Return to Headlines

Thomas Jefferson Inducts Four Into 2018 Hall of Fame


Thomas Jefferson High School recognized the achievements of the 2018 Hall of Fame inductees at the schools annual banquet and induction ceremony on Friday, April 13. 

Honorees for 2018 include Virginia Cantrell (Class of ‘58), Dr. Stephen Hardiman (Class of ‘69), Ralph (Ed) Kermoade (Class of ‘74), and Claudia Schnaible (Class of ‘55).

Virginia Cantrell

2018 Hall of Fame Inductee Virginia Cantrell Virginia Putnam Cantrell was born into a family that valued education. Her grandmother was a teacher and principal, her mother taught and her father was on the school board. Virginia was perhaps best known for the many hours on the piano that she accompanied her friends as they performed in plays, musicals, and music contests. She also played oboe in the band and was in National Honor Society. During her senior year, she was Class President, Homecoming Queen, and Valedictorian. Since graduation, she has remained active with her high school class, helping to plan reunions and other get-togethers. 

Her first 2 years she attended Graceland University, finishing her undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa. She earned her M.S. Degree in Librarianship from Western Michigan University in 1967 while working at an elementary school in Oak Park, Illinois. She came home to help her mother with the family business when her father died.

Virginia later married and raised Danny and Frances Cantrell. She worked part-time at the Council Bluffs Public Library, before starting as the librarian at Bloomer Elementary in the early 1970's. She went to UNO in the summers to earn her administrative endorsement. In the 80’s she returned to Tee Jay. While there she helped to set up the school's first computer lab and was an advocate against censorship. She sponsored the Astra Club and helped as an assistant coach to several Academic Decathlon teams. She retired from the district in 2000.

She has continued to be active at the high school by helping to raise money for the bronze Thomas Jefferson statue and serving on the Hall of Fame committee. She has also volunteered time at the monthly CHI Hospital book sales, the Community of Christ Thrift Store and Food Pantry and has served on the Community of Christ Caring Ministries Board. Virginia has also been known as one of the "peanut-brittle ladies" who have made the treat to raise money for a school in Haiti and for other ministries of the church. She has been a member of Phi Delta Kappa, and Altrusa International.  She remains a proud Yellowjacket!

Dr. Stephen Hardiman

2018 Hall of Fame Inductee Dr. Stephen Hardiman

Dr. Stephen (Steve) Hardiman is the first TJ graduate to become its principal. After graduation, he attended Dana college majoring in Biology and graduated Magna Cum Laude. While at Dana, he was a Four-time Football Letterman, 1973 Outstanding Senior Biology Student and the Outstanding Academic Athlete. He received a Master of Science Degree in Secondary Administration from the University of Nebraska, Omaha; and a Doctoral Degree from the joint University of Nebraska, Omaha/Lincoln program.

As a student, he was involved in choir, drama, football, wrestling, a three-year letterman, member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Thespians, Sports Editor for the Signal, served as the Junior Class Treasurer, and Senior Class President. He was the Symposium Moderator, member the Iowa All-State Chorus and was awarded the Marge Smith Hatcher Memorial Award.

Steve held many positions in the Council Bluffs district, from teaching at Carter Lake and Thomas Jefferson, Assistant Principal at Kirn and TJ, the District Supervisor of Career and Technical Education and principal at Wilson. As an administrator, he received the Council Bluffs Schools Excellence Award, Iowa Western Commendation for Outstanding Service to Vocational Education; and the Hollie Bethel Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. His schools were recipients of the First in the National in Education-Regional Award for Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement.

He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, and National Association of Secondary School Principals. At Harvard University, Steve served two years as a Board member of Harvard University’s International Network of Principals’ Centers. In the Community he served as a member of the City of Council Bluff’s Planning Commission, Pottawattamie County Soil Commissioner, Leadership Council Bluffs, and Mid-Day Optimist Club. He was a Pottawattamie County Environmental Educational Leader and Director of the Council Bluffs Iowa Youth Conservation Corps. Dr. Hardiman currently teaches at Clarkson College of Nursing in the Graduate College.

Ralph Kermoade 

2018 Hall of Fame Inductee Ralph Kermoade

Ed was part of the 444 that graduated in 1974, the 50th graduating class from Tee Jay.  While at Tee Jay he participated in football, tennis, and served for two years as the sports editor for both “The Signal” newspaper and Monticello yearbook.  He graduated from UNO in 1978 with a Bachelor’s degree in teaching social studies and physical education.  In 1991, he graduated from Drake University with a Master’s in Secondary Education Administration.

"Tee Jay has been a huge part of my life. My sister Libby, myself, my wife Cheryl, our three daughters (Kylene and Kelsey were both Homecoming Queens), our oldest grandson all graduated from here, and currently we have a granddaughter here. I even student taught Physical Education and Social Studies here, and over the years I have coached Tee Jay girls track and softball, and currently teach Drivers Education and sub here", he said.

Ed and his wife Cheryl started dating while at Tee Jay, and have been married for 42 years.  They have three daughters and ten grandchildren.  He is part of three generations to teach in the Council Bluffs Community School District.  His mother Barbara Kermoade taught at Kirn, Bloomer, and Edison, his daughter Kylene teaches 1st grade at Rue Elementary.  Ed taught and coached at Longfellow Junior High for seven years and at Wilson Middle School for 26 years.  He has also taught drivers education part time for 41 years at 13 different high schools across the metro area.

"Coaching at Longfellow and Wilson have always been high points in my life.  At Longfellow, I got to work with legendary coach Dan Koch (TJ, '65) who taught me that some students would not be in school if it wasn't for sports.  He made sure I understood to find out what makes the student tick, practice fundamentals, have fun, and put their goals ahead of mine.  At Wilson, I got to coach with Tee Jay All-American football player Mike Witt ('71) for over two decades", he said.

Volunteering with the Westend Optimist Club and the Cobra Optimist Sports Club is a big part of Ed's life.  He also worked with the Students Working All Together team at Wilson, a Junior Optimist Club. He was one of the marshals of the 2005 Celebrate CB Parade for his work with youth. He tries to pass on to all of his students that "it is always the right time to do the right thing" and "if you are early, you are never late".

Claudia Schnaible

2018 Hall of Fame Inductee Claudia Schnaible

Claudia has been a lifelong resident of Council Bluffs and a 1955 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School. While in high school she was a member of the Student Council and in the Pep Club. After attending one year at University of Nebraska - Omaha, Claudia decided to go right into the workforce and start her career. Several years later, she met her husband, Harvey, and they were married and had one child - their son John.

Her reatil career began in the late 1960s with a position at the Phillip’s Department Store. She was eventually promoted to a clothing line buyer where she enjoyed buying trips to New York City until Phillip’s closed their doors in 1984. After a brief entrepreneurial stint with her own clothing store, she finished out her retail career with Younkers and then Von Maur.

Claudia has always loved to dedicate her time and giving back to the community in many different capacities. She has been a youth leader for Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, President of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, a member of the Support Group for Alzheimer’s at St. Joseph’s Villa, a volunteer for Bethany Lutheran, and a member of the Hall-of-Fame Committee.

Claudia enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and great granddaughter when possible and she leaves open those two weeks in June so she can still go to the College World Series and tailgate with friends that she has made over the last 50 years, as a season ticket holder.