Wesley Golden—Hall of Honor

A current Clinton High School student or 2020 graduate has researched and written the following article about one of the 2020-21 Hall of Honor inductees.  The induction ceremony will occur on Friday, April 16, at Clinton High School.

Wesley Golden

Distinguished Military Service

By Prushia Golden

    Colonel Wesley Golden (CHS Class of 1990) has earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Northern Iowa, a master’s degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State University, and a Doctorate of Education in Teacher Leadership from Northcentral University. Colonel Golden returned to Clinton High School in 1997, and taught for 20 years in the science department. He also began serving in the Iowa Army National Guard in 1997. In 2003, as a Company Commander, Colonel Golden served in Baghdad, Iraq, and was deployed for over 15 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  His unit was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. In 2010, Colonel Golden was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was selected as a Battalion Commander. His battalion deployed for one year in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2012, to Mazar i Sharif, Afghanistan and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation. His responsibilities included managing logistics for 18 separate NATO and non-NATO nations. In 2016, Golden was promoted to Colonel and was assigned as a brigade commander. He is also a 2017 graduate of the U.S. Army War College with a master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He has received two Bronze Star Medals and the Legion of Merit. Colonel Golden currently serves the school district as the Director of Learning and Collaboration.

With a military career spanning over 25 years, Colonel Golden admits he knows a lot about failure. When asked about his greatest failure, he reflected, “There are so many. I wasn’t the fastest kid on my cross country team, I wasn’t the first chair trombone, I wasn’t even the first [academically] in my class.” He implores students to look at their failure as an opportunity to grow. “My greatest fear was to look stupid,” he said, “but you should never be afraid to ask questions.” Colonel Golden described the importance of failure to him: “How I responded to failure was what has defined me in my own successes. Never be afraid to try something and give it your best shot,” he explained, “and at the end of the day it’s okay that it might not work out the way you’d hoped it would.” That balance has led to his success. “In high school I learned that I could do more than I ever thought I could.” Reflecting on his time at CHS, he added, “It’s not about me. My name is on that plaque, but there needs to be literally hundreds of other names alongside my name that have supported me. It is a result of a lot of other people’s efforts, people that believed in me, pushed me, inspired me, and held me accountable.” Colonel Golden stated the most influential people in his life are ”my wife and children, of course.” He also included, “Wayne Guntzel, Marv Gregor, David Gaulrapp, Mike Schmitz, and my cross country coach, Greg Dennis. Receiving a place in the Hall of Honor is a tribute to them. I am humbled.”

Due to the pandemic, the Clinton High School Hall of Honor induction was postponed last year. The district is now planning to honor this strong class of inductees on Friday, April 16 at Clinton High School. The public will be invited for the luncheon and induction speech portion of the day. Social distancing, face coverings, and sanitation routines will be required.

The Clinton High School culinary students will cater the luncheon. Inductees will be guests of the Hall of Honor Committee. The luncheon will cost $10 per other attendees. Main entrees are Lasagne Al Forno (Italian Beef Lasagna) or Chicken Parmigiana (Chicken Parmesan). If you are interested in attending, please contact Deb Deters at ddeters@clintonia.org.

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