Honomichl to be inducted into KSHSAA Hall of Fame
After 38 years of hard work and constant dedication, former Baldwin High School teacher and coach Ginny Honomichl has received the lifetime achievement award of being inducted into the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.
Honomichl was able to choose when she will be inducted. Her induction will occur during the KSHSAA state track meet in Wichita in the spring of 2012.
“This honor is a lifetime achievement recognition,” Honomichl said. “It’s one to be shared with the many who made it happen, especially my family and the Russell and Baldwin City communities, I owe them a huge thank you.”
Becoming a teacher was an easy decision for Honomichl.
“When I was in high school, many years ago, the choices for females were to be a stay at home mom, secretary, nurse or teacher,” she said. “I come from a long line of teachers. My mom was a teacher for a short amount of time so teaching was a natural decision.”
Honomichl has been involved in countless activities at BHS over the years. She was a science teacher from 1986 to 2008. She was the girls' tennis head coach for 22 years, head softball coach for nine years, head boys' tennis coach for four years and the assistant junior high girls basketball coach for two years.
She has been a substitute teacher at BHS since 2008 and teaches first aid, CPR and AED classes to BHS bus drivers and teachers. She is also the announcer at the BHS varsity basketball games.
Honomichl had an astonishing career at BHS, but she actually got her start at Russell High School, where she was a science and physical education teacher from 1970 to 1986. While at Russell she was the head coach of the girls' tennis team for 16 years, started the girls' track and field program and coached it for 14 years and started the girls' basketball program and coached for 10 years.
Some of the current BHS staff members had Honomichl as a coach, or played against her teams.
“I can’t say this was one of my favorite memories of coach Honomichl, but it is one of the most memorable,” BHS history teacher Kathleen Sigvaldson said. “The last basketball game I played in high school was against coach Honomichl’s team. We often laugh about how her amazing team ‘beat us like a drum’. Our team, probably the worst in the state, was intimidated by the Russell team. Our challenge was to get the ball to our court after they made a basket. It was not a pretty sight.”
While some staff members played against Honomichl’s teams, others got to coach along side her.
“She was extremely well prepared as a coach,” current BHS history teacher and girls basketball coach Bob Martin said. “She was very detailed oriented and extremely organized.”
Several of the BHS staff members had the opportunity of being co-workers with Honomichl and enjoyed having her around.
“ She is great to have as a colleague, because she helps all teachers to be better teachers,” Sigvaldson said. “First by setting an example and then by being willing to help out in any situation.”
Honomichl has many memories from her coaching career.
“Some of my favorite memories are the tennis trips in the district’s vans or suburbans,” Honomichl said. “Singing, vomiting out the window of the brand new van, leaving the evidence on the outside, backing into a rodeo contestant’s pickup truck at state tennis in Pratt, and Peggy Wessel throwing out the first pitch to start the BHS softball program in 2000.”
Her players also have memories of her as a coach.
“She’s an amazing coach,” senior Hayley Schwartz said. “She’s tough when she needs to be, but she understands what is going on and can help you fix whatever problem you have. She also knows how to have a good time.”
She has many memories from her teaching career, as well.
“Some of my favorite memories from teaching are cat dissections, some the of outstanding Senior Mastery Projects and teaching a class within a class with Laura Beaulieu,” Honomichl said.
Honomichl’s interest in sports began in her childhood.
“I was definitely labeled a tomboy when I was growing up,” Honomichl said. “Our backyard was the neighborhood softball field. My brother and I would play basketball against the side of the garage for hours until it got too dark, too cold or it was time to eat.”
Honomichl gathered inspiration from a co-worker at Russell High School.
“I was so blessed to work in a department with Jim Krob,” Honomichl said. “Coach Krob was the kind of teacher and coach I wanted to be, I learned so much from him. Ironically, Coach Krob and I were inducted together into the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 2008.”
Honomichl inspired many of her co-workers with her dedication.
“She has always put the students first and has always believed in them, even when they are struggling,” Sigvaldson said. “She’s one of those teachers I have strived to be like.”
Honomichl has gained respect from her players as well.
“I love coach Honomichl,” junior Katie Pattrick said. “She is a fantastic coach and she is one of the top people that I respect. She loves to have fun, as well as getting the job done and winning.”
Being inducted into the KSHAA Hall of Fame was a great surprise for Honomichl.
“My first reaction to finding out I was chosen for induction into the KSHAA Hall of Fame was an adrenalin rush,” Honomichl said. “I wanted to call our daughter, Abby, to tell her but I had to wait until she got off work so I texted her to call me when she could. She is the one who initiated the nomination process making the honor even more special.”