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HHS inducts four to Hall of Fame

A prominent architect whose designs include Hendersonville City Hall and many local schools, a U.S. congressman and two longtime educators will be inducted into the Hendersonville High School Hall of Fame today.

The Alumni Association was to honor the four inductees in a ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday at the HHS Auditorium.
The honorees are:

  • Erle Stillwell, presented by Ian Pugliese, arrived in Hendersonville in 1903 from his hometown of Hannibal, Mo. After graduating from UNC, Stillwell earned his architectural degree from Cornell. In addition to City Hall, Stillwell designed Rosa Edwards School (1912), the Queen Theater (1915), St. James Episcopal Church (ca. 1917-1919), State Trust and Citizen's Bank (1923), First Baptist Church (1923), Hendersonville High School (1926), the Blue Ridge School for Boys (1926) and many local homes.
  • Chris Collins, presented by Sanbdee Carpenter, is a 1968 graduate of Hendersonville High School. After working for Westinghouse in Alabama, Collins moved to New York, where he was born. He owned and operated businesses that made solar panels, wind turbines, biotech products and commercial dinnerware for more than 35 years. In 2012 Collins was elected to Congress, representing eight counties in Western New York and the Finger Lakes region.
  • Walter "Skip" Gibson, presented by Jack Johnson, taught at HHS for more than 30 years. A graduate of Florida State University, he taught mentally handicapped students, establishing a skills program using woodworking and graphic arts. He helped build the Special Olympics program at HHS, boosting the confidence and self-esteem of students.
  • Keith Dalbec, presented by Kaye Youngblood, a longtime teacher and principal of HHS, was a social studies teacher who established the school's Croft Cup, which honors volunteerism. At HHS he was also teacher of the year, started a peer counseling and mediation program and helped guide the school through the city-county merger. He served as principal of Hendersonville Junior High School for five years and was HHS principal from 1992 to 1997.