered Murray State University, where she finished her Bachelor of Science degree in 1974 with a double major in chemistry and biology. She then entered Murray State’s graduate program in chemistry and completed her master’s degree in 1978 during an internship at the Kentucky Council of Higher Education.
She entered the University of Kentucky Medical School in the fall of 1980 and upon graduation in 1984, began a three-year residency in family medicine at a community-based hospital program in Evansville, Indiana.
During her second year, she became drawn to aspecialty of obstetrics and subsequently transferred to a second residency program in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Missouri. She then went to Evansville, where she had been given an offer to join a private group practice in obstetrics and gynecology.
• Jenkins graduated in 1979. He belongs to a family that has been in Elizabethtown for nine generations. At EHS, he was president of the student council. Following graduation, Kirk attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, graduating with honors from both. He currently is senior partner in the San Francisco office of Horvitz & Levy, a leading California appellate law firm.