Three Seymour High School graduates have earned a place among distinguished alumni and will be inducted into the school’s Wall of Fame this week.

One is a retired ophthalmologist who helped advance eye care locally and across the state through innovative techniques and procedures.

Another is a U.S. Navy captain who is responsible for staffing, training and equipping a submarine squadron to deploy and support U.S. military operations around the globe.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

The third is a woman who has made an impact in health care services in Indiana and currently serves as CEO of a nonprofit organization, where she led a campaign to raise more than $2 million to help patients battling cancer.

Dr. Joseph W. Conner, Capt. Paul S. Snodgrass and Joyce Stout Irwin will take part in events welcoming them back home and recognizing and honoring their achievements.

A dinner will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the high school cafeteria for family and friends. They will participate in a convocation in the auditorium at 10:30 a.m. Friday, where they will have the opportunity to speak to students. Then the three will be recognized publicly during Friday’s homecoming football game.

To be considered a candidate for Wall of Fame honors, nominees must have graduated at least 10 years ago, have been recognized by their peers as highly successful in their chosen career field and have received district, state, national or international commendations or awards for their contributions.

A committee of teachers and community members evaluate the nominations and choose the honorees.

It’s been four years since the previous induction ceremony, when six alumni were honored. A total of eight classes have been inducted since 1996.

Notable Wall of Famers include musician John Mellencamp; former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill, who is now running for the U.S. Senate; retired Bridgestone of Americas CEO Mark Emkes; and physician Dr. Joseph Black.

Aaron Floyd, dean of students and adviser of the school’s Renaissance program, has handled the induction process.

“Seymour High School, formerly Shields High School, has a long, proud heritage,” Floyd said. “Many of our graduates have led extremely successful and rewarding professional careers.”

The Wall of Fame not only recognizes the accomplishments of former students but gives current students role models. It was started by former high school librarian Betty Skelton and assistant principal Rosemary Jenkinson, both of whom are now deceased, and retired principal Jim McCormick.

“This is to encourage our students today to set high expectations and goals for their own education and careers,” Floyd said. “The Wall of Fame was dedicated to serve as a constant reminder of our graduates’ potential.”

Past inductees’ photos and information are displayed on a large plaque in the lobby outside the auditorium.

Seymour High School Wall of Fame 2015

Dr. Joseph W. ConnerA 1973 graduate, Conner graduated from the IU School of Medicine and completed his residency there. He performed the first triple eye procedure, consisting of cataract extraction, intraocular lens implantation and corneal transplant, ever done at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.He was a pioneer in the field of ophthalmology in Indiana, being one of the first doctors in the state to perform multifocal implants, no-stitch cataract surgery and cataract surgery under topical anesthetic instead of intravenous sedation, which have now become common ways to treat cataracts.

By bringing his expertise and services back to Seymour, he increased safety and convenience for those patients in need of such surgical procedures.

He also offered in-office laser treatment for eye disease and imaging of eye pathology and a full range of medical and surgical treatment of the eyes, which allowed patients to stay in Seymour instead of having to seek services elsewhere.

Conner joined the staff at Schneck Medical Center in 1988 and for seven years served as chief of staff. Although he retired in 2014, he still serves in an advisory position at the hospital.

He remains a member of the American Medical Association, Indiana Academy of Ophthalmology and American Academy of Ophthalmology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

He and his business partner, Dr. Thomas E. Smith, developed and built Conner-Smith Eye Center on West Tipton Street in 1998, which helped revitalize that area of Seymour.

Capt. Paul S. Snodgrass

Paul Snodgrass has always excelled in everything, his sister, Pamela Snodgrass Hudson, said in nominating him for the Wall of Fame.

“Since he was a young student at St. Ambrose Catholic School to present day as a captain in the U.S. Navy, he has been and continues to be very humble in his accomplishments,” she said. “I’m so proud to call him my brother.”

After graduating from Seymour in 1985, Snodgrass went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1989 and completed Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. That accomplishment was followed by nuclear propulsion training and the completion of a submarine officer basic course.

He holds advanced degrees in strategic studies from the Naval War College and engineering management from Old Dominion University.

From 2008 to 2010, Snodgrass commanded the USS Boise, a Los Angeles-class submarine. During that time, the sub deployed to the Sixth Fleet and was awarded a Meritorious Unit Commendation, according to his Navy biography.

He previously served as senior member of the tactical readiness evaluation team for the commander of Submarine Forces Atlantic. In that job, he certified submarine crews for combat operations.

Snodgrass served his junior officer tour aboard the USS Batfish, where he completed a Mediterranean deployment. He also was an engineer of the USS Newport News and served as executive officer of the USS Maine.

In all, Snodgrass has served on seven submarines including a western Pacific deployment in Guam aboard the USS Frank Cable. He is a member of the American Society for Engineering Management and the Project Management Institute.

Joyce Stout Irwin

Irwin, who graduated in 1973, was nominated by her brother, Dr. David Stout, who said her success comes from hard work, the desire to help others and her family.

“Many persons achieve fame and notoriety in life by accomplishing something great or by doing something that is the result of natural talent,” Stout said. “In my opinion, Joyce’s accomplishments have been the result of hard work and a passion to improve the lives of her fellow man.”

Stout said their parents instilled in them the importance of God, family and education.

“Because of their commitment to higher education, they made it possible for all of their children to achieve bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees,” Stout said. “I believe that mentioning her past is vital, as it is what has shaped who she is and what she has accomplished.”

Irwin serves as CEO of Community Health Network Foundation. Before that, she worked for large international companies, including Roche Diagnostics and Eli Lilly and Co. She served as the national director of state government affairs, federal policy issues and strategic marketing relating to the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act.

Her career has included other senior-level health care positions where she worked in managed care organizations, large multispecialty physician groups and large integrated hospital systems.

Irwin also has committed herself to helping others. She has served as a volunteer for many organizations, including the Indy Chamber, Employ Indy Board of Directors, the American Heart Association, Women in Government, the Lugar Series for Public Service, Marion County Health and Hospital Corp., Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Crossroads Rehabilitation and Fairbanks Hospital.

She has been the recipient of the state Torchbearer Lifetime Achievement Award for the impact she has made for women in Indiana and the Sagamore of the Wabash. Nationally, she received the Outstanding National Volunteer Award, presented by former President George W. Bush.

“Joyce has honored her community and her high school, where she got her start both socially and educationally,” Stout said.

No posts to display