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GBHS Hall of fame
Two new names join honored inductees
new deh gbhs hall of fame cavenaugh.PNG
Jean Cavanaugh

Great Bend High School Hall of Fame inductees include:

2008 – Skip Yowell, John Keller and Jack Kilby

2009 – Jack Bowman, Sean Murphy and Tim Weiser

2010 – Jenny Allford and Glenn Opie 

2011 – Don Halbower and Dan McGovern

2012 – Karla (Bender) Leibham and Bill McKown 

2013 – Allen Keiswetter and Celia LaBranche

2014 – George Nossaman and Randy Goering

2015 – Shannon Schartz and Ty Cobb

2016 – Jean Cavanaugh and Mike Goss

Great Bend High School has announced its 2016 inductees to the GBHS Hall of Fame. Recognized will be two individuals, one who has spent years serving students and another who made his mark in the world of finance.

Honored will be Jean Cavanaugh and Mike Goss.

The Hall of Fame ceremony and luncheon are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 17. The induction ceremony will take place between the girls’ and boys’ basketball games with Dodge City in the GBHS gym that night. A reception will follow the games in the Jack Kilby Commons and the public is invited.

Ticket sales and prices will be announced at a later date. 

This marks the ninth year for the HOF. Past inductees include globe-trotting JanSport founder Skip Yowell and microchip inventor Jack Kilby.

After the nominations come in, a committee made up of administrators, teachers, School Board representatives and local residents make the final determination. Nominees must be students, teachers or community members who have made a significant contribution to community or country. 

A display case in the GBHS commons contains plaques and memorabilia paying tribute to all the recipients.

Below are the biographies of the inductees as submitted by those who nominated them.

Jean Cavanaugh

Jean Van Horn Cavanaugh grew up in the small Iowa town of Lohrville. Her father was a country banker and her mother was a former teacher. Her brother is a retired banker/farmer and her sister, at age 82½, still teaches geography in a Houston magnet middle school. Jean has four sons: Tommy, Mike, Jones and Jimmy and one daughter Bitsy, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Jean’s school years involved Girl Scouts and playing clarinet in the band. During her sixth, seventh and eighth grades, she was deeply involved in studying spelling for the state Eaton spelling contests. She won the Calhoun county contests during her seventh and eighth grade years and placed second in oral and third in written in the state contest during the eighth grade. In high school Jean played in the band, orchestra and German band. She was the salutatorian of her graduating class.

Following her high school graduation, she worked for two exciting years for the FBI in Washington, D.C. During those years, she won a government employee spelling contest and played in the Government Girls’ Band.

Jean then attended the University of Minnesota and two years at Grinnell College. She married her long-time boyfriend, Dr. Clair Cavanaugh, when he graduated from medical school. They lived in Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Las Vegas, New Mexico. Her oldest son Tommy, was born in Hawaii and has the same type birth certificate as does President Barrack Obama.

The family moved to Great Bend in 1952. Jean was a member of the Northwest EHU, Cosmopolitan, and Athenian Study Clubs. She was a Girl Scout leader for 11 years and also served 32 years on the Community Concert and local school boards. Today Jean is a member of Etudion Club, RSVP, Senior Center Advisory Council and the Commission on Aging. She serves as a judge for the county spelling bee and is on the KOOD Bunker Hill Public Television Board.

Jean attended Fort Hays University in her mid-forties and earned a B.S. in Business and a Masters in Guidance and Counseling and the Education Specialist Degrees. She enjoyed substitute teaching for 16 years at Harrison and Roosevelt Junior High Schools

One of Jean’s greatest pleasures has been listening to Riley School children read to her for the past fifteen years. She has built some long-time friendships with many of the Riley students and has encouraged them all to play soccer. She continues to encourage the Hispanic students to attend Barton County College or a trade school so they can successfully support their future families.

Jean enjoys traveling, playing with her poodle Carlos, reading, politics, watching TV news and eating with friends at the Senior Center.

Mike Goss

Mike Goss graduated from Great Bend High School in 1978 after being born and raised in Great Bend. While at GBHS, Mike served as student body president, was a member of the debate team that won the state championship, and was the first four year varsity letterman in GBHS history as the captain of the tennis team.

In 1981, Mike graduated from Kansas State University, where he was a member of the men’s varsity tennis team, with a Bachelor of Science Magna Cum Laude in economics. Following a two year stint as a financial analyst at a large Dallas bank, Mike attended the Harvard Business School in 1984 where he earned a Masters of Business Administration with Distinction, indicating a top 10 percent finish in his class.

Following business school, Mike worked in a variety of financial positions in the Boston and New York areas. Most prominently, Mike served as executive vice president, chief financial officer, and a member of the board of directors of Playtex Products Inc. and later as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Digitas Inc., a worldwide digital media firm which he helped take public in 2000.

In 2001, Mike joined Boston based Bain Capital, a global private equity and alternative asset investment firm, where he served for 15 years in various senior managerial capacities including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. During his tenure in these roles, Bain Capital grew from $10 billion to $70 billion in assets under management, its number of global offices expanded from four to nine, and its worldwide headcount grew from 200 to 940.

Mike retired from Bain Capital in 2014 to pursue his personal business and philanthropic interests, but following two years of “retirement”, he recently returned to the workforce with international art auctioneer, Sotheby’s, where he presently serves as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer in New York City.

During his spare time, Mike continues to play tennis, travel, and explore his passion for photography. He is a member of the Board of Directors for a number of corporate and philanthropic endeavors, including The Kansas State University Foundation and the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where he also serves as Vice Chairman.

Mike currently resides in Westport, Conn., and New York City. He is married to his wife, Becky, also from the GBHS class of 1978, and he has two grown daughters, Emma and Lucy.