Distinguished Alumni

Voice Recognition

Distinguished Alumni

Lutheran High School East 
Distinguished Alumni

Lutheran High School East has maintained an Alumni Hall of Fame since 2001. Beginning in  2021, all members of the Alumni Hall of Fame have become "Distinguished Alumni." New Distinguished Alumni will be inducted each year.

Lutheran East alumni have gone on to make impactful differences in their communities and the world. The Distinguished Alumni Program recognizes alumni who have had significant success and/or notable impact in their professions and their communities.

Distinguished Alumni are listed below in alphabetical order by last name.

Dick Alfred
Class of 1962 · Induction Year 2003

Richard (Dick) Alfred is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at the University of Michigan and a nationally and internationally known author, researcher, and consultant in post-secondary education. He is the recipient of numerous awards and author of numerous books; among them: Catastrophic Risk: Business Strategy for Managing Turbulence in a World at Risk (2021), Developing Tomorrow's Leaders: Context, Challenges and Capabilities (2015), and an award-winning book on organizational strategy entitled Managing the Big Picture in Colleges and Universities: From Tactics to Strategy (2006). 

Over the course of a 50-year career in academe, he has consulted with hundreds of organizations in the areas of strategy, organizational effectiveness and performance, and management and leadership. His books and written works have shaped management and leadership practices in colleges and universities throughout North America.

Dick holds a baccalaureate degree from Allegheny College and master's and doctoral degrees from Penn State University. 

Sandra Baumann
Class of 1963  ·  Inducted 2001

Sandra Baumann was instrumental in the founding of the Lutheran East Alumni Association (LEAA). She was the first president of LEAA, a volunteer member of the Association’s Action Committee for many years, and serves on the Lutheran High School East Board of Directors.

Baumann was the recipient of the 2017 Cleveland Lutheran Educational Endowment Fund (CLEEF)’s Outstanding Lutheran School Leadership Award, which recognizes recipients’ dedication to Lutheran education in Northeast Ohio.

In addition to being a Lutheran East alumna, Sandy is a graduate of the Nancy Taylor Finishing School and Whiting Business College. Her professional career included serving as receptionist and later Executive Secretary at The Geo P. Little Company and Administrative Assistant at The Great Lakes Construction Company for 32 years. Her philanthropic patronage includes memberships with the Cleveland Museum of Art, Western Reserve Historical Society, Alliance Defense Fund; additionally, she is a Charter Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

She is an active member of St. John Lutheran Church (Garfield Heights) and serves on the Altar Guild as Lector and in numerous other volunteer capacities for the church.

Jennifer (Brown) Carter
Class of 1990 · Inducted 2023

Jennifer Brown Carter, born and raised in Cleveland Heights, began attending St. James Lutheran Church when she was eight years old. She went on to attend St. John South Euclid, Lutheran High School East (Class of 1990), and Wittenberg University (Class of 1994) in Springfield, Ohio. Carter also holds an MS from Neumann College in Aston, PA.
After majoring in English and minoring in Education, Brown traveled to Kenya as a Peace Corps Volunteer English teacher at Nambale Boys’ School. There, she taught for two years, earned a grant for the school’s science lab and learned enough Swahili to haggle competitively at markets. Upon returning to the U.S., she briefly lived and taught in DC, before moving to Philadelphia. There, she became ‘Carter’ after marrying fellow LHSE graduate Leighton Carter, Class of 1990.  

The Carters moved to Los Angeles in 2004, raised two boys and collected several surrogate children whom they adore. Mrs. Carter taught for several more years even as she shifted to become an administrator and educational researcher. In 2017, the Carters began Biashara, Inc., the parent company to Oak Tree Learning Centers. After successful years and hard work, the business has turned into three schools, which provide academic programs for children six months to twelve years old. Oak Tree Learning Centers have received praise for their work to help student achievement, but especially for including parents and communities to support and engage in learning for children, especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and disenfranchised populations.    

Carter serves on the Boards of The Making Hope Happen Foundation, San Bernardino County’s Local (Preschool) Planning Council’s Executive Committee and Californians for Quality Education (CQEL). She is a member of The Inland Empire Black Chamber of Commerce, National Organization of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and graduate of Dartmouth College’s program for Diverse Business Owners and Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Business program. Carter often speaks and holds seminars for business owners and trains educators who want to learn more about her highly effective curriculum described in her book Meaningful Assessment-Ready Experiences for Pre-K Students.

