Hall of Honor

Betty L. Werner Schmelzer

This honoree was a 1946 graduate of Delphos Jefferson High School.  While in school, she showed a lot of Wildcat pride and spirit as she participated in band, choir, and as a cheerleader.  She transformed that positive social attitude into a career as a bank teller for two of our local banks. 

Her passion for her beloved school sparked more inspiration in her retirement years while beginning to volunteer at the elementary school.  She became somewhat of our resident historian, starting with tracking down the names of the students in all of the class pictures and leading many other projects, collecting pictures and facts about our school.  She would do great detective work starting with a name, make a few calls, then a few more, and next thing you knew she had a picture complete, sometimes with friends and relatives leading to a connection to the next picture.  She spent over ten years gathering information and names and created so many binders that they took over a guest bedroom in her home.

After all those years working on the school’s history, she has turned her attention to the City of Delphos.  She is currently on, along with other local historians, a committee that is working to write a book on the history of Delphos.

It is my pleasure to present this Hall of Honor award to Betty Louise Werner Schmelzer.




Donald E. Allemeier


          This 2016 Honoree is a Delphos Jefferson graduate of 1946.  He came to Delphos in 1940, was a Wildcat and has been an avid Wildcat fan through generations of Children and Grand-children who were graduates as well. 

          After high school he served for two years as an Army paratrooper, but then he returned to his roots in Delphos to support this school and community, and support he did!  In 1963 he purchased Delphos Tent & Awning and was very successful at not only business but helping many young men learn the value of hard work and responsibility while working their summers putting up tents all across the area.  Not only did he serve the community and schools through his business but also his free time.

He was president and carnival chairman for the Parent-Teachers Organization for many years, Alumni president for a time, and continues as a booster of the Delphos Jefferson athletics.  He ran the chains at the football games, after he helped run the wire to connect the sideline telephones to the pressbox.  He put up tents for the track team, helped with stage props for musicals and transportation of band equipment to competitions.  If you saw a canvas floor or bench covering or tent at any school event back in the day it would be a safe bet that he was behind getting it done.

As with all our honorees, their contributions go far beyond just the school.  He is a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church where he was leader of the Youth Fellowship from 1965 to 1973 and most recently served on the Church’s board of Trustees.  He is a strong supporter of the churches dedication to the upward programs and anything else he could get involved with in the Delphos community.  It is with great pride that I present to you 2016 Hall of Honor awardee, Donald E Allemeier.




Duane D. Reynolds


Our second hero to be honored tonight passed away January 23, 2017, just 42 days after we had the honor of awarding him a diploma 73 years after he left our school to join the Naval training academy.  He trained as a medic in the Navy then later in the Marines to accelerate his deployment into World War II.  He barely survived two of the costliest battles of the second World War sustaining a major concussion from the first and severe leg damage from the second when a mine exploded near him.  Hospital after hospital tried to find a solution for a leg that would swell each night beyond what would be expected.  Doctor after doctor tried to convince him to have the leg amputated but he refused.

After being discharged he found a bone specialist who performed a 12-hour operation which was a success but he was told he would be using a cane the rest of his life.  After a couple weeks of walking along Elm street in Lima he tossed the canes and defied the odds once again.

Like many soldiers who truly see the horrors of battle the stories are not easily shared.  It wasn’t until he reached his 80’s that his sons we afforded the opportunity to hear of the rough times that he had experienced.  Despite earning three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and a letter of Presidential Commendation from Harry S. Truman, it just wasn’t what heroes did.

I was proud of my very small part in getting this hero his diploma, which he valiantly earned so many decades ago, and now I am even more proud to present to his family, this plaque making him a member of the Delphos City Schools Hall of Honor 2019, Duane Devere Reynolds.


Greg A. Blythe

The first of this year’s recipients dedicated his life to service, spending 34 years in the United States Army.  This 1976 graduate was very active back in his high school days, participating in many sports, a member of both choir and band, and completing the college preparatory program needed to further his interests in science.  In 1980 he earned a degree from the Ohio State university, and then went on to earn a DDS degree from the Ohio State university of Dentistry in 1984.  He originally saw the Army as an instant job in his field and an opportunity to go to Europe.  In 1998 he completed the Army Periodontics residency program and earned a Master’s degree in oral Biology.

