William Berger devoted his career as an educator striving to instill the understanding, excitement, beauty and importance of learning to not only Science but all forms of knowledge and the arts. He left a lasting mark on the district as one of the co-founders of Kenston Field Experience, a month-long field trip that explored the National Parks and brought classroom science lessons to life. His teaching and the western trip created lifelong learners and stewards of the Earth and community. He continues to share his love of Science and nature with the next generation as he volunteers at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Geauga Park District.
Dr. Alan Gurd, M.D. volunteered for almost 30 years as a Team Physician for Kenston Athletics. A familiar presence at Kenston sporting events, Dr. Gurd gave selflessly to help Kenston student athletes and was always welcoming and genuinely concerned about their well-being. As an Orthopedic Surgeon with Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Gurd had an esteemed career and led his department in innovation, patient care and physician development.
Dr. Robert A. Lee Ph.D., former superintendent and administrator of the Kenston Local School District for over 20 years. In his years of service to Kenston, Dr. Lee helped guide Kenston towards educational and community excellence. Under his leadership, Kenston consolidated and upgraded its educational standards, athletics, infrastructure, green initiatives and commitment to the development of students and faculty alike.
William O’Neil spent his entire career as an educator with Kenston, St. Vincent-St. Mary’s and other schools devoted to the education and development of young people. As an educator, Mr. O’Neil founded the Russian Language program at Kenston, which continues today. Over his 25+ years at Kenston, Mr. O’Neil took hundreds of students on educational tours of both the Soviet Union and what is now Russia. He continues to impact students through mentoring and volunteering as well as helping the Bainbridge/Auburn community as a whole through his long-time involvement with the Bainbridge Civic Club and Chagrin Valley Rotary.
Lt. Col Andrew Rule USAF graduated from Kenston in 1996 after a stellar academic and athletic career which earned him many divisional and state awards. After graduating from Kenston, Andy attended the United States Air Force Academy where he played football and led his cadet class. As an Officer in the USAF, Lt. Rule has made a 17-year career out of being the top of his class in whatever he does. Whether it is flying or instructing other pilots on the F-15’s or F-22’s his experience and leadership, have served our country well. Lt. Col. Rule has flown countless combat missions defending our country and still serves today ready and willing to do whatever is asked of him.
Representing both staff and students, we recognize 1953 graduate Al Hrabak for his unwavering commitment to the Kenston Schools as an educator, coach and athletic director. Mr. Hrabak was instrumental in the creation of the Auburn Bainbridge Recreation Board, the governing board of today’s Kenston Community Education. He is a wealth of knowledge on everything that is Kenston and his legacy grows with each athlete that takes the field.
1973 graduate John Althans attended the Naval Academy achieving success as a wrestler. After earning his commission as Ensign he received his Naval Aviator Wings and flying F-4 Phantoms and F-14 Tomcats. In 1994, he retired from the US Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Commander. As Principal and co-owner of Althans Insurance, he has promoted the growth of a local business and is a two time winner of the Weatherhead 100 for fastest growing companies in Northeast Ohio.
Posthumously we honor 1976 graduate Charles “Chip” Henry for his service to others and specifically the youth of Geauga County. As the Geauga County Common Pleas Court Judge for the Probate and Juvenile Division, he created the first Court Appointed Special Advocates in northeast Ohio appointing special court appointed volunteer to serve as guardians for children found to be abused, neglected or dependent. His goal was always to motivate troubled children to make the necessary changes in their lives to become better citizens. Tonight, we welcome members of his family to be recognized on his behalf.
Lt. Col. Kevin Lombardo represents the class of 1990 for his heroism and selfless courage. Kevin has served in the Air Force for the last twenty-two years serving 5 deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal with Valor for Heroism in 2008 for saving the life of another soldier hit by an enemy rocket. He has also been inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Valor. His commitment to his country and veterans alike continue as he volunteers in his community as an ambassador for the Wounded Warriors Organization.
1993 graduate Justin Herdman is a modern day Elliot Ness as United State Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. He oversees the prosecuting of all violations of federal law, including national security and terrorism offenses, large-scale drug trafficking, violent crimes, public corruption, human trafficking, child exploitation and white-collared crimes. He became a United States Attorney to work on behalf of northern Ohio and make it a place that our children would always want to live.