Alumni inducted into hall of fame

GREENFIELD — Last weekend, the Greenfield Central School Foundation welcomed seven new members to its alumni hall of fame.

They represent professionals from across the country who foundation officials say have made a difference in their communities and represented Greenfield schools well along the way.

The hall of fame was created in 2013 in honor of the foundation’s 25th anniversary.

Each year, the hall of fame recognizes graduates of Greenfield schools who have gone on to do outstanding work in their career fields and communities.

Retta Livengood, Greenfield-Central School Board president, said the hall of fame honorees paved the way for current students in Greenfield schools.

“It’s wonderful that the foundation has taken this opportunity to recognize those folks,” Livengood said. “Those of us who are alumni appreciate where we came from.”

Here’s a look at this year’s honorees and the year they graduated:

Walter P. Worland, 1942:

Months shy of receiving his high school diploma, Walter P. Worland left Greenfield in 1942 to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He returned to Greenfield years later, where he’s remained since.

Worland, 92, has served his community in several capacities, both professional and personal. He was a member of the city council for 12 years, served as a member of the county’s first planning commission and established several scholarships through the Hancock County Community Foundation.

John E. Moenning, 1975

During the past 25 years, John E. Moenning has helped build a private dental practice with more than 100 employees at 11 locations across the Indianapolis area. In that time, he’s developed four patents and helped develop devices that are used in hospitals all over the country.

Aside from his local work, Moenning has traveled to Ecuador to deliver free dental service to needy patients and mentor several dental students.

Wayne Addison, 1977

Shortly after graduating from Greenfield-Central High School in 1977, Wayne Addison was appointed as Hancock County’s chief probation officer, a position he’s held since.

Addison also served as a reserve deputy for the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department for 20 years. Outside of his work in the criminal justice field, Addison works as an auctioneer and has conducted dozens of charity auctions over the years, benefiting local organizations such as the Rotary Club of Greenfield, Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen and Relay for Life.

Jerry Rogers, 1977

Jerry Rogers has established a reputation nationally for his work as an insurance agent, but locally, he’s also gained a reputation as a generous donor to several charitable causes.

Rogers has served as a leader to several local organizations, including the Rotary Club of Greenfield, Hancock County Boys and Girls Clubs and the Greenfield Youth Baseball Association.

During the past 22 years, Rogers has also served as a coach for several youth sports leagues.

Brian Samuels, 1993

Since leaving Greenfield to study medical science, Brian Samuels has worked to develop new treatment options for individuals suffering from eye diseases.

Recently, he joined a team of researchers for NASA to investigate the problems astronauts experience with their eyesight while in space for an extended period of time.

Samuels works as a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he mentors students.

Josh Bleill, 1995

In 2006, when serving as a U.S. Marine in Iraq, Josh Bleill lost both of his legs in an explosion. Upon returning to the U.S., he found solace by sharing his story and inspiring others.

Today, he works as the community spokesman for the Indianapolis Colts, where he travels around the country, delivering more than 300 speeches a year and encouraging audiences to confront their challenges.

In his free time, Josh volunteers with the Semper Fi Fund, providing financial and emotional support to wounded members of the military.

R.J. Bodkin, 1995

Shortly after leaving Greenfield, R.J. Bodkin was hired by NASA to design a vehicle capable of landing on and exploring other planets. He’s also currently designing components for a spacecraft that could be sent to Mars.

Bodkin has shared his stories with Greenfield-Central elementary school students, seeking to inspire others to pursue the same path as him.

SHARE
Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or nsteele@greenfieldreporter.com.