Smiles, laughs abound as retirees gather

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CCM/Carol McIntire The group of athletic directrors (AD) and assistants at Carrollton Schools attending a recent retirees luncheon spanned 54 years. Seated from left are Ron Colaprete, current assistant AD; Caleb Crowl, current AD; Jason Eddy and Mark Spears, former ADs; Timmy George, representing his late father, Howard George; Tom Postlethwait and Bob Bird, both former ADs; and Curt Hensley, former assistant AD.

By Carol McIntire


When the kids were away school retirees had a chance to play last week at Carrollton Schools!

Carrollton middle and high school students were not in session April 10, which offered a perfect opportunity for a group of school retirees to take over the commons (cafeteria area) for a get-together and luncheon. 

Assistant Athletic Director Ron Colaprete organized the event with 51 persons attending. 

“Many of our retirees are reaching the age where they are experiencing health problems and I felt there was a sense of urgency to give them the opportunity to get together,” Colaprete said of the midday luncheon. 

He noted there have been smaller get-togethers in the past, but this was the largest scale event held. 

Ray Lehman, 95, a retired guidance counselor, was the oldest to attend. Lehman was the first guidance counselor at the school.

“He started the program back in 1962,” said Colaprete, a historian and researcher who is eagerly awaiting the publication of his first book. “Ray began teaching here in 1956, taught for four years, left and came back in 1962 as the first guidance counselor. 

Fred Boggs, a retired junior high principal, traveled the longest distance to attend the luncheon, eight hours, from Evansville, IN. He made the trip with his wife, Carol, and their daughter as chaperone.

Kathy Chain, one of only two female high school principals in school history, and the only female principal in the last 120 years, was also in attendance. The school’s only other female principal was a first cousin and playmate of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, according to Colaprete, who said additional information is included in his upcoming book. 

Janet Schrickel, a retired high school teacher, was the retiree in attendance with the most years with the district at 39. Mark Spears came in second in that category with 37.5.

In all, the 51 retirees put in a total of 1,368 years of service to the district.

Included in the group, which enjoyed a luncheon catered by former Carrollton teacher Kelli Pridemore, were five of the school’s last six athletic directors (AD) and the son of one who passed away last year. The group dates to 1970 when, for the first time, the school had an employee dedicated solely to the position of athletic director. Prior to that time, athletic directors held an additional position. 

Superintendent W.R. Bell was the first AD, holding both positions from 1915-1930. Wendell Herron followed from 1930-1940; Vic Duvall, 1945-1946; Jerome Massay, principal and AD from 1947-1951; Nelson Blosser, principal and AD, 1951-1958; Welch Barnett, principal and AD, 1958-1963; James Waller, principal and AD, 1963-1965; and Don McBride, principal and AD, 1965-1969.

Robert “Bob” Bird became the boys and girls AD in 1970 and continued in that capacity until 1991, when he became only the boys AD. He held the position through 2000 for a total of 30 years, which makes him the longest acting AD in school history. 

Anita DePasqua became the girls only AD in 1984 and served through 1989. Tom Postlethwait took the reins of the girls AD department from 1989-2000. At that time, the two positions were consolidated into one and Postlethwait continued to serve in the combined position through 2003.

In 2002, the school hired its first assistant athletic director, a position filled by the late Howard George in 2002 and 2003. George stepped into the AD position in 2004 and remained there through 2007. Curt Hensley served as assistant with George in 2004 and part of 2005. Mark Spears was assistant AD from 2005-2007 and became AD in 2007, serving 10 years until his retirement in 2017. Jimmy Pyles (2007-2009) and Ron Colaprete (2009-2017) were assistant ADs with Spears.

Jason Eddy moved into the AD’s office in 2017, serving until 2023 when he became high school principal. Colaprete continues his tenure in the assistant’s chair today, beside Caleb Crowl, who was named AD in 2023.  

 Five of the six, Bird, Postlethwait, Hensley, Spears, Colaprete and Crowl were all in attendance at the event. Howard George’s son, Timmy, also attended the event.

Colaprete said from the smiles and conversations, the event was well-received by the retirees.

“I think they all had a good time,” he said. “I know I did!”

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