Ron Wilson, Teacher of the Year
Ron Wilson has been named Beech Grove High School’s Teacher of the Year for 2015.
Born in Linton, Ind., Ron grew up next to the Linton High School football field, which was appropriate since he loved football. He had one brother and one sister.
He joined the Navy after graduating from Linton and served three tours of duty in the Korean War aboard a destroyer ship before meeting the love of his life, Joretta, while working at Crane Naval Base.
The couple were married June 4, 1955, and were blessed with two sons, Scott and Ron Jr.
Before entering the teaching profession, Ron, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Indiana University, considered himself a jack-of-all-trades since he held such jobs as a plumber’s apprentice and an appraiser before deciding that a position in education would better fulfill his love of children and coaching.
When the Wilsons settled in New Palestine in 1960 and Ron began teaching science at Beech Grove Junior High, where he coached basketball, track, wrestling and football. He also wrote curriculum programs for the math and science departments. He looked forward to seeing the projects that his students entered in the annual science fair and was a judge for many years at fairs hosted by several other schools.
Upon moving to the high school, he established a driver’s education program and bravely took a position as an instructor. One of his students shared that every class started with a stop at Smitty’s Bakery on Main Street. How sweet it was!
He coached the boys and girls varsity tennis team at the high school level and was named the recipient of the Beech Grove Lions Club’s inaugural Teacher of the Year award.
Mr. Wilson taught in Beech Grove Schools for 38 years. When he retired in 1998 as a science teacher, he gave Rande Clevenger his stash of three-ring binders, calendars and other miscellaneous items that he had hoarded away. Rande handed out these “Wilson gifts” to other teachers for years afterward.
After retiring, Ron continued teaching driver’s education at the Central Indiana Education Service Center for several years.
As a retired coach, he cheered and barked out instructions to his grandchildren at their Little League games.
Ron, 82, whose beloved wife has passed away, now lives in Greenfield. Books remain an important part of his life, even though many of his first editions are carefully stored away.
Life now, well, it’s good for him. “If you can read, you’ll never be bored, and I’m never bored,” said Ron, who will be honored June 13 during the Alunmi Association’s annual celebration dinner at Primo Banquet & Conference Center.
Dr. Ron Bowsher, Alumnus of the Year
Dr. Ron Bowsher, a member of Beech Grove High School’s Class of 1970, has been named the school’s Alumnus of the Year.
Ron served as treasurer of his senior class and was active in several clubs and sports. He and his future wife, Penny Pringle, were well-known “steadies” and were crowned king and queen of their senior prom, which was themed “The Age of Aquarius.” Their court featured Kathy Akers, Debbie Allen, Diane White, Debbie Fowler, Bill Dudley, Ted Leffler, Robin Reuter and Jon Fulbright.
Ron and Penny attended Indiana University and were married June 30, 1972. Their first daughter, Shanna, was born in 1973, followed by Lori in 1976 and Brock in 1978. All three graduated from Beech Grove. Shanna has three children and four stepchildren and is married to Brian Northrup. Lori, who formerly taught at Beech Grove Elementary, and her husband, Aleks Anne, have three children. Brock, the director of finance and operations at Avon Community Schools, and his wife, Casey, have three children. The family also includes three great-grandchildren.
While Penny stayed home to care for their children, Ron worked on his doctorate in psychology at IU.
Ron, who served on the Beech Grove Board of Education for 20 years, is employed as a senior research adviser for AIT Bioscience, where he provides scientific, operational and strategic leadership for the company’s LBA operation, including support for discovery research and regulated bioanalysis. As a partner in Bowsher Brunelle Smith and B2S Consulting, he plays a pivotal role in providing marketing leadership.
He still travels out of the country – often with Penny at his side – as a consultant two or three times a year.
Ron was previously the chief scientist of EMD Millipore Corp.’s BioPharma Services Division. He has held such titles as chief scientific officer, vice president and laboratory director of LINOC Diagnostics, senior research scientist, protein team group leader, technician and chemist of Eli Lilly and Co.
A fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and a consultant to many medical agencies, Ron has won numerous awards. He belongs to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapists, the Endocrine Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Sigma Pi. Ron has lectured before more than 50 organizations and has patented four items.
If all of Ron’s accomplishments were listed in this newsletter, it would have to be expanded by about 10 pages.
Ron, an author and an adjunct assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at IU School of Medicine, said he enjoys spending time with his close-knit family. “Family is our hobby.”
He will be honored June 13 during the Alumni Association’s annual celebration dinner at Primo Banquet & Conference Center.