The Washington Court House City Schools (WCHCS) Academic Hall of Fame inducted two new members this week.
Monday was a landmark day of academic excellence at Washington Court House City Schools, according to officials. The evening began with the celebration of two esteemed Blue Lions and their contributions to the community and the world by inducting them into the WCHCS Academic Hall of Fame.
The first member inducted was Dennis J. Denen, a 1964 graduate of Washington High School. Denen served the nation as a member of the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command from 1965-1969. Throughout his professional career, he served as president or vice president of seven electronic technology companies and was awarded over 40 patents by the United States Patent Office, and five international patents for an array of electronic technological devices and concepts.
Denen generously shared his vast knowledge with graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University, including fabricating and providing custom electronic equipment to The Ohio State University’s Electronic Engineering Laboratory.
His posthumous award was received by his wife — Laura Denen — who shared heartwarming stories about his professional achievements, service to the country, and commitment to a lifetime of learning.
The second member, William T. Junk, is a 1972 graduate of Washington Senior High School. He was recognized by the community for his scholarship, leadership, service and athleticism, earning the 1972 Clarence A. Christman Award, as well as the 1972 National Football Foundation Central Ohio Scholar Athlete Award.
Following his high school career, Junk graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1976 and earned his Juris Doctorate in 1979 from The University of Cincinnati College of Law. Junk returned home, serving his community as an attorney at law alongside his father and grandfather. His dedication to the community includes serving as president of the Fayette County Bar Association, as well as a member of the Fayette County Charitable Foundation, Fayette County Memorial Hospital Foundation, Huntington National Bank Advisory Board, Fayette County Free Clinic Board, Fayette County Cancer Society Board and the Gardner Park Stadium Committee. He continues to practice law locally at Junk and Junk, Attorneys at Law, the law firm established by his family 103 years ago.
Junk was introduced to the guests by good friend Bill Baer — a 1967 alumnus — who highlighted his academic achievements and service to the community.
“It was an honor to help induct these two into the Alumni Hall of Fame,” WCHCS Superintendent Tom Bailey said. “Obviously Mr. Denen is deceased, but his family joined us. He still has a strong family presence in the City of Washington Court House. With his science background and the number of patents he had showed, he had a brilliant mind. As far as Bill Junk, he is a wonderful, very humble human being. We are glad he is still a part of our community…..having his law business in town, and definitely is an asset to our whole county, but we are proud to have him as an alum of Washington High School.”
The plaques of these two members of the Blue Lion Family will join the 12 others in the entry of Liberty Hall, enshrined forever as members of the WCHCS Academic Hall of Fame.
The information in this article was provided by Washington Court House City Schools.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy