The Highland Alumni Association, in partnership with The Highland Foundation, inducted its third class of Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame members on October 8. The district and community celebrated the honorees at a special ceremony and reception held at Highland High School, followed by recognition during halftime at Highland’s Homecoming football game.
The six newest inductees span generations of Highland graduates, reinforcing the district’s ongoing commitment to educational excellence. Congratulations to Todd Bischof (1981), Kimberly Bolas Miller (1989), Gary Green (1970), John Kobs (1999), Mike Kudla (2002) – Posthumously, and William Wagar (1983) – Posthumously. Also honored were 2019 inductees Dwier Brown (1976) and Jim Ritcher (1976) who were unable to attend their induction ceremony held in 2019.
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.
- Todd Bischof, a 1981 graduate, played football and basketball. He attended Akron University and the Illinois College of Optometry. Todd is certified and licensed by the International and Ohio Boards of Optometric Examiners in the treatment and management of ocular disease. In 1997, he joined the Davis Eye Center where he practices today.
- Kimberly Bolas Miller graduated in 1989. She was involved in Student Council and concert and marching bands while at Highland. She also participated in Track and Basketball. Kimberly received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Akron. She is now a Private Banker with Westfield Bank and a Trustee for Sharon Township.
- Gary Green graduated in 1970. While at Highland, Gary played football, basketball, baseball, and was in the Choir. He was awarded All-District All-Ohio for his athleticism. Gary received a master’s degree in Education and coached football at Walsh University and the College of Wooster. He also had the privilege of coaching football at Wooster High School under his Highland High School football coach, Bob McFarland.
- Mike Kudla graduated in 2002 and is being awarded posthumously. His mother, Mary Fran Kudla, is standing in his honor. At Highland, Mike participated in National Honor Society and was a Peer Leader. He lettered in football, basketball, and Track and Field. Most notably, he was the 2005 Defensive MVP for the Ohio State University Football Team. He graduated with a degree in Business and developed hospital and medical facilities throughout the eastern United States.
- William Wagar graduated in 1983 and is being awarded posthumously. His widow, Jenny Napier, is standing in his honor. At Highland, William participated in football, basketball, and National Honor Society. He attended Bowling Green State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Math and Computer Science. He earned a master’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Cleveland State University. At the time of his death in 2000, he had just completed the development of the Microgravity Acceleration Measurement System for NASA Glenn as its project manager. This instrument is still in service today in the International Space Station.
- John Kobs, 1999 graduate, was an Eagle Scout and participated in football, wrestling, and track while at Highland. He was student body president during his senior year. He received his bachelor’s degree in management and finance from Case Western Reserve University. There he played football and ran indoor and outdoor track and was all conference football player in 2000 and 2001. John is the CEO and founder of Apartment List, the fastest growing rental marketplace in the United States. Apartment List was named in Forbes list as the most Promising Company in America. John, his wife, and baby daughter reside in San Francisco.