Currently, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband. She has two sons and a cat named Grey Cat.

Dr. Lisa Chavers
Class of 1977   Inducted 2022

Lisa Chyvonne Chavers was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 4, 1959. Her father, Walter, was an attorney. Her mother, Madelon, is a retired registered nurse. She was raised as an only child. During her youth, Lisa attended St. John Lutheran School-Nottingham for grades 1-8, then earned a diploma from Lutheran High School East in 1977. Upon graduation, she was accepted at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). There, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Community Services (1981). At the same institution, she earned a Master of Arts degree in College Student Personnel (1983). Sixteen years later, she began to pursue and later obtained her third credential from BGSU, a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership Studies (2003). This doctorate degree has become a key for her pursuit of leadership opportunities within higher education, her community of faith, and other unique venues.
On January 29, 1978, Lisa had a life-changing experience—she became born again! Currently, she attends a dynamic, multi-cultural, multi-generational church located in Maumee, Ohio. Recently, she was invited to serve on the Pastoral Care Team.

Dr. Chavers had been employed on the campus of Bowling Green State University since 1983. She worked in both the BGSU Admissions Office and Graduate College. On October 31, 2014, she retired after 33 years of employment. Now semi-retired, she authored and markets her book, The Rhythm of Relationships, works as a part-time substitute teacher in the Bowling Green School District, and is more actively involved at Cornerstone Church.
The leisure activities that she enjoys most include: reading, writing, shopping, traveling, and interacting with individuals from other cultures. Thus far, Lisa has traveled to Mexico, Canada, Curacao, Romania, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Taiwan and looks forward to opportunities to explore other nations.

Marcella Boyd Cox
Class of 1972  ·  Inducted 2006

Marcella Boyd Cox is the Chief Marketing Officer for the E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home and Crematory. She also manages the Euclid Avenue branch in East Cleveland, Ohio. As the CMO, she manages public service events and marketing campaigns for the funeral home forging new ground by promotion through billboards, bus, radio and television ads. She currently hosts “The Boyd Family Funeral Home Gospel Show” on WABQ 1540AM.

Marcella is strongly involved as a community volunteer, working with Lutheran High School East, the Coalition of 100 Black Women, the National Council of Negro Women, and the Cleveland Chapter of Girl Friends, where she has served as local president and national vice president. She was recently recognized with the R. Joyce Whitley Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Cleveland Chapter of the National Black MBA Association and is a member of the 2002 class of Leadership  Cleveland. She has also appeared on “Taking Care of Business” on the Village television channel, highlighting achievements of local leaders.

Marcella is a licensed funeral director and works alongside her extended family in a business currently celebrating 100 years of service to the community. She believes that God continually directs her path and regards the funeral business as an opportunity to focus on her love of people by impacting grieving families.

Following Lutheran East, Marcella attended Cleveland State University. She resides in East Cleveland, Ohio and is the mother of two children, Timothy F. and Ina E.

Clyde Elbrecht
Class of 1963 · Inducted 2023

Clyde Elbrecht is a 1963 graduate of Lutheran East. After graduating from Kent State University, he spent seven years working on staff at Campus Crusade for Christ, focusing primarily on building the organization’s high school ministry.

Elbrecht was blessed to take his own family and groups of teens overseas to start teen ministries in the former Soviet Union, including Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and in China.

While travelling with The Billy Graham Association, he helped to facilitate technology and equipment for the Gospel to be heard in areas of the world that had been isolated during the Cold War.

Following his years with Campus Crusade for Christ, Elbrecht attended graduate school at Wheaton College and began to feel called to business. Relocating to his wife’s hometown in Missouri, he started several small businesses in the woods and lumber industry. His current ventures, The Master’s Craft Corporation and Real Wood Floors, are now operating as one entity. He also maintains a mill in Vietnam, where part of the business model is a ministry for the Vietnamese employees.

Through his ministry work around the world, Elbrecht saw how business and mission can operate together. He says that “helping people requires people, tools, and money; through business we can acquire those three things. Our business goal is not just to create wealth, but to use our resources for a purpose – the mission.”

Through his business and personal ventures, Elbrecht (along with his family and employees) continues to expand the assistance offered to those in need around the world. His company works with orphanages in Cambodia, India, and China to support the children there, offer ministry, and provide flooring improvements in their facilities. They also support and work with organizations throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.

