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Alumni Spotlight

Brian Rennekamp
Class of 1994

Owner, The Village Workshop

Education after BHS:

    Associate’s Degree in CAD technology, (doubled up classes and completed 2-year degree in 1 year!)


    After I completed the Associate’s program, I began my career and first professional job in 1995 as I had just turned 18.  The position was an entry level draftsman for a manufacturing company in Indianapolis.  My assignment for the first six months or so was converting old paper and pencil drawings to CAD files.  From there I grew into an apprenticeship, working under lead engineers for large machinery production designs.  This company was being sold and moved, which led to me seeking out a similar but smaller company in Greenwood, IN.  I was hired into a design leadership role, where I was responsible for design and production management of one-off machines to perform specific operations within in existing manufacturing companies.In 1998, I was able to finally make my career move back to Batesville, leading into a production and design role with Heartwood Mfg.  This opportunity is where my love of woodworking and design really came to life.  Great opportunities here led to building a small workshop at my home, which was intended to support my personal passion as a woodworking hobbyist.  As stories like this go, the hobby turned into a small part-time business; I soon after built a larger workshop and things quickly evolved into a full-time job on top of a full-time job.  Although I loved my daily work, I felt the tug to give The Village Workshop a go, and off we went and never looked back!


      • My wife’s name is Lori.  Together we own and she operates Bird In a Tree Boutique in Batesville.  Our girls are Isabel (16), Greta (12) and Tess (8).  And our dog is named Desi.

Activities while at Batesville High School:

Most of my activities centered around my willingness to work hard.  As a senior, I averaged about 40 hours per week at my ‘part time’ job.  My passion for art, design, drafting and opportunities to do anything creative were really what led my interests.

Best education-related memory from BHS;

Art and drafting classes will always stand out as my favorite time at BHS.  These teachers were always open to give some creative freedom to kids who were willing to take it.  These opportunities were given to me, and I think of these experiences often in my day to day work, now 25 years later.

A quote about the importance of education:

As a student, I was fortunate to be rewarded with opportunities to explore my creative passion.  I hope that all students can use my story as inspiration to dream big, and never be afraid of what is calling them.  Although education is often defined by the parameters of school, a great student never stops learning.  Find your passion, explore it, then go out and be it.


Bryan Hoeing
Class of 2015

Professional Baseball Player
Batavia Muckdogs of the Miami Marlins System

Education after BHS:

  • 2019 University of Louisville graduate
  • Major: Sports Administration; Minor: Communications
  • Played Baseball for three years (hurt and sat out as a freshman) and played in the College World Series twice as a Cardinal
  • ACC All-Academic Team – 3 years, 2019 Muhammed Ali Scholarship Winner


  • Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 2019 MLB Draft with hopes of making it to the major league


  • Dad, John, passed away when I was three years old
  • Mom, Donna, is a BHS alumna and retired BHS math teacher
  • Older brother, Mike

Activities while at Batesville High School:

  • Basketball
  • Baseball

Best education-related memory from BHS;

I really enjoyed math and I valued having my mom as my pre-calculus teacher because she made a tough subject matter fun and challenged us by the high expectations she had for us each and every day.

A quote about the importance of education:

Perhaps more than the subject matter of one’s education is the importance of the habits, engagement needed, and commitments developed while pursuing one’s education.






Tim Smith
Class of 1977

Chief Meteorologist
KRGV-TV McAllen/Harlingen/Brownsville, Texas

Education after BHS:

  •  Indiana University – BS in Broadcast Journalism;
  • Mississippi State University – Certificate in Broadcast Meteorology



Career summary:

  • May 1981 – December 1981   WRBI Batesville, News Director
  • December 1981 – Present KRGV-TV McAllen/Harlingen/Brownsville, Texas,
    Chief Meteorologist

Community Involvement:

  • Vice President – The Storm Science Network, San Antonio, TX
  • Spokesperson and Co-Director – Tim’s Coats (we’ve collected more than 100,000 coats for the less fortunate in our community)
  • Founder and Director – Channel 5 Christmas Toys …(delivering toys to every child in every hospital in our community every Christmas for more than 30 years)
  • Chairman of the Board – International Museum of Art and Science. McAllen, TX
  • Chairman of the Board – Rio Grande Valley Emergency Management Coordinating Council. McAllen
  • Member – Nursing Advisory Council, University of Texas – Pan American
  • Member – Texas Fatherhood Initiative
  • Board of Directors – American Red Cross, South Texas Chapter
  • President – The Rotary Club of Edinburg Texas
  • Co-Founder and Coordinator – The National Tropical Weather Conference, South Padre Island, Texas


