Four former teachers and four Upper Arlington High School graduates will be honored Sunday, July 1 by the Upper Arlington Alumni Association.
UAAA members and Upper Arlington High School students will be on hand to greet community members and former students and teachers during an Alumni Day open house from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the school, 1650 Ridgeview Road.
The event is an opportunity for alumni to catch up with classmates, teachers and administrators and provides an opportunity for them and community members to tour the high school and learn about district plans to rebuild it and renovate or reconstruct five elementary schools.
In addition, the UAAA will host a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. to induct four former teachers into the Educator Hall of Fame and to recognize two new Outstanding Alumni and two additional Distinguished Alumni.
"With the high school closing (following the 2020-21 school year), I think a lot of things have come together in the last couple years to honor teachers who were there and students who were there before it closes," said Ron Johnson, UAAA president. "It's important to honor teachers and administrators who've developed so many young minds.
"It also makes sense (that) you honor alumni who've contributed to this community and who've done important things outside the Upper Arlington community."
The Educator Hall of Fame was established in 2007 by former UAHS principal and current Upper Arlington City Council President Kip Greenhill to honor "the best of the best" teachers in the district.
"The recognition ceremony will be at 2:30 and probably will last about an hour," Johnson said. "This is only our third year of doing an open-house concept, and it's gotten a great reception. I think over the next three years, it will be even more important because it's the last three years at the high school."
This year's inductees are:
* Bruce Brombacher, who taught math at Jones Middle School and was teacher of the year twice while there for commitment to students at all levels. His first award led to district, state and then national teacher-of-the-year honors. Now retired, Brombacher enjoys time with his five grandchildren, as well as gardening, volunteering and fishing.
* Joe Caruso, a math and science teacher who taught at Jones Middle School and at UAHS. Caruso routinely rode his vintage bicycle to work, and students who decided the bike was an eyesore formed a group to host bake sales that raised money to surprise him with a sleek new 12-speed Red Racer. In addition to teaching, Caruso led a drug intervention program at the high school.
* Ellen Erlanger, who began her career in Upper Arlington as a social studies teacher at Jones Middle School. She later became an administrator, leading programs focused on career education and student development. She and her friend and colleague, Kathy Meyer, now provide leadership for the Growing Together Service-Learning Network in central Ohio. The work has allowed her to maintain strong ties to Upper Arlington.
* Sharon Whaley was a beloved teacher at Jones Middle School. She served as a district coordinator for the eighth-grade Washington, D.C., trip and was on the planning committee for the annual Veterans Day lunch. She was also the adviser for the Jones Middle School student council. Whaley recently lost her 10-year battle with cancer, but until just weeks before her death, she traveled, spent time with her children and grandchildren, enjoyed gardening and visited family.
The UAAA Outstanding Alumni recipients this year are:
* Charlie Groezinger, class of 1968, has served as Upper Arlington Historical Society president since 2011. He is also the current chairman of the Legacy Projects Committee for the Upper Arlington Centennial Task Force. A resident of UA since 1953, he and his wife, Colleen, have one son, Charles Jr., and two grandsons, Deacon, 4, and Logan, 2.
* Beth Wroe, class of 1973, was selected to receive a 2018 UAAA Outstanding Alumnus Award for her continued work on behalf of the UAAA and her class reunion committee. She will celebrate her 45-year class reunion this year. She also works as the concierge at the Blackwell Inn at OSU. She has four grown children and six grandchildren.
The UAAA Distinguished Alumnus recipients this year are:
* Jack Mortland, class of 1953, who was on the cross country and basketball teams at UAHS. He continued competing in cross country and track at Bowling Green State University, earning three letters and a degree in journalism. While in graduate school at Ohio State University, Mortland took up race walking and was a member of the U.S. National track teams in 1961 and 1965. In 1964, Mortland was on the U.S. Olympic team, finishing 17th in the 20km racewalk in Tokyo. He was also a member of the 1967 U.S/ team for the World Cup of Racewalking. His career included industrial engineering at Westinghouse and technical writing and editing at Battelle. For 51 years, he edited and published The Racewalker, a newsletter on the sport of race walking, which circulated internationally.
* David Younkin, class of 1958, who attended OSU studying aeronautical and astronautical engineering. His career began as a B-52 co-pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and he volunteered repeatedly for service in Vietnam. He later became an instructor pilot. After earning his master's degree in business administration in 1984 and retiring from the Air Force, Younkin spent eight years in the space program for the federal government and then went into industry as a space systems engineer and project engineer. He and his late wife, Joan, have three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.