The February enrollment figures for Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation made a big impression on Superintendent Randy Taylor. That’s because enrollment increased over the number of students from the beginning of the school year. Taylor said, “We have more students moving into the community. The indication is that we are being noticed and people are moving into our community seeing the strengths in academics, athletics, and performing arts.”
At the conclusion of this school year, Taylor will be celebrating 45 years in education and he is excited and enthusiastic about what is happening in the schools today and the part he wants to play in it. After 13 years as an instructor and coach in Martinsville, Taylor made the decision to become an administrator. “I felt a need to get into the side of education where decisions were being made as to what was best for students and also for the community, because they run hand-in-hand. To have a good community, you have to have a strong school system.”
If you have ever resided in Morgan County, especially in Martinsville, it is very likely that your life has been touched by Ruth Rusie in some way. This remarkable woman will turn 100 years old this October. Although that is a wonderful achievement, the list of what Rusie has contributed to the community and county since she came to Martinsville in the 1940s is extensive, wide-ranging, and amazing.
Her involvement and contributions are too many to list comprehensively. Some include service to the Morgan County Coalition for Literacy, the Morgan County Public Library Foundation Board, the Martinsville Education Foundation Board, the Martinsville Literacy Club, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, Greater Martinsville Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation, City of Martinsville, United Way and the First Presbyterian Church in Martinsville.
Rusie has been honored and recognized for her service. In 2008, she was named grand marshal of the 49th annual festival parade at her alma mater, DePauw University. In 2014, she was named Senior Volunteer of the Year by CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions, and in 2015 she received the Legacy Award from the Community Foundation of Morgan County.
When Martinsville native Jeff Main left for college, economics was his major. He was interested in economics, but his primary objective in selecting DePauw University was both more focused, and broader. “My intention in college was to learn to learn,” Main said. “I tried to develop a broad-based knowledge and understanding of business, but then learn how to apply a variety of skills.”
His first job was as a bank examiner for the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions. After three years, it was a personal connection with fellow church member, Charlie Horrell, that changed his course. Horrell asked Main to join him in opening an office of Hilliard Lyons in Martinsville. “Charlie was in business in the Bloomington office and saw a need and opportunity in Martinsville,” Main said. “He became my mentor and senior partner in the business.”
Main says that for the first part of his career it wasn’t his position to think organizationally. “But it informed my beliefs,” Main said. “I learned from other talented people and I learned to trust the things they emphasized. Because of them I developed the confidence to put my own thoughts into practice.”
The heart of the services the Hilliard Lyons teams in Bloomington and Martinsville provide is helping families and businesses save, plan, invest, and manage their money and assets.
For individuals and families, Main and his team work toward goals such as securing lasting assets for retirement, savings for college educations, and transitioning wealth from one generation to another.
Jen Sadler noticed she was only one of a few women in the mass of 400 students in the lecture halls at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. But it did not intimidate her. Because, she said, “I was there on a mission to get my business degree.”
She began college in the late 1960s, pursuing a degree in psychology, although business was what she had on her heart. “I didn’t know it was OK or acceptable at that time,” Sadler said explaining why she was taking psychology classes instead of business classes at first. She switched majors and nothing else mattered. Women were stepping into new roles and she was right there on the front lines and credentials were important.
After graduating, Sadler went to work for Mayor Richard Lugar and then went on to work at the Indiana Department of Commerce. While she was there, she met Stan Sadler, who was working in commercial real estate sales downtown. He encouraged her to take classes to become a Realtor™. Again, credentials and a deep knowledge of the field were important to her, so she took all the classes and exams necessary to not only be a licensed real estate agent, but a licensed broker as well.
After more than thirty years at the helm of the Costin Funeral Chapel, Kenny and Debbie Costin agree that there’s always a greater plan and patience will bear it out. “We aren’t supposed to worry about it,” Kenny said, “we are to pray and have faith that God has a plan.”
The Morgan County natives weren’t always so sure. When he graduated from Eminence High School, Kenny went first to Purdue to study accounting, and then had designs on playing basketball for a small college in Florida. When that did not happen, he began testing with the Navy to go into the nuclear energy field. While in that process, his brother, David, who was a licensed director at Carlisle Funeral Services in Mooresville, asked him to fill in and help with services there. “I worked there for about a week and then,” Kenny said, “because I needed a job, I asked for one, and Mr. Carlisle took me on.”
It was about that time that Kenny went to the dentist and met Debbie. “He’s not shy,” Debbie said. “He called the dentist and asked if I was dating anyone.” When he was told Debbie had just had a bad break up, he took to heart the dentist’s wish for “good luck” and sent her flowers and they became a couple.
Growing up halfway between Martinsville and Monrovia in the Wilbur area has caused Autumn Hodge to have a slightly different perspective on life today. Her backyard was several acres just down the road from her grandparent’s house. She spent a great deal of her time out of doors, engaged in sports like softball or basketball, or helping in Grandma Wilma Hodge’s garden. With little, if any, cell or internet service at home, she is less tethered to her cell phone or computer than most peo-ple, and she likes it that way. In fact, she says she often has to calm visiting friends telling them they will survive not having cell service for a while.
Her fondest memories of home and family are in the garden and kitchen with Grandma, making jelly, chicken pot pie, and baking up pies, cakes and other goodies. They would start in the garden picking produce that, depending on the season, could range from strawberries, blue- or blackberries, cucumbers, tomatoes or green beans to apples from the trees. She learned to sort, snap, chop, strain, mash, cook, and can the foods into good old Mason jars. They’d cool and be stored in the cellar ready to feed the family all year long. But before that happened, the “extras” would be fashioned into pies and other pastries to eat right away.