Fallen soldier one of four inducted into WCCC Hall of Fame

A Lebanon soldier who died defending the U.S. in Afghanistan earlier this year was one of four men enshrined in the Warren County Career Center’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Thursday.

U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Bobby Lee Estle, a 1992 graduate of Lebanon High School and the WCCC’s Restaurant Management/Culinary Arts program, was memorialized by leaders of the school at the ceremony. Estle, 38, was killed in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan on July 28. It was his fourth tour of duty.

“Sgt. Estle would have been home for good this week,” said WCCC Superintendent Maggie Hess. “He is an inspiration to all our alumni and current students.”

Estle’s widow was unable to attend the ceremony but sent her gratitude for the induction.

“The Hall of Fame inductees are individuals who have put forth that extra degree of effort that separates the good from the great,” Hess said. “They are putting fort extra effort every day in everything they do.”

Other inductees included Arthur “Chip” Johnson, Gary Campbell and Mark Khudyak.

Johnson, owner of Trio Hair Design in Franklin, graduated from WCCC’s cosmetology program in 1994.

Johnson is carrying on his father’s tradition of running a small downtown business in Franklin, where his father was a plumber for a number of years. Johnson sponsors baseball and football youth league teams in Franklin and helped to start the Jacob Blevins Memorial Scholarship for students at WCCC.

“I’m thankful to be recognized by this great school,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since I was here. They do a great job and I appreciate what they did for me every day.”

Campbell, vice president and general manager of Buchanan Power Equipment in Lebanon, graduated from WCCC’s small engine repair school in 1981.

Campbell began working part-time at his grandfather’s business, Buchanan Power Equipment, while studying at WCCC. After graduating, he started in the parts department and worked his way up to his current position.

Campbell said that while the WCCC helped him in his vocational studies, he was also pushed in academic achievements, citing one teacher who encouraged him to run for student council after noting his interest in government class.

“While I really grew in my vocational pursuits, I also took away skills from the educators here, like my government teacher Mrs. Anderson, that I have been able to carry with me,” Campbell said.

Khudyak, executive chef at the Pub at Rookwood Mews, graduated from WCCC’s culinary technology program in 2001.

Former culinary instructor Teresa Collins said that in high school, Khudyak was a leader and quite focused on his culinary career.

‘The teachers here helped drive me to success,” Khudyak said. “I received a lot of one-on-one attention and it started me on a successful career path.”

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