Awards given at GHS banquet

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

FRANKLIN FURNACE — The Green High School Alumni Association recently celebrated its annual GHS Alumni Banquet at the Green High School gymnasium.

The event was attended by a couple hundred graduates who ranged from alumni from the 1940s to those in this year’s graduating class, the All-Class Reunion featured the induction of well-respected community and business leader Jim Skipworth into the GHS Hall of Fame.

A 1988 GHS graduate, Skipworth graduated from Ohio State in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering. Skipworth, who became the general manager of SunCoke’s Haverhill plant in late 2014, has spent his career working in local industry.

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He worked for Aristech Chemical Corporation at their Haverhill plant, he worked there for 12 years as process engineer, production engineer, superintendent , and finally lead engineer at Aristech and then Sunoco Chemicals, when the plant was bought in 2000.

During that time he developed three new technologies, two of which became U.S. and international patents.

Skipworth, who also served as the plant manager at Sun Chemical’s Neal Plant, has also worked as a senior refining engineer for Marathon Petroleum and as a plant engineering manager for SunCoke Energy.

Skipworth lives in Green Township with his wife Kelly and his two daughters Katherine and Emily. Skipworth was inducted into the HOF by fellow alum Rick Williams. Since 1995, the Green Alumni have also given away The Ralph Mullens Scholarship to at least one graduating senior.

This year, the Alumni gave three $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors. Those seniors were Holly Collette, KImberly Rayburn and Taylor Jones, who was the recipient of a special $1,000 scholarship given by Donna and Pat Gifford and family and friends. They donated the scholarship in memory of Donna’s first husband, Danny Tackett, a member of the Class of 1965.

Folks who attended this year’s banquet were also treated to two poems read by GHS graduate Omedia Howell, who was also one of the winners of the alumni Twist dance contest.

Special recognition went to the Class of 1965 which was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Honored classes also included the GHS classes of 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and the graduating class of 2015.

The Alumni also honored retiring GHS teacher and coach Dale Royse, who is retiring this spring following a standout 36-year career at the school.

To help fund future scholarships, there was a silent auction with more than two dozen items donated by such area businesses as iHeart Media (WKEE, WTCR, WAMX, B-97.1), the Big Sandy Superstore Arena, Carter Caves, Camden Park, The Jewel City JAMboree, the Cincinnati Reds, the Franklin Furnace Pharmacy, Tan and Style, COSI, the Columbus Zoo, the GHS BOE, Belini’s, BJ’s Highfidelity, Tin Woof Inn, Johnson’s Shirt Stop, Comfort Inn Portsmouth, and many other private donations.

Contributing drinks to the banquet was G&J Pepsi Cola Bottling in Franklin Furnace.

Organizing the banquet was GHS Alumni Association officers: President, Dave Lavender; Vice President, Rick Williams; Co-Treasurers Freida Gleim Otworth and Teresa Johnson and Secretary, Tammie Davisson Niemer. Members at large were Heather Russell.

For more information on GHS Alumni and to help donate to the GHS Scholarship Fund, check out the Green High School Alumni Facebook page.

To find out how you can get involved or donate to the scholarship fund, email GHS alum association members, Dave Lavender at, or Tammie Niemer at