Hardin County Schools will honor five graduates with Distinguished Alumni awards at a luncheon on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at the Hardin County Schools Early College and Career Center.
Here are this year’s honorees:
Russell Gross (North Hardin High School, Class of 1978) was once the Chief Musician for the United States Navy Band.
He earned bachelor's degrees in music education and music performance at Murray State University in 1982 and 1983, respectively. He returned to North Hardin to serve as an Assistant Director of Bands from 1983-1986. He joined the United States Navy in 1986. After naval training in Great Lakes, Illinois, he reported to the Naval School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia. He was then assigned to the Navy Band Orlando in Orlando, Florida from 1987 to 1989. After winning a special audition for the Navy’s Premiere Band, he began his service in the United States Navy Band, Washington, DC. from 1989 until his retirement in 2010.
He was an instrumentalist in clarinet, saxophone and piano, as well as an Enlisted Conductor for the Concert Band. He earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3), the Meritorious Unit Commendation (2), the Good Conduct Medal (5) and the National Defense Service Medal. In 1996, he received the Sailor of the Year award and was promoted to Chief Musician.
He is a professional clarinetist as well as a conductor. He has been the Principal Clarinetist of the Tysons McLean Orchestra for 29 seasons and he plays in the Arlington Philharmonic.
He is the founder, music director and conductor of WindWorks of Washington, a professional “super band” composed of members of the Washington, D.C. Military Bands (Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine bands, (both active duty and retired), as well as area freelance musicians and special invited guests. A sample of their work can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w98lU6IkBW0.
Brent Holsclaw (East Hardin High School, Class of 1976) recently retired as the Superintendent of Bardstown Independent Schools and began a new career as the Chief Financial and Facilities Officer at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education from Berea College and his Master’s degree and Rank I from Western Kentucky University. After college, he returned to Hardin County and taught Business at North Hardin High School. He also coached football and tennis there. He went to Bardstown High School in 1990 to be the school’s guidance counselor. In 1996, Holsclaw left Bardstown to serve as principal at LaRue County Middle School and returned to be principal at My Old Kentucky Home Middle School (Nelson County Schools) in 1997.
In 2000, Holsclaw was chosen to be the first principal at John Hardin High School. He was faced with the unique task of hiring every staff member and determining the school’s direction for success. After creating a tradition of excellence at John Hardin, he was selected to be the Superintendent of Bardstown Independent in 2005.
He negotiated the purchase of 71 acres for the district’s future growth, began a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Academy on the district’s campus, created an on-campus health clinic for students, expanded the district’s daycare program, led the district through AdvancED accreditation (the district’s scores were above the national averages) and led the district to a Distinguished rating from the Kentucky Department of Education.
Holsclaw is a board member at the Guthrie Opportunity Center – an organization working to improve the quality of life for adults with disabilities. He is active in his church and serves on Habitat for Humanity housing teams. He is past-president of the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative, member of the Kentucky School Board Association, Kentucky Association of School Administrators and Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.
Dr. Brooke Hicks Hudspeth
Dr. Brooke Hicks Hudspeth (Central Hardin High School, Class of 2001) is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and has placed a strong focus on diabetes care and prevention during her career. She recently secured a $7.5 million dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to expand the National Diabetes Prevention Program to underserved areas across the United States. She has had numerous peer-reviewed publications and national speaking engagements in the areas of diabetes and pharmacy practice opportunities.
She is pharmacy practice coordinator and clinical diabetes care pharmacist for Kroger Pharmacy and serves as the program coordinator for Kroger’s Diabetes Self Management Education and Diabetes Prevention Programs. It is recognized as one of the best programs in the country by the American Diabetes Association and the CDC. Dr. Hudspeth is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the UK College of Pharmacy and a preceptor for the UK College of Pharmacy/Kroger Community Pharmacy Residency Program.
She has been recognized with national and state awards for her contributions to her profession and innovation in providing patient care. Some of these include the American Pharmacists Association’s One to One Patient Counseling Award, Kentucky’s Young Pharmacist of the Year and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Association’s Excellence in Innovation Award.
Dr. Hudspeth has had numerous peer-reviewed publications and national speaking engagements in the areas of diabetes and pharmacy practice opportunities. She is secretary for the Kentucky Pharmacists Association, a member of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Diabetes Network, a member of the Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association and is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Pharmacy Stakeholder group.
She frequently volunteers with the state’s mobile pharmacy events where Naloxone is provided to help combat Kentucky’s opioid epidemic. Additionally, she volunteers at diabetes fundraising events and was recently awarded the American Diabetes Association’s prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award.
Kyle Johnston (North Hardin High School, Class of 2000) is the Head Athletics Trainer for the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins.
He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2004 with his undergraduate degree and the University of Florida in 2007 with his master’s degree. Prior to his senior year at UK, he was selected by the Miami Dolphins to serve as a summer intern. A year later, he landed a year-long internship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He later accepted a graduate assistant position with the University of Florida football program. During his first season with the Gators, the assistant trainer position opened. He was quickly promoted while still working on his postgraduate degree.
After five years at Florida, he came home to serve as the Director of Football Sports Medicine for the University of Louisville’s football team. His appointment to that position – at 27 years of age – made him the youngest Head Athletic Trainer at a Power Five institution at that time.
During his time in college football, he worked with two National Championship teams, two BCS bowl championship teams and two Heisman Trophy winners. In November of 2012, Johnston and his staff were awarded the game ball in recognition for their work in helping U of L quarterback Teddy Bridgewater return from injuries to lead the Cardinals in a win over Rutgers University. That win secured a conference championship and a berth in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. U of L won the Sugar Bowl when it defeated the University of Florida.
The Miami Dolphins asked Johnston to serve as the team’s Head Athletic Trainer in January of this year. At age 35, he became one of the youngest Head Athletic Trainers in the NFL.
Throughout his career, he has stayed connected to Hardin County Schools and the North Hardin family. He has counseled and mentored countless students from across the district considering entrance into the profession of athletic training. He has given a multitude of athletic facility tours to HCS students on visits to U of L. He has come back to HCS to talk about his career multiple times.
His guidance was instrumental in the proactive and aggressive approach Hardin County Schools took to implement the ImPACT Concussion Management Program and the return-to-play policy for student-athletes.
Jon Kimberlain (East Hardin High School, Class of 1990) is a Senior Application Specialist at Dow Chemical.
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky in 1996. After spending two years with Gates Rubber Corporation in product and process development, he joined Dow Corning (now Dow Chemical).
He is considered an expert in the design and performance of structural silicone glazing in the Americas which is a focus of his research. His research includes the use of finite element analysis for advanced structural glazing silicone sealant design, sealant behavior in protective glazing applications for hurricane impact and bomb blast and development of material models to incorporate into finite element analysis software for increased accuracy of predictive modeling.
He has published nearly 20 peer reviewed journal articles on his research used by leading building designers across the globe. He has made more than 50 research presentations in four countries and earned the Application and Engineering Award of Excellence at Dow in 2010 and 2017.
He is also a founding board member of the North American Contractor Certification and Architectural Glass & Metal Certification Council. He also served as chair of the Building Enclosure Contractors division and Board of Directors for the Glass Association of North America.