His job out of college turned into an amazing career and definitely afforded him the opportunity to see the world.  Through his career he was stationed in Germany, Oklahoma, Egypt, Kentucky, Korea, Hawaii, Washington and even Iraq where he was deployed in 2011.  His most satisfying assignment though was a stint serving a mountain village in Honduras.  He has made the statement that “It was a privilege to treat a group of people who normally would never receive any sort of dental care.”

During his career he received numerous medals from many of those assignments as well as served as a diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology.  After enjoying his career, he is now enjoying his retirement and getting an opportunity to continue his travels.

Because of those travels he was not able to be with us here tonight, I think he was going to be stuck in Hawaii this weekend, so here to accept his award is his sister Laura and his mother.  It is with great pleasure that I present the first 2019 Hall of Honor award to Greg Alan Blythe.





Jon “Jack” A. Leeth

This honoree is a graduate of 1957, here reminiscing with his classmates.  60 years ago he served as Senior class president, editor of the Delphi, and was the class Salutatorian.  His education continued at Ohio University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science in 1961, he started a Masters’ degree program then at the University of North Carolina which he completed in 1987 at the University of Southern California.  

          In between those degrees and since this man has experienced just about everything you can imagine public service is about.  He started with two years as a volunteer in the peace corp, working his way up to Associate Director, to Interim Deputy Director, then becoming a Consultant. He has been a project Director with SERD Inc., Chief of Programs Branch of Court Administration Division, Chief of Party to the Administration of Justice and a Consultant on USAID Rule of Law projects around the world.  He has provided training, evaluation, consultation, helped develop projects and helped develop policy for groups all over the map.

          As impressive as the positions he has held, may be the places around the globe that he has held them, a highlighted list includes: Afghanistan, Armenia, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Kosovo, Lesotho, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Ukraine, Uruguay and Washington D.C.

          It is with great pleasure that I present to you 2017 Hall of Honor recipient Jon Arden Leeth.



Laura M. Schmelzer-Clevenger

          This new inductee into the Hall of Honor was a 1990 graduate of Delphos Jefferson High School.  She graduated in the top ten in her class and was very involved with extra-curriculars.  She was a member of the National Honor Society, lead the student government and excelled in sports by going to state in track as part of a relay team in 1988 & 1989, and in 1990 went to state as part of a relay and as an individual in both the long jump and the high jump.  At graduation she held at least 6 school track records.  She was also one of the main players on the basketball team that 17-5 in 1990 and was one of two Jefferson girls named 1st team N.W.C. and was selected to play for the District 8 All-star team as they competed at St. John arena in Columbus.

          It was basketball that took her to Capital University in Columbus, where she led the Crusaders to a Division III national championship in 1994, and she shined on the biggest stage by scoring 21 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in the championship game defeating Washington, Mo. University 82-63.  She was honored as national player of the year, naming her the number one division III player for 1994 in the entire United States. 

          Educationally she went on from Capital and got a Master’s degree from Chatham College and a PHD from Nova Southeastern University and is currently an Associate professor at the University of Findlay in the Occupational Therapy department.  It is with great pride I present to you the newest member of our Hall of Honor, Laura Marie Schmelzer-Clevenger.



Leslie C. Peltier

This inductee was a graduate in 1975….though it was an honorary one, I hope he was as proud of it as we all are of him.  Life was much different back in 1916, the World was at War, and a farm boy in northwest Ohio didn’t need a diploma.  What he had though was a vision and he used it to scan the night skies.  It all started when his mother pointed out the star cluster Pleiades, he then borrowed a book from the library, and spent his strawberry picking money an $18 mail order telescope.  In 1925 with a bit nicer telescope on loan from Princeton he discovered the first of 12 comets, 10 of which now bare his name. 

His love for the stars made him more than just the “world’s greatest non-professional astronomer” as he was dubbed by Dr. Harlow Shapley of Harvard, it inspired so many skills within him.  In 1937 as a designer working at the Delphos Bending Company he developed the skills to create the first merry-go-round telescope that could rotate to follow anything that moved through the skies.  In 1965 he became an author by publishing his autobiography “Starlight Nights” which was illustrated by the author of course. He has received numerous accolades, an honorary doctorate from Bowling Green State University, and appeared on the game show “to tell the truth”.  He not only had the award for amateur astronomers named after him there is also a  mountain range in California.

