Three new Gahanna Lincoln High School Alumni Hall of Fame inductees and three Cornerstone Award winners were announced during the March 14 Board of Education meeting.
The Cornerstone honorees are Randy Allen, a former Gahanna computer science teacher and technology director; Leanne Gabriel, a former Gahanna Middle School West and Lincoln High School teacher; and Claire Yoder, a retired Gahanna teacher and longtime G-J board member.
To be a recipient of a Cornerstone Award, the nominee must have been associated with the school district for a minimum of 10 years as an employee or in another supporting role.
The Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation recognizes the tradition of excellence and established the Cornerstone Award.
The Hall of Fame inductees are Michele Abraham, a 1972 graduate who's the state director for the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers; Dr. Bill Shade, a 1980 graduate who works in internal medicine for a private practice in Zanesville; and Eileen Tatman, a 1961 graduate who's a retired medical technologist.
The Hall of Fame recognizes graduates who have brought credit and honor to themselves through their performance and achievement. A period of 10 years must have elapsed between graduation and eligibility for induction.
All inductees will be honored during a community celebration in Lincoln High School's auditorium May 24.
Allen began his tenure as a computer science teacher in Gahanna in 1984. He was twice nominated for Ohio teacher of the year and in 1988 became the national computer teacher of the year, as selected by the IBM Corporation and Technology & Learning Magazine.
He started his role as district technology director in 1989. Through Allen's leadership, Gahanna applied for and was selected as one of 14 prototype sites for the state technology program known as SchoolNet.
Allen joined Ashland University in 1990 as an adjunct professor in the college of education, with an emphasis on technology training for educators.
Gabriel taught seventh-grade language arts/social studies from 1971 to 77 at Stygler Road Junior High/Gahanna Middle School West and world history, global studies, U.S. history and other classes at Lincoln High School from 1979 to 2007. She was Ohio's social studies teacher of the year in 2004.
Colleague John Howard nominated Gabriel.
"Her students loved and respected her, and her positive attitude led to success on their part," Howard said. "I believe you could talk with any student that she taught and you would hear only the most positive comments about her as a teacher."
Yoder, currently school board president, is a retired international language-arts teacher at Middle School East and Lincoln High School. She also served as librarian and library department chairwoman. Yoder also has been an active PTA leader at High Point Elementary School, Middle School East and the high school.
Dana Johnson, retired library teacher, said Yoder has worked tirelessly for the G-J schools for the past 24 years.
"The impact of the work she has done over the years for Gahanna teachers, students, parents and community members is immeasurable," Johnson said. "There is no one else who has done so much for the district or touched so many lives, or served in so many different roles."
Abraham graduated magna cum laude from Bowling Green State University in just three years with a degree in communications. She has worked in various positions, including marketing and business development manager at Atlantic Research Corp. in Alexandria, Va. During her seven years there, she developed and negotiated a technology transfer agreement between the United States and England, establishing joint ventures with then British Petroleum in Great Britain and another firm in the United States. This resulted in the first manufacturing facility of its kind for production of metal matrix composite parts for customers like McDonnell Douglas and General Electric.
She currently resides in South Carolina, where she is the director of the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers, which just received full federal program reaccreditation, including four commendations for exemplary performance.
Shade was nominated by his former pre-calculus teacher, John Reed, who considers him one of his "top 10" students in more than 50 years of teaching.
"I know he's Dr. Shade, but to me he will always be that bright and wonderful student, Bill," Reed said. "I am convinced that there is a perfect path to a successful teaching career. Occasionally, along that road you have a great opportunity to have a student like Bill Shade in your class."
Sister Laura Wolf has known Shade for more than 15 years while he has served the community of Zanesville.
"He not only cares for physical needs of his patients but is also deeply concerned about their personal, spiritual and family needs," she said. "He goes out of his way to spend time with his patients and to care for them with the best medicine possible."
Wolf said Shade also has been the medical director for several nursing homes in the area, working diligently to provide compassionate and excellent care to the elderly and their families.
Tatman retired from the Ohio State University Medical Center in 2008. As lead medical technologist in the critical-care lab, she analyzed patient body fluids to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and diseases.
Following her retirement, Tatman became a Peace Corps and medial-care volunteer from June 2010 to August 2012.
She spent two years in the village of Maringo, near Lushoto, in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.
Tatman established a health club at a school in her village, where she taught about HIV/AIDS and ways to combat the stigma attached to this disease, along with many other health-related issues.
She also helped obtain grant funding to acquire medical equipment and laboratory instruments for the Maringo dispensary.