Sky High

On your list of “Local Girls Make Good,” add the remarkable Amy McGrath (Henderson), a 1993 graduate of Notre Dame Academy, who will be inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame in the nonprofit Aviation Museum of Kentucky, based in Lexington, on Nov. 12.

Amy is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps who became the first female Marine aviator to fly combat missions in the F/A-18 Hornet fighter over Afghanistan and Iraq. She is one of the women featured in the book, Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq, published in 2007.

She now teaches at the Naval Academy and has three young children, including a two-month-old daughter. Her parents live in Edgewood.

As a Notre Dame star student and athlete, Amy received the superintendent’s appointment to Annapolis where she completed a bachelor’s degree in political science at the U.S. Naval Academy then went on to earn her M.A. in global security studies at Johns Hopkins and a graduate certificate in legislative studies from Georgetown University. After her commissioning as a Marine Corps officer and completion of flight school in 1999, she was assigned as a F/A-18 weapons systems officer and was deployed to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, flying combat missions in Afghanistan. She completed a second combat tour to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Deployments to East Asia and Afghanistan followed, and she accrued over 2,000 flight hours and flew more than 85 combat missions.

She has been a Congressional fellow and has served in the Pentagon for the Marine Corps as a liaison to federal agencies.

Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, eight Strike Flight Air Medals, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and Iraqi and Afghan Campaign medals.

Northern Kentucky can take pride in the incredible accomplishments of Amy McGrath.

Valuing Education

And speaking of accomplishments to celebrate, we should include Ruth Wehage Schroer, also a Notre Dame grad (1938) who went on to attend Xavier University. She and her husband moved to Cocoa Beach in 1958 where Ruth spent her career as an executive secretary for NASA Kennedy Space Center aircraft operations. She retired from NASA in 1975 and volunteered as a tax counselor for the elderly until 1996. Ruth’s husband of 57 years passed away in 1999. On Nov. 21, 2015, Ruth passed away at the age of 95.

She didn’t forget her roots, however, as she left a major gift to Notre Dame Academy, its largest ever—a bequest of $1,995,000 which will support Notre Dame Academy’s Excellence Without Boundaries – Empowering 21st Century Women Capital Campaign and will establish the Ruth Wehage Schroer Scholarship.

“As a Notre Dame Academy alumna, Ruth Wehage Schroer clearly lived the mission of her alma mater by making a difference in the world,” says NDA President Dr. Laura Koehl. “Ruth’s generous gift will help generations of students receive an NDA education in a 21st century learning environment.” 

Rediscovering History

Covington’s Historic Linden Grove Cemetery is getting a major renovation on its way to becoming a welcoming green space for passive recreational activities in the urban core—including two miles of walking trails and the opportunity to enjoy hundreds of different species of trees and plants. Not to count its history as the final resting place for many of Covington’s founders, four Congressmen, a Civil War general, America’s veterans from every war since the War of 1812 and dozens of other famous and infamous people.

Thanks to restoration efforts of Friends of Linden Grove, chaired by Marshall Slagle, funds have been raised to clean up the cemetery and install a new, grand entrance that will make the place more accessible and more visible, transforming it into a premier urban green space.

Its 22 acres represent the single largest green space in Covington.

Established in 1843 as part of the Western Baptist Theological Institute, Linden Grove was incorporated on March 11, 1868, through the efforts of several local businessmen, including John Finnell and Amos Shinkle.

It is a hidden treasure about to be un-hidden.