The Garden City High School that Beth Tedrow and Bryce Roderick graduated from was not the bright, yellow campus that greeted them Friday night for their alumni Hall of Fame induction.
Tedrow, who went on to become a teacher and enthusiastic college administrator, was one of the first graduates of the new, now old, high school in 1955. Roderick, who spent the bulk of his career rising through the ranks at the National Junior College Athletic Association and Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference, saw the school add its basketball gym and football field before graduating in 1963.
But the school was still home and joining the ranks of other honored alumni was still deeply humbling, they said. When you’re in high school, you feel like a nobody, Tedrow said. Being celebrated decades later was one of the most rewarding honors she’s ever had, she said.
“I think you don't ever lose the perspective of where you came from … ” Roderick said. “You really felt really part of the community and you went from being a kid in the community to really being a person people looked up to … You really felt like now the community was part of you.”
Tedrow and Roderick became the 67th and 68th inductees into the GCHS Hall of Fame on Friday night, chosen from a list of nominees because of their success in their careers. Saturday, they’ll stand before this year’s graduates, offering their advice after decades of service to students.
Tedrow spent her years as an educator, coming back to teach math and science at Garden City High School straight out of college before going on to be a math instructor, dean of women, counselor, recruitment coordinator, director of admissions and dean of student services at Garden City Community College. Today, the student center on campus stands in her honor.
Roderick worked as a local businessman before moving into a career surrounding college sports, first as assistant director of athletics at GCCC, NJCAA assistant women’s division director and KJCCC commissioner. A brother of four sisters and father of five daughters, he spent much of his career advocating for and promoting women’s sports. Whatever he did, he said he fought for fairness.
In a career circulating around young people, Tedrow said, more than anything, she loved working with students. As an administrator and counselor, she was there for students who were thrown out of class, or fighting suicidal ideations or just looking for a person to talk to. The experiences ran the gamut, she said, and several students, especially the ones who gave her grief, came back to see her years later.
Coming back to GCCC, or just seeing the strides it takes as an outsider, is inspiring, she said. She was proud to see the school’s coffee shop run by special education students and the practical training given to each student.
Looking back, Roderick said he would want to tell students the road to tomorrow is not straight and to adapt to upcoming road blocks. Tedrow told students to be true to themselves.
“Be committed. Whatever it is, be committed and don’t sell yourself short and don’t let others sell you short,” Tedrow said.
Contact Amber Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.