Elbrecht says that “One great joy is watching how others, including our children, are taking up the banner and educating others on the benefits of conducting business as a mission.”

Dr. Guy Fish
Class of 1977  ·  Inducted 2004

Guy Fish, MD is a seasoned healthcare executive focused on equitable improvement in the health of communities through innovation in health products and services. In 2021, Dr. Fish became CEO of the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC), a nationally recognized Federally Qualified Health Center serving 65,000 patients who comprise the majority of the population of Lawrence, MA. With its first-of-its-kind Health Center-based Family Practice residency program, GLFHC graduates leaders in community-based integrated care who are resolving social determinants of health.

Dr. Fish’s prior career spans multiple subsectors of the health economy, from direct patient care in solo practice and ED medicine to equities analysis on Wall Street at Sanford Bernstein. Dr. Fish currently sits on the boards of several healthcare startups that are focused on bringing new treatments to markets. Dr. Fish was previously the acting CEO of NextPhase Therapeutics, an international company using exosome technology to deliver cell-based therapies for serious dermatologic diseases. Recently, Dr. Fish led Cellanyx Diagnostics as CEO. Cellanyx is a company combining artificial intelligence and live cancer cell culturing to predict when a prostate cancer is aggressive and when it is not. Prior to Cellanyx,  Dr. Fish was a leader at Fletcher Spaght, Inc., a healthcare strategy consulting firm, and Fletcher Spaght Ventures, where he sat on the board of numerous portfolio companies including Biocius, BioTrove, Metabolon, PhaseBio, and Proteus.

As chairman of the board of Altarum Institute, and treasurer of the Harvard Alumni Association, Dr. Fish has been very active in advancing social justice and anti-racism. Dr. Fish is a former Trustee Advisor of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he has chaired the Patient Care Committee and currently chairs the Medical Education Committee. He is an ardent supporter of the Bowdoin Street Health Center, serving on its Leadership Council and running the Boston Marathon to fundraise for the Health Center.

A Cleveland, Ohio native who graduated Lutheran High School East in three years, Dr. Fish holds a BA in biochemistry from Harvard University and earned his medical degree from Yale University. He practiced Internal Medicine in rural Delaware before earning his MBA at Yale. Dr. Fish is a co-author on patents and publications.

Helen Forbes Fields
Class of 1977  •  Inducted 2022 

Ms. Forbes Fields serves as the President and CEO of The YWCA Greater Cleveland (YWCA), a role she has held since July 2022. The YWCA is one of the oldest operating non-profits in Cleveland, founded in 1868 with the mission of peace, justice, freedom  and dignity to all. Today’s mission, which is key to our city’s future, is to eliminate racism and empower women and girls. The YWCA fulfills this mission by promoting racial equity and social justice, empowerment, and economic advancement of women and health and safety for women and girls. Ms. Forbes Fields previously served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for United Way of Greater Cleveland. She led a portfolio that encompassed local and state government relations, management of the Geauga office, Race Diversity Equity and Inclusion Initiative, board management, leadership on $4.5 million Accountable Health Community (“AHC”) Advisory Committee, and reviewing all legal matters.

Prior to arriving at United Way of Greater Cleveland in 2016, Ms. Forbes Fields practiced law for over 31 years with the Forbes, Fields & Associates Co., L.P.A. law firm. Initially, Ms. Forbes Fields was involved in the placement/issuance of various public and privately revenue bonds and general obligation bonds for the State of Ohio and its political subdivisions, the Board of Education of the Cleveland Municipal School District, and other cities and counties in the United States. She served as Law Director to the City of East Cleveland in 1997 and 2005. She then transitioned into litigation practice, focusing on employment discrimination and wrongful discharge matters.

Ms. Forbes Fields graduated cum laude in 1981 from Spelman College with a B.A. degree in Political Science and received her J.D. in 1984 from Howard University School of Law. She also attended Loyola University Summer Law School, Rome, Italy, in 1983.

Ms. Forbes Fields has been admitted to practice before the Ohio Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the United States Court of Appeals in the Sixth Circuit. She is a member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, where she has served on the Bar Admissions Committee.

