Insect expert inspires Unionville students

Putnam County High School held its Unionville High School/Putnam County High School Academic Hall of Fame induction, and Terry Whitworth was the inductee.

Whitworth graduated from Unionville High School in 1964.

After graduation he attended Northeast Missouri State University and went on to become an entomologist.

Whitworth told the students that starting high school was scary for him and that he was just a â??poor farm kid.â?? He said he was bullied in high school, but eventually the bullies figured out he would fight back and left him alone.

Whitworth said he eventually made friends and that he tolerated high school.

He said classes were boring, and he wasn't motivated the first few years until he decided that he wanted to go to college.

â??I spent most of my day waiting to go home, so I could go fishing and hunting, do fun things,â?? said Whitworth.

Eventually things turned around, and Whitworth got into college. He said during orientation a faculty member said half of you will either drop out or fail by the end of the year.

Whitworth said he didnâ??t want to be one of them so instead of going out and partying all the time, he studied.

He later received a masterâ??s degree from Utah State University and he went on to obtain a doctorate in entomology there.

Whitworth said he is honored the school chose him to be a part of its hall of fame.

â??Iâ??m very flattered,â?? he said. â??I know there have been a lot of good students (who) have a graduated from here, and the fact that they chose me is pretty neat.â??

To qualify for the Academic Hall of Fame, the inductee must meet these requirements:

* entire high school career was at UHS and/or PCHS

* graduated from UHS or PCHS

* graduated 20 years or more prior to date of nomination

* at least two letters of recommendation (at least one of those must be from a professional peer)

* completed application signed by person making the nomination

* submitted curriculum vitae or resume of academic and professional history of the nominee

* nominee must be living at the time of nomination

You can go to Dr. Whitworth's website HERE.