GOSHEN – Goshen Mayor Jeremy Stutsman gave an award named in honor of a former city leader to two teachers he considers friends and mentors Thursday.
Stutsman presented the Alan J. Kauffman Good of Goshen Award to Goshen High School teachers Carl Weaver and Jim Graves during the annual Founder's Day dinner presented by the city chamber of commerce. The award recognizes them for "making a significant impact on thousands of lives" and thanks them for "serving with an open mind and a full heart."
Graves, a language instructor, started a trip to Germany that Stutsman said he went on when taking that class while Weaver, a science teacher, started a marine biology trip that lead Stutsman toward earning a degree in biology. Both have also done a tremendous amount to help students with things like supplies and even clothing, Stutsman observed.
Also during his State of the City address, Stutsman described how Goshen bounced back not only from the mid-February floods but also the 2008 recession.
He praised the community for how it dealt with the flood and now the recovery process and noted that there were several city employees who were glued to his hip during the response phase, sticking around even when he said they should go home and get some sleep. He had all city employees, officials and board members in attendance stand to be recognized.
Stutsman also described the annual budgeting process and pointed to a few indicators of the city's recovery, such as achieving balanced budgets and rebuilding cash balances, which are the reserves the city relies on in lean years.
It's the kind of economic rebound that earned Goshen the Community of the Year designation from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, he noted. But to illustrate another reason for the win, he had everyone who had donated their time or money to a cause, neighbor or stranger raise a hand, which proved to be a large share of the audience.
"If you take a look around this room, this is why we won Community of the Year," he remarked.