The Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation and Gahanna Lincoln High School will induct a film director/producer, a music composer and a flight controller into the Gahanna Lincoln Alumni Hall of Fame this year.
The public is invited to celebrate with the honorees at 10 a.m. Monday, May 20, in the auditorium at Gahanna Lincoln High School, 140 S. Hamilton Road.
The inductees are Todd Douglas Miller and Matt Morton, both 1995 graduates, and Jennifer Turner, a 2009 graduate.
Todd Douglas Miller
Miller, who resides in New York City, is a film director, producer and editor.
After graduating from Gahanna Lincoln, he went to film school at Eastern Michigan University.
While at Eastern Michigan, Miller wrote and directed his first documentary, "Gahanna Bill," chronicling the life of Bill Withrow and his relationship over the years with the town, its residents and Gahanna Lincoln High School.
"The fact that Todd chose 'Gahanna Bill' as his first feature-length film should tell you a lot about him. He likes to build people up, bring them together and inspire them," said Morton, a former Lincoln classmate and friend.
After graduating from Eastern Michigan, Miller moved to New York City and began to make short films.
In 2010, Miller and Morton produced fundraising films for the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. The videos are used during annual fundraising campaigns to support children whose parents died in the military.
Miller also started his own independent film production company, Statement Pictures, based in New York City.
In 2014, he made "Dinosaur 13" and premiered it on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival that year.
After the premiere, the distribution rights were sold to Lionsgate for theatrical release and CCN Films for television.
The film won an Emmy for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming in 2015. After "Dinosaur 13," Miller began a short documentary about the last manned mission to the moon's surface during the Apollo 17 Mission, "The Last Steps."
This film served as a blueprint for the critically acclaimed "Apollo 11," which Miller directed, produced and edited.
The movie was released on March 1 and focuses on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, which was the first space flight to land humans on the moon.
The film consists solely of archival footage that was previously unreleased to the public, and does not feature narration or interviews.
"This documentary has the ability to freshly surprise us with 50-year-old footage, turning us back into kids staring in wonder, wide-eyed, as we watched a rocket take off for the very first time," said Monica Castillo, of NPR.
Morton, a Hilliard resident, is a composer, multiinstrumentalist and engineer/producer.
He started as a guitarist and went on to learn the bass, piano, drums, mandolin, cuatro, charango, ukulele and banjo, among many others.
After graduating with honors from Gahanna Lincoln, he won a Trustee Scholarship to Denison University, where he joined the honors program, majored in environmental studies and took several recording and guitar classes.
He served as the musical leader of the Denison Hilltoppers, a male a cappella group.
Morton also co-founded the rock group the Shantee, along with two other Gahanna Lincoln alumni, Mike Perkins and Jason Mowrey.
Morton graduated from the honors program at Denison in 1999, and devoted the next few years to recording several albums with The Shantee, touring nationally and opening for many bands.
In 2003, Miller shifted his focus to creating custom music for film, TV and commercials.
He founded music production and publishing company Studio 651 Ltd. and began producing short web film scores for such local companies as Abercrombie & Fitch and Ohio Health.
Then he moved on to such feature-length scores as "Scaring the Fish" (starring Max Casella, Anthony Rapp and Gahanna Lincoln alum Chance Pinnell), John Urbano's Panama City documentary "Beauty of the Fight," Miller's Emmy-winning Sundance documentary "Dinosaur 13" (Lionsgate, CNN Films) and Miller's archival documentary Apollo 11 (NEON, CNN Films). His short-form and commercial clients include CNN Films (the Apollo 17 short documentary "The Last Steps"), SapientNitro, Ketchum, JPMorgan Chase and Wendy's.
Morton began teaching private guitar, bass, ukulele, songwriting and recording classes in 2003, and his focus on keeping lessons fun and driven by his students' favorite music has kept his schedule full for more than 15 years.
"Matt always continues to provide music lessons to young and old alike, which highlights his dedication to education," Miller said. "I can't think of a more deserving person to be in the GLHS Hall of Fame."
Turner, a flight controller at the International Space Station, resides in Houston, Texas.
She participated in the first Robotics Science Academy Class at Gahanna Lincoln, where she also was a founding member of the school's Underwater Robotics team.
Turner earned her bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from Ohio State University, with minors in business and Korean.
During her school years, she worked as a resident adviser at Morrill Tower and as an undergraduate research assistant for Ohio State's Department of Physics.
Her first foray into the aerospace industry was at an internship with Boeing Defense, Space & Security, working with its avionic systems group on the US Navy P-8 Poseidon.
At NASA, she also was a Pathways intern with the Robonaut2 project, worked on user interface development and helped to assemble one of the Robonaut2 torsos.
Moving to Texas to continue her career, Turner became full time at NASA's Johnson Space Center in 2015.
She now supports Mission Control as a CRONUS flight controller for the International Space Station, working day-to-day operations, and teaching new flight controllers and astronauts about systems onboard ISS.
As a part of the avionics branch of JSC's Spaceflight Systems Division, her work specializes in the ISS data handling and communication systems, including coordination with counterparts at Marshall Space Flight Center on payload support.
Outside her technical work, Turner promotes and participates in outreach for women and minority students pursuing STEM.
She has served as chairwoman for the JSC Women's Employee Resource Group, advocating for women at NASA and encouraging community involvement and mentorship.
"Not only is Jennifer a successful NASA engineer, but also she is a great asset to NASA in the future," said Yong-il Yi, senior project manager at NASA Johnson Space Center. "She cares immensely for the constant improvement of her center, and for outreach and inspiring students to pursue STEM."