Congratulations to the Bowling Green High School Hall of Honor, Class of 2021: Gail Gilbert Rasmussen, Class of 1966; Charles Wilson, III, Class of 1967; and Carolyn Cossey Pitchford, Class of 1969. The honorees and their families plan to visit BGHS on Friday, September 24th for a small luncheon, and tours of the school. Each of the Honorees will also be introduced on the field at the Homecoming football game on Friday night, with kickoff at 7:00 p.m.
Gail Gilbert Rasmussen, Class of 1966
Gail Gilbert Rasmussen grew up in the historic Shake Rag district of Bowling Green and was a leader at both High Street High School and Bowling Green High School. She served as class president at High Street, sang in the choir, and was a youth leader at State Street Baptist Church. After graduation, she spent four years in Germany with her father, an Air Force Sergeant, where she worked for the European Exchange System and also met her husband David.
Upon returning to the United States, and for the past 55 years, Gail has been a trailblazer in many roles, and is considered a highly respected mentor and public speaker. She was the first African American employed by School District Nine in Oregon; hired first as the secretary receptionist, but then became the Health Occupations Career Counselor and liaison to the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 1999, she was named the National Education Association Support Professional of the Year. Prior to her retirement in 2013, she was the first Black individual and first non-classroom teacher elected to serve as President of the Oregon Education Association. She served for eight years as president and chief spokesperson of the organization.
Ms. Rasmussen has also volunteered in several capacities, giving of her time and treasure to the YMCA, American Red Cross, the Dental Foundation of Oregon, University of Oregon Alumni Association, the Chelsea Hicks Foundation, the D9 Foundation and other organizations supporting military and hospitalized veterans.
She retired in 2013 and now resides in Mulberry, Florida with her husband of 52 years. They have two sons, six grandchildren, one great-grandson, and several other youths that are considered their “kids.”
Charles Wilson, III, Class of 1967
Charles Wilson, III graduated from Bowling Green High School in 1967. He attended Western Kentucky University until he was drafted in 1969. He then became a Military Policeman in Ft. Bliss, Texas, where he served for two years. In 1977, Wilson graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry for the US Army. In 1981, due to his exceptional leadership skills, he was assigned to command two companies, and was deployed to Little Creek, Virginia for Amphibious Warfare Training.
By 1989, Major Wilson was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell Kentucky as the Division Comptroller. He deployed with the 101st in September 1990 in support of Operation Desert Storm. In 1996, Lt. Col. Wilson was assigned to the Army’s Budget Office in the Pentagon, and one year later was named Deputy of Congressional Affairs for the Appropriation Committee, and upon retirement was awarded the Legion of Merit.
As a civilian, Wilson has served as a senior consultant for Unisys Corporation, providing support to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and as Vice President of Global Consulting for Jones Lang LaSalle.
In 2000, Wilson was hired as the Senior Civilian for the United States Army Recruiting Command and in 2001, the Army created a three-star headquarters at Ft. Knox and Wilson became the Director of Resource Management and Logistics. Ten years later, Wilson was reassigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the US Army Cadet Command overseeing collegiate and high school ROTC and JROTC programming for the United States, as well as in Germany, and Korea.
In 2019, Wilson retired from Federal Civilian Service and was awarded the Superior Senior Service Award.
Mr. Wilson lives in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with his wife of 50 years, Melissa. They have three children, aka “Army Brats” ; Jason – a Chief Warrant Officer 4 Aviator and retires from the Army on March 1st 2022; Andrew – the CEO of Logikull based in Bend, Oregon; and Kathryn who is the Director for Health Care Transformation for Aptive Consulting.
Carolyn Cossey Pitchford, Class of 1969
Carolyn Cossey Pitchford (known as Cara) graduated from BGHS in 1969 and attended WKU before transferring to Northwest Missouri University graduating with a degree in English and Library Science and earning a teaching certificate. She began teaching at Prescott Community School in Iowa before returning to Bowling Green where she earned a Master’s Degree while working as a computer operator at Fruit of the Loom and serving as a Graduate Assistant for WKU. She returned to K-12 education in 1983, working for Allen County Schools where she served as a media specialist and then school technology coordinator. In 1993, Pitchford was one of the first 12 educators chosen by the Kentucky Department of Education to serve as an Instructional Technology leader for the state. In this capacity, she gave hands-on instruction state-wide to administrators, educators, and staff members in the new science of educational computer technology. She served as a media specialist and school technology coordinator for Allen County Schools and as an educational technology consultant for the Kentucky Department of Education until 2008.
Pitchford and her husband Bob were co-owners of Kentucky’s oldest, single-family owned weekly newspaper, the Citizen-Times, established in 1890. Upon her retirement from Allen County Schools Pitchford joined the newspaper where she fully digitized production and modernized the building and work areas. Pitchford also authored a weekly humor column, If You Ask Me. One of those columns, “Wounded Warrior,” an article about her veteran father’s fight with Alzheimer’s, was nominated for a Kentucky Press Association award.
Pitchford also served as the Coordinator of Technology and Communications for the Center for Gifted Studies.
Carolyn Cossey Pitchford continues to dedicate a significant amount of her time volunteering and serving our Bowling Green community. As a volunteer, she oversees marketing, graphic design, social media, and the website for Aviation Heritage Park, she is the Co-Chair of the Charity Ball Committee for the Commonwealth Health Foundation, she is a Trustee for the Cossey Family Scholarship Fund with the College Heights Foundation, and she serves on the BGHS Class of 1969 Alumni Committee.
Cara lives in Bowling Green with her husband, Bob. They have five children: Katie (Adam) Ellison, Laura Lee (Chris) Wren, Scottie-Beth (TJ) Lindsley, Eric Pitchford, and Bob Pitchford.