Westerville News & Public Opinion

Three inducted into South's Alumni Hall of Fame

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Westerville South High School 2014 Hall of Fame inductees (from left): Scott Nodes, class of 1977; Tracey Kearnes, class of 1976; and Michael Swartz, class of 1980.

Westerville South High School welcomed three more inductees to its Alumni Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the school Friday, April 25.

Alumni Tracey Kearnes, class of 1976; Scott Nodes, class of 1977; and Michael Swartz, class of 1980, joined the hall.

Current students who are on the Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee choose inductees. Each year, the committee explores nominated alums and inducts three into the Hall of Fame.

Previous Superintendent Ernie Husarik started recognizing distinct alumni for the school and established the Hall of Fame in 1994. Superintendent John Kellogg continues the tradition at South and Westerville North High School.

Kellogg said he was impressed by the inductees' resumes and their respect for former teachers and the community.

"(Their) service to others and (their) commitment to (their) own education, and commitment to families, and commitment to Westerville community and school district, it is just a fabulous thing to see that," Kellogg said.

Kearnes said she was truly touched by her nomination and grateful for it. She continues to work for South and the district.

Kearnes teaches math at South and has also been a cheerleading adviser, department chair and junior class adviser. She is also a school levy liaison and representative to the Westerville Education Association.

Her daughters, Kristin and Heather, also are teachers in the district.

"It's a most awesome feeling," Kearnes said. "It just feels so nice to be honored by where you came from, who recognize and appreciate what you've done. It's just awesome."

Swartz is an engineer and president and CEO of the local high-tech firm Lake Shore Cryotronics and continues to live in Westerville with his wife and children. He, too, was humbled by the recognition.

"Westerville South was a very important part of my experience in life," Swartz said. "It was great to be honored by an organization who was a big part of my life."

Nodes currently lives in Phoenix and is a transportation engineer for the Arizona Department of Transportation. He served as House of Delegates Representative for Arizona at the National Society of Professional Engineers. He said he felt honored by the student body and the district's recognition, and advised future students to embrace changes in careers and "learn how to learn."

"You are going to have to reinvent yourself and continue learning," Nodes said. "Change is going to continue to occur, so use it to your advantage."

South Principal Steve Andersson hopes students can learn from the distinguished alumni.

"Students learn from their example. These people go on from high school and do great things, influential things with their lives," Andersson said.

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