WARREN CO., Ky. (WBKO) -- Saturday evening, 13 graduates of Warren County high schools were inducted into the Warren County Public Schools Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
They were chosen based on their accomplishments in business, medicine, education, athletics and more.
They celebrated the honor at a dinner with family and friends before being presented with their awards.
"All of the alumni that's come out of Warren County Schools -- so many people have done so many special things. Just to be considered would be a great honor. For me, this is honestly the highest achievement that I've reached in my life. I'm just very thankful, proud, blessed and glad my family could be here to be a part of this with me," said Tim Riley, one of those inducted.
The 2014 WCPS Hall of Distinguished Alumni class:
- Norah Lee Allen, a 1966 graduate of Warren County High School, has been a singer on the Grand Ole Opry stage for more than 25 years. Married to Duane Allen of the Oak Ridge Boys, she has performed all over the world and with many of the top names in the music industry.
- Dr. Jack Britt, a 1962 graduate of Warren County High School, has fashioned an impressive career in agriculture and education. He has conducted research that has contributed to advances in veterinary medicine. A past Vice President for Agriculture for the University of Tennessee, Dr. Britt has earned Outstanding Alumnus Awards from North Carolina State University and Western Kentucky University.
- Sam Bush, a 1970 graduate of Warren Central High School, is a legendary musician and one of the founders of the band Newgrass Revival. Highly esteemed by his peers in the music industry, Bush has earned three Grammy Awards and has been named Mandolin Player of the Year four times by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
- Floyd Ellis, a 1943 graduate of South Warren High School, excelled in business and politics and distinguished himself through his philanthropic activities before his death in 2009. Ellis spent 20 years as President and CEO of Warren Rural Electric Cooperative and also served on the board of directors for such organizations as Citizens First Bank and Commonwealth Health Corporation. A former chairman of the Warren County Democratic Party, Ellis served as a State Senator in the 1960s and as Warren County Property Valuation Administrator in the 1970s.
- Robert Henderson, a 1989 graduate of Warren Central High School, distinguished himself through his military service. A lieutenant in the National Guard, Henderson was killed in action while serving in Iraq in 2004. In recommending Henderson for this award, retired Army Major General Donald C. Storm described him in these words: "Rob possessed abundant natural skills as a soldier and leader ... He valiantly served his country with honor and distinction."
- Joe Meng, a 1941 graduate of Woodburn High School, excelled in agriculture, business, and community service for more than 50 years. A cattle farmer until 1998, Meng was named Outstanding Young Farmer of Warren County in 1955 and Outstanding Adult Farmer in 1971. He served as a Warren County magistrate and was a member of the Warren Rural Electric Cooperative board of directors for 40 years. A member of the Bowling Green Bank & Trust Board of directors from 1950 until 2004, Meng died in 2011.
- David Resch, a 1986 graduate of Warren East High School, has fashioned an impressive career in the military and in law enforcement. In January, he was named special agent in charge of the FBI's Little Rock Division. Before that appointment, he had served as chief of the Tactical Operations Section in the FBI's Operational Technology Division in Quantico, Virginia. Before joining the FBI in 1996, Resch served in the U.S. Army as an infantry lieutenant and a military intelligence captain.
- Tim Riley, a 1978 graduate of Warren East High School, is a distinguished and highly successful educator and coach. As boys' basketball coach at Warren Central High School, he guided the Dragons to eight Region 4 championships in a 10-year period. He led WCHS to a state championship in 2004 and a state runner-up finish in 2005. Inducted into the WCHS Athletic Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches Court of Honor, Riley is continuing his coaching career at Springfield (Tenn.) High School.
- Buster Stewart, a 1968 graduate of Warren County High School, is a highly successful entrepreneur. One of the founders of Stewart Richey Construction, Stewart has been instrumental in that company's growth and success. Stewart still serves as CEO of the company, which now has more than 300 employees and multiple subcontractors. Also renowned for his philanthropy, Stewart has been a leader in the Bowling Green/Warren County Jaycees and the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.
- Dr. Ryan Stokes, a 1995 graduate of Greenwood High School, has fashioned an outstanding career in the field of religious studies and is renowned as a Biblical scholar. Dr. Stokes has studied at Western Kentucky University, the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, and at Yale University. He earned his doctorate in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Yale in 2010. He is now an assistant professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Jacinda Thedders Townsend, a 1988 graduate of Warren Central High School, has distinguished herself in the fields of academia and literature. After graduating from WCHS at age 16 as a National Merit finalist, Townsend earned a bachelor?s degree at Harvard University, a law degree at Duke University, and a master?s degree at the University of Iowa. She was selected as a Fulbright Fellow and spent the 2001-02 school year working in the Ivory Coast in Africa. She has taught creative writing at Missouri State University, Southern Illinois University, and Indiana University. She is the author of the novel Saint Monkey and other works of short fiction.
- Roger Thomas, a 1968 graduate of North Warren High School, has a long history of success in dairy farming and in public service. A State Representative from 1996 until 2004, Thomas continues to play an influential role in Frankfort. He has been executive director of both the Governor?s Office of Agricultural Policy and the Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation. He was a key player in negotiating Kentucky?s share of the multi-billion-dollar Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement funds paid to states by the nation?s cigarette makers.
- Robert Young, a 1982 graduate of Warren East High School, has distinguished himself in the legal profession and in public service. A practicing attorney for more than 20 years, Young has developed an expertise in the area of medical malpractice while with the Bowling Green law firm of English Lucas Priest & Owsley. He has served on the board of directors of The Salvation Army of Bowling Green and also is involved with several committees with the American Bar Association.