A night honoring distinguished alumni and educators
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at Riverside Golf Club
5:30 pm Cocktails | 6:30 pm Dinner
Hall of Honor
The Hall of Honor, inaugurated in 1983, recognizes Grand Island Senior High School alumni
who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the betterment of society.
Class of 1968
Hall of Honor 2024
George Ayoub was born and raised in Grand Island. He attended Howard Elementary School, Walnut Jr. High, and Grand Island Senior High where he graduated with the Class of 1968. He earned both a Bachelor’s and Master's degree from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with concentrations in Journalism, English, and Mass Media. His Master’s research explored the impact of television viewing on the reading habits of Eighth Graders.
He taught in middle and high schools for a number of years, including seven years of journalism and English at Senior High, where his staffs on the Islander newspaper and Purple & Gold yearbook won several Cornhusker Awards, the highest ranking for Nebraska high school publications. He also taught in Lincoln and Pasadena, California. He was a member of the Doane University adjunct faculty for 10 years.
In 1994 he began writing a weekly column for the Independent, and in 1998 he became the newspaper's editorial page editor and featured columnist. He retired from the Independent in 2015 after filing more than 4,000 columns, features, and editorials on deadline. In 2022 he began writing for the Nebraska Examiner where his Commentaries appear every Monday.
His writing has been honored by the Nebraska Press Association, the Associated Press, and Gatehouse Media. His columns on education were recognized by the Nebraska State Education Association with its Friend of Education Award in 1999. His columns were also honored by the Nebraska Center for the Book with its 2002 Mildred Bennett Award given to an individual who fosters the literary tradition in Nebraska. His advertising copy for a St. Francis Hospital television spot was a finalist for a Telly Award, a national competition for video and film production.
He has written three books, two short novels, "Warm for Christmas” and “Dust in Grissam,” both first serialized in the Independent, and “Confluence,” the 2019 biography of former Omaha World-Herald publisher, John Gottschalk, a book for which he won a Nebraska Book Award in 2021.
For seven years he was an assistant baseball coach at Senior High and for American Legion teams. He was a Teammates mentor for more than 20 years and has served on the boards of the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and the Heartland United Way. In September of 2023 he was inducted into the Grand Island Senior High Football Hall of Fame. For 11 years he portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge on the Senior High stage in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” a production that included community members and GISH students. In 2016 he developed Rise, the alumni newsletter for Grand Island Senior High alumni and friends and serves as its editor.
In 2021 he joined Hastings College where he was part of the Academic Support staff, a member of the adjunct faculty teaching rhetoric and news writing, and the advisor for the Collegian, the college’s newspaper. In 2023, the college honored him with the Anderson Mentoring and Advising Award, which is presented to an employee who has advised, mentored or made a significant difference in the life of a Hastings College student.
He and his wife, Jacalyn, have a son Max and a daughter-in-law Kallie.
Deeply honored by this recognition, he believes we have a responsibility to leave the world better than we found it -- even if that means poking it just a little -- and credits his family, friends, parents, editors, teachers, coaches, students, and professional colleagues for helping him do just that.
You are invited to attend the celebration.
Join the GIPS Foundation for an extraordinary event, Legends & Legacies. The Foundation is dedicated to honoring distinguished Grand Island Senior High Alumni to the Hall of Honor and celebrating our Legendary Educators. This event is a celebration of the remarkable individuals who have not only walked the hallowed halls of education but have also left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those they have touched. Join us as we celebrate these extraordinary alumni and the passionate educators. Legends & Legacies welcomes you to an evening of celebration, reflection, and recognition of those who have shaped the future through their commitment to knowledge and the pursuit of greatness.
Thank you to the Legends & Legacies sponsors. We appreciate you and your support of Grand Island Public Schools excellence.