AMES-Craig Ihnen has come a long way.

Years ago he was a shy high school student who dropped out of the musical because he was nervous about dancing with a girl on stage.

On Oct. 7 he became the 51st inductee into the Iowa High School Speech Association Hall of Fame during a ceremony that took place at the Gateway Hotel in Ames.

"I was very honored and wanted immediately to say there were others more worthy than I was," Ihnen said.

The 56-year-old Ihnen, a 1973 Sheldon High School graduate, was selected based on his commitment and passion for high school speech, and years of accomplishments and recognition for his work.

He has served as the IHSSA executive director for the last 17 years after previously serving as the speech, theatre and English educator at LeMars High School for 13 years.

Learn more about Ihnen and what others have to say about him in the Oct. 15 issue of The N'West Iowa REVIEW.