Dennis C. Blind

Denny graduated with distinction from Purdue University in 1955 and received a Master's degree in 1959 in educational administration. He completed additional administrative graduate studies at Purdue and Butler Universities. He spent forty-two years in public education as a teacher, coach, and administrator. He taught and coached in Battle Creek, Michigan; Attica, Warsaw and Shelbyville, Indiana. He spent four years as an administrator in Shelbyville. He served 27 years as administrator in the Lafayette School Corporation, the last eighteen as principal of Jefferson High School.

Blind participated in basketball and baseball while attending Jefferson High School and Purdue University. In high school, he was selected to the Indiana All-Star Basketball Team. He also holds the distinction of being the first 1000 point scorer in Purdue basketball history. In his junior and senior years at Purdue, he was named to the Small All-American Basketball Team for players under 6 feet tall. Upon graduation, he was the recipient of the Big Ten Award for Scholarship and Athletic Prowess. In 1976, he was named to the Indiana Silver Anniversary basketball team, and in March 1992 he was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Under Blind's leadership as principal, Jefferson High School was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1985 and 1983. In 1993, Jefferson High School was one of only thirty schools to have received this distinction twice. In 1991, he was named Indiana Secondary Principal of the Year. Upon his retirement in 1997, he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Governor Frank O'Bannon.

Through the years, Blind has been involved in a variety of community groups and activities. He has served as a board member for the Lynn Treece Boys' Club, United Way, Family Services, St. Elizabeth Hospital Board, and as chairman of the Public Service division for the United Way campaign. In addition, he has been active in a number of professional educational organizations throughout the state of Indiana.

Since his retirement, Denny continues to be active in education by conducting beginning teacher workshops in effective instruction. As an educator he maintains a simple philosophy-"do what is right" and "always do what is best for the student."

Billie J. Holmes

After graduating from Jefferson High School, Holmes was in the United States Army Air Corps tram 1942-1945. He was a Bomber Pilot- B24 Liberator and a member of the 93rd Bomber Group, 330th Bomber Squadron. He flew 35 missions over Germany during World War II. He was a member of the Indiana National Guard from 1945 - 1976 and attained the rank of Colonel prior to his retirement in 1976.

Holmes graduated from Purdue University in 1949 with a degree in education. He earned his Masters Degree from Purdue University in 1955. From 1949-1969 he was a coach, teacher, principal and superintendent.

Holmes has been involved in veterans' affairs at the national, state, district and county levels his entire life. He has served as a Deputy Director of Selective Service - Indiana; as Director of Guardianship Division for the Veterans' Administration Regional Office - Indianapolis, Indiana. He has also served as Deputy Director of Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs, retiring in 1988 to become State Commander of the American Legion; from 1989 to 1998 he served as the Hendricks County Veterans' Affairs Service Officer.

In addition to serving his country honorably during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, Holmes has been involved in state and community activities. He has volunteered his time with the American Legion, the Disabled Veterans of America, the Red Cross, Lions Club, the USO, and the Masonic Lodge.

Dr. Sally Downham Miller

Dr. Sally Downham Miller received her bachelor's degree from Purdue University. Dr. Miller began a thirty year career in public education. She completed graduate work at the University of Massachusetts and earned a Ph.D. at Purdue. She has been a teacher, Director of Special Education, and building principal. She has served in the Department of Education for the states of Massachusetts and New Jersey, on the graduate faculties at Regent University in Virginia and Cleveland State University and as an adjunct faculty member at City College of New York. She helped develop the monitoring procedures for the Massachusetts Department of Special Education and the staff development for the Holocaust Studies curriculum for the state of New Jersey.

Dr. Miller has become best known as a nationally recognized expert on grief and loss. She has published the popular books Mourning & Dancing and Mourning & Dancing for Schools. She has appeared often in the national media and regularly consults with and speaks to groups across the country.

Charles R. Vaughan

In 1948, Vaughan was a starting forward on the Jefferson High School state championship basketball team. He was also voted the most valuable track man.

Vaughan graduated with a business degree from Indiana University in 1952 and was a member of the Indiana University basketball team in 1949 and 1950. After serving two years in the Army, Vaughan attended Valparaiso University and received a law degree in 1957. He was chosen as the 1989 Distinguished Alumnus of Valparaiso University.

Vaughan began practicing law with his father, a renowned trial lawyer. Vaughan served as Tippecanoe County Attorney in 1965 and was the Area Plan Commission's first attorney. He was President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association in 1966. A veteran of over 200 civil jury trials, Vaughan is best known for his successful representation of Ryan White, a Kokomo teen barred from attending school because he had contracted AIDS. That trial set a national precedent to prevent discrimination against persons with AIDS. The trial was the subject of a TV movie. In 1987, Vaughan was chosen one of only ten lawyers to receive the Lifetime Achievement A ward of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. He is consistently listed in the Best Lawyers in America.

For many years Vaughan raised and trained Arabian horses for reining. His horse Tykosha won the Arabian National Title of the U.S. and Canada. For the past twenty years he has bred and shown quarter horses. The last two years his horses have won the Reining Futurity at the Quarter Horse Congress.

Jewell Young

After graduating from Jefferson High School, Young attended Purdue. While at Purdue he lettered in basketball in 1936, 1937 and 1938. He also lettered in baseball in 1936. He was Purdue's scoring leader in 1937 and 1938. In 1938 he established a Big Ten scoring record of 184 points and was voted Most Outstanding Big Ten Athlete. Young led Purdue to Big Ten Basketball Championships in 1936 and 1938. Young is the only former. Jefferson High School student and basketball player to be selected to an All-American Basketball Team. Young was selected to Purdue's Centennial All-Time Men's Basketball Team in 1997.

Upon graduation from Purdue University in 1938, Young accepted an assistant coaching position as Southport High School in Indianapolis. At the same time he played professional ball for six years. His career at Southport was interrupted when he entered the Navy as an Ensign in 1943. After his discharge in 1946 as a Lt. Jr. Grade, Young was made head basketball coach at Southport High School. In 1998 he was inducted into the Southport High School Wall of Fame.

Young's additional honors include his induction into the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame and into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.