Jefferson County Torch Bearers
Compiled by Sydney Hornsby, City of Madison intern
• Dave Adams has called Madison his home for more than 40 years. He has served as a City Council member for the City of Madison and is also the City’s former Clerk-Treasurer. Adams is also a longtime United Way board member.
• Ray Black Jr. has been the director of the Lide White Boys and Girls Club in Madison since 1984. Black is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County and graduate of Hanover College, which presented him with its Alumni Achievement award in 2013. In 1975, Black began the Madison Wrestling Club, coaching at all levels from youth to high school. He was the Madison Consolidated High School wrestling coach for 25 years and helped more than 60 students earn scholarships.
• Linda Ferguson was born and raised in Jefferson County. She taught fourth grade for more than 30 years in the Madison Consolidated School District in Madison. During her teaching career, Ferguson had a passion for teaching the history of Indiana to her students.
• Robert “Bert” Fitzgerald began working with Jefferson County’s American Red Cross after the Henryville, Ind., tornado in 2012. Since then, he has been deployed by the Red Cross three more times after national disasters and has also responded to regional disasters, including the Madison floods in 2015. Fitzgerald also served on the steering committee for the establishment of a Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Jefferson County; he helped lay the groundwork for this group and also served as a Big Brother for 10 years. Fitzgerald is also involved locally with Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, and Girls Inc.
• Matthew Forrester served as president and CEO of River Valley Financial Bank and led a capital campaign for Ivy Tech Community College, Girls Inc. and the Madison’s Bicentennial Celebration in 2009. Forrester has served as a board member for Girls Inc., La Casa Amiga, Economic Development Partners, the Community Foundation and the Hanover Board of Trustees. Forrester began a program requiring community service hours for employees, who helped make this a great success by dedicating hundreds of hours back to the community.
• William Gray is a Jefferson County resident and local attorney. Gray is also active in his local Masonic Lodge, and he and his wife enjoy trail riding near their farm.
• Al Huntington’s claim to fame is his 13-year mayoral term, which is the longest in Madison’s history. Huntington was also a small business owner for 30 years and served as a City Council member for the City of Madison. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards including the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Girls Inc. and many others.
• James Lee was born in Jefferson County. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating from Indiana State University. He served at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps, Lee returned to Madison to start a family. He is currently a City of Madison Police Officer, where he is a member of the Emergency Response Team and is an assistant football coach at Madison Consolidated High School. Lee is a member of the Indiana Army National Guard and was deployed after Hurricane Katrina. He is an Indiana Disaster Relief volunteer with the American Red Cross.
• Jim Lee has been a resident of Madison sin 1961, raising seven children with his late wife, Joanne. Lee spent 37 years as an educator and taught and coached at Shawe Memorial High School and Madison Consolidated High School; he was also the athletic director at MCHS for several years. After his retirement, Lee ran for Madison’s City Council in 1999 and served as a City Council member for 16 years. He also served on the Board of Public Works and Safety for eight years and was City Council president for four years.
• Lillian Sue Livers is a lifelong resident of Jefferson County and served as a Director of Nutrition Services at King’s Daughters’ Hospital from 1971 to 2006. After fulfilling this role, Livers served as executive director of the KDH Foundation. She has been a Trustee of Ivy Tech Community College since October 2014 and served as Director of River Valley Financial Bank. Livers has researched local African-American history and portrayed a historical characters.
• Kim Mahoney is a lifelong Jefferson County resident and local elementary school teacher. She has taught fourth grade for 20 years and is passionate about teaching Indiana History to her students. Mahoney has taken countless students to Corydon and Conner Prairie every year to teach them about the rich history of Indiana. She has also been involved in youth ministry for more than 25 years. A more recent development in her youth ministry endeavors is a community service week called Madison Mission Week, which includes the entirety of Jefferson County. The mission week has affected more than 250 youth and adults in the community, and the group has repaired 32 homes to date.
• Spencer Schnaitter has played an instrumental role in the ongoing operation of the Madison Railroad and City of Madison Port Authority since 1978. Schnaitter authored the bill that allowed port authorities to be formed in the state of Indiana and led the charge of saving the railroad in Jefferson and Jennings Counties. He has served as the attorney for the City of Madison Port Authority since its inception and continues today. Schnaitter has served as Senate Parliamentarian and is a former state representative. Today, he continues his law practice in Madison and serves on various city and county boards as a way to give back to his community.
• John Schoenstein is a full-time employee at Madison Chemical and also serves as a volunteer Sheriff’s Deputy and a volunteer firefighter for Madison Township and the City of Madison. Schoenstein has dedicated himself to training each month so he can better help his community and to his volunteer service for more than 15 years.
• Calista Spears has devoted a majority of her young life to helping others and began “Hats for Hopes,” an organization that raises money and accept hats for cancer patients. Spears is also a member of L.E.A.D., which instills teenagers with the power to make good choices and help other teens succeed in leadership roles. Spears has participated in cross country, swimming, Science Olympiad, and Academic Decathlon teams while attending Madison Consolidated High School. She has demonstrated volunteerism at the Lide White Memorial Boys and Girls Club and has earned the titles of Junior Girl of the Year, Girl of the Year, and Youth Volunteer of the Year.
• Susan Stahl was hired in April 1983 as Program Director of Girls Inc., where she quickly moved into the role of executive director in January 1984. As director, Stahl has created a safe environment for girls and young women where they can learn, grow and be provided with life skills to develop a sense of self-worth and become a vital part of their community. Stahl spearheaded a $1.6 million Capital Campaign to expand Girls Inc. and also identifies ways for the girls of Girls Inc. to contribute to the community. Personally, Stahl has served as president of Trip Kappa, is currently a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, and is a member of Bethany Circle of King’s Daughters’ Health.
• John Staicer is a native of New York who adopted Madison as his home when he accepted a “temporary” position restoring Historic Madison Inc.’s Schroeder Saddletree Factory in 1991. Since then, he has raised a family in Madison, been an active member of the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, and put down deep roots in the community. He was director of the Schroeder project until 2003 when the project was completed with such success that it received a National Preservation Award in 2004. Afterward, HMI hired Staicer as its president and executive director, and in recent years, Staicer has helped HMI extend its accomplishments and vision. The organization is currently in the midst of a multi-million-dollar restoration of an 1840 mansion in Madison.
• After Trinity Stoner’s grandparents were moved to local nursing homes, Stoner befriended the other residents. After her grandparents passed away, Stoner continued to visit her friends at local nursing homes and also helps deliver meals to local shut-ins. Stoner is a member of a local 4-H club and is active with local animal rescue events.
• Tryston Wheatley has been a member of the Lide White Memorial Boys and Girls Club for 13 years. In 2016, he is being nominated as the Club’s Boy of the Year. Wheatley not only mentors club members but has also carried his leadership skills into his school, Southwestern High School. As a junior, Wheatley is captain of the high school varsity basketball team and has begun mentoring at-risk students in the school.
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