Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation officials met Monday to announce their 13 inductees for the EVSC Hall of Fame class of 2022.
The last 13 candidates were among the numerous nominees and were selected by a jury. They will be honored on March 8, 2023 at the An Evening to Remember dinner sponsored by the EVSC Foundation.
The 13 initiates are:
- dr Jeffrey Balser MD, Ph.D., the dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is a graduate of Harrison High School. He received his engineering degree from Tulane University and completed both his MD and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. dr Balser also completed his residency and fellowship in cardiac anesthesiology and critical medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.
- Mr Anthony Calhoun, also known as AC, a native of Evansville and a graduate of Bosse High School, is an Emmy Award winner and The Indiana Sports Corporation’s prestigious Pathfinder Award recipient. He is the athletic director of a television sports team in Indiana and is the principal presenter at WISH-TV in Indianapolis. AC is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism.
- dr Iris Cooper, the co-founder of Glory Foods, Inc., the first minority-owned food product line in the United States. A graduate of Bosse High School, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and her MBA in Marketing from Indiana University, Bloomington. dr Cooper earned her DBA in Entrepreneurship from Walden University in 2016. She was a 2006 YWCA Woman of Achievement and a 2008 Woman of Economic and Leadership Development. dr Cooper also received the Champions of Diversity Amos Lynch Legacy Award and the Fanklin County Children’s Services Sharon Burkes Soar Award for her lobbying work in Central Ohio.
- Mrs Alisha Gaddis is an EMMY-winning, six-time EMMY-nominated actress and producer, two-time Latin GRAMMY Award winner and producer, best-selling author, wanderlust advocate based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Reitz High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Alisha’s acting talent cultivated at the EVSC has enabled her to reach children across the country and around the world.
- Mr Brian Hancock, Evansville Market President / EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants is a graduate of Bosse High School, born in 1985, received his Bachelor of Science from USI in 1990 and the Leadership Development Certification from ONB/Butler University in 2015. Brian was a past president and retired board member of the EVSC Foundation (the greatest moment during that tenure was the foundation’s directional growth as well as the merger of Hangers under the guise of the foundation), current board member of the Southwest Indiana YMCA, among others, and is an attorney for public education, EVSC as a company. Brian has a strong passion for mentoring youth in both religious and secular settings and always puts his family first.
- Mr Jeff Justice, President of Hafer, is a graduate of the Harrison High School Class of 1979 and received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Evansville. Jeff’s community service endeavors are extensive, including service on many charitable boards, volunteering, and monetary donations. Some of his charitable projects include Keep Evansville Beautiful – design of the Airport-US 41 Gateway Project, Ark Crisis Child Care Center – design of a new children’s playground and Freedom Heritage Museum – design of a new museum. Jeff is a 2012 Southwest Indiana Chamber Richard Schlottman Business Person of the Year and Leadership Evansville, Regional Impact Award recipient
- Mr. Michael (Mike) Madriaga, a graduate of North High School, earned degrees from Evansville College and Indiana University. During his 31-year career, Mike has served as a teacher, coach and curriculum supervisor. As administrator, he directed athletics, physical education, and driver education, and oversaw the sanctioning of football, softball, and swimming. As a four-sport athlete, Mike has received various honors including induction into the Indiana Sports, UE, and North High School Halls of Fame. After retiring from the EVSC, Mike Evansville served as Executive Director of Parks and Recreation
- Mrs. Sandra Madriaga, a graduate of Rex Mundi High School, earned degrees from Indiana State University and the University of Evansville and completed postgraduate studies in France and Japan. During her 40-year career, Sandra has worked as a French, English and ESL teacher, department head, curriculum director and director. Sandra founded the International Newcomer’s Academy to meet the academic needs of the EVSC’s growing immigrant population. The Madriaga ESL Scholarship was created in her honor. Mike and Sandra co-created and hosted the EVSC Newsletter, a weekly television show featuring EVSC students and staff. Together they serve on the board of directors of Teacher Locker, a free resource store for EVSC teachers.
- Mr Bruce Newman, a graduate of Central High School, received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Indiana University in 1975. Bruce was a writer for Sports Illustrated magazine for 20 years, followed by 5 years as a freelance writer for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. and then 16 years at the San Jose Mercury News, where he was the newspaper’s film critic for 8 years and general duties reporter and feature writer for 8 years. Bruce is the first recipient of the William R. Reed Award for Sporting Goods in student newspapers in the Big Ten (1973).
- Mr Niles Noblitt, a graduate of North High School and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, is best known in the international orthopedic world as the co-founder of BioMet, a company specializing in reconstructive products for orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, craniomaxillofacial surgery and surgical supplies . He is Chairman of the Board of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He helped establish Noblitt Scholars at Rose-Hulman so all students have the opportunity to attend his alma mater and pursue a STEM education. He was selected to become a member of the Indiana Academy, an organization that recognizes leaders in college circles. His leadership was key to a successful $250 million missionary campaign at Rose-Hulman, and Rose-Hulman has been ranked the number one undergraduate engineering college in the United States by US News & World Report for 24 consecutive years.
- Mr. James (Jim) SharpA graduate of Owensville High School and Austin Peay State University, served North High School throughout his career of over fifty years from 1958 to 1999 as a teacher, school counselor, vice principal and principal of students at North, Jim led the school to recognition as a Blue Ribbon School and has received individual awards such as District Principal of the Year and Indiana School Principal of the Year. Jim has served on numerous accrediting committees, the Indiana Association of School Principals, and established the Academic Hall of Fame at North High School. Jim set a good example and never asked anyone to do anything he couldn’t do himself.
- dr Terry Taber, PhD., Kodak’s Chief Technical Officer, is a graduate of the North High School Class of 1972 and the Purdue University Class of 1976 with a degree in Chemistry. This was followed by a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1980 and MS, General Management, MIT. In 2017 dr. Taber appointed President of Advanced Materials & 3D Printing Technology Division and Senior Vice President, Advanced Materials and Chemicals on March 5, 2020. dr Taber currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board of FIRST Rochester (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Cabinet of the Tocqueville Society of the Greater Rochester United Way. He is a trustee of Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary.
- dr Mell B. Welborn, Jr. MD, FACS, the medical director for performance improvement at the Deaconess Regional Trauma Center, is a 1955 graduate of Reitz High School who decided to become a doctor in 5th grade at West Heights Elementary School. dr Welborn, Jr. received his medical degree from Emory University in 1962, completed his internship and residency in general and thoracic surgery at Vanderbilt University in 1968, and completed a fellowship in cardiovascular surgery at St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1971 during his Fellowship, he served as a thoracic surgeon in the US Army Medical Brigade at the 22nd Phu Bai Surgical Hospital in the MASH Unit in Vietnam. He received the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Galantry, and the Bronze Star for his lifesaving service and heroic deeds.
According to the EVSC, the biennial Hall of Fame honors “distinguished individuals who exemplify excellence in life’s work and have made a positive impact on public education in the larger community,” while emphasizing the importance of community service and the inspiration of EVSC students seek excellence.
The 2023 dinner honoring the 13 candidates begins at 4:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Evansville.