Bill Bevan '63 (second from right) is the 2018 recipient of the Father Tom Service Award. He is pictured with (from left) Principal Joe Brettnacher, President Joe Therber and Sheryl Bevan, Bill's wife.
Bill Bevan has been around Scecina longer than most people. Current students know him mainly as the substitute teacher with the dry wit and sarcastic humor. They may not realize his long history with the school.
On Oct. 24, Scecina President Joe Therber presented the Father Tom Service Award to Mr. Bevan for his long service and commitment to Scecina. This award is given to a person who places a high degree of importance on Scecina Memorial High School and who has “given that little extra” through the years, as inspired by Father Thomas Scecina, the school’s namesake.
Guests and the students in the bleachers gave Mr. Bevan a standing ovation. From his thank-you remarks, the students learned a little more about why Scecina means so much to this substitute teacher.
“I lived three blocks down the street, I watched this place being built,” Mr. Bevan said. “As Mr. Therber said, there was one ‘mayor of Scecina,’ and that was my father.”
Mr. Bevan injected humor in his remarks and played to the students. “The teachers are fabulous, especially the substitutes. Don’t you agree up there in the stands?” he asked the students.
Mr. Bevan met his wife, Sheryl, at Scecina, where she was a teacher. The Bevans have a daughter, Danielle.
“I can’t say enough about Scecina,” said Mr. Bevan. “I’ve been around other schools, but this is it. It’s No. 1 in my heart. It got me my No. 1 lady. And I want to thank everyone involved in this award and at Scecina Memorial High School.”
Father Tom Day is celebrated with a Mass each year at Scecina on or about Oct. 24, the day Father Tom died aboard the Arisan Maru POW ship along with fellow U.S. soldiers.
The principal celebrant for the Mass was Father Aaron Jenkins, Scecina’s chaplain coordinator. He was joined by Father Bob Gilday, Father Rick Ginther, Father Jerry Kirkhoff, and Monsignor Paul Koetter. Alumni, veterans and other guests attended the community event.
“Today marks the 74th anniversary of a tragic day,” President Therber said at this year’s Mass. “Yet that day would live on to bring faith, hope, and joy to thousands of people through the creation and naming of our school.”
Father Tom’s inspiration and his example set Scecina’s community apart from all other schools, said President Therber.
“No other community in the world has the role model that he is, a role model of service motivated by faith, patriotism, and unbreakable friendships,” he said.
Bill Bevan facts
Grew up in Little Flower Parish
Alumnus of Little Flower Catholic School
1963 graduate of Scecina Memorial High School
35 years at Allstate insurance, retired
50 years as scorekeeper for the Indiana Pacers, retired
Father was president of the Scecina Men’s Club
Mother was president of the Scecina Women’s Club
Service to Scecina includes coaching, substitute teaching, football statistician, class reunion organizer, volunteer in concession stand