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December 9, 2014 • Headlines

South Ripley Alumni Tournament White Team, pictured above, battled against the Gray Team in the alumni basketball championship game at South Ripley High School. For a complete list of names and game details, pick up the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand. SUBMITTED PHOTO
South Ripley Alumni Tournament Gray Team, pictured above, won the alumni game with a score of 67-60. For a complete list of names and game details, pick up the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand. SUBMITTED PHOTO
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She’s 103!
Holton woman credits God for her longevity

Mary Mattingly

Zelpha Naylor has lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and such historical moments as women’s right to vote, the Civil Rights movement, and putting a man on the moon. Plus, she was there to witness the explosion of technology, things we use daily, such as the television, the telephone (and even cell phones), the automobile and airplane, personal computers and the Internet. This is the advantage to living over 100 years. The woman is a walking history book!

Zelpha Naylor


Pictured left is Zelpha Naylor at age 103.

Zelpha Naylor may be one of the oldest persons living in Ripley County. She will celebrate her 103rd birthday on Thursday. (A check with the four nursing homes in the county did not reveal anyone else that old living there, although there may be a few living on their own in the county.) Suffice it to say, Zelpha is in a rare club of centenarians in the county, state and country.

The petite Holton resident lives on her own (except for night care), and is in good shape, body and mind. She wears a hearing aid, takes no prescribed medication, walks on her own, cooks, bakes, gardens, and likes to be active. Her secret? It’s not a vitamin, an apple a day or a daily walk. “I live for the Lord. He comes first in my life.” Church has always been important to her growing up as the middle of five children. She recalled how her brother “took me to Sunday school by horse and buggy. We got in the two seated surrey and went over the hill and creek.” That was to Otter Creek Baptist Church. She grew up a few miles from Holton. She did attend the Holton Wesleyan Church, until it was destroyed by the 2012 tornado, and now goes to the nearby Methodist Church in Holton.

Another reason for her longevity could be her appetite. “I eat everything that doesn’t eat me!” she said and laughed, well except for milk and butter. She doesn’t like either raw. The tiny white-haired woman (she claims she’s 5 foot, but it’s obvious when she stands she may be fudging a half foot!), likes breakfast, and recalls even in the Depression they had biscuits and gravy. Her son Elmer, who is 80, takes her to The Whistle Stop every week for breakfast, and also visits twice a day. Daughter, Ruth Beach, passed away seven years ago. Zelpha has six grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 18 great great grandchildren, with one on the way!

Zelpha met her husband Perry through her brother and said it was love at first sight. He was invited to go fox hunting, and when she was introduced, she recalled, “This is it. I’m going to marry him.” They raised their children on a family farm in Holton where she lived for 72 years, up until last September. The couple had over six decades together. He died at age 83 in 1987.

Zelpha quit school after 9th grade to work. “I wanted to make money,” she said, “I did housekeeping and babysat.” She later went to work as a housekeeper at Muscatatuck, and a cook at the school in Holton. It’s no wonder than that she picks the washer and dryer as the best invention. It made her life as a housewife easier.. “I used a washboard, and then a wringer washer, but I still ran it through the washboard because I didn’t think it got cleaned enough.”

Many know Zelpha as The Pie Lady. She used to make over three dozens pies weekly for the Farmers Markets in the area, but quit when she was 95 years old. Today, she likes to crochet, garden flowers, and still bakes pies. “I like to bake better than crochet because I like to eat!” she says with a twinkle in her eye. Still spry, she was driving up until a year or so ago. Her brothers taught her on a Ford, gave her a push down a hill, “I’ll never forget it. They let me loose and told me all I had to do was guide it. I went over the hill and knocked a pump off a well, but the hill stopped me.” These were the same brothers who put her in the creek to teach her to swim. “I made a big show, and said, “I’m a dying, I’m a dying,’ to have them get me out of there. But that set me for life. I never did like the water or learn to swim.”

Zelpha Naylor on horse
Pictured right, Zelpha Naylor is on a horse in Tennessee several years ago.

She’s done plenty of other things though, like travel to the Holy Land and visited many of the states. When asked what is left for her to do, she replied,” l want to go shopping.” She’s not a buyer, but a browser. She gets a lot of attention, her granddaughter Brenda Beach says, because of her age. Brenda visits regularly and also helps take her places. Zelpha has outlived most of her friends and all of her siblings, and while she grieves their death, she knows life goes on. “The Lord helps me,“ she said. She is not afraid of dying. “I’m ready to go…but I would like to finish this crocheting!” (She’s making a gift for Brenda.)

