Current Hall of Fame Class

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Current Hall of Fame Classes,

2012 Hall of Fame short bios

Academic and Career Accomplishments
Nancy Greer Hansford, 1947

Nancy Greer Hansford, a 1947 graduate, served her hometown of Kent as mayor from 1982 to 1986.  Elected Portage County Commissioner, she served from 1987 to 1991 and then joined the Akron Regional Development Board as Assistant Director of Finance and Senior Loan Officer.  Later, she worked as Regional Training Coordinator and in the Economic Development Office, Region 9.  Active in many groups, Hansford is a longtime Kent leader and tireless volunteer.

Science or Technology Career Accomplishments
 John Bissler, PhD, 1979

A 1979 graduate, Dr. John Bissler has dedicated his professional life to improving the health and comfort of those with kidney disease in both his pediatric medical practice and internationally acclaimed research.  A graduate of NEOUCOM, he holds the Clark D. West Endowed Chair of Nephrology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where he is Director of the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program and Associate Program Director for Research and Academic Careers.  He is also a professor in the Department of Pediatrics with a secondary appointment in Cancer and Cell Biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  A distinguished researcher, he has authored more than 65 medical research papers, received numerous grants and holds 11 U.S. patents.

Athletic Accomplishments
Jeff Bentley, 1980

Jeff Bentley was the first state champion in any individual or team sport in Roosevelt’s history when he won first place in the “AAA” state wrestling tournament as a senior.  He placed fourth in the 1979 state wrestling tournament.  As a junior, he was also a member of the golf team, which won sectional and district championships and placed eighth in the “AAA” state tournament. As the top senior golfer, his team placed tenth. When he graduated in 1980, Bentley had four high school tournament appearances.  He was a four-year, Division I letterman at Indiana University, where he had a full-ride scholarship and qualified for the NCAA national wrestling tournament in 1981.

Major Contributions
Maryalice Seaholts
Maryalice Seaholts taught music in the Kent City Schools for 28 years, directing and accompanying all elementary music programs.  Retired in 1986, she continues to accompany vocal music performances at Stanton Middle School.  She has been actively involved in the Kent State University Orchestra Society, serving as president for 23 years.  Committed to the Kent community for more than 55 years, Seaholts is an active volunteer in a number of organizations.

Special Honorary Achievements
Muriel Edwards
Muriel “Sam” Edwards, main office secretary at Roosevelt High School, is a goodwill ambassador for the Kent City Schools, fostering a positive and friendly relationship with students, staff and community members.  She serves as an invaluable, dependable resource and her skills and knowledge help others be successful.  On a daily basis, she challenges students to be responsible and accountable.  She has been a dedicated supporter of Roosevelt’s athletic programs and a ticket taker at games and matches for more than 25 years.

Kent City Schools Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Academic/Career Accomplishments
Carter Strang, ‘69

A founding partner of a national law firm, Carter Strang focuses on environmental, products liability and mass tort litigation.  He is President-Elect of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Immediate Past President of the Federal Bar Association for the Northern District of Ohio Chapter.  He was named the 2011 Kent State Distinguished Honors College Alumni.  Strang originated and coordinates his firm’s award-winning Pipeline Diversity Program through which his firm partners with inner-city schools in its Cleveland, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices to encourage more minorities to enter the legal profession.

Science/Related Academic Accomplishments
Glen Apseloff, ‘77

Valedictorian of the Roosevelt Class of 1977, Glen Apseloff earned a mathematics degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a medical degree from The Ohio State University.  One of the first 150 medical directors in the United States certified by the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology, Apseloff was part of a research team at the OSU College of Medicine that discovered a possible treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.  He has been involved in a number of clinical trials that led to the approval and use of a variety of medicines used today. As the Director of the OSU Division of Clinical Trials, Apseloff established a tuition-free master’s degree program to train students for a career in drug research and expanded the program, which is one of only eight accredited in the nation.

Athletic Accomplishments
Paul Amodio, ‘48

A 1948 Roosevelt graduate, Paul Amodio was an outstanding athlete and captain of the football team at both Roosevelt and Kent State University.  He served on the football staff at KSU, The University of Akron and Yale University, where he also was golf coach.  After five years as Athletic Director at Youngstown State University, Amodio was named Athletic Director at KSU, where he helped integrate Title IX, oversee a number of championship teams and build an indoor field house.

Cultural/Performing Arts
Gary Eckert, ‘83

A do-it-all musician, Gary Eckert is a singer, writer, arranger, lyricist, producer, keyboardist and drummer/percussionist.  He works regularly in television, radio and films, as well as producing his own albums, writing and singing commercial jingles and giving live performances around the world.  He has toured frequently with Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin and produced and arranged the 2007 NBC primetime show Clash of the Choirs.  Eckert holds degrees in music and philosophy from the University of North Texas.

Major Contributions to the Kent City Schools
Charles “Chuck” Lucas, Jr.

Chuck Lucas, who coached the Rough Riders cross country teams for 20 years, also taught English and advised the yearbook and school newspaper.  A tremendous motivator, Lucas’ teams won state cross country titles in 1980 and 1981.  During the incredible 1980 season, the team was undefeated, took the top five places in 11 of 12 meets and was considered one of the top teams in the country.  During his coaching career at Roosevelt which began in 1969, his teams won five district and 15 conference championships.  Lucas coached 11 All-Ohio cross country athletes.

Special Honorary Achievement
Emma Owen

From 1974 to 2008, Emma Owen served as a teacher, coach and Activities Coordinator at Roosevelt High School. Her ideas and vision helped create the annual Leadership Retreat, as well as a number of co-curricular activities, in order to involve students with different interests and abilities and create a positive school culture.  Owen coached Roosevelt’s state championship team in 1981.

2009 and 2010

Major Contributions to the Kent Schools

Kenneth Cardinal

Kenneth Cardinal was Superintendent of the Kent City Schools from 1977 until 1981 after serving as Kent’s Assistant Superintendent for ten years. Cardinal began his career in the Buckeye Local Schools in Ashtabula County, where he worked as a teacher, coach and administrator for fourteen years. Committed to hiring the “right” classroom teachers, coaches, administrators and school support personnel, Cardinal researched and developed a structured interview process designed to predict proper behavior, attitudes and other subjective traits. From 1981 through 2009, Cardinal worked with organizations and schools from thirty-four states and three Canadian provinces, providing both instruction in the use of structured interviewing and targeted professional growth opportunities once the program was in place. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University and received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Outstanding Accomplishment from the KSU College of Education Alumni Council. Cardinal served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, where he received the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge. 

                                                                                                                        Inducted in 2010

 

Academic/Career Accomplishments

Michael Peoples

A 1983 Roosevelt graduate, Captain Michael “Woody” Peoples is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and received a master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  A highly recognized naval aviator, Peoples flew 64 combat missions in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, and has made 760 landings on 12 different aircraft carriers. As a test pilot, he has flown 27 different aircraft and led the Navy’s FA-18 flight test program. Peoples also served as the Commanding Officer of the Navy’s largest developmental test squadron, where under his leadership the command executed over 200 high-risk test projects.  He currently serves as the FA-18 and EA-18G Deputy Program Manager for Mission Systems, while concurrently leading the first Super Hornet delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force. At Roosevelt, Peoples lettered in football, basketball and track and received All-Metro recognition in track. In addition, he was a member of six different Metro championship teams.

 Inducted in 2010

 

Major Contributions to the Kent Schools

Gladys Moore Montgomery

During her 41-year career as a teacher in the Kent City Schools, Gladys Moore Montgomery taught hundreds of kindergarten children. Kindergarten was a relatively new concept when Montgomery was completing her education at Kent State University. She began teaching kindergarten at DePeyster School in 1935 and then was among the first teachers on the faculty of Longcoy Elementary when it opened in the mid-1950s. She was a pioneer in early childhood education and earned a reputation as a model educator. Montgomery supervised over 165 student teachers from Kent State University during her teaching career. She received the Phi Delta Kappa Distinguished Service Award from KSU when she retired in 1976. Montgomery died in 1989.

                                                                                                            Inducted in 2010

Athletic Accomplishments

Errol Prisby

A 1961 graduate, Errol Prisby was a three-sport star at Roosevelt, earning nine varsity letters—three each in football, basketball and track. He was named All-Metro in football and track and All-District in football and was a member of Roosevelt’s first Metro League champion team. Prisby attended the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship, where his UC record for the longest punt return for a touchdown still stands. As a junior, he set a single season school record with 9.4 yards per carry. Prisby lettered three times in football and twice in track for the Bearcats. After graduating with a degree in business education/business administration, Prisby was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and went on to play for the Denver Broncos. He later coached at the University of Massachusetts and was one of the first African American coaches in the NFL when he was an assistant coach for the Buffalo Bills. Prisby held a number of positions in Human Resources. He died in 2006.

                                                                                                            Inducted in 2009

 

Athletic Accomplishments

Ronald P. Brown

Ronald P. Brown graduated from Roosevelt in 1957, where he lettered in football, basketball and track. He was a member of the 1957 basketball team that played in the final game for the state championship. Brown won an athletic scholarship for basketball and track to The University of Akron, where he was selected to UA’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.  Brown received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from The University of Akron. He served as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of Multi-Cultural Affairs and Assistant Professor of Pan African Studies at Kent State University’s Ashtabula campus for 14 years. In 1991 and 1995, he received the Man of the Year Award from the Ashtabula County NAACP, as well as the President’s Award for Creativity in Diversity from Kent State University in 1995. Brown is a cultural diversity consultant, workshop leader and public speaker who serves on the boards of a number of community groups. Brown also coordinates the local Brother-to-Brother project, a prostate cancer awareness initiative in Summit County, which was recognized as a model program by the Ohio Department of Health.

                                                                                                            Inducted in 2010

Cultural/Performing Arts

David Hassler

A 1982 Roosevelt graduate, David Hassler is a published author and poet. He is the director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, where he teaches creative writing and conducts writing workshops in senior centers and local schools, including the Kent City Schools. Hassler is the author of two books of poems, including Red Kimono, Yellow Barn, for which he was awarded Ohio Poet of the Year 2006. He is the co-author of the documentary book, Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community, which received a number of awards. Hassler has also been recognized for his writing and was awarded residency fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the Vermont Studio Center. He is co-editor of Learning by Heart: Contemporary American Poetry about School; After the Bell: Contemporary American Prose about School; and A Place to Grow: Voices and Images of Urban Gardeners. Hassler received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master’s of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University. At Roosevelt, he was Student Council president, a musician and singer and a member of the soccer team.

                                                                                                            Inducted in 2009

 

 Academic/Career Accomplishments

Erica Liebelt, M.D.

Erica Liebelt, M.D., has devoted her career to pediatric emergency medicine and medical toxicology. She was named one of America’s Top Pediatricians in 2008. Liebelt serves as the first woman president of American College of Medical Toxicology. As a Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, she also serves as the Medical Director of Medication Safety at The Children’s Hospital of Alabama and Co-Medical Director of the Regional Poison Control Center in Birmingham. Previously, she held appointments with the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital, as well as academic appointments at Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine. In 2006, Liebelt was named Woman of the Year by the American Biographical Institute and one of the Great Women of the 21st Century for her leadership and service in medical toxicology. A 1979 graduate of Roosevelt, Liebelt received her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Inducted in 2010

                                                                                                                    

Cultural/Performing Arts

Robert Waters

 A 1989 graduate of Roosevelt, Robert Waters began playing the violin at age five. In high school, he was active in the drama club and orchestra. He is an active performer of solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire and a member of the DePaul University School of Music faculty.  Waters is a founding member of the Jupiter Trio and the Callisto Ensemble, which have performed throughout the United States and Japan. Both chamber groups have released successful CDs. Since 2008, Waters has served as Concertmaster of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque. In addition, Waters has taught music students of all ages in Chicago and at chamber music camps. He has appeared at music festivals around the country and is often featured on NPR’s Performance Today, as well as local radio broadcasts. Waters was a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and served as Associate Concertmaster. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his master’s degree from Yale School of Music.

Inducted in 2010

                                                                                                                       

Special Honorary Achievement

Loris Troyer

As a newspaperman, historian and committed community member, Loris Troyer was dedicated to Kent and the Portage County community. He chronicled the lives and times of its residents for nearly 65 years. A graduate of Kent State University, Troyer began his journalism career in 1936 with the Kent Courier-Tribune. He retired as Executive Editor of the Record-Courier in 1982 but continued to write a weekly column for 20 years called “Portage Pathways,” focusing on the history of his adopted hometown. Troyer served three terms as a member of the Kent City Schools Board of Education from 1958 to 1969 and played an important role in the growth of the school district. He was very active in a number of community groups and served as the director of the Portage County Soap Box Derby for 25 years. His love of history led to his involvement in the formation of the Kent Historical Society. He was awarded the John S. Knight Award for lifetime achievement in journalism, the Kent Medal for Public Service and the Kent State University Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Inducted in 2010

 

Major Contributions to the Kent Schools

Joshua Brown

A 1939 graduate of Roosevelt, Joshua Brown was well known to a generation of Kent children as the driver of Bus 10, nicknamed “Sassafrass.” He worked as a courier and bus driver for the Kent City Schools from 1964 to 1986. Brown also represented school district support staff in union negotiations. He was elected to the Kent City Council and also served for many years on the Kent Civil Service Commission. Brown was active in the NAACP, served as president of the local chapter and was honored as Man of the Year in 1989.  He was known as a fighter for equal opportunity who attacked discrimination and injustice through political and social channels. He was a decorated U.S. Army veteran of World War II and served as the first commander of the Black American Legion. In 1983, Brown was honored by Kent State University for his community service. Brown died in 1998.

Inducted in 2009

 

Athletic Accomplishments

 Jerry Brown

 A 1968 Roosevelt graduate, Jerry Brown lettered in football, basketball and baseball. He led the 1967 championship football team in scoring and was selected to All-Metro for two years. Brown won a football scholarship to Northwestern University where he graduated in 1972 after earning three varsity letters. At Northwestern, he was named to the second team All-Big Ten and played in the Hula Bowl. Brown was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He then taught and coached at Roosevelt from 1973 to 1977 before joining the college and NFL coaching ranks.  He coached at Eastern Illinois and Cal State Fullerton before spending four years coaching with the Minnesota Vikings. Brown is in his seventeenth season at Northwestern, where he is the Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Backs Coach. He has coached Big 10 Championship teams at Northwestern in 1995, 1996 and 2000.

Inducted in 2010

Kent Heritage Award

Amy Herriff Stauffer

Amy Herriff Stauffer is the first recipient of the new Kent Heritage Award, which recognizes contributions of graduates of Kent Central High School.  Born in 1872 in Kent, Herriff Stauffer devoted more than 50 years of her life to educating young people. She never missed a day of teaching and taught every grade and subject except for industrial arts and business. Herriff Stauffer graduated from Kent Central High School in 1890 and earned degrees from Buchtel College and later from Columbia University and Kent State University. Herriff Stauffer was one of the first women to serve on Kent City Council.  She died in 1953.

                                                                                                                        Inducted in 2010

 

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