    • Silver Circle – National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – Lone Star Chapter
    • Emmy Award (2) – National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – Lone Star Chapter
    • Best Weathercast in Texas (5) – Texas Associated Press Broadcasters
    • Silver Apple Award – Texas Classroom Teachers Association
    • Texas Media Award – National Association of Social Workers
    • Volunteer of the Year – Easter Seals of the Rio Grande Valley
    • Distinguished Service Award – The University of Texas Pan American

Current Residence:

Edinburg, Texas – in the Lower Rio Grande Valley near South Padre Island


    • Parents:  Ross & Betty Smith, Agnes (Lynd) Smith
    • Siblings:  Dave Smith, Steve Smith, Connie Brunner, Rusty Lynd, Randy Lynd, Rick Lynd
    • Wife:   Nora (Flores) Smith – Married 2000
    • Children: Justin Smith, Maya Robinson, Taylor (and Kyle) Seguin
    • Grandchildren: Liam (7) and Adalynn (2)

Activities while at Batesville High School:

    • Band – 4 years.  Trumpet Player
    • Stage Band
    • Editor – School Newspaper
    • President – Senior Class of 1977
    • Announcer – Track Meets, JV Football and Basketball


Best education-related memory from BHS:
So many memories, it’s hard to narrow it down. From getting Mr. Hayes distracted for an entire English class period by talking about soap operas to doing creative presentations in Mrs. Suhre’s speech class, we always had fun. The Stage Band field trip to Columbus, Indiana to perform in the mall there was pretty special (Jack, you know what I’m talking about)!  

A quote about the importance of education:
While a strong education is your foundation, always go one extra step in whatever you do – to stand out and stay ahead of the crowd.


Blake Walsman
Class of 2015

Business Management Major
Cincinnati Christian University

Education after BHS:

I currently attend Cincinnati Christian University, majoring in business management, with a concentration in sports management. I will graduate next month.

Activities, Awards, and Future Plans:
I am a member of the Cincinnati Christian University basketball team and was recently named to the East All-Star Roster for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-Star Basketball Team. Outside of classes, most of my time is spent playing basketball or working. After graduation, I plan to either go back to school to obtain my master’s degree or play professional basketball overseas.

My parents are Toby and Carin Walsman. I have one brother, Jordan, and two sisters, Kalyn and Chelsie.

Activities while at Batesville High School:
I was very involved in sports while at BHS. I played football my freshman year, tennis my sophomore through senior years, and basketball all four years.

Best education-related memory from BHS:
All of the PLTW (Project Lead the Way) classes with Craig Hughes were my favorite. I found them all very interesting.

A personal quote about the importance of education:
Getting an education is very important. Through education, you can receive knowledge you need for the specific field of study that you are passionate about.

Bill Giltz
Class of 2009

Architectural Masters Specialist
Fischer Homes

Education after BHS:

After high school, I attended Ball State University and majored in Architecture. In the Spring of 2013, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and I earned a Master’s of Urban Design degree in 2014.

Career Summary & Awards:
I am currently an Architectural Masters Specialist in the architecture department for Fischer Homes, a regional home builder based in Northern Kentucky. My team and I are responsible for taking the initial design drawings from preliminary design and incorporating all options in a platform that other production teams can use to create customized floor plans for our customers. We are going through software changes currently that is taking our drawing time from three to five days down to 20-30 minutes!

My parents are Mike and Lori Giltz. I have two older sisters, Christin (Giltz) Weaver (’01) and Carrie (Giltz) Salatin (’06), and six beautiful little nieces whom I love to spoil. I currently live in Batesville with my Golden-Doodle, Bentley.

Activities while at Batesville High School:
During my time at BHS, I was involved with National Honor Society, KSLA, SADD, and Mayor’s Youth Council.

Best education-related memory from BHS:
My four years at BHS were great…having the support and encouragement from all the faculty and mentors to push me to be the best that I could be all while making life-long friendships and lasting memories, made for a rewarding education! One of the most memorable experiences would have to be flex class with Mr. Lemen. He always found a way to make us all laugh and put a smile on our faces; whether it was hiding under his podium, jumping out of the closet, or posing for a yearbook picture in the display case outside his classroom. It is faculty members like Mr. Lemen, who know how to make learning fun, that make a lasting impression on students.

A personal quote about the importance of education:
All good things are supported by a solid foundation. Education is the foundation for your life; make it worthwhile to last for years to come!  Just as a house cannot stand without a proper foundation…so, too, your life cannot stand without a solid education. Education is the foundation of success and with a Batesville education, you will succeed!

