Back row: Phil Adams, John Mahan (Jack Mahan's grandson), Mack Barhart, Dr. Jerry Payne (V.S. Payne's son)
Front row: Marcia Schmitz, Susie Rouw, Dr. Jane Clayton HickersonDistinguished Educators AwardV.S. Payne was the Agriculture teacher at Gainesville High School for 27 years. He came to GHS in 1945. During his tenure, his mentorship produced 36 Lone Star Farmer Degree holders and 14 American Farmer Degree holders, the highest state and national degrees a vocational agriculture student can achieve.He graduated from Texas A&M College of Texas in 1931 and taught in Abernathy and Throckmorton before coming to Gainesville.Susie Rouw was a Theater and Speech teacher at GHS for 14 years, while also teaching English I. She was the UIL Director and also coached Extemporaneous Speaking and Debate. She was also the One-Act Play Director for 14 years and each year her students won numerous awards for their performances. Her love for the theater led her to direct 14 musicals at GHS.Marcia Schmitz taught Consumer and Food Science at GHS and later became an Administrator with the GISD, serving as an Assistant Principal at GHS and Principal at Lee Intermediate. She also developed the GISD Education Foundation and formed the organization’s first Board of Directors.Distinguished Alumni AwardJack Mahan graduated from GHS in 1916. He was a standout athlete, participating in football and track. He attended Texas A&M where he also participated in both sports. His college years were interrupted by World War I. After the war, he returned to A&M where he played football for legendary coach D.X. Bible. In 1919, the team was undefeated and unscored upon. In 1920, he was the captain of the team and had many All-Southwest Conference honors. He participated in the 1920 Olympic Games in Belgium and finished 12th in the javelin throw. He returned to the Olympics in Paris in 1924 and won a silver medal in the long jump. He later returned to Gainesville and taught vocational agriculture at GHS.Mack Barnhart graduated from GHS in 1956. He has been a successful attorney in Gainesville for many years. He served as the Gainesville City Attorney for two separate terms under two different mayors. He has served the community in a variety of ways. He has been on the Gainesville Hospital District Board of Directors and the Gainesville Independent School District Board of Trustees. He has also served as a Deacon at First Christian Church. He also taught Math at GHS.Phil Adams graduated from GHS in 1964. He went on to graduate from Texas A&M in 1968 and Texas Tech School of Law in 1971. When the Cooke County District Attorney’s Office was created in 1981, Adams was appointed to that post, serving as DA until 1991. He has been in private law practice since then. In 1994, he acquired Howeth Title Company and started Adams Title Company in 1995. He has served on several local boards including the Gainesville Independent School District Board of Trustees where he was the Board President for many years.Jane Clayton Hickerson graduated from GHS in 1972. She has four degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington including a B.A. in English, a Master of Arts in English, a Master of Science in Social Work, and a Ph.D in Clinical Social Work. She began her career as an educator at UTA in 1976 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and now serves as the Assistant Dean of Field Education for the UTA School of Social Work. In between, she has taught at several colleges and universities, worked for private companies, and worked in private practice. She has conducted numerous trainings across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. She is also a published author.