The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

The student news site of Lancaster High School

Eye of the Gale

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Hall of Fame

LHS alumni honored for life achievements
2023-2024 Inductees show their new LHS Hall of Fame plaques that will be displayed in the high school.
2023-2024 Inductees show their new LHS Hall of Fame plaques that will be displayed in the high school.

Five alumni from Lancaster High School were recognized and awarded plaques for their life accomplishments in a presentation recently at LHS. These 2023 inductees include a Professor Emeritus of Music, an Olympic horse trainer, a naval officer on a nuclear fast attack submarine, a pioneer journalist, and a leader in services for the disabled.  The inductees spent two days visiting LHS for a tour of the high school, a presentation with LHS journalism students, a recognition at the Friday night football game, and a dinner and ceremony the following night.  The inductees are:

Stephen G. Jones, DMA – Class of 1966. Jones became a world-class musician and was recognized with various national and international awards. Jones who died a year ago, was represented by one of his former LHS classmates Rush Coen Rogers. In speaking about Jones, Coen said that his love of music was the basis for his life’s success.

Rush Coen Rogers.

“Everything for him started in Lancaster High School. He thought his goal was just music, but realized it’s more than the performance,” said Rogers.

¨To go from being a band kid, to a master performer and to come back to his own place and share his experiences would be full circle. It is terribly unfortunate he is not here to see this,¨ she said.

His performances abroad include concerts in Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Russia, China, Thailand, and Korea. Jones’ music was recorded on various recording labels and he wrote the book, Hymn Descants for Trumpet

Steve Ehrler – Class of 1972.  Ehrler was commissioned in 1976 as a US Naval officer and served aboard a nuclear fast attack submarine and spent 25 years as a civilian and executive with the Department of the Navy, managing and overseeing large research and production projects, including communications satellites and cryptologic systems. 

Steve Ehrler.

“It was phenomenally rewarding to work with the crew,” said Ehrler. 

“Everything around in the water is alive. Living down below in the submarine was the closest thing to actually living out in water, it felt so immersive,” he said.

Among his many lifetime accomplishments, Ehrler served as Technical Director for the $6.9 billion Navy-Marine Corp Intranet – the largest internal computer network in the world – for which he was personally recognized by the Secretary of the Navy with a Special Act Award in 2000.   Ehrler earned a B.S. in Computer and Information Science from Ohio State University and an M.S. in Management of Technology from MIT.  In addition, he continued to serve through volunteer activities such as teaching English as A Second Language and building homes with Habitat for Humanity.  Ehrler said that volunteering provides opportunities to help the community alleviate problems and find solutions.

“Volunteering and the things I find that are in need, make me feel good to contribute to the community. I love being involved because I learn things that I would otherwise not know about,” he said.

Kathy Wright Priest – Class of 1970. Priest has developed and trained many horses to the top level in dressage, winning national championships and competing in Europe. Kathy now coaches at the National and International Championships, including two Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016 and Tokyo, Japan, in 2020. In addition, participation in the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada; Lima, Peru; and the 2023 Central American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Priest said being inducted into the LHS Hall of Fame for her life’s work is significant.

Kathy Wright Priest.

“I am extremely honored and I feel blessed.  It means everything to me,” she said.

At home, Priest operates her family’s 400-acre Woodspring Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, which includes raising thoroughbred race horses and training more than twenty dressage horses for competition and sales. Dressage, also known as horse dancing, is challenging and time-consuming.

“It takes years to train a horse to dance to music. The animal has to understand what the trainer is asking for,” she said.

When it comes to finding success in their future careers, Priest offered this advice to LHS students.

“Make a career out of what you are passionate about.”

Patricia Lahrmer Ross – Class of 1957.  Ross was a pioneer woman in broadcast journalism. She was the first woman’s voice on the first 24-hours-a-day all-news station, WINS, in New York City, in 1966. Ross spent nearly a decade with ABC Radio News broadcasting news reports from London, England, Brussels, and Belgium. At the start of her career, the news industry was dominated by men but Ross said that didn’t intimidate her.

Patricia Lahrmer Ross.

“Venturing into the world of broadcast journalism where there were no women at the time was a risk. It was new, exciting, and different. I was a risk-taker and I still do things that frighten people,” said Ross.

Ross is credited with paving the way for and mentored many women who would create careers in radio and television in the 1970s and 1980s.  She offered this advice to anyone who has a passion for writing.

“What I’ve learned in all my years is that if you think something you’re working on is good, then you just know. Write what is speaking to you,” said Ross.

Her articles and essays have appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.  Incidentally, her writing career was born at LHS writing and editing The Purple and Gold, the school newspaper, now The Eye of the Gale.

Carol Morley Israel – Class of 1954.  Israel was recognized for the strides she helped make in the quality and equity of life for children and adults with disabilities. She was president of the ARC of Arizona, co-chaired the White House Conference for the Handicapped in Arizona; appointed by Governor Raul Castro as chair for the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council; served on the Governmental Affairs Committee for the ARC of the United States, and wrote the legislation which became law for Arizona special education. Israel established Raising Special Kids as a grass-roots effort of families, professionals, and community leaders determined to provide support, information, and training for parents of children with disabilities.  Israel was not present for the interview session with Eye of the Gale.

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