Adam Kruse
Class of 2000

Assistant Professor of Music Education
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Education after BHS:

Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Ball State University
Master of Arts in Secondary Education, Ball State University
Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education,
Michigan State University

Career Summary & Awards:
I was a music teacher in the Batesville schools for four years, then taught music at Shelbyville Middle School in Shelbyville, IN for three years. I  attended Michigan State University for doctoral study and worked as a graduate teaching assistant. At Michigan State, I earned a Research Enhancement Award from the College of Music and Graduate School, a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the College of Music, and an Excellence in Diversity Award from the University. The Council on Research in Music Education recognized my dissertation with the 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award. Since 2014, I have been an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In my job, I mostly teach undergraduate and graduate music education students and conduct/publish/present original research focused primarily on Hip-Hop music. At Illinois, I have earned a Creative Research Award from the College of Fine and Applied Arts, a Make Music Matter grant from the School of Music, and a grant from University’s Presidential Initiative to Celebrate the Impact of Arts and Humanities. I also received the 2017 Technology Initiative Award from The College Music Society.

My wife is Michaela (Meyer), who also graduated from Batesville High School in 2000. We have a daughter (Gloria) and a son (Calvin). I have four sisters who are also Batesville High School graduates and my parents still live in the community.

Activities while at Batesville High School:

I spent most of my time at BHS in music and theatre activities. I played a handful of instruments in the various bands, sang in a choir, and was in a play or musical just about every semester. I was also in Key Club and the National Honor Society.

Best education-related memory from BHS:
I had wonderful music teachers in Batesville, including Doug Norton, Phil Minnis, and Leon Enneking. I also really enjoyed the Drama Club productions with Lisa Barnett. While I wasn’t a scientist by any means, I definitely learned a lot and enjoyed classes with Charlie Zimmerman and Jerry Stanbrough. The best memories of them all would have to be dating my future wife after we had hung out during rehearsals for the South Pacific musical in our junior year and sending notes back and forth on our graphing calculators in Calculus class.

A personal quote about the importance of education:
Education empowers people; so should school.

Ron Raver
Class of 1958

Retired BHS Teacher and Coach

Education after BHS:

Purdue University, B.S. and M.S., double major in agronomy and chemistry

Career Summary:

          • Worked for agronomy department while at Purdue.
          • Taught at Williamsburg, IN, 2 years  (agriculture and science)
          • Taught at Whitewater, IN, 3 years  (chemistry and biology)
          • Taught at Batesville High School 1968-1997 (mostly chemistry, but also anatomy & physiology, and biology)
          • WRBI 1978-present  (Play by Play for football and basketball, and host of Coaches Corner)
          • Coaching:  basketball (19 years), cross country (33 years), and track—still volunteering with 55 years in so far


          • Many in coaching;  member of the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame; Melvin Jones Award for Lions Club (a member for 55 years); Chamber of Commerce Service Award


          • Oldest of 3 brothers who grew up in Oldenburg.   Married wife Sally (Given) in 1972.  One daughter, Gina, and son-in-law is Tony Niese of Batesville.  Two grandchildren—Audrey (11 years) and Andrew (6)

Activities while at Batesville High School:

          • Multiple sports (7 varsity letters in baseball, basketball, and track); National Honor Society; FFA (Various offices); Letterman Club

Best education-related memory from BHS:

I remember my math classes with Roy Gardner.  Roy made math practical & enjoyable.   It was Howard Lea, my Agriculture teacher, who inspired me to be a teacher.


A personal quote about the importance of education:

No one teacher can give a student all the facts they need to be successful.  However, good schools and good teachers open the doors to learning. Take advantage of all opportunities.

Michael Menser
Class of 1997

Director, Alternative School at Plainfield High School

Education after BHS:
Indiana State University

            • Undergraduate degree – finance major and insurance minor
            • Transition to Teaching Degree – Business Education
            • Masters degree – School Administration
            • Participated on the men’s basketball team all four years at Indiana State University



Career Summary:
2 years – Financial Consultant at AG Edwards (Now Wells Fargo)
1 year – Assistant basketball coach at Indiana State University
2 years teaching at Riverton Parke High School where I was the varsity basketball coach

8 years at Vigo County School Corporation where I held the following roles:
Teacher, Dean of Students, Athletic Director
Varsity boys assistant basketball coach

5th year at Plainfield High School where I have held the following roles:
Assistant Principal for 3 years
Director of Alternative School (current position) for 2 years.
Assistant Basketball Coach

Wife Jennie; Children Haleigh – 10, Hannah – 9, and Hadley – 6

Activities while at Batesville High School:
Cross Country
National Honor Society

Best education-related memory from BHS:
My favorite classes were math classes at BHS with Mr. Heppner, Mr. Cochran, and Mrs. Hoeing.  I loved math and all three teachers made it fun throughout my entire career!

A quote (or two) about the importance of education:
Nobody cares how much you know until they know you care.

