LPHS inducts newest members to Slicer Hall of Fame
LPHS inducted six new members in the Slicer Hall of Fame at the Learn Today to Excel Tomorrow Banquet on Thursday, April 11th. The 6 inductees are Doug Carter, John Haferkamp, Zach Kukla, Elizabeth Hay, Timothy Gropp, and Walter Brath.
Carter was born and raised in La Porte, Indiana. After graduating from LaPorte High School in 1980, he went on to attend Ball State University and was later accepted into the 42nd Indiana State Police Recruit School in July 1984. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with an emphasis on Management, Leadership and Organizational Structure from Indiana Wesleyan University. Superintendent Carter served 18 years with the Indiana State Police from November 1984 until December 2002 and was assigned to the Pendleton State Police District while serving Hamilton County.
Haferkamp is a 1991 graduate of LaPorte High School. John’s interest in journalism began at LaPorte High School while being active for multiple years in the radio/TV program. Legendary Baseball Coach Ken Schreiber called him the “Golden Voice” as Haferkamp was the Public Address announcer for Schreiber Field during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Haferkamp went on to Ball State University and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Telecommunication/Journalism. His professional career at WSBT- TV in South Bend, Indiana started two weeks after graduation with a job as a news producer. During the more than 20 years at WSBT, John has most enjoyed the ability to seek the Truth in journalism and to tell amazing stories about the great people who live in our communities.
Kukla is a 2010 graduate of LaPorte High School. He was active in the LPHS Wind Ensemble, winter colorguard, and marching band. Kukla became a member of the Cavalier Drum and Bugle Corps in 2008. In 2010, he was one of youngest members of the world champion colorguard, the Pride of Cincinnati. He now choreographs for the Cavaliers. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts- Dance Performance from Butler University’s Jordan School of the Arts. In 2014, Kukla won Butler Universities Director’s Award for Outstanding Dancer. After moving to New York in 2014, he became a member of Ballet Hispanico Dos, under the direction of Eduardo Villaro. In 2014 he joined the cast of New York Opera’s Florencia en el Amazones. Zach is currently employed by the PeriDance Contemporary Dance Company in New York as a Dancer/ Company Member under the direction of Igal Perry.
Dr. Hay is a 2001 graduate of LaPorte High School. She holds a BA in Physics and Astronomy from Northwestern University, where she also participated on the rowing team. She received a Doctorate of Medicine from Indiana University in 2009. Dr. Hay then completed her medical residency at the University of Kentucky in 2014, becoming triple boarded in Pediatrics, Adult Psychiatry and Child Psychiatry. She is currently employed at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and also serves as the medical student director for Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend campus. Furthermore, Dr. Hay has traveled to Ecuador and India, serving on the Shoulder to Shoulder Pediatric Health Brigade Team, and she participated in an African Impact Medical Mission trip to Kenya. Dr. Hay has also been a volunteer for Girls On The Run. She recently participated in Dancing Like a Star to raise funds for the LaPorte County YMCA.
Gropp is a 1997 graduate of LaPorte High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Purdue University North Central and an MBA from Bethel College. Gropp has spent his entire professional career working in the public sector in Economic Development. Tim started his career at the City of LaPorte in 2005 under former Mayor Leigh Morris. He made the most of the opportunity granted to him by not only completing his master’s degree in the evenings, but also earning the highest nationally recognized Professional Certification in Economic Development (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council in 2009. He has since earned re-certification in 2012, 2015, and 2018. CEcD’s are acknowledged around the world as having achieved the pinnacle of excellence in the economic development field. As of 2019 there were only 1,110 Certified Economic Developers (CEcD) worldwide with only a small number working in the State of Indiana.
Brath is a 1990 graduate of LaPorte High School. He holds a Doctorate of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology from Liberty University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Jazz Piano and Studio Music from the University of Cincinnati. He currently works as the Program Director and Assistant Professor of Worship Arts at Grace College and Seminary. He played at church since middle school and was a musician at LaPorte High School under Mickey Stisher. Brath has written and produced two CD’s. He has travelled extensively to Thailand, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, and Burma, where he helped the Kachin people write worship songs in their native language.
This year the corporation had the award winners spend a whole day within the high school talking in classes to reflect the greatness that can come from being a Slicer.
¨I wanted do this because I feel like these graduates have a lot to offer our students and they are part of the Slicer family. The recognition dinner is a nice way to recognize their accomplishments, but having them attend school will have a greater impact on our student body and will hopefully make their day and this award a little more meaningful, too,¨ Matthew Presley, College and Readiness Coordinator, said.
The newest class of inductees are a wonderful example of what it means to be a Slicer.