Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part article regarding the recent induction ceremony of Greensburg High School’s inaugural Hall of Fame class.
GREENSBURG — They are three distinct personalities; each has achieved great success after modest beginnings right here in Decatur County – two in the wider world and one here at home.
One graduated Greensburg Community High School in 1937, another in 1960 and one in 1976. They are the living members of Greensburg Community High School’s inaugural, five-member Hall of Fame class. On Friday night, all three were celebrated at the formal Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held in the GCHS gym between basketball games.
Both John Stewart (class of 1937) and Fred Craig (1960) appeared in person Friday night, while Nanci Hellmich (1976) planned to attend, but was unable to because of the weather. The Daily News was fortunate enough to speak to all three this week.
John Arthur Stewart
At 93, John Arthur Stewart is the oldest of the three inductees. When he started GCHS in 1933, he wanted to become a doctor. “That was back during the Great Depression, though,” he recalled. “There just wasn’t enough money for me to go to medical school.”
Instead, Stewart found himself nudged towards agriculture. He credited GCHS vocational agriculture teacher A.W. McCracken for turning him in that direction.
“Mr. McCracken told me that if I worked really hard, I could get a scholarship to Purdue,” Stewart said.
Stewart heeded his teacher’s advice and went on to graduate from Purdue with an Agriculture Degree.
While McCracken might have been one of Stewart’s biggest influences in choosing agriculture as a career, Stewart stressed that no single person can be credited for helping guide and shape his success.
“I give credit to my parents and siblings, too,” he said. “My entire family played a role in helping me succeed. Greensburg High School itself was a huge part of who I became, as was my community and my faith.”