GRAFTON – A city administrator, a former president and CEO of McDonald Co., an executive director of prison fellowship, a former Midview Schools secretary, a motivational speaker/talent scout, and the president and CEO of EMH Regional Healthcare System all have one thing in common – they were awarded the “Make a Difference” Hall of Honor at Midview Schools.
Jay Baksa, Willard “Bill” Carmel, Charles Lange, Jan Manning, Kimberly (Napier) Myers and Donald Sheldon were presented with the honor May 18 in the Kubuski gymnasium.
According to Erin Gadd, public information and grants officer for Midview Schools, the honor was created by the school district to recognize Midview alumni, staff and volunteers whose exceptional achievements have added to the outstanding reputation of the Midview Schools.
“The goal of this program is to expose Midview`s students to the achievements of district alumni and to connect them with the role models who share the Midview heritage,” she said.
The Make a Difference Hall of Honor student selection committee is made up of 10 Midview High School students – four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. The group met in March to review each nominee, and after much discussion and thought, they selected five alumni and one retired staff member for this honor. They are:
Baksa graduated from Midview High School in 1969. He now serves as city manager for the Range Rider-Monterey Peninsula Division in California.
Baksa, who resides in Gilroy, Calif., has been awarded the local Public Administrator of the Year award in Santa Clara`s California Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. In 2002, he was named Gilroy`s Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year.”
Baksa is also a member of the Civil War Preservation Trust and International City/County Management Association.
Willard “Bill” Carmel
Carmel, graduated with the Grafton High School class of 1947. Carmel dedicated the Willard and Donna Carmel Living and Learning Center, a residence hall at Baldwin-Wallace College, in 2001. He has served on the B-W board of trustees for 32 years and has helped raise $150 million for the college. Carmel annually gives $100,000 to 13 students at the college and provides a $15,000 award to the top senior business major.
Carmel has also helped raise funds for the new Hanna Theater in Cleveland, which is home to the Great Lakes Theater Festival.
Lange graduated from Midview High School in 1982.
Today, he oversees programming in more than 70 institutions throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, where he assists inmates in transition from life behind bars to life outside of prison. He also recruits, trains and develops teams to help keep former inmates from returning to prison.
Additionally, for the past nine years, Lange has overseen the Angel Tree program, which provides gifts on behalf of incarcerated parents to children, helping them maintain their relationships. To date, this program has benefited 337,000 children and has given more than $3 million in gifts each season to children in need.
Manning served as a secretary for the Midview Schools from 1985 to 2008. She was nominated for the award because of her “superior, selfless service” to the Midview Schools for more than 24 years.
In addition to her regular job duties as secretary, Manning went above and beyond throughout her career. She served as vice president for the Midview Athletic Boosters and was the first recipient of the “Class Act” staff excellence award, nominated by her peers.
Kimberly (Napier) Myers
Myers graduated from Midview High School in 1983. Since graduating, she has founded and served as a partner at Applause International and was the national director of scouting for the Actors, Models and Talent Conference from 1995 to 2008.
Today, Myers serves on the Tech Prep Steering Committee at Lorain County Community College, travels to work with youth in Ohio, travels internationally as a motivational speaker and is a member of a youth mentoring program for vocal performance.
Dr. Donald Sheldon
Sheldon graduated with the Midview High School class of 1970. Today, he is president and CEO of EMH Regional Healthcare System. His medical background has allowed him to serve as a volunteer physician at the Lorain County Free Clinic since it opened in 1986, and he currently serves as its medical director.
Sheldon`s life has kept him busy. In 1987, he was a co-founder for the Vermilion Education Foundation. Now, in addition to being president and CEO of EMH, he also serves as a mentor to aspiring medical students at Midview High School.
The district`s Gadd said the honorres are an inspiration to Midview students.
“This year`s Hall of Honor inductees gave their advice and words of encouragement to our students to continue on the road to success as part of their induction,” Gadd said. “These individuals were chosen by our student selection committee to stand as an example to all our students of what they, too, could one day accomplish in their lives if they apply their determination, passion and hard work.”