Academic Hall of Fame

Nomination Guidelines - Academic Hall of Fame

Academic Hall of Fame Nomination Form

Academic Hall of Fame Constitution


Hall of Fame Dinner 

Save the date—it’s time to celebrate! On Sunday, May 23, the 2020 and 2021 Waterford Union High School Academic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in the Plantation Banquet Hall at the Cotton Exchange in Waterford.  Because we were unable to host a gathering last year, this year we will be honoring our 2020 inductees LaVerne Lewis and the late Earl Steinke, as well as our 2021 Hall of Fame inductee Tom Roanhouse.

The celebration will begin with fellowship at 11:30 a.m., a dinner buffet at noon, and an induction program to follow. Dinner tickets are $16 per adult and can be purchased online at  The deadline for ordering dinner tickets is May 12, 2021.


2021 Recipient 
Tom Roanhouse

Tom is a 1969 Waterford Union High School graduate and a lifelong Waterford resident. After earning his  bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from UW-Milwaukee, Tom worked as a daily newspaper reporter for 11 years and began his government service career as a successful campaign manager.

He carried out a 40-year career in sales and marketing, events and promotions, and government service. He has owned, operated, and managed commercial, recreational, and numerous hospitality venues.

His government service career started as a Campaign Manager as he helped to elect a first-time Assembly candidate to the Wisconsin Legislature. That led to being appointed to a United States Congressman’s staff as administrator and liaison for two county offices. In addition, Tom served 16 years on the Waterford Village Board, including six as Village President. Currently, he is the Racine County Board chairman and in his eighth year as a County Board Supervisor.

Tom is also the President of the non-profit and charitable Union House Social Club, which founded the former River City All-American Kazoo band.

Along with his wife, Debbie, they have two adult sons and continue to live in the Waterford Community.

2020 Recipient 
Earl Wallmann Steinke

Born in Waterford in 1921 and a graduate of Waterford Union High School in 1939, Earl Wallmann Steinke was a 4th generation Waterford citizen and key contributor to the community for 75+ of his 94 years on local, state and international levels as a businessman, land developer and military leader.


Earl started his business acumen as a Waterford paperboy, then raised and sold pheasants with Bruce Hansen.  As a 4th generation businessman, he and his father transformed Wallmann and Steinke, Furniture and Undertaking to the entire mechanical contracting firm of Steinke & Sons, then Steinke Company. Well respected throughout the state, he sold it after nearly 150 years in the family. In addition to Steinke Company, he  and  his wife Virginia also owned the King O’Dairy drive-in in East Troy.

In the 1970s, Earl studied solar energy in Colorado and brought that knowledge to Wisconsin as one of the first in the State/Region to become a solar power expert, selected by the state to put photovoltaic power/heating in rest areas and state parks. Having built an exceptional

reputation, Steinke Company was selected by the US government to provide all plumbing, heating, and air conditioning to the upcoming Bong Air Force Base.



-Master Mason, Shriner (provide medical care for children), Jester, member of American Legion Post 20, and the longest continuous member of Waterford’s Community United Methodist Church (his great grandfather helped establish the church in Waterford).

-Requested by the village to be an advisor for the planning, development, and construction of Trailside, Woodfield, and Evergreen elementary schools, as well as the extension of Waterford Union High School.

-Developed two multi-acre wooded neighborhoods in the Rochester area, embracing the natural beauty of the area without over-developing.

-Milford Club- An original member of the investment group, made up of people in business from Waterford and Milwaukee.

-A constant supporter of Waterford High School, in the 1940’s, he was part of a group to organize a variety show to raise money for new band uniforms with ongoing contributions through the years.

-Coordinated effort with village fathers to put swans on the Fox River.

-Participant/Contributor to Waterford Parades for years with fun floats to include the Steinke Company bubbling bathtub. He was selected as Grand Marshall of Waterford 4th of July Day Parade.

-Advisor and assistant to townspeople in business and military career options. As an example, he welcomed Dr. George Buchal to Waterford and introduced him to clients and farmers.


Earl joined the Army Air Corps during WWII.  Selected as a fighter pilot, he flew the P-38, P-47 in the Pacific, and eventually P-51, F-86, C-119, and C-130.  Stationed in Hawaii during the war, then Chicago and Milwaukee Air Reserve Units, he was selected to be Wing Commander of the 440th Air Reserve Wing in Milwaukee.  This wing was selected as the Outstanding Reserve Unit of the nation four times under his leadership. He was the first non-full time

reservist selected for this position. 
Selected as a Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve, he decided to stay in Waterford feeling a responsibility to family and business, thus unable to move as required to fulfill that position.

Other humanitarian and unique contributions during his military career include:

-- Liaison Officer for General Thomas White, Commander 7th AF during “Operation Crossroads,” the Atomic Bomb test program in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands.

-- Mobilized for the Cuban Missile Crisis--developed plans to address the national emergency.

-- He saved 1000s of regional jobs and millions of dollars for the local  economy. The Pentagon selected the Outstanding Reserve Unit to close down in the 1960s.  He and the wing commander went to DC, camped out in the office of  the Secretary of the Air Force, waiting for a moment to extol the  benefits of keeping the Milwaukee unit in place.  As a result, the unit was taken off the closure list and continued for 30 more years, providing jobs and funds to the local economy.

-- President of the Wisconsin Reserve Officers Association.

-- Humanitarian missions:  Hurricane Camille provided support to the Mississippi Gulf Coast after being hit by the 2nd most intense tropical cyclone in US history, and Operation Haylift 2, where he airdropped feed to stranded livestock in a 3-state region when multiple blizzards hit in a 2-week time frame.  Earl provided medical aid to island natives in the South Pacific.  While stationed in Hawaii during WWII, he met Virginia Leigh Ridout of Petersburg, Virginia. They married in July 1947 and settled in Waterford for their nearly 69-year marriage. They had three daughters, five grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.  He passed away on Memorial Day, 30 May 2016, genuinely fitting for a man who dedicated himself to the service of others.

Background History: Steinke Company originated as Wallmann and Steinke Furniture and Undertaking, transforming over 100+ years. The family business began in 1923 in what is currently the Mealy funeral home. That building is now designated as a Waterford Heritage Site--Wallmann and Steinke building (1864). The business was moved to the building that sits along the Fox River on the southwest side of the bridge. After having sold the business earlier, he finally sold the family building in 2005.

2020 Recipient 
LaVerne Lewis


LaVerne (Longo) Lewis is a 1970 graduate of Waterford Union High School. LaVerne started her career in 1971, serving first as secretary to the library, then secretary to the Associate Principal and Principal for 44 years. There was never a job she refused to do.  She was always willing to help out wherever an extra hand was needed. While at WUHS, she also worked at the Southern Lakes Consortium Alternative High School, helping students and staff.

In 2006, she received the Women of Achievement Award from the Waterford Area Business and Professional Women’s Organization. Her plaque is on display at the Waterford Public Library. In 2010, she was inducted into the Southern Lakes Bowling Association (USBC) Hall of Fame. She remains a member on the Board of Directors for the Waterford area. The Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association honored  LaVerne with a Service Award for all her  efforts within the Waterford Union High School athletic programs for many years.

She is very involved in her community and church, volunteering for many events. She has been a member of the Wolverine Booster Club since 1991 and is always available to help students in any capacity she can. LaVerne was also a former member of the Waterford  Jaycees and a 4-H leader.

LaVerne and her husband Terry, a WUHS graduate of 1966, live in the Waterford area. They have two daughters, also WUHS graduates, and four grandchildren.


Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.