          • Be Nice. Be Honest. Work Hard. Make Good Choices…….(Jenny Menser 🙂


Elaine (Kops) Bedel
Class of 1970

President, Indiana Economic Development Corporation

Education after BHS:
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Math from Hanover College (graduated cum laude), as well as an MBA with Finance emphasis from Butler University. I have also attained the professional designation of Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®).

At Hanover, I was president of my Phi Mu sorority and a member of the Panhellenic Council. I also played intercollegiate volleyball and softball and received a scholar-athlete award my senior year.


Career summary:

          • Prior to my current role with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, I served as president, chief executive officer and chief compliance officer of Bedel Financial Consulting Inc., a role held since I founded the company in 1989.
          • I’ve authored a personal finance book and enjoy speaking engagements and providing financial expertise at various national and international conferences.
          • Awards/Recognitions:
            • Inducted into the Indiana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016
            • 2015 Women Business Owner of the year from National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
            • Inducted into Business Hall of Fame by the Junior Achievement of Central Indiana in 2013
            • Received the Financial Planning Association’s “Heart of Financial Planning” Award in 2013

My husband, Eric, and I met at Batesville High School. We have been married for 42 years and have two sons, Evan and Adam. Evan and his wife, Abbe, live in Indianapolis with their two sons, Owen and Ace. Evan is a member of the Bedel Financial Leadership Team. Our older son, Adam, lives in Sherman Oaks, California, with his wife, Kate. They have two sons, Alexander and Maddox. Adam is an attorney for Hulu, which is headquartered in Santa Monica.

Activities while at Batesville High School:
I was class treasurer, a student council member, a band officer, a cheerleader, co-editor of the yearbook, and a member of National Honor Society. I also participated in theatre and was valedictorian.

Best education-related memory from BHS;
I was one of those kids who always liked school. I hated to miss. In fact, I had perfect attendance all 12 grades! As I reflect, I know that all my teachers took special interest in their students. That is likely the benefit of a small high school. It’s hard to separate out one teacher who had a special impact on me, but I certainly do recall Mrs. Mary Jane Suhre, who taught speech. While the class was great, I appreciated even more the support, encouragement and advice she provided me.

A personal quote about the importance of education;
Everything you learn and experience creates a foundation from which all your future decisions are made. The more knowledge you have, the better your decisions.


Harry Tepe
Class of 1998

Owner and President, Tom Tepe Autocenter

I knew early on I wanted to be an Automotive Technician and started working during summer breaks, changing oil and tires in my father’s shop and in high school for Bob Buckley’s Marathon.  My high school curriculum was vocational-based and I was was fortunate to have some great teachers, such as the late Mr. Crowell, Mr. Boyd, and Mr. Shaw, who provided me with many skills which would prove invaluable in my future career.  Those skills gave me a firm foundation to build upon.

After graduating BHS in 1998, I attended Northwestern University in Lima, Ohio and graduated with an Associates Degree in High Performance Motorsports.

Career summary:
I started my professional career and worked as an ASE Certified Automotive Technician for several years. While healing from an ATV accident, I started selling cars and, as fate would have it, I fell in love with the retail side of the business. After several yeas as a salesman, I worked my way into management as the Finance Manager and then Sales Manager.  In 2009, I became the dealer after purchasing Tom Tepe Autocenter-Chevrolet/Buick in Milan and have grown the business to include the Car Country Group of stores with locations in Aurora, Indiana, and most recently Harrison, Ohio, and generate $30 Million in annual revenue, employing over 80 people.

Personal info:
I split my time living in Batesville and Newport, KY.  I’m known for always having my dog Marley with me. I spend a lot of time boating, hunting, trapping, and long-distance shooting. I am the Past President of the Automobile Dealers Association of Indiana, which represents all the franchised auto dealers in the state and I continue to serve on the Board of Directors.  I believe that supporting the local community is more of a responsibility than just a simple choice, Tom Tepe Autocenter/Car Country gives over $50,000 annually to local charities, schools, and sports and civic groups. We have our annual Tom Tepe Autocenter golf tournament at North Branch Golf Course which draws over a 120 golfers and raises thousands of dollars for a selected charity which the employees get to vote on, such as the Bucket Buddies Mission and most recently SEI Voices for Children, Inc. (CASA).

Best education-related memory from BHS:
I never would have imagined at the time that Mrs. Raver’s typing class would be the single most beneficial class I took while at BHS….. I type every day and would never have learned to type efficiently if it wasn’t for her!!

A personal quote about the importance of education:
It’s a great pleasure, and honor,  to give back to the community by partnering with the Batesville Community Education Foundation for their first raffle. As a community, we are very fortunate to have such a great group of people focused on the future success of our students.

