2009-2010 EPS Hall of Fame Inductees

Terry Gizzi

     Terry has been selected as an inductee of the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame under the Former Staff Member category. Upon graduation in 1961 from Wayne Memorial High School, Terry went on to Western Michigan University and received his BS degree in 1965. His love for athletics was reflected in winning eight varsity letters in high school as well as being selected as Outstanding Athlete in the Class of 1961. Two letters in track were also earned while at Western Michigan University.
     Terry’s teaching career started at Cassopolis Public Schools (1967-1972) where he also coached cross country and track. He came to Edwardsburg Public Schools in 1974 and stayed until his retirement in 2000. His career at Edwardsburg touched virtually every student that graduated as he spun his magic in the subjects of American Government, Psychology, World Geography, World History, Current Events and his favorite, Law (civil and criminal). He continued his coaching career at Edwardsburg coaching the sports of volleyball for one year, golf for two years and track for twenty seven years.
     Terry was voted favorite teacher by the senior class many times and was finalist for Michigan track coach of the year three times, finalist for Michigan assistant coach of the year and finalist for National assistant coach of the year. He also served on panels for the introduction of Law classes into the curriculum of several area high schools and taught the first law class at the high school level in Cass County.
On the personal side, Terry and his wife Kerry have three children. Son Troy, an Army Ranger, lives and works in Clarksville, TN and has two daughters. Son Todd lives in Maui, Hawaii and daughter Tracy lives in Normal, IL with her husband and their three children. Terry enjoys fishing “up north” and the Amazon for bass and has spent 20 years building custom golf clubs which he “tests” on various courses. He and Kerry have traveled extensively, covering all 50 states, European countries, as well as Brazil and the Caribbean.


Thomas A. Schenk

     Thomas has been selected as an inductee to the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame under the Lifetime Award criteria. Tom entered Edwardsburg Eagle Lake Elementary as a kindergartner. He distinguished himself throughout his career at Edwardsburg, being named Male Citizen of the Year at the Junior High School in 1964 and graduating third in his class in 1968. Besides his academic standing, he earned six varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball, serving as captain of the basketball and baseball teams in his senior year. He also found time to be involved in Student Council, Chess Club, Math Club, Debate Team and National Honor Society. Tom also was a leader in his church youth group, a choir member and frequent soloist. Tom received a Congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy.
     While at the Academy, he earned his parachutist wings, rose to the rank of Cadet Captain in his senior year and was on the Superintendent’s list, recognizing academic, military and athletic excellence. He was twice chosen out of 4,000 cadets to be a member of the five man Academy Color Guard. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in physics in 1972.
     Tom’s first assignment in the Air Force found him at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas for Undergraduate Pilot Training. As one of the top students, Tom secured the assignment as an Instructor Pilot
at Vance AFB, Enid, Oklahoma where he personally trained 30 new Air Force pilots. He was recognized for his outstanding performance as a pilot and officer receiving the Instructor Pilot of the Month award and coveted assignment as a Wing Flight Examiner. During his tenure the 71st Flying Training Wing at Vance was awarded the Outstanding Unit Award. Tom’s career took him all over the United States, Puerto Rico and Europe where he flew many different aircraft and was involved in untold training programs. In 1980, he had achieved the rank of Captain, serving as an Instructor Pilot, Squadron Flight Commander, Supervisor of Flying and Aircraft Controller, had acquired 2200 flying hours and an Air Force Commendation Medal. He left active service at that point to answer God’s call to become a full-time minister.
     Tom and his family moved to Fort Worth, TX so he could attend seminary. He graduated in May of 1983 with a Master of Divinity Degree and began his ministry career. Tom served churches in Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and presently as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Moriarty, NM. In 1986, Tom rejoined the Air Force as Reserve Chaplain. He was among the first Reserve Chaplains called to active duty following the 9/11 attacks and ministered to the first Airmen deployed to Afghanistan. He volunteered for 20 months of active duty supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Noble Eagle. Tom also
served on a pastoral team that would meet over 30,000 airmen deploying and redeploying to Iraq and oversaw the training and readiness of 60 plus reserve chaplains and assistants. Tom rose to the rank of Colonel and received the Legion of Merit at the culmination of his career. He retired from the Air Force on July 1, 2008.
Above all, Tom’s most fulfilling accomplishment is his family. He and Diane have been married 35 years and have three sons, a daughter and two grandchildren. Tom gives thanks for his family and his life to his Heavenly Father.


Birdella Ann (Carpenter) Holdread

     Birdella  has been selected as an inductee into the Edwardsburg Public Schools Hall of Fame under the category of Lifetime Award.  If there is anyone who exemplifies the heritage of the Edwardsburg community, it would have to be Birdella.  Her maternal family has been in the Edwardsburg area since 1828.
Cannon Smith, for whom the Smith Chapel on Redfield Road is named, was Birdella’s great, great, great grandfather.  Birdella is one of two people who were born in the Village of Edwardsburg and still lives here.  Birdella is married to Dennis Holdread and they have two children, Jennifer Wyant (Alan) and Mark (Stacy) who have blessed them with four grandchildren, Caitlin and Connor Wyant and twins Elizabeth and Logan Holdread.
Birdella was a member of the Edwardsburg High School class of 1965, the first class to attend kindergarten at the former “Chicago Road” school and then moved to the “new” Edwardsburg Elementary in 1953.
She has spent the majority of her working life with the local State Farm office, currently as office manager and licensed staff member.
     Public service has been a way of life for Birdella who has served on the Edwardsburg Public School Board of Education for 27 years, and has received the Michigan Association of School Board Awards of Certified Board Member, Award of Merit, Award of Distinction and Master Board Member.  She also sits as a Director of the Edwardsburg Public Schools Foundation.  You could find her volunteering in numerous charitable organizations and events, serving as President and Vice President of the PTO, as a Girl Scout Leader, American Cancer Neighborhood Chairperson, an active member of the Hope United Methodist Church, a Sunday school teacher and youth group leader.  She is a member of the Edwardsburg Chamber of Commerce, former member of the Optimists, and has helped in innumerable fund raisers that run the gamut from hometown events to national charities.  A true-blue Eddie who loves the color orange, you will find her cheering at any and all Eddie events and promoting her community and school at every opportunity.