On September 15, 2023, the Highland Alumni Association, in partnership with the Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence, hosted the 4th Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Highland High School. The Association also recognized Robert Hummel as Special Honorary Teacher and the Class of 1973 for their 50-year reunion. The event was catered by Blue Heron Brewery and Event Center. The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees, Honorary Teacher, and Class of 1973 attendees were also recognized at halftime of Highland’s Homecoming Football game.
Congratulations to the 2023 Highland Distinguished Hall of Fame Inductees pictured below:
Mike Ciammaichella (son of Ron Ciammaichella), Dr. James Kendel, Donald Maatz, Jr., Suzy Smith Marquis, Kelly Rostocil Rutkowski, Missy Cole Schreiner, and Robert Hummel.
- Dr. James Kendel is a graduate of the class of 1976. While at Highland, Jim played football, wrestled, and ran track. After high school, he attended the University of Toledo and Palmer College of Chiropractic. Dr. Kendel has been in his practice now for 41 years in Medina and volunteers helping to set up weightlifting programs for area high schools.
- Donald Maatz, Jr. graduated in 1982. At Highland, he played tenor sax in the marching, jazz, and pep bands. He was a 4-H camp counselor and member of the National Honor Society. After high school, Donald was recruited to the Naval Nuclear Power School. He helped build and served on the USS Pittsburgh – a fast-attack nuclear submarine and held a Secret Clearance Level in the Department of Defense.
- Suzy Smith Marquis is a 1992 graduate. At Highland, she was involved in National Honor Society, SADD, Homecoming Court, concert and marching band, and basketball and track. Suzy earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees and is working on her Doctorate. She has over 25 years of experience working with children with special needs in the Brooklyn School District.
- Kelly Rostocil Rutkowski graduated in 1995. While at Highland, she played basketball and soccer and ran track. Kelly earned all-county and all-conference honors for both track and soccer. After graduation, she attended Ashland University where she played soccer for four years. Today, Kelly teaches in the Brunswick City Schools.
- Missy Cole Schreiner is a 1990 graduate. While at Highland, Missy was a Highlighter, a pep club member, and Lil’ Sis cheerleader for the wrestlers. Missy has served as a Girl Scout Leader, Girl Scout Service Unit Director, and PTO member. She was the Highland Pride Award winner in 2016 and currently serves on the Highland Board of Education.
- Ronald Ciammaichella, a 1953 graduate, was honored posthumously. A member of the first graduating class of Highland High School, Ron enjoyed playing Varsity Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track. After graduation, he attended technical school and was the Hinckley Police Chief for 13 years. Ron also served as a member of the Highland Board of Education.
- Robert Hummel, a 1955 Highland graduate, served two years in the Army. After which, he obtained a Temporary teaching certificate and began teaching sixth grade at Sharon Elementary. Some of his sixth-grade students attended the event, celebrating their 50-year class reunion! Bob was Principal of Hinckley Elementary and at Sharon Elementary where he worked until retiring in 1995.
The Highland Alumni Association recognizes a new class of honorees every two years, with nominations accepted via The Highland Foundation website. The Selection Committee, composed of members of The Highland Foundation executive committee, considers various criteria when selecting Distinguished Alumni, including a nominee’s accomplishments in their chosen vocation, their demonstrated leadership skills and their commitment to the community. All nominees must have graduated from Highland at least 10 years ago.