Mike Hansen
Class of 1985

CFO, Cintas

Business major with a focus on accounting at Washington University in St. Louis. I played football at Wash U.

Career summary:
I began my career in public accounting at Ernst & Young, earned my CPA while there (5 years); moved to Pittsburgh, PA to work for Rockwell International in its internal audit department and got to travel the world for about a year and a half. An old Ernst & Young friend called me about a treasury manager position at Cintas. I’ve been at Cintas for almost 23 years. I moved into a controller position after treasury manager and spent four years in Chicago before returning to Cincinnati. I was general manager of our First Aid & Safety and Fire Protection businesses before moving back into accounting as corporate controller, then VP & Treasurer, and then was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in Jan 2015.

I have been married for 27 years to Sue, whom I met at Wash U. I have four kids: my son is a junior at Case Western Reserve University and is on the basketball team, my oldest daughter is a sophomore at Brown University and on the gymnastics team, and I have daughters in junior year of high school and 7th grade.

Activities while at BHS:
I played football at BHS on some very good teams, going 9-2 my junior year and 9-1 my senior year, playing for coach Jeff Scalf. Also played basketball where I got to “watch” some very good teams.

Best education-related memory from BHS:
My favorite teacher was Mr. Jerry Stanbrough, who taught physics and computers. Mr. Stanbrough really stretched our thinking and opened our eyes to new ideas.  I always remember the first physics class where he made us guess which bounced higher, a metal ball bearing or a rubber ball – no one in the class guessed the right answer!

A personal quote about the importance of education:
A great educational foundation can lead to a lifelong hunger and curiosity for learning, which can then lead to a lifetime of wonderful experiences.

Ariana Wehr
Class of 2007

Professional Opera Singer

I attended Louisiana State University (LSU) and majored in Vocal Performance. I received my Bachelor’s of Music in 2011 and my Master’s of Music in 2013. I was involved primarily in LSU Opera, and also A Cappella Choir and the Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.

Career summary:

I am a professional opera singer. I completed the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program with Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2017 after working with other companies like Nashville Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pensacola Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and others. This year, I was one of the 25 semi-finalists of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions which meant that out of about 1,200 people who audition for the Met Competition each year, I had the opportunity to come to NYC and sing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

My parents are Matt and Dee Wehr. I have an older brother, Tyler, and a twin sister, Victoria (Tori) Wehr Handy.

Activities while at BHS:
During my time at BHS, I was involved in Batesville Singers, Jazz Band, Drama Club, Dance Team, National Honor Society, and Spanish Club.

Best education-related memory from BHS:
I greatly enjoyed my time at BHS. All of my teachers were invested in their students’ success and pushed me to do my best at all times. Without a strong music program at BHS, I would not be where I am today or as far along in my career and I am forever grateful for that.

A personal quote about the importance of education:
I could try to write something but I think President Ford says it better than I can–

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them—a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” –Gerald Ford

Mark Osborne
Class of 2007

B.S. in Management, Northern Kentucky University, 2012Career and community involvement:
Currently, I am the Manager of Alumni Programs and Lead Annual Giving at Mount St. Joseph University. I oversee alumni programming for the Mount and raise money for the University through various channels. I’ve been with the Mount for three years and have truly landed my dream job.

I was your typical millennial graduating from college; over the course of two and a half years, I had 36 interviews. I met with CEOs and hiring professionals to fine-tune my resume´ and interviewing skills and to conduct informational interviews. Before coming to the Mount in December 2014, I was an assembly line worker at Honda in Greensburg. During this time, I served as a chair for Ripley County Relay for Life and also served on a young professional board in Cincinnati at the Ronald McDonald House. After college graduation, I was a manager at the Batesville McDonald’s. After six months of being a manager, I was moved to a department manager in guest relations.In June 2016, I received the Purple Ribbon Award for the Ripley County Relay For Life. The award recognizes community members for being an advocate for the American Cancer Society. At this time, I was chairing the Ripley County Relay For Life and served on a statewide committee for Relay For Life.Family info:

My parents still reside in Batesville. My mother, Irene Davidson Osborne, is a BHS graduate, along with my two brothers, David Osborne (2004) and Tyler Osborne (2008). My mother works for Romweber Flats and my father is a truck driver out of Tri-County. My wife, Becky, and I live in Lawrenceburg.

Activities while at BHS: 

During high school, I was involved with FFA, participating in soil judging and forestry competitions year-round. I spent half-days at the Southeastern Career Center during my junior and senior years, where I took Digital Media I & II, and was involved with SkillsUSA/VICA and Business Professionals of America.

