Distinguished and honorary Arcanum Trojans


Arcanum News for the week of April 25, 2022

By Vickie Rhodehamel

At the Arcanum Trojan Homecoming (formerly known as the Arcanum Alumni Banquet) were the Distinguished and Honorary Trojans awards. The administration of Arcanum-Butler Schools is pleased to induct Mr. Phil Garbig as the most recent inductee into our Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. His commitment to our community and schools makes him very deserving of this honor.

Phil is a 1970 graduate of AHS and then continued his education at The Ohio State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in business then obtained his law degree from Capital University Law School. After receiving his law degree, he returned to Arcanum to serve clients in his hometown as this is where he wanted to work and raise his family.

In the past couple of years, Phil has retired from his law practice and most of these boards, passing reigns of leadership to the next generation. However, his passion for community involvement has not changed and his efforts have been concentrated right here in Arcanum. In 2010-2011, Phil worked on the committee that campaigned and designed our K-12 Arcanum School Building that you are sitting in this evening. Again in 2019, Phil stepped up and spearheaded the campaign for the Arcanum Schools Multi-purpose building in an effort to provide a modern facility for our agricultural programs and FFA as well as a new training center for our student athletes. While Phil and his wife, Karen, were donors, most importantly he worked with legislative liaisons to obtain government funding for agricultural education and talked endlessly with community members about giving their financial support to the project. In the winter of 2019, this dream became a reality as the administration and committee members were able to open the doors to this new building that would support our ag education and FFA programs that had just been recently reinstated.

Phil’s loyalty and support to the Arcanum school district has been unwavering since his graduation in 1970. In 1973, he married fellow Arcanum alumni Karen Stephens. They are the parents of three children who they raised in the Arcanum schools. Carrie and her husband Craig reside here in Arcanum with their three children. Carrie followed in Phil’s footsteps by attending law school and going into law practice with her father. Their son also lives in Arcanum. Ben is a Sergeant with the Miami County Sheriff’s Department and spends his spare time coaching the Trojan Varsity Softball team and his wife Jaimee is a teacher right here at Arcanum Middle School. Phil and Karen’s son, Zach was a fifth grader at Arcanum Elementary when he passed away after a multi-organ transplant. His legacy is continued with the fifth grade Zachary Garbig award given annually to a fifth-grade boy who has overcome obstacles and reflects the distinctive character that Zach had. Phil and Karen are proud grandparents of six and can still be found spending their free time in the bleachers cheering on their grandchildren, fundraising for school projects, and supporting our Trojans. Phil’s contributions to our community and school for the past 45 years are immeasurable and we are honored to induct him into our Alumni Hall of Fame.

When choosing an inductee for honorary Trojan it is based on any of the following criteria:

A community member who provided extraordinary service to our school, a former staff member who provided outstanding service to the school district and its students, and/or lives out the mission of Arcanum Butler Local Schools. Our 2020 inductee (awarded in 2022 due to the pandemic) embodies these criteria. John Hennemyre spent 27 years working to better our school and community as a teacher, coach, and volunteer.

Mr. Hennemyre came to Arcanum in 1965 where he taught chemistry, physics, and physical education. He was a favorite teacher among students, and he showed a lot of patience working with students in chemistry labs with open flames and chemicals! While an educator he also dedicated time as a coach. He spent 3 years as a baseball coach and 17 years as a basketball coach. During his tenure as a basketball coach, he had the honor of coaching in three state tournaments, 1967, 1969 and 1976. During his time as AD was when the original sports running track was built. He helped develop the sports athletic boosters. In 1978 he co-founded the Cross County Conference and served as secretary-treasurer of the conference for 13 years. In 1972 the Arcanum sports park was built at the south end of Arcanum which was a premier ballpark among other schools and communities with four ball diamonds, centralized concession stand, actual bathrooms, and parking lot! It would be amazing to know the number of kids that have played ball and the hours that have been spent in the stands cheering on kids and grandkids at our ballpark just on the south end of town and John play a vital role in that project.

John also engaged in our community where he was a member of the Lions Club and served as an EMT on the Community Rescue in the 1970s and 1980s.

John retired from Arcanum in 1992. He is married to Laverne, and they have two children, Jon and Beth. Mr. Hennemyre still attends Arcanum basketball games to cheer on our Trojans and of course when we have our Night of Champions honoring our regional and state championship teams he is there to reminisce with his former players.

Thank you Mr. Hennemyre for all your years of service and going above and beyond by investing not only in the students you taught but generations after that have prospered because of your dedication to this school and community.

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-423-3763, by email at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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