Through all of this he was still a proud part of our little community serving on the Delphos Public Library board for 33 years until his death in 1980.  It is with great pride that I present this 2018 award to his son Stanley, honoring Leslie Copus Peltier.



Melvin E. Hoover

This 2016 Honoree was a 1954 Graduate of Delphos Jefferson High School.  While in school he was a very busy young man.  He played on the undefeated 1953 Northwest Conference Champion football team, served as class treasurer, National Honor Society vice-president, was one of the leads and won the Arion award as “Buffalo Bill” in the class play “Annie Get Your Gun”, won top honors in the county scholarship test…and that was just his senior year!!  He was a member of the varsity “D” club, played baseball and basketball, won a table tennis championship, won science awards, was an artist for the “Re-echo”, tutored younger students and somehow found the time to help construct the Delphos-Lima electrical towers.

All of this help made him into the adult he was who loved art of all media, tutored the unemployed and elderly in computer and job skills, and worked with gifted children to expand their talents.   He went to Ohio Wesleyan University to play football and then transferred to the Ohio State University where he earned a chemical engineering degree.  While pursuing his degree he worked full time for the gas company then spent a majority of his career with Marbon and then Borg chemical companies starting on the line then working his way to a position as associate technical director.

Though this wonderful man passed away on October 9, 2014, he continues to serve not only his community but through the help of his lovely wife of 55 years, his giving has come full circle with a generous donation of $50,000, of which the interest is to go to two scholarships for each of a student showing great leadership, Scholarship, Character, & Service as well as a scholar-athlete.  This year the first scholarships were presented to two seniors in the amount of $1260.00.  Ladies and gentlemen tonight I would like to present this award to his wife Valentine, 2016 hall of honor, Melvin E. Hoover.



Robert D. Kiracofe

This inductee into the Delphos City Schools Hall of Honor did not graduate from Jefferson but he did dedicate 27 years of his career to our students.  He came to us with a degree from Bluffton College in 1975. His first stint with us was 11 years as high school English teacher.  After a few years away he returned the Delphos as a middle school reading and elementary physical education teacher in 1989.  In January of 1995 he took over as the High school Principal and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2005. 

Along the journey he not only led students from his positions of teacher and principal, he coached track, basketball, and football, at all levels, he coached both boys and girls programs and he was an advisor for student council.  This allowed him to touch the lives of so many of our students for almost three decades. 

He served the community in many ways also.  His nominator pointed out that he served on the board of trustees to select “Mark Youngpeter” scholarship recipients for both Jefferson and St. John’s.  He began a summer track and fun run program to give the kids of Delphos positive and healthy activities to do when they were away from school.  Another example of this was his instrumental involvement of bringing the national program of upward basketball to Delphos and later he and the Methodist church in Delphos partnered with the Hartford church of Spencerville to expand the program into what it is today.  Children of all denominations began chanting the slogan with him “GOD IS GREAT, ALL THE TIME!!” 

But our students were not the only people whose lives were touched by this man’s dedication.  He was on the original committee of the Delphos Relay for Life and supervised the event being held at the high school for several years.  It is with great honor and pleasure that I introduce 2015 inductee into the Delphos City Schools Hall of Honor Robert Kiracofe.



Sherry D. Stienecker-Meadows

          This honoree is a graduate of 1956.  She was very active in high school earning nearly straight –A’s, while participating in band, choir, national honor society, cheerleading, and working on the staffs of the Re-echo and the Delphi.  During her senior year she was named home coming queen.  After graduation she went on to the Ohio State University where she earned her bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in Psychology and school administration.  In 1958 she even found time to be once again be named homecoming queen, this time of the Ohio State University.

          She had a full and illustrious career in education starting as a special needs teacher in Springfield, Ohio.  She later became the school psychologist in Urbana, Director of Special Education in the Reynoldsburg district, Director of Intervention Services in Upper Arlington, and finally Superintendent at West Liberty Salam Schools.  Throughout her professional life she continued to lead a very active and talented life.  She played multiple musical instruments, accompanying other musicians with her piano skills, played at numerous churches and was even part of a tap dance group.

                In 2015 she lost her battle with cancer at the age of 76…..We would like to present this award to her husband Carroll Meadows for a beautiful, talented and intelligent woman who made us very proud to name her a 2018 Hall of Honor recipient, Dr. Sherry Dee Stienecker-Meadows.