Best education-related memory: 
My favorite memory from BHS was a field trip Mr. Steve Shaw (agriculture teacher) took us on for a lesson on equine. He took us to a ranch down Harvey’s Branch Road, and we spent several hours with hands-on learning about horses, and then the afternoon was a picnic and yard games.

Personal quote about education:  Education is a tool that only gets sharper with time. One must be able to learn from the past to make tomorrow a better future.

Bryce Mullins
Class of 2008

Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance for Classical Guitar at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music – 4 years.  Master’s Degree in Music Performance for Classical Guitar at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN – 2 years.

I am a freelance guitarist and a guitar teacher.  I teach private lessons at Miss Shannon’s Music Studio, which is owned by my wife Shannon.  I play solo fingerstyle guitar and have played a number of concerts in the local region.  Last year in September I released my first album “First Sip” that had 12 songs that were all written by me. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDbaby, Spotify, and you can purchase hard copies from me. I enjoy both composing and performing. It is my goal to play solo concerts all across the United States and beyond. My career is just starting and I can’t wait to see where it is going. I also play tons of wedding gigs with my wife and I am the lead guitarist for the local classic country band The Yorkridge Boys.  I have about 60 students a week at the music studio so I stay quite busy. I am living my dream by making a living in the music business.

Family info: 

My parents are Randy and Debbie.  Dad works at WRBI, Mom works at BHS. I am married to Shannon and I have 2 step-daughters Katryna and Lily.

Activities while at BHS: 

I played saxophone in band all through school at Batesville. I played soccer and was in Key Club, NHS, and Spanish Club.

Best education-related memory: 
I was really impacted by both Doug Norton and Adam Kruse at BHS. They were the band teachers while I was there and they were so supportive of my decision to pursue a career in music.  They showed me what a life in music could be like – tons of work, but very rewarding.  They could see the passion I had for music and they helped me with recommendation letters that no doubt opened countless doors for me.  I was also inspired by Darrick Cox in Government class my senior year (his first year at BHS). He taught us all what it is to be American and the responsibility that we all have to help uphold this democracy.  He also taught us to know our rights and to stand up for what is right no matter what.

Personal quote about education: 
I believe that education is the most important aspect of life. It can raise entire countries out of poverty and empower people from anywhere and from any background to achieve great things. Go to school for as long as you can but never forget that school (high school- college) is just the beginning of your education. Just because you are done with formal education doesn’t mean you should stop learning. I try to learn something new everyday and I am constantly looking to improve myself.

Andrew Kennedy
Class of 2007

Purdue University. B.S. in Computer Graphics Technology (2012); Purdue University. M.S. in Computer Graphics Technology (2014)


Extracurricular activities/accomplishments:
I was a committee member of the Purdue SIGGRAPH Student Chapter, an international organization for the animation and visual effects industry.

Career:  Since graduating from Purdue, I’ve worked in animation, visual effects, game development, and online education.

I currently work as a Technical Director for Stereo D in Burbank, CA where we create stereoscopic 3D conversions of 2D movies. In layman’s terms: I’m half-artist, half-programmer. I spend most of my days solving problems where art and technology intersect. Since starting at Stereo D two years ago, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some of my favorite film franchises including Star Wars, Terminator, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s been an incredibly fulfilling and humbling experience! Most recently, I just completed work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Family info:  My sister, Rachel LaJeunesse, is also a graduate of BHS (and Purdue). She lives in Greenwood, IN. My parents, Mark and Rosena, live in Batesville.

Activities while at BHS: Batesville Singers, Marching Band, Drama Club, Ski Club, Academic Team, Destination Imagination, Spanish Club, and National Honor Society.

Best education-related memory: 
I had a great relationship with most of my teachers and each one of them was uniquely responsible for shaping my education in some way.

Mr. Jerry Stanbrough and Mrs. Donna Hoeing were two of the best teachers I had (Calculus and Pre-Calculus, respectively). I had never been very great at math, but their approach to teaching it made it click for the first time in my life. It’s one of the reasons I was able to enter such a highly technical field of work.

Mrs. Catherine Zwink was my choir teacher (and Batesville Singers director) for the majority of my 12 years at Batesville. She always inspired my love of music and performing arts. It’s still a big passion of mine!

Personal quote about education: “I think everyone should absorb as much information as they can in every class. Especially since you have no idea what job you’ll be doing or challenges you’ll be facing five years from now! You’ll have so many more opportunities available to you if you’ve got a strong interdisciplinary skill set.”

Ben Kick
Class of 2014

BenKickEducation: Purdue University, majoring in biochemistry, minoring in aerospace studies, and graduating in May 2018. Also part of the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Extracurricular activities/accomplishments: I’m part of an Olympic weightlifting team at Crossfit Uncommon, and I fly as much as possible in my spare time. I’m also a Purdue Admissions Ambassador (tour guide), and do undergraduate research in a biochemistry lab.

