CLINTON – A staff writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune and a Tony Award nominee are among Clinton High School graduates who will be added to the CHS Hall of Honor in 2020.
The Clinton Community School District and the Clinton High School Hall of Honor Committee announced the 2020 Hall of Honor Class this week. Inductees into the Hall in its second year are Joan Beck, Denise Dudley, Roberta Fenlon, Wes Golden, Andy Grotelueschen, LuLu Johnson, Jeanette Peterson and Charles Toney.
The committee released the following biographies for the inductees.
Joan Beck, CHS Class of 1941, was a staff writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune. She served as a pioneer for women in journalism from the 1950s through the 1980s.
Beck was the first woman to sit on the editorial board of the Tribune. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University and joined the Tribune in 1950. Beck began her career covering fashion, cooking and beauty tips and moved to coverage of social issues such as adoption, foster care, education, working women and medical research.
In 1961, Beck took over the popular “You and Your Child” column, which ran twice weekly in the Tribune and was nationally syndicated. Her work garnered an average of more than 1,000 letters per week.
Beck also wrote several books, including “How to Raise a Brighter Child,” which was published in 1967, was translated into eight different languages and is now in its 18th printing.
Beck passed away in 1998.
Denise Dudley, Class of 1972, has achieved great success as a business entrepreneur in an era when women were not encouraged in such pursuits.
At the age of 30, Dudley was chosen to be the clinical director of California’s largest and most prestigious corporation of private psychiatric hospitals, Crestwood Hospitals Inc. Dudley’s responsibilities included supervising 18 psychiatric hospitals, securing and maintaining state contracts and serving as editor-in-chief of the corporate magazine.
In 1989, Dudley moved to Kansas City and founded SkillPath Seminars. The company grew into the world’s largest public seminar company, employing 350 full-time employees and recording a gross income of $200 million. (Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Dudley moved to Kansas City and started SkillPath with her husband.)
SkillPath works with Fortune 500 companies and is Microsoft’s training company of choice. Dudley sold SkillPath to Graceland University in 2000 but continues as an adviser and is a member of the board of directors.
Roberta Fenlon, Class of 1929, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in bacteriology from the University of Iowa Medical School.
Fenlon moved west to do her internship at San Francisco General Hospital and her residency at the University of California, San Francisco. Fenlon entered private practice in internal medicine in 1945 and maintained offices in San Francisco for 42 years until her death.
Fenlon was the first and only woman president of both the San Francisco Medical Society and the California Medical Association.
In 1964, Fenlon became the first woman elected to the California Medical Council and became its president in 1971. She was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company, was a long-time director of the Public Health League and served as director of Blue Shield of California.
In 1980, Fenlon received the University of California in San Francisco Charlotte Baer award for outstanding contributions to teaching. She received similar honors from the American Society of Internal Medicine, Heart Association, and San Francisco Examiner.
Fenlon died in 1987.
Wesley Golden, Class of 1990, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Northern Iowa, a master’s degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University and a doctorate of education in teacher leadership from Northcentral University in Minnesota.
Golden returned to Clinton High School in 1997 and taught for 20 years in the science department.
Golden began serving in the Iowa Army National Guard in 1997. As a Company Commander in 2003, Golden served in Baghdad, Iraq, and was deployed for more than 15 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Golden received the Bronze Star Medal, and his unit was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Citation.
In 2010, Golden was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was selected as a Battalion Commander. His battalion deployed for one year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Mazar, Sharif, Afghanistan in 2012.
Golden’s responsibilities included managing logistics for 18 separate NATO and non-NATO nations. He received a second Bronze Star Medal, and his Battalion was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation.
In 2016, Golden was promoted to Colonel and was assigned as a Brigade Commander. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and earned a master’s degree in Strategic Studies in 2017. He currently serves the school district as the Director of Learning and Collaboration.
Andy Grotelueschen, Class of 1998, attended Marquette University majoring in theatre, in 2002. After achieving his master’s degree in theatre from Brown University, Grotelueschen and his theatre classmates launched a theatre company called the Fiasco Theatre in New York City. Fiasco Theatre offers actor-driven productions and, after a decade of success, is a company-in-residence at Broadway Roundabout Theatre.
Grotelueschen has had small parts in television shows (“Elementary” and “The Good Wife,”) in commercials (Mastercard, Papa Johns, and Lenovo Computers) and in movies (“Coin Heist”). He’s landed two roles in Broadway plays, “Cyrano De Bergerac” and “Tootsie the Musical,” the latter earning him a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in May 2019.
Lulu Johnson, Class of 1925, was the first African-American woman in Iowa and the second in the history of the United States to earn a doctorate degree. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa before receiving her master’s degree in history for a thesis entitled “The Negro in Canada, Slave, and Free.”
Johnson taught history and politics at Talladega College in 1930-31 and at Tougaloo College from 1931 to 1940. She worked on a doctorate in history intermittently at the University of Iowa throughout the 1930s.
In 1941, Johnson successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, “The Problem of Slavery in the Old Northwest, 1787-1858.”
Johnson faced discrimination during her time at the University of Iowa. Forced to take a swim class as a requirement of her doctorate, even though she was enrolled in the history program, Johnson was not allowed to use the university swimming pool at the same time as whites.
Johnson taught history at historically black colleges such as Floriday A&M University, West Virginia State College and Cheyney University in Pennsylvania. At Cheyney, Johnson served as a professor of history and a dean of women students.
Johnson passed away in 1995.
Jeanette Peterson, Class of 1953, has a history of volunteering for Clinton area organizations over her lifetime. Peterson has been on the Sarah Harding board for more than 25 years and was active on the following committees or organizations: Felix Adler, Balloons in June, the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Police and Fire Retirement Board, Municipal Transit Administration, Civil Service Commission, Wa-tan-ye, the Jane Lamb Agatha Circle, the River Bluff Community Foundation of Clinton and the League of Women Voters in Clinton.
Peterson served as the precinct chair of the Clinton County Democrats of the second ward from 1960-1980. She worked with the Clinton County Historical Society and was the chairperson of “Living History Day” for seven years.
In 1980, Peterson received the YWCA Woman of Achievement award.
Charles Toney, Class of 1930, was a national leader in equal opportunity efforts, programs and results. He initiated one of the first voluntary affirmative action plans in the nation with goals and timetables used at John Deere prior to those which later became mandatory under federal laws.
Toney established and instituted local secondary programs such as Quad City Scholars, Home Grown Engineers and Quad City Merit Employment Council.
At John Deere, Toney was the first welder of color in Iowa or Illinois. In 1972, he was promoted to Manager of Minority Relations, and he became the first African American at an executive level when he was appointed Director of Affirmative Action.
Toney became known throughout the Midwest as the Dean of Affirmative Action and was respected locally, regionally, and nationally for his leadership in this area. He passed away in 2009.
The Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Honor has been established to recognize those who attended Clinton High School and have distinguished themselves in their careers, communities and personal lives, the Hall of Fame Committee said.
The induction of the 2020 Hall of Honor will be in conjunction with the Academic Awards night scheduled for April 17, 2020.