She and her family will celebrate her 103 years at her home on Thursday, Dec. 11. Anyone wishing to send her a card may do so at PO Box 6, Holton, IN 47023.

“I can’t wait to get started.” - Tim Taylor
Jac-Cen-Del hires superintendent

Cathy May

The final step in the process to hire Tim Taylor as the new superintendent for the Jac-Cen-Del School Corporation was completed at a special meeting on December 3. The Board approved entering into a contract with Taylor as the Jac-Cen-Del Superintendent. Pay and benefits are to be as discussed on November 24 and provided in the Administration and Central Office Staff Compensation Package and the Superintendent’s Addendum to the regular teacher’s contract. Taylor commented that he appreciated the professionalism in the interview and hiring process and that it was fair and thorough. He stated that he is looking forward to working with the school board, staff, and students at Jac-Cen-Del. Each member of the board personally welcomed Taylor to the corporation as did Arlene Knudson, an elementary teacher who was present.

Tim Taylor


Pictured left is Tim Taylor, new superintendent for Jac-Cen-Del School Corporation.

It’s official. Tim Taylor is the new superintendent for the Jac-Cen-Del School Corporation. “I can’t wait to get started as Superintendent of Jac-Cen-Del Community Schools. I am honored to be working with such a great corporation. Jac-Cen-Del has an outstanding reputation in Southeastern Indiana as a district that provides its students with a top-notch education. This is evident by the A rating they have received from the Indiana Department of Education,” said Tim Taylor, Jac-Cen-Del’s new superintendent.

For the past seven years, Taylor has served as principal of Jennings County High School. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Jennings County for eight years. During his tenure, that school made great strides in the areas of curriculum and academic progress, developing more than 35 dual-credit agreements and implementing nearly 50 new courses, including the complete series of Project Lead the Way pre-engineering and biomedical courses. As principal at Jennings County, Taylor oversaw the daily operations of a high school with an enrollment of 1,600 students and more than 125 total employees; led a school out of academic probation by implementing innovative programming and instruction; spearheaded efforts to develop the school’s brand and move the school from good to great; developed articulation agreements with postsecondary institutions resulting in more than 35 dual-credit courses and evaluated certified staff, administrators, and support staff. Jac-Cen-Del is embarking on a 1:1 computer initiative this year, and Taylor has experience with the iPad and laptop devices in the classroom. He was actively involved in the planning, training and implementation of this initiative at Jennings County, where they are beginning their fourth year of the program.

Taylor started his career at Rising-Sun/ Ohio County in 1988 where he taught biology and general science and coached varsity baseball, freshmen basketball, and middle school cross country. He also taught at East Central before going to Jennings County in 1994 as a teacher and later an administrator. Taylor received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville and obtained his master's degree and principal’s license from Indiana University Southeast.

“I take a blue collar approach to a white collar job. A true leader never asks his constituents to do anything he is not willing to do himself. I believe in leading by example, jumping in, rolling up my sleeves, doing whatever needs to be done, and refusing to be outworked. I also lead by empowering people, letting all staff members know how important their job is to the mission of the district, and assuring my staff that without their contributions we will not be successful,” says Taylor. Respect is key from both ends. “ I believe that a leader must be respectful to be respected. He makes people feel good about what they are doing, makes them feel appreciated, and makes them want to do more. Finally, I believe attitudes are infectious. I approach every challenge with enthusiasm.”

Taylor continued, “I believe there are three basic questions that a superintendent must ask himself when making decisions. Is it best for kids? Is it best for the district, and can the district afford it? When considering a proposal, all three of these questions must be answered affirmatively to move forward.” He understands small towns and the role the school system plays in its culture. “I have taught and coached in the Ohio River Valley Conference, resided in Ripley County, and attended countless meetings with the educational leaders from sending schools at the Southeastern Career Center. Through these associations, I have developed an understanding of the Jac-Cen-Del community and what it expects from its school system…”

Taylor will start as superintendent when school resumes after the first of the year. Taylor is married to Susan, a guidance counselor at Southwestern High School in Hanover. Their son Jake is a student at IUPUI. Daughters Sydney and Lydia are sophomores at Jennings County High School.

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Osgood church secretary makes symbolic ornaments (front page)
• 40-year-old killed in car accident (front page)
• You can help as a representative payee, by Charo Boyd, Social Security Administration (page 4)
• Two women arrested for drugs (Regional Wrap-Up, page 9)

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