Post-graduation plans: After graduating, I’ll commission as a second lieutenant, and then go on to serve a 10-year commitment as a pilot in the USAF. Pilot training lasts around two years depending on airframe, and from there I’ll serve in an active squadron. As for airframe, that is dependent on how I rank in my graduating class from pilot training, but I would like to fly fighters. I’m extremely humbled and excited to be given this opportunity to serve our nation while representing Batesville.

Family info: Dr. Kimberly Kick and Michael Kick are my parents, and Anna Kick (also attending Purdue!) is my sister.

Activities while at BHS: Football, golf, National Honor Society, Student Council, and Kiwanis Student Leadership Academy.

Best education-related memory: “My favorite teacher is Mr. Aaron Garrett at BMS. He instilled my passion for history and has always encouraged me to follow my dreams in regards to serving our country. I’d also like to thank Mrs. Rose Lacey for teaching my English classes. It’s important to remember we are officers first, and her help with speech in particular has allowed me to excel in leadership positions and in speaking with confidence. Finally, thank you to Mr. Charlie Raab for introducing me to chemistry, with which I have a love-hate relationship — thanks to him.”

Personal quote about education: “Knowledge comes in many forms, whether it be in school, in a book you’re reading, or out in the world with other people. Never give up on the fire that drives you to learn new things.”

Roberta “Bobbie” Brandes
Class of 1948

Career summary:  While Bobbie was a senior in high school, she began working after school at Walsman Furniture and Hardware Store as an accountant, secretary, and clerk and continued doing this for 13 years. After the birth of her two sons, she worked part-time at Kile’s Motor Express, Metzler’s, and Bernie Fields Buick Motors and also at Steward’s Dress Shop. She then went to work at BHS as secretary and extra-curricular treasurer, where she worked at the same position for 39-1/2 years!

Family info: Bobbie and and her husband, Rodney, have been married for 62 years and have two sons. Randy (BHS ’74) graduated from Hanover College and went on to receive his Ph.D. in English at Emory University.  He has taught college-level English for the last 28 years.  Tim (BHS ’78) received his degree from Ball State in Educational Science (Chemistry and Biology) and owns a business, Bed Techs, Inc., with a friend.  Both sons are married, and Bobbie and Rodney have one grandchild.

Personal accomplishments: While she was working at BHS, she ran for Batesville City Council and served two terms.  The day she retired from BHS, then-Mayor Bill Aplanalp attended a convocation for the entire student body, faculty, and personnel, presenting her with the Proclamation naming Friday, November 1, 2002,  as “Bobbie Brandes Appreciation Day.”  Her thoughts about that day?  “It was awesome!” she says.

Bobbie was inducted into the Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014, receiving their Meritorious Service Award. She also accomplished the rare feat of obtaining a hole-in-one on #2 at Hillcrest when she was 72 years old.

Best education-related memory:  “Miss Nora Wonning was my favorite teacher in high school. She taught U.S. History and World HIstory, which were my two favorite classes. Even today, books, movies, and television series that contain any historical themes are what I like best.”

Personal quote about education:  “I have always thought that college is not for everyone and that those who want to pursue a different course should be encouraged to do so.  Remember:  Be the best that you can at what you do and be happy!”


Jason (Class of 1994)
and Kirsten (Class of 1995) Koch

Education:  Jason studied Automotive Technology and Kirsten studied Dental Assisting.

Career summary:  Jason has worked at Koch Auto for 30 years. He started as an Automotive Technician and is now owner. Kirsten worked for Paul Weber, DDS, here in Batesville for 16 years. They took over ownership of Koch Auto a year and a half ago and Kirsten joined the family business at that time.

Family info: Jason and Kirsten have two sons. Jacob is 22 years old and studied Automotive Technology and works full-time as an Automotive Technician at Koch Auto. Sam is 16 years old and is a junior at BHS.

Best education-related memory:

Jason: “A teacher who has inspired me is Mr. Ferguson, not only as a teacher, but as my wrestling coach for seven years. He taught me to push harder if you want to make a difference.”

Kirsten: “I was inspired by Mr. Zimmerman.  He was always motivational, making you think outside the box. Always had a positive attitude. Being friends with him on Facebook as an adult, I am still learning from him!”

Personal quote about education:

Jason:  “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

Kirsten: “All of life is a constant education.”

She adds in reference to their taking over the family business, “How true these quotes have become this last year and a half!”

Ben Baumer
Class of 2009

Chicago Cubs, Groundskeeper 1

Baumer 2

BHS activities:  During high school, I participated in basketball for 2 years and baseball for 4 years.

