Archived Story

EPS Hall of Fame nominees named

Published 1:35pm Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Edwardsburg Public Schools has announced the 2009-10 inductees for the EPS Hall of Fame.

Nominations were solicited in the spring of 2009. The categories for nomination were Student Activities, Former Staff Member, Special Award and Lifetime Award. A nominating committee reviewed the entries to assure that criteria were met, and then forwarded their validation to a Selection Committee. The nominees were then notified of their selection into the Hall of Fame. An induction dinner will be held in April to recognize those who have given so much to Edwardsburg Public Schools and their community.

Hall of Fame categories
• Student Activities Award: An Edwardsburg graduate who performed with excellence in academics and/or co-curricular activities and has been out of school for at least ten years.

Former Staff Member: A nominee who has left employment with Edwardsburg Public Schools for at least two years and who has distinguished him/herself by demonstrating exceptional leadership, character and achievement.

• Lifetime Award: Those alumni of the district who have been out of school for at least 40 years and whose lives have demonstrated character and distinction reflecting honorably upon the district and its heritage.

• Special Award: Those alumni, faculty, staff or friends of Edwardsburg Public Schools whose actions and/or achievements may not be categorized in any of the above, but are deserving of such recognition and honor. These awards may be made for humanitarian actions, special contributions or other causes as may be determined by the nominating committee and approved by the selection committee.

• Terry Gizzi has been selected as an inductee of the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame under the Former Staff Member category.

Upon graduation in 1961 from Wayne Memorial High School, Gizzi went on to Western Michigan University and received his bachelor of science degree in 1965.

Gizzi’s teaching career started at Cassopolis Public Schools (1967-1972), where he also coached cross-country and track. He came to Edwardsburg Public Schools in 1974 and stayed until his retirement in 2000. His career in Edwardsburg touched virtually every student who graduated as he spun his magic on the subjects of American government, psychology, world geography, world history, current events and his favorite, law (civil and criminal). He continued his coaching career at Edwardsburg, coaching volleyball for one year, golf for two years and track for 27 years.

Gizzi and his wife, Kerry, have three children: Troy, Todd and Tracy.

• Birdella Ann (Carpenter) Holdread has been selected as an inductee into the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame under the category of Lifetime Award.

She is married to Dennis Holdread and they have two children, Jennifer Wyant (Alan) and Mark (Stacy) who have blessed them with four grandchildren, Caitlin and Connor Wyant and twins Elizabeth and Logan Holdread.

Holdread was a member of the Edwardsburg High School class of 1965, the first class to attend kindergarten at the former “Chicago Road school” and then moved to the “new” Edwardsburg Elementary in 1953. She has spent the majority of her working life with the local State Farm office, currently as office manager and licensed staff member.

Public service has been a way of life for Holdread, who has served on the Edwardsburg Public School Board of Education for 27 years, and has received the Michigan Association of School Board Awards of Certified Board Member, Award of Merit, Award of Distinction and Master Board Member. She also sits as a director of the Edwardsburg Public Schools Foundation. You could find her volunteering in numerous charitable organizations and events, serving as president and vice president of the PTO, as a Girl Scout leader, American Cancer Neighborhood chairperson, an active member of the Hope United Methodist Church, a Sunday school teacher and youth group leader.

• Thomas A. Schenk has been selected as an inductee to the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame under the Lifetime Award criteria.

He distinguished himself throughout his career at Edwardsburg, being named Male Citizen of the Year at the junior high school in 1964 and graduating third in his class in 1968.
He received a congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree, with a major in physics, in 1972.

He graduated in May 1983 with a master of divinity degree and began his ministry career. In 1986, Schenk rejoined the Air Force as reserve chaplain. He was among the first reserve chaplains called to active duty following the Sept. 11 attacks and ministered to the first airmen deployed to Afghanistan. He volunteered for 20 months of active duty supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle. He retired from the Air Force on July 1, 2008.

Schenk and Diane have been married 35 years and have three sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.

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