Source: The News-Enterprise
Elizabethtown Independent Schools will honor 10 of its distinguished alumni this month during the 2016 Tradition of Excellence Alumni Award Ceremony. Recipients of this year’s awards include Kevin Addington, Pat Durbin, Hardin Circuit Judge Ken Howard, Dr. Gary Inman, Dr. Tao Le, Dr. Danny Penick, Bob Swope, Carl Swope, Judge R.R. “Babe” Thomas and Arthur Meredith Walters. Thomas and Walters are posthumous honorees.
The annual ceremony is Sept. 24 at the Elizabethtown High School commons area. Doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the district’s Board of Education Central Office at 219 Helm Street in Elizabethtown or by calling 270-765-6146.
In addition to a ceremony Saturday evening, recipients are invited to ride in the homecoming parade Friday afternoon and also will be recognized Sept. 23 at halftime of the homecoming football game.
Addington graduated in 1979. He received an associate degree from Elizabethtown Community College and bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky. He opened Addington Transportation, Inc. in 1991 to service regional factories with commercial warehousing, transportation and production support. Since then, he has expanded into commercial property leasing, automotive service with Metro Auto Spa in Radcliff and is a founding member of Kentucky Neighborhood Bank.
Durbin is a class of 1955 graduate. After graduating from Eastern Kentucky University, Durbin taught health and physical education at Elizabethtown High School from 1963 to 1989. In 1974, she was elected to Elizabethtown City Council. She was elected mayor in 1989. She has served on many boards including First Citizens Bank, Louisville Community Board and the Elizabethtown Educational Foundation.
Howard graduated in 1973. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from UK and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Louisville School of Law. From 1980 to 1996, he was a partner in four law firms in Hardin County. In 1982, Judge Howard became the Senior Assistant Hardin County Attorney and held that position until he was elected Hardin County Attorney in 1989 and then Hardin Circuit Judge in 2007.
Inman graduated in 1968 and from U of L School of Dentistry in 1976. He completed a residency program in orthodontics in 1978 and has practiced orthodontics in Elizabethtown since. Inman was inducted into the EHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 for his time with the Panther football team. He played football at U of L on a full scholarship as quarterback and safety and was inducted into the U of L Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Le graduated in 1987 and from Centre College as co-valedictorian in 1991. He earned his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco. He trained in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and completed an allergy and immunology fellowship and a master’s degree in health sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He is section chief of allergy and immunology in the University of Louisville Department of Medicine where he pursues his interests in asthma and medical education research.
Penick is a class of 1972 graduate. He received his doctor of medicine from U of L’s School of Medicine in 1980. He completed internal medicine training at Tulane University and completed cardiology training at St. Louis University. He has been an assistant professor at Tulane and SLU, serving as Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at one of Tulane’s affiliated teaching hospitals, Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation Services at St. Louis University Hospital, and Director of the Outpatient Pacemaker Clinic at John Cochran V.A. Medical Center while at SLU. Dr. Penick presently is in private practice in Springfield, Missouri.
Bob Swope graduated in 1966. He received a Bachelor of Science in business from Miami University and followed his father and uncle into the car business, working for dealerships in Indianapolis and Bowling Green before returning home. He has operated Bob Swope Ford for 41 years and recently sold the business to his brother, Carl.
Carl Swope graduated in 1975 and from Indiana University with a degree in business administration. In 1986, he was given the opportunity to lead what today is known as the Swope Family of Dealerships, which consistently has earned the manufacturers’ most distinguished recognitions. Carl has served on the Chrysler and Toyota National Dealer Councils, including chairing Toyota’s council in 2012. He also serves as a director of the Kentucky Automobile Dealers Association. Most recently, he was nominated for the Time magazine, Dealer of the Year award and will represent Kentucky at the National Automobile Dealer Association convention in February 2017.
The late Thomas graduated in 1939. He entered the U.S. Navy for service in World War II, serving in New Guinea and the Philippines. He served more than three years and was discharged in February 1946. For the next 10 years, he partnered with his brother to operate Thomas Poultry and Egg Co. in Elizabethtown. In 1956, Thomas accepted the Director of Kentucky Veterans Agency position. Thomas was elected as Hardin County Clerk in 1961 and re-elected in 1965. In 1969, he was elected County Judge, the office title changing to Judge-Executive during his tenure, and served as Judge-Executive from 1970 to 1989.
The late Walters graduated from Bond-Washington High School in 1939. He is most recognized for his role as the Louisville Urban League’s executive director from 1970 to 1987. He joined the league in 1963 as director of job development and employment and from 1963 to 1987 worked in creating employment, housing and educational opportunities previously denied to minorities. He wrote a nationally recognized on-the-job-training program to assist under-skilled and under-privileged job seekers in finding employment. It became a model training program used throughout the national network of league affiliates. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Earning 100-plus honors, he was posthumously inducted as the 53rd honoree to the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians in 2012.