Life after BHS:
Education: After graduating from Batesville High School in 2009, I attended Purdue University where I majored in Turfgrass Science. I graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Professional: During college, I worked for the Purdue University Intercollegiate Athletic Department. I worked as a student worker in the Sports Turf department where I helped maintain all of the athletic fields/facilities. During the fall, my duties mostly consisted of assisting in painting the football and soccer fields for games, and in the spring, most of my time was spent at the baseball and softball facilities. I would also drive down to Indianapolis early every school year to work with the game crew at Victory Field, the home of the Indianapolis Indians (triple A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates). During my junior year, I spent a summer in Washington, DC completing an internship with the Washington Nationals. Before I graduated from college, I was offered a full-time job working for the Brownsburg Community School Corporation. I assisted in maintaining all of the athletic facilities and grounds there. I worked there for a year a half before I was offered a full-time Groundskeeper 1 position with the Chicago Cubs. I am currently in my third season working with the organization. This past season they were lucky enough to win the World Series, and along with the players all receiving World Series rings, the front office with the Cubs, including me, also received a World Series ring. I also got to hold the Commissioner’s Trophy (the one given to the World Series champion) on the day for the World Series parade. During my time in Chicago, I have appeared in the movie “Landline,” where I had a speaking part with Tom Arnold and Jim O’Heir. The movie just came out this spring and was written and directed by Mathew Aaron. This past winter, I went to Florida to help open up a brand new spring training facility in West Palm Beach for the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

Best memory from BHS:  The teacher that made the biggest impression on me during my time at BHS was Mr. Zimmerman, who is now retired. He confirmed my love for science, especially botany. Not only did I learn a lot of science from him, but more importantly I took away a lot of life lessons that can be applied outside of a classroom setting. He preached “peace, man” — to love everyone and treat everyone as you would want to be treated. I also took away from him how important it is to be good environmental stewards of the planet and to try to leave the world a better place than the way you found it. I also took away from him that no matter what it is, find your passion in life and go out and pursue it.

Thoughts on education:  “The more you know, the less you think you know.” Mr Z often said this and I took a liking to it. You can study and study some more on one subject matter and think you are an expert on the subject matter but come to find out there are things along the way that you didn’t know. That reason alone means you should always strive to find out more, which could lead to something else in your life.

Rep. Randy Frye
Class of 1973

Indiana State Representative, House District 67


BHS activities:  I was on the track team and ran the mile and two mile.

Life after BHS:  Education: Cincinnati Christian University – AA in Christian Vocation; Florida State Fire Academy – Professional Firefighter; South Tech Education Center, Boynton Beach, FL – EMT; Palm Beach Community College – Paramedic Professional: Retired Professional Firefighter City of Indianapolis after 26 years; former owner of Blue River Telecom (an IT business telephone company.); Legislator of the Year Indiana Fire Chief’s Association 2012; Legislator of the Year 2013 Indiana Clean Cities Coalition; Legislator of the Year 2014 Indiana Volunteer Firefighter’s Association; 2016 Outstanding Public Servant Award Indiana Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). I also received multiple awards throughout my firefighting career.

Best memory from BHS:  I enjoyed biology with Mr. Yarber.

Thoughts on education:  Education is the tool of opportunity. For those not prepared with the tools for an opportunity, it’s no opportunity at all, and for those prepared but not looking for an opportunity, it becomes an opportunity for someone else.


Jay Gehring
Class of 1976

BHS Activities:  National Honor Society, Ranked 3rd in class, 4-year varsity letter in cross-country and baseball, 2-year varsity letter in track, 3-year drama club member (played the lead in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”)

Education:  Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Life after BHS and college:  After graduation from college, I worked for Procter and Gamble for two years as a Plant Project Engineer. For the remainder of my career, I worked for PepsiCo in a wide variety of positions across both Engineering and Research & Development, including positions as Vice President in the North American Snack business section and in global packaging development across 90+ countries. I retired in January of 2017.

Best memory from BHS:   I have a lot of great memories and had some very good teachers, but probably the person who had the greatest impact/influence on me was Mr. Ron Raver in his role as our cross-country coach. He was an amazing individual who was a terrific coach who got you to perform beyond what you thought possible.  What influenced me the most was all he overcame and how he dealt with his own physical challenges without complaint. What a great role model for life lessons: taking your situation and making the most of it.  He’s still a great example to me of dealing with life’s adversities in a positive, constructive way.

Thoughts on education:  A good education is so valuable, especially in today’s global economy where good jobs are getting increasingly difficult to get.  It’s something that becomes a solid foundation for building the rest of your life.


Know a BHS alum we can feature here?  Email BCEF Executive Director Anne Wilson at awilson@batesville.k12.in.us with the information.