Crestview Educator Hall of Fame Inducts New Class

Five former Crestview teachers were recently inducted into their Educator Hall of Fame during a ceremony held at halftime of a boys’ basketball game. High School Principal Dave Bowen, Superintendent Kathy Mollenkopf, and various committee members honored the inductees during the ceremony. Bowen expressed appreciation for the Convoy Community Foundation for its financial assistance with the hall of fame. Inductees of the seventh class of the hall of fame include Mr. John Basinger, Mrs. Coleen Etzler, Mr. Bill Jerome (posthumously), Mrs. June Turner and Mrs. Diane Webb.

Mr. John Basinger held many positions during his tenure at Crestview from 1970 to 2000.  In the classroom, Mr. Basinger taught math, science, and computer science and also held positions of assistant high school football coach, jr. high basketball coach, athletic director, bus driver, and, from 2000-2007, he served as the superintendent of the Crestview Local School district.  

Mr. Basinger’s overall educational career at Crestview, Van Wert, our Western Buckeye Educational Service Center, New Bremen, and Paulding, encompasses 18 years as a teacher and 24 years as an administrator, a total of 42 years in education. 

Mrs. Coleen Etzler began her teaching career at Crestview in 1978 after teaching six years previously at Ohio City Liberty.  At Crestview Coleen taught first grade, second grade, and Reading. She was actively involved in various committees serving on textbook adoption committees, advocating for students with individualized education plans, and was an active member of the OEA, CEA, and OFT professional associations.

In retirement, Coleen continued to assist Crestview by volunteering as a reading and math student aide.  She was an active tutor at the Village Ministry Center, organizing support staff as well as serving as a facilitator and tutor. Mrs. Etzler served 35 years in education. 

Mr. Bill Jerome began his teaching career at Crestview in 1967 teaching and coaching basketball and baseball at Crestview North.  After one year at North and six years of teaching experience in total, Bill was promoted to the principal position at Crestview North in 1968.  Mr. Jerome served as transportation director, attendance officer, and athletic director during his tenure as well, and in 1987 he was the head principal of both Crestview North and South, assisting in creating and establishing both learning disability and multiple handicap classes at Crestview.  Mr. Jerome retired in 1990, serving 28 years in the field of education, his first five years at Lincolnview where he also coached baseball and basketball, and the remaining 23 at Crestview.

Whether he was contributing at a board meeting, inspiring his teachers, listening to a troubled student in search of direction, rolling up his sleeves to help in the cafeteria, telling a light-hearted joke, or being swarmed by students during an occasional impromptu visit to the playground at recess, Mr. Jerome was always consistent in being professional, humble, kind, and standing firm rooted in principle guided by honesty and integrity. Mrs. Eula Jerome accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.

Mrs. June Turner started her educational career at the Wren School in 1959-60 as an administrative assistant.  In 1969, she taught one year at Ohio City, and in 1970 returned as a math teacher at Crestview.  During her 46 years of service to the district, Mrs. Turner was an integral part of the staff. She started the gifted program at Crestview, serving all three buildings, and became the first guidance counselor to work full time at Crestview South.  

As gifted coordinator, Mrs. Turner thoroughly enjoyed pushing the boundaries with students through lessons on archaeology, and photography. She influenced thousands of students during her career and dedicated her life’s work to the Crestview district.  She is known to have had great rapport with students and staff, was recognized by local peer groups and her students for teaching excellence, and did not hesitate to volunteer her time and talents to her community.   

Mrs. Diane Webb began her tenure at Crestview as a guidance counselor in 1976, after teaching girls’ junior high physical education in the Van Wert school system for four years.

While assisting students with plans for their future ranging from the scheduling of classes to their game plan upon graduation as a school counselor, Mrs. Webb also was involved in the school system as a junior high girls’ volleyball and basketball coach.  Most notably on the extra-curricular front, Mrs. Webb served as a student council advisor for the majority of her educational career at CHS. Students always knew that they had an adult they could turn to with concerns, issues, and questions about life in general. 

The Crestview Educator Hall of Fame inducts members on a yearly basis through a nomination process and committee evaluation.

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