Welcome to the club, Whitehall-Yearling graduates Marty Bannister, Bruce Lowe and Spencer Salyers.
A sports broadcaster, a music producer and a hometown police officer are the newest members of the Whitehall-Yearling High School Hall of Fame.
Whitehall-Yearling graduates Marty Bannister, Bruce Lowe and Spencer Salyers will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame during a ceremony at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, immediately prior to the start of the boys varsity basketball game versus Columbus Academy at Whitehall-Yearling High School, 675 S. Yearling Road.
Bannister is a 1980 graduate, Lowe graduated in 1972 and Salyers received his diploma in 1983.
The trio was selected from a group of "numerous, well-deserving nominees," said Ty Debevoise, director of marketing and communications for Whitehall schools.
The school's Hall of Fame was established in 1990 and its number will grow from 78 to 81 with the induction of Bannister, Lowe and Salyers.
Bannister said he was "stunned" when he learned of the honor.
"I'm being inducted with a police officer and a California music producer ... it's truly an honor," he said.
Bannister, 57, resides with his wife, Amy, in Dublin, but caught the broadcasting bug as a child listening to Al Michaels call play-by-play for the Cincinnati Reds on a radio at his grandparents' house in West Virginia in the early 1970s.
"I knew then (sports broadcasting) was what I wanted to do," he said.
He honed his skills reading sports pages while using a tape recorder he still owns today.
Bannister graduated from Columbus' American School of Broadcasting in 1983. Among his first assignments was to interview Phil Neuman, a Columbus broadcaster who hosted a call-in show.
"He was kind of bombastic for the day and would sometimes hang up on callers," Bannister said.
Several weeks later, Bannister received a call from Neuman, who said his producer had quit and offered him a job at WBNS-AM (1460).
During his ensuing career, he has acted as a sideline reporter or called play-by-play for three NCAA Division I national championship football games (2006, 2007 and 2015), NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, Olympic trials, Triple-A Minor League baseball and myriad collegiate events, including hockey, wrestling, soccer, baseball and volleyball.
Today, he works freelance for ESPN's mobile app, Spectrum TV and the Ohio High School Athletic Association.
He also hosts a podcast, "Overtime," for the EB Sports Network.
"I haven't worked a day in my life," Bannister said about being able to build a career doing something he loves.
Likewise, Salyers, 53, said he loves his job serving the community in which he was raised.
As such, it is not uncommon for the Whitehall police officer to encounter -- and sometimes arrest -- former classmates or people he knows.
"It goes both ways. I've been able to help (classmates) but I've also had to arrest them," said Salyers.
"I treat them with respect," he said, adding that respect has returned many times during his 28-year career in the form of letters thanking him for his gentle nudge in the right direction to correct a behavior or reverse an addiction.
Salyers became an officer, he said, at the encouragement of Whitehall police Sgt. Rex Adkins, opting to leave a job at Airborne Express to become a full-time officer.
Salyers was a school resource officer from 2006-16 at Whitehall-Yearling High School and spent 18 years as a member of the division's SWAT unit.
Today, he is commander of the division's negotiation unit, typically responding with the SWAT unit.
"I became a police officer to continue giving back to my community. (Whitehall) is my city," said Salyers -- a sentiment he said he lives by even after moving with his wife to Pickerington.
Lowe, according to the district, is an accomplished producer, performer, composer, arranger and sound designer for music, television and film, having won five Grammy Awards for recordings produced with the late gospel singer Andrae Crouch, while establishing professional partnerships with Elton John, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Michael McDonald and the late Michael Jackson.
Most recently, Lowe worked with the Music Has Healing Power Foundation.Lowe said it is “a great honor and privilege to be inducted” into the Hall of Fame and that he is proud have grown up in Whitehall. Lowe also imparted advice to current Whitehall students. “No matter what adversities you face, know you can overcome these temporary circumstances and achieve greatness," he said.
Nominees for the Hall of Fame were submitted by the public and a selection committee chose the inductees, Debevoise said.
Eligible alumni graduated at least five years ago and are accomplished in humanitarian pursuits, education, business, extracurricular activities or service to the community or school district.