Six to join SHS Wall of Fame

A physician who stayed in his hometown, a career Coast Guardsman who patrolled the nation’s waters, a basketball coach leading the women Hoosiers and an entrepreneur who provided jobs for thousands in his hometown are among six distinguished alumni recently selected to join the Seymour High School Wall of Fame.

The honorees were nominated by friends and family and then vetted and selected by the SHS Wall of Fame committee, which sought to recognize alumni for their contributions to the communities and professional fields. They will be inducted this summer.

Joining the ranks of earlier inductees, such as Dr. Joe Black, John Mellencamp and Sister Mary Luke Jones, are Dan Deputy, Class of 1970; Richard “Dick” Elmore, Class of ’55; John Hayden Emhuff, Class of ’54; Dr. Eric Fish, Class of ’92; Teri Moren, Class of ’87; and Teresa Wessel, Class of ’78.

“We are excited to again have such a good mix of graduates who went out into the world to do good things along with those who chose to return home and do good things here, too,” committee member Sonja Followell said.

Followell, a member of the Class of 1978, is serving on the Wall of Fame committee. She also is a member of the high school office staff.

The inductees will be invited to attend an Aug. 26 convocation with students and faculty. That evening, they will be officially inducted during a private dinner for family and friends and will be introduced during halftime of that night’s football game when the Owls take on Jeffersonville.

During the convocation, current students and inductees’ families will share time with those being inducted, including a question-and-answer session. Afterward, inductees will tour the school and visit with students in classrooms.

Roger Pardieck, Class of 1955, joined the Wall of Fame in 2018. He said this year’s inductees have much to look forward to come Aug. 26.

“I remember being impressed with it,” he said of the school tour and convocation. “There were so many new things about the school to learn about and to have all those students interested in what we had to say. I enjoyed going around to the classrooms. What was going on in the classrooms was just as meaningful as anything. The students asked good questions. I enjoyed being there.”

Assistant Principal Steve Bush said that feeling works both ways, as intended.

“We are really excited to introduce our students and staff to the Wall of Fame Class of 2022,” Bush said. “This group represents collective excellence at the local, state and national levels. Their accomplishments and successes after graduating from Seymour High School serve as a wonderful example of what our kids are capable of beyond their high school years.

“We have an expression we have been using at SHS that says, ‘Owls Will.’ As Owls, we have the heart, the drive and wherewithal to make an extraordinary impact. We expect all Owls to show the uncommon will it takes to succeed — in classrooms, the community, athletic fields, colleges, careers and more. It’s pretty incredible what a difference the will of an Owl can make.”

About the inductees

Dan Deputy retired from the U.S. Coast Guard as captain. He demonstrated leadership and patriotism throughout his 29-year career in the Coast Guard. He has held a variety of leadership positions and is highly decorated for his service to our country. He has been awarded 20 medals and 37 ribbons. In his retirement, he continues to serve in business development and Veteran Mentor networks, all the while never forgetting and always supporting his hometown of Seymour. Deputy organized and spearheaded a class gift alongside community leaders and the Community Foundation of Jackson County to donate new equipment to the Ag-Science and Research Farm at Freeman Field.

Richard “Dick” Elmore had a big impact on Seymour over the last 50-plus years, and his legacy continues. He graduated in 1955 from SHS and opened his tool and die shop, Excel Tool and Die, with Delbert Kilgas in 1967. Over the years, they worked with SHS in many school-to-work apprenticeships to help pass on valuable knowledge to students. They were in business for more than 50 years. He also served on many boards and committees and supported many organizations over the years, including the Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., chamber of commerce, Jackson County Industrial Development Corp., Rotary, American Mold Builders Association, United Way and many more. Elmore passed away in March 2019.

John Emhuff was a 1954 graduate of Shields High School. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Indiana University. He completed a 41-year career in education as a classroom teacher, for which he received teacher of the year honors. He continued his career as an administrator and pioneered the education landscape with his work with at-risk students by creating alternative education for students who might not otherwise graduate. As an administrator and assistant superintendent of Mount Vernon schools, his work culminated with the creation of the John H. Emhuff Alternative School, now called the Opportunity Center. He also was one of the first professors of the school of education at what is now called University of Southern Indiana, shaping the careers of future teachers. He died in February.

Dr. Eric Fish, a 1992 graduate, led the staff of Schneck Medical Center and the community through the COVID-19 pandemic with transparency and integrity. He became president and chief executive officer of Schneck in September 2020. He joined the hospital in 2005 and founded Schneck Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2006. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his residency at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. He obtained his Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. He is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He is a member of the Community Foundation of Jackson County board of directors and has been active with professional and local organizations, including Inspire Health Partners, SIHO Holdings Inc., Jackson County Industrial Development Corp. and the Boys and Girls Club. He was named among the 100 Hospital and Health System CMOs to Know in 2022 and one of 67 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review, a national publication.

Teri Moren’s list of sports accolades is extensive, including being named to the Indiana All-Star team and playing on the SHS girls basketball team that went to the Final Four in 1987, but her work as a college coach and as a philanthropist also shines. After a successful college career, she went on to serve as assistant coach and coach for many successful college teams, eventually landing at Indiana University as head coach for the women’s team. She was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016 and has led her team at IU to a 2018 WNIT championship. Her IU teams reached the Elite Eight in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and the Sweet Sixteen in the 2022 tournament. She stresses the academic success of her players and serves as a role model, focusing on the empowerment of young women and emphasizing the importance of equality. She hosts a fundraiser game each year to raise funds and bring awareness to ALS, a cause that is close to her heart. She also sponsors the Candy Stripe Crew each year, inviting those with developmental disabilities to attend a basketball clinic. This clinic is run by Moren and her staff and players and is offered free of charge. She is involved in fundraising and support for the Boys and Girls Club of Monroe County and supports the Humane Society of Monroe County. She was part of the inaugural class of inductees into the Seymour High School Athletics Hall of Fame in December 2017.

Teresa Wessel, a 1978 graduate of Seymour High School, graduated from the IU Kelley School of Business in 1982 and later pursued her Master of Business Administration. While employed at IBM for 26 years, she held numerous positions, from programmer to director of worldwide operations, hardware and software. She has more than 35 years of combined experience in business leadership roles in the nonprofit sector. She was recognized by Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett for her benevolence and understanding in implementing a day shelter, known as Horizon House, for the homeless. Horizon House has become the key strategic partner for the city of Indianapolis.

About the program

The Wall of Fame was created in 1996 by former SHS faculty members Gordon Reynolds, Betty Skelton, Rosemary Jenkinson and Jim McCormick as part of the school’s Renaissance program. It was initiated as a way for the school and community to come together to promote and recognize achievements of past graduates and to celebrate the mark they have made on the world, including here at home.

This year marks the 11th induction.

The most recent induction was 2018. Then, five alumni were honored: Bradley A. Ault, Class of ’79; Brian V. Hunterman, Class of ’73; Roger Pardieck, Class of ’55; Dr. David R. Stout, Class of ’69; and James T. Thompson, Class of ’40.

Inductees are nominated by friends, family or peers and are then selected by a committee of community leaders and teachers. To be eligible for the Wall of Fame, candidates must have graduated from Seymour High School 10 or more years ago and displayed contributions to their professional fields as well as philanthropic work.

Inductees will receive an award, and their picture, name and year of graduation will be engraved on the Wall of Fame, which is located in the school’s auditorium lobby.