Please join us in recognizing the 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees at the Scarlet Celebration at the new venue at The Meadows Conference Center at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona. Free parking and easy access! Be sure to get your tickets on our Events page.
J. Elder II – Class of 1987
Mounted near the entrance of East High School is a plaque with a Vince Lombardi quote: “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.” These words have been a guiding principle for J. Elder II since his Dad began sharing the quote when he was a student at East. “My dad used to tell me that all the time when I was an average wrestler at East and always getting beat, but I never gave up. In my daily journeys those words are always in the back of my head and remind me to work hard and to never give up,” J. Elder said. After graduating from East, J. earned a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture degree from Iowa State University and a business degree from Upper Iowa University. Though it was on the hallowed grounds of ISU’s campus that J.’s love of playing in the dirt blossomed. Ask J. Elder II what he’s most passionate about and he’ll likely tell you “giving back.” Living up to the East High School motto ‘For the Service of Humanity’, J. believes in supporting causes in the community that make a lasting impact.
Robert (Bob) Johnson – Class of 1966
Bob graduated from East High in 1966 and earned his CPA certification while working for the KPMG CPA firm after graduating from Drake University in 1970. Throughout his career, Bob was a CPA and corporate Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for several central Iowa businesses. He later worked at Heritage Communications that was co-founded and headed up by Jim Cownie and Jim Hoak, who then included Bob as one of several Founders and a chief financial officer of their subsequent business venture of Heritage Media Corporation, which later went public with an IPO. Bob ended his business career working for over 20 years as the Executive VP and CFO of FC Stone Group where he was key in setting up an Employee Stock Purchase Plan that allowed all employees to participate in ownership, and several years later he was then the lead in taking the company Public in a successful IPO that all employees benefited from. Bob stated the values in addition to the education he received from his days at East High and his parents, who also graduated from East High, of hard work, responsibility and treating people well and fairly has benefited him in both his personal and business life.
Dr. Steve Taylor – Class of 1966
East High School is in Steve Taylor’s blood. He is a third-generation East graduate. When his children were young, Steve would sing the East High School Song to his kids each time his family drove by on I-235. “One of my kids actually learned the words!” Steve said. It was the strong foundation that he gained from his time at East that propelled him into a successful career as an Orthopedic Surgeon. After East, Steve studied Biology at St. Olaf College and was selected for a research project at Argonne National Laboratory in 1969. Steve later attended medical school at the University of Iowa. He completed orthopedic residency at Mayo Clinic, where he was the Chief resident his senior year. He also studied orthopedic sports medicine at the University of Oregon. In 1980, Steve returned home to Des Moines and joined Des Moines Orthopedic Surgeons, where he practiced for 35 years. Aside from a successful professional career, Steve has lived a life of service to others. “Volunteer activities have been a significant part of my life, serving others and giving back to your community has been a goal to live by beginning at East High,” Steve said.
Brent Isenberger – Honorary EHS Inductee
You don’t have to walk the halls of East High School to embrace the Scarlet spirit. For proof, look no further than Brent Isenberger, photographer extraordinaire. Brent, a Scarlet by marriage and by decree, is a familiar face at many East celebrations. Well, maybe his face isn’t familiar, but his camera is front and center as he documents all the moments that make up the Scarlet experience. Brent, ever the good sport, has joined his wife, Hall of Famer Julie Christiansen West, on many reunion planning committees for the Class of 1976. A graduate of Clarion High School (school colors are also red and black) was “adopted” by his wife’s class as an honorary Scarlet. The “official” certificate has a place of honor over the bar in his basement. Brent’s participation and influence at East extends beyond class reunions. Since 2015, when the EHS Scarlet Celebration was moved from the high school gym to the Iowa Events Center, Brent has been the official photographer. He is constantly on the move, working the room with his camera. The Celebration Committee has amassed a large library of images thanks to Brent’s work. The capital campaign committee also used Brent’s video work to promote the $4.1 million fundraising effort.