We’ve watched Ruthanne Gordon tell us the latest news for many years and felt proud to tell others, “She’s a Decatur County woman.” Ruthanne has been in broadcasting 37 years, 30 of which she’s spent with WISH-TV in Indianapolis. Along the way, she has earned an Emmy nomination and was a regional award winner for United Press International.
Ruthanne, daughter of Bill and Trudy Gordon, graduated from North Decatur High School in 1972 and she remembers it as a very busy time.
“I was involved in a number of activities, which included choir, Sunshine Society and Quill and Scroll. I was Section Editor of the “Pacemaker” my senior year and Vice President of my senior class.”
That isn’t all either. She wanted to be a teacher so she was in Future Teachers of America for four years and District officer in the state organization her senior year.
And, aside from high school, she played the piano and organ at Springhill United Presbyterian Church during those years and was also involved in 4-H.
After high school, Ruthanne went to the University of Evansville. “My sophomore year was spent abroad at the University’s overseas campus in England which is called Harlaxton. While there, two other girls and I pooled our money and bought a car. We thought that would be a more economical way of travel both in England and on the Continent. It was, for the most part, until we got to Malaga, Spain, when the valves went out. Faced with a decision, I called home to get my father’s opinion. His words were, ‘I am not coming over there to fix that car! You can figure this out, I am sure.’ I guess I just needed to hear his voice which was always a voice of reassurance. We found a mechanic, negotiated a price and headed for England. At the end of the year, when it was time to return to the states, I sold that car to another North Decatur High School grad, who just happened to be stationed overseas in England at the time. His name was Jay DeMoss.”
She had always wanted to be a high school History teacher, but when she returned to the United States from England, she found there was a plentiful supply of teachers. “My inspiration for teaching came from Mr. Adrian Scripture, Mrs. Sally Crane and Ms Shirley O’Bryant. “
Her guidance counselors thought she might think about shifting her career into communications. “The change would mean extra classes in order to graduate on time. I jumped in and took as many courses as I could and even got a part time job at WNIN in Evansville as a technical director. My day started with classes that went from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. I would then jump into my car and head to the station to work a 4 until 11:30 p.m. shift. On Tuesday night’s after the 11:30 shift concluded at WNIN, I would head back to campus and proofread the school’s newspaper. I would then grab a nap and then a cup of coffee and head to class.” Even with that schedule, she was able to graduate on time and still made the Dean’s List. She says she knew her Mom and Dad were proud.
“My Television career started at WTHI in Terre Haute as a reporter and anchor. After 2 1/2 years in Terre Haute, I landed my next job in Dayton, Ohio as a reporter and anchor.”
While she was in Terre Haute she met Jeff Sullivan. “We were married in 1981 and I gave up the Dayton, Ohio, job because he was making more money in Indianapolis. After one month in Indianapolis, WISH called and she spent the next 33 plus years there.
Asked what is the most satisfying part of her job, she replied, It’s meeting people and sharing their stories with the public. We learn from people and in these stories we can connect people who need help, with others who can give it.”
Now Ruthanne is embarking on a new part of her career with FOX59/CBS4.
“I am senior planning manager for both stations. While I am planning stories and coverage of those stories, I am also helping out a number of reporters and anchors on a daily basis with ideas, contacts and directions. It is fun!”
She and Jeff have three children, Justin, Ryan and Caitlin and a daughter-in-law Krissy. They are all in their ‘20s.’
Justin is a kindergarten teacher in Decatur Township but he is also head coach for Women’s Soccer at Franklin College. He was just voted Coach of the Year in his division. He played soccer in high school and was a starter all four years of college at the University of Indianapolis. He has his Masters Degree in Education as well.
His wife Krissy is an elementary school teacher in Plainfield. She was just voted Teacher of the Year in that school district. She also played soccer at the University of Indianapolis and also has her Masters Degree in Education. She is the head coach for the Plainfield High School Girls Varsity Soccer Team. They are two busy people. They live in Indianapolis.
Ryan graduated from Franklin College in finance and was part of the senior business majors who ranked in the top 4 percent of 585 colleges in the Major Field Test in 2013. Ryan is currently in his second year of law school at Valparaiso Law School. Like his brother, Ryan also played soccer in high school and all four years at Franklin.
Caitlin is finishing up her undergrad at the University of Southern Indiana. She is studying web design, and public relations is currently interning at the Vanderburgh County School Corporation
While the kids were growing up, Ruthanne served as a Trustee for the Center for Agriculture, Science and Heritage which brought the Normandy Barn to the Indiana State Fairgrounds. She said, “Working with that group, reminded me just how fortunate I was to have grown up on a farm here in Indiana.”
She has also served on the Lawrence Township School Board Selection Committee and the Lawrence Township School Foundation. “I currently serve on the Board of Directors at the Fort Benjamin YMCA.”
She has been honored with numerous awards over the years from the Society of Professional Journalists, United Press International, Associated Press and an Emmy Nomination.
What does she do to relax? “The last few years I take the time to relax by working out at the Fort Benjamin YMCA where I have found a new group of friends! I really love my hour long spinning class.”
Success after success but she says that while the awards are nice, “The best award I acknowledge every day and that is that I came from a wonderful family in Decatur County. I had the privilege of growing up on a farm in a community that cares about one another.”
Contact: Pat Smith 812-663-3418 x 7011 or email@example.com