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Garden City High School Hall of Fame Honors Two Former Graduates

The Garden City High School Hall of Fame committee has selected two former Garden City High School graduates to be inducted into the 2021 GCHS Hall of Fame.  The local inductee is Steve Quakenbush and the out-of-county inductee is Dr. James “Jim” Fishback (awarded posthumously).

Steve Quakenbush is a 1974 graduate of Garden City High School.  He received an Associate’s degree from Garden City Community College in 1976 and a Bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Mass Communications in 1979.  He is currently the Director of the Finney County Historical Society.  He started his career as the Editor, Haskell County Monitor Chief in Sublette Kansas, became a reporter and then News Editor at the Southwest Daily Times in Liberal, Kansas, and then Executive Director of Public Relations for Garden City Community College for 23 years. Through his tenured career as a public information director he earned a series of awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations as well as Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medallion Awards for television commercial production, news/feature writing, and print advertising.  He has led the museum and historical society with major new exhibits, boosting attendance in museum visits, and tripling the holding of the in-house research library.  He has also given back to the community through his leadership on the Convention and Tourism Advisory Board, Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Board, March of Dimes Walk America Committee, and the Garden City Telegram Reader’s Advisory Council. 

James “Jim” Fishback, M.D., is a 1973 graduate of Garden City High School.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biology from Southwestern College in 1977, a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from Kansas State University in 1979, and his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Kansas, School of Medicine, in 1983, where he was a pathologist from 1986 until his retirement in 2018. He spent two years as the Residency Program Director in the Department of Pathology and did two years as Chairman of the Pathology Department.  He was honored by his medical students with the annual “Student Voice Award”, which he received for more than 20 consecutive years.  He also received numerous awards during his career including the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Classroom Teacher in 2000, Ruth Bohan Distinguished Teaching Professorship in 2004, was named The Kemper Foundation Fellow for teaching Excellence in 1999 and 2006 and received the prestigious Chancellor’s Club Distinguished Teaching Professorship. He also served as Director of Curriculum and Design at KU.  He spent 25 years in the Air Force Reserves reaching the rank of Colonel.  He retired as the Vice Commander of the 442nd Medical Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base.  After retiring from the Air Force he became a Medical Intelligence Analyst to help defend our country against biological threats.  Dr. Fishback passed away on January 13, 2019.

GCHS Hall of Fame Background

In 1984, an idea was conceived among administrators and Board of Education members of the school district, to recognize past graduates of GCHS who had gone on to distinguish themselves through outstanding accomplishments.  This idea was brought into action the following spring, when the first members of the Garden City High School Hall of Fame were inducted.  The purpose for the formation of this select group is twofold:  It is to honor past graduates of the school for their accomplishments in their chosen professions.  It is also to present positive role models to the current graduating seniors as well as to the rest of the student body.

It is the Hall of Fame’s purpose to communicate to Garden City residents and the rest of the world that Garden City High School produces graduates who are second to none.