Ms. Forbes Fields has been profiled in several magazine publications for her community and civic interests, and has received recognition by Fraser Net and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for her contributions to the community. Crain’s listed her as a 2019 Notable Woman in Non-Profits. She was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize Special Prize in 2020 and was selected by Smart Women as a Progressive Woman honoree in 2021. She is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, Class of 1994. Currently, she serves as a trustee for the Cleveland Museum of Art, where she led the Museum’s board effort in the implementation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan. She was County Executive Budish’s appointee to the Board of Trustees of Cuyahoga Community College, where she currently serves as Chairperson of the Board. She also serves as Chair of the Board of Front International.

Ms. Forbes Fields is married to Darrell A. Fields and they have 3 grown children.

Minister Linda D. Hayes, Ph.D.
Class of 1974 · Inducted 2005

Following her graduation from Lutheran East in 1974, Linda D. Hayes earned a Master's in Education / Curriculum Design and a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. 

Dr. Hayes is an expert in Diversity and has done extensive research in Cultural Influence with Learning Styles. She has served over thirty years in teaching and training of children and adults. She has conducted workshops and seminars locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Hayes has served on the faculty at Cleveland State University and as an adjunct faculty member at Ashland University and Kent State University. In 2002, she became an ordained minister of the Sanctuary of the Beloved. She is the founder and co-director of Eagle Wings Outreach and is the founder of a program which ministers to at-risk youth and families. Her many awards include Outstanding African American Woman of Greater Cleveland and Outstanding Professor of the year. 

Viola Hessler
Class of 1974 · Inducted 2023

Viola (Wegman) Hessler graduated from Lutheran East in 1974. She attended Valparaiso University, from which she graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. In 1979, she accepted a position with Peat Marwick (now KPMG), at the time one of the “Big 8” accounting firms and over the next seven years rose to the level of Manager, specializing in auditing. In 1986, Viola accepted a position with TransOhio Savings Bank, where she served the next four years as its Servicing Manager in the Mortgage Banking department.

In 1987, Viola was elected to the CLHSA Board of Directors and served in that capacity for the next nine years, six of which she also served as Treasurer. Those were challenging years for the Association, even at times tumultuous, especially for Lutheran East. But through long meetings, facing critical decisions and choices, and with a dogged determination, she refused to give in and was witness to some miraculous twists and turns, ultimately leading to a commitment to the continuing ministry at Lutheran East, together with financial accountability and stability at both schools, with separate budgets, and later separate operating boards, thereby strengthening both schools.

In 1990, Viola “retired” from the business world and dedicated her time and energy to the raising of her and her husband Peter’s four children – Rachel, Aaron, Daniel, and Lydia. Dedicated to Lutheran education, all four children attended Bethany Lutheran School in Parma and Lutheran West. Rachel and Daniel each married their high school sweethearts, Joshua Lyons and Olivia Castro, adding to the long list of Lutheran West graduates who married classmates. Daughter Rachel is now serving on the CLHSA Board of Directors.

In 1999, Viola became the Director of Christian Education at Bethany and over the following 12 years directed that program, including its Sunday School, adult Bible classes, Vacation Bible School, and small group Bible studies. She introduced a dynamic drama program for both the children and adults, consisting of numerous musicals, Christmas programs, Last Supper dramas, Seder Feasts, skits, historical interviews, and period presentations. She pioneered a Children’s Church program, beginning and staffing the church nursery, designing youth and adult studies for all levels with up to 6 class offerings per Sunday and special church wide small group Bible studies including The Purpose Driven Life and The Story. Her commitment to this ministry was demonstrated following the devastating fire in 2001, which destroyed Bethany’s school and much of the church and forced the ministry off site for the following two years. Yet, despite the headwinds, Viola insisted on continuing the Christian education ministry, primarily at Parma Senior High School, and with the participation and dedication of numerous members, the programs not only continued, but grew in numbers and strength. Viola firmly believes that, through what had appeared to be a crippling loss, God had blessed the efforts of his people at Bethany, leaving the church and school in a stronger position than it had enjoyed before the fire.

When Viola accepts an assignment or challenge, there’s no turning back. In December 2007, when Lutheran West had made the decision not to perform a musical in the following Spring, Viola was asked by one of the parents at West if she would direct a musical. Having never undertaken such a challenge, Viola agreed and in the Spring of 2008, directed a successful production of The Music Man.  Following the production, one of the long-time supporters of the high schools asked then Principal John Buetow if Viola could coach the football team. She didn’t.

Viola is a Bible study devotee and a prayer warrior. She is always in a prayer group or Bible study, has led a number of them, including Moms In Touch prayer groups at Bethany Lutheran School for 15 years and at Lutheran West for ten, and continues to find inspiration from the Scriptures. She has “invited” numerous people to participate in the Christian education programs she directed at Bethany and is regarded as the most difficult person to say “No” to when asked to participate. She will not allow anyone to say “No” unless and until they have first gone to God in prayer over the request. It was not a ploy; she firmly believed that a request such as that required God’s direction through prayer. As a result, there are numerous examples of members who undertook roles of service who never felt they had it in them to serve as they did. It changed their lives. God works His will in ways that humans often overlook.

Viola was born and raised in Lyndhurst and attended St. John South Lutheran Church and School in South Euclid. While at Lutheran East, she was a cheerleader (girls’ sports were not available during those years) and active in the drama program. She was inspired by teachers such as Martha Sauer, who through her English classes and as drama director, left a permanent imprint on Viola – how she approached life, the importance of using her talents, and an emphasis on leadership, teamwork, wisdom, growth, and much more as God designed her path.
Viola says, "Each day is a divine appointment and it is a miracle God can use someone like me to share His Glory in day-to-day life. I desire most of all to get a big hug and a smile from Jesus when I meet him face-to-face and hear him say, "Good job, girl!"

Paul Hink
Lutheran High School (Downtown)
Class of 1952  ·  Inducted 2004

A true pioneer, Paul Hink was a member of the first freshman class at the downtown Lutheran High School in 1948, and was in the first graduating class in 1952. He is listed here with Lutheran East Distinguished Alumni, as the Lutheran East Alumni Hall of Fame is where he was originally inducted.

His dream was to be a teacher. Upon graduating from Concordia in River Forest, IL, Paul spent the next 47 years fulfilling that dream. He taught 11 years and served 36 years as a principal. His longest tenures were at St. John Nottingham, Longfellow Elementary (Cleveland Public Schools), and at West Park Lutheran, where he was the school’s very first principal.

During his career, Paul served on and led dozens of educational committees, workshops, seminars, and special programs. He also served two terms on the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association Board of Trustees.

Paul and his wife Donna (nee Conrad, also from the first graduating class of Lutheran High School in 1952) had two children, Tom Hink and Ellen “Pat” (nee Hink) Jones, as well as grandchildren. Hink passed away in May 2009.

Dr. Gail Riedel Jones
Class of 1970  ·  Inducted 2005

Upon graduation from Bowling Green State University with a dual major in Biology and Chemistry, Gail Jones worked as a medical technician both in Cleveland and in Spain where her husband, Scott, was stationed in the United States Air Force. She then worked in hematology in Chicago and at Hillcrest Hospital in Cleveland, while studying to become a medical doctor. Dr. Jones graduated with honors from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and today, she maintains a full time medical practice at University Suburban Medical Center in South Euclid.

Dr. Jones was a senior instructor at CWRU and additionally served on the faculty for University Hospitals, where she trained medical residents in family practice.

In her spare time, she is a gifted quilter having won numerous awards for her work. Her quilting guild donates quilts to area charitable organizations.

Gail and her husband have three grown children and reside in Chardon, Ohio.

Dave Keller
Class of 1969  ·  Inducted 2003

Dave Keller graduated from Concordia University (River Forest, IL) and later earned a Master’s degree from Cleveland State University. Keller then returned to Lutheran East, his high school alma mater, and taught math, physics, lab science, and computer technology from 1974-1996. He chaired the Mathematics department and served as advisor to the Student Council.

Keller was a recipient of the Wegman Educator Award, which honors outstanding contributions to school, community, and church. He is remembered as one of Lutheran East’s most beloved teachers.

As a member of St. John Lutheran Church (South Euclid), Keller served as an elder, youth advisor, Sunday School teacher, and men’s Bible study leader.

Dave Keller passed away in 1997. He was a caring person who possessed a keen sense of humor. He was most noted for his rock-solid faith in Jesus.

John P. Kellogg, J.D.
Class of 1969  ·  Inducted 2021

John P. Kellogg, J.D., is the Program Director Master of Arts in Music Business at Berklee Online, Berklee College of Music.

A frequent commentator on entertainment, music industry, and music business issues, John has appeared on radio, television, and other media. He also served as a judge on the New England Emmy-award winning TV talent show Community Auditions. John was recently featured in three episodes of the documentary series The Story of the Songs focusing on Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin.

In his 30-plus years as an entertainment lawyer specializing in the music industry, his client list has included Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The O’Jays, the late Gerald Levert, LSG, rapper G. Dep of Bad Boy Records, and others. A songwriter and former singer with Cameo, Kellogg advocates for the rights of artists through his teaching and writings, which include his best-selling book, Take Care of Your Music Business, Taking the Legal and Business Aspects You Need to Know to 3.0, which reached #1 and #2 on the paperback and general music business category sales charts on Amazon.com.  

Former Assistant Chair of Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, John has written several peer-reviewed academic journal articles and both developed and taught the first free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the music business, Introduction to Music Business, a six-week program available through edX.org and a four-week MOOC, Foundations of the Music Business, available through Coursera.org. Combined, the courses have enrolled over 180,000 students since their inception. An active online educator, Kellogg authored and instructs two Berklee Online courses, Introduction to the Music Business and a graduate level offering, Music Business Revenue Streams.

A Hall of Fame member of BESLA (the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association), he was the first African-American to become President of the Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA).  

Richard Labus
Class of 1961  ·  Inducted 2002

Rick graduated from Lutheran High School East in 1961.

Professionally, Rick worked for 29 years for the Lake County Department of Human Services. He has served as Chair of the Boards of Christian Education for two Lutheran churches and schools: St. John Nottingham and St. John Euclid South.

In 2000, Rick played a key role in working to prevent the closure of Lutheran East. Rick has served on the Lutheran East Operating Board since its creation in 2002 and has been a member of the CLHSA (Cleveland Lutheran High School Association) Board of Directors for 18 years.

In 2006, Rick was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Softball Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was the recipient of the CLEEF (Cleveland Lutheran Educational Endowment Fund)’s Outstanding Lutheran School Leadership Award. From 2008 to present, he has worked at Lutheran East as the school’s Tuition Manager. Throughout the past several decades, Rick has often served as President of St. John Lutheran Church in South Euclid.

In his spare time, he has served as Director of the Euclid Church Sports League for 48 years and he is an accomplished Appalachian Trail hiker.

David McKee
Class of 1968  •  Inducted 2022

David McKee, President and CEO of Family Care Path, Inc., started his career at Arthur Andersen in Chicago, specializing in international taxation.  

Dave left Arthur Andersen to start a business, which he grew over 17 years to be the 5th largest interior landscaping company in the United Sates with 14 offices and over 200 employees. He sold the business to Rentokil, a publicly traded company based in the United Kingdom with over $8 billion in sales. He then stayed for two years to manage 8 of the Midwest U.S. offices.

In 1999, he began investing and working with start-up companies in health care, with a focus on SaaS and groups focused on preventative disease care. He is currently President of Family Care Path, Inc. (FCPI), a company which licensed two technology solutions from the Cleveland Clinic. One technology solution is a web-based intake tool to deliver an actionable, automated, integrated, and consistently used family health history solution that offers clinical decision support to providers. This technology was recently sold to Recuro Health, a company founded by Michael Gorton, co-founder of Teladoc. Recuro is focused on providing digital health solutions and becoming the digital medical home for individuals. The second technology solution is a cancer navigation platform that guides patients through the complex and often lengthy process of cancer treatment.

McKee is a 1968 graduate of Lutheran High School East and a graduate of Wittenberg University. He received his MBA from the University of Denver. He is an active member of the World Presidents Organization (WPO) where he sits on the executive committee, and he is a CPA (currently inactive) holding membership in AICPA and Colorado CPA organizations. He has served as the Chair to the External Advisory Board for the Genomics Medicine Institute of The Cleveland Clinic for the past ten years and also is on the Advisory Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Business at Kent State University, as well as the Board of Bay Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Arthur Miller
Class of 1976  ·  Inducted 2004

Dr. Arthur J. Miller (former member of St. John Lutheran Church in Garfield Heights) became an internationally recognized oceanographer through the inspiration and encouragement of his Lutheran East science teacher, Mr. Charles Sharp.

Miller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1980 and his Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego in 1986.

Today, Dr. