ANNA — The Anna Education Foundation honored retired Anna High School Principal Mike Bennett during its annual banquet, April 19, at the Shelby Oaks.
Bennett retired following a 24-year career as an English teacher and assistant principal at Troy High School and six years as the principal of Anna High School. He came to Anna in the 1996 and left in 2002, at which time he returned to active duty in the Army and remained there until he retired in 2008.
His Army career spanned 38 years, 11 months and 24 days (some on active duty and some in the Reserves). During his career, he saw duty in 19 foreign countries and served during three conflicts. He also completed three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan and retired from the Army with the rank of colonel. He and his wife, Pam, live in McCartyville.
The alumni speaker for the evening was Judi (Finkenbine) Fisher. Fisher graduated from Anna High School as valedictorian of the class of 1963. She furthered her education at Capital University, graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in education. After graduation, she taught in Papua, New Guinea, where she met her Australian husband, Rex.
Fisher has served her church in many capacities and has filled numerous voluntary positions. She has co-authored several books, including the awarded “A Place at the Table: Women at the Last Supper.” She regularly contributes to a national devotional quarterly, With Love to the World. She is currently writing family and community history.
The 2018 Adult McRill Leadership Award was presented to Dick Eshleman. He received this award for his 50 years of service as mayor, village council member and public servant. He was instrumental in bringing a modern waste water treatment plant to town. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the creation of the Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund has supported many local projects throughout the years. The 2018 Student McRill Leadership Award was given to Noah Rioch for his positive participation, leadership and overall contribution to Anna High School.
The following 2018 scholarship winners were awarded more than $62,000: Travis Meyer, son of Lisa and Phil Meyer, $8,000 Marvin Staley and $1,000 Dorothy Kohlmeyer scholarships; Abby Gaydosh, daughter of Tricia and Dave Gaydosh, and Ashley Landis, daughter of Amy and Mark Landis, each an $8,000 Donald Bensman Scholarship; Alex Rose, son of Michelle Rose and the late Greg Rose, $2,500 Carl and Delores Bartenstein, $2,000 Julie Richey and $1,000 Amy Zorn scholarships.
Also Riley Osborn, daughter of Jennifer Schmidt and Tony Osborn, $1,500 Carl and Delores Bartenstein and $500 Ehemann Family scholarships; Emma Freytag, daughter of Troyann and Kurt Freytag, and Mackenzie Scully, daughter of Tracy and Chad Scully, each a $2,500 Lloyd and Bertha Harshbarger Scholarship; Zach White, son of Laura and Joe White, $2,500 AEF and $1,000 Anna Civic Association scholarships.
Also Derek Coverstone, son of Vonda and Chris Coverstone, Nicholas Nowlin, son of Melissa and John Nowlin, Savanna Manger, daughter of Rita and Kurt Manger, Logan Cathcart, son of Tina and Scott Cathcart, Sarah Layman, daughter of Courtney Witt and Marc Layman and Carly Becker, daughter of Amy and Jason Becker, each a $1,000 AEF Scholarship; Macey Huelskap, daughter of Tonya and Chad Huelskamp, $1,000 AEF and $1,000 Gene Egbert scholarships.
Also Rachel Shoemaker, daugher of Sherry and Bill Shoemaker, $1,000 Jason Banks and $1,000 Anna Civic Association scholarships; Noah Rioch, son of Julie and Bryan Rioch, $1,000 Berner Schoalrship; Ben Wical, son of Belinda and Dale Wical, $2,000 Julie Richey Scholarship; Emily Albers, daughter of Sarah and Mike Albers, $1,000 Bill and Bonnie Elsass Scholarship; alexa Wuebker, daughter of Treva and Dan Wuebker, $1,000 Fred and Joyce Wells Scholarship.
Also Kajalpreet Kaur, daughter of Gurdip Singh, $3,000 Joyce Ailes Memorial Scholarship; Alex Bertke, son of Tracy and Todd Bertke, $2,000 Glessner Scholarship; Gracen Rogers, daughter of Gina and Ryan Rogers, $1,000 Excel Scholarship.