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Four LCHS graduates are Distinguished Alumni

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 Four LaRue County High School graduates will be named as LaRue County Schools Distinguished Alumni.

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Martha Sue Curle French, Carl Howell Jr., Dale M. Morris and Ronald L. Sanders will be honored at a Sept. 30 luncheon at the LaRue County Extension Office.

French graduated from LCHS in 1978 and Campbellsville University in 1984. In 1985, she began her career with State Farm and has held a variety of positions with them including a Chartered Life Underwriter designation from the American College.

In 2004, French pursued a life-long dream of becoming a lawyer, attending Stetson University College of Law part-time while working full time. She received her law degree in 2009 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association and the American Bar Association. 

In 2010, French established Nan’s Words LLC as a way to honor the poetry of her mother, the late Margaret Naomi Curle. In addition, French has had several magazine articles published, including articles for State Farm’s InView magazine and occasional articles for The LaRue County Herald News.  

She is an active volunteer, working with the Salvation Army, Neighborhood Service Center, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, Women’s Resource Center and Habitat for Humanity. She also served as a loaned executive with United Way of Central Florida and serves on the board of directors of Girls, Inc.  

French is married to Jesse Ray French, Jr. and has a son.

Howell graduated from LCHS in 1959, from Georgetown College in 1963 and from University of Kentucky College of Law in 1966. He served as a special agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1966 to 1969. He then returned to Hodgenville and began practicing law with his father. 

His law career has spanned over four decades. He has served as Hodgenville City Judge and then as Hodgenville City Attorney prior to implementation of the statewide district court system. He serves as master commissioner of LaRue Circuit Court, is a Lincoln historian and archivist and is a frequent speaker at historical events and area club meetings. He served on the advisory board of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is president of Preservation of Lincoln’s Kentucky Heritage, Inc., a non-profit corporation which was instrumental in purchasing the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek Farm and selecting the sculpture group responsible for creating The Boy Lincoln state.

Howell is a vintage postcard collector and has co-authored three Kentucky county history books and “Lincoln’s Kentucky Years.”

He has five daughters and is married to Sharon. Together they share 11 grandchildren.

Morris graduated from LCHS in 1968, from Western Kentucky University in 1972, and from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 1975. He opened a private practice in LaRue County in 1975 and was elected as LaRue County’s youngest county attorney in 1977. 

In 1986, he became an attorney for the Kentucky Department of Transportation Department of Highways and later became assistant general counsel for the Transportation Cabinet in Frankfort. 

After retiring in 2001, Morris was again elected as county attorney and continues to serve in that role. He has served as a member of the LaRue County Board of Education, board of directors of the Kentucky School Board Association, Hodgenville Rotary Club, Lincoln Museum Board of Directors, LaRue County Literacy and Adult Education Council and the review committee for the Excel Teacher of the Year Awards program. 

He is married to Cathy and has two children, a stepson, a son by choice and three granddaughters.

Sanders graduated from LCHS in 1966, from WKU in 1971 and the Kentucky School of Banking, University of Kentucky and the School of Banking of the South, Louisiana State University. He began his career at Lincoln National Bank, working summers as a bookkeeper and teller, eventually serving as head of bookkeeping, branch manager of the first LNB branch and loan officer. 

In 1977 he became executive Vice President of Bank of Magnolia (now Magnolia Bank) and later promoted to president and chief executive officer.

He has guided the bank from a $7 million dollar institution with one office and seven employees to a $125,000,000 institution with six offices and more than 50 employees. 

He has served on the boards of the Community Bankers of Kentucky and the Kentucky Bankers Association. He is a founding member of and currently serves on the Lincoln Museum board of trustees and has served as president of the LaRue County Industrial Foundation for more than 20 years. He is a board member of the Lincoln Trail Area Development District Workforce Investment Board and serves on the Kentucky Teacher Retirement System currently as vice chairman. He was named LaRue Outstanding Citizen in 1989, LaRue Outstanding Business Person in 1994 and Community Banker of the Year in 2000. 

He is married to Mary Kaye and has two sons and two step-daughters. 

Educators, friends and family who are interested in attending the awards luncheon may contact Sam Sanders at the LaRue County Board of Education.  Nomination forms for the 2012 LaRue County Distinguished Alumni awards are available at the LaRue County Board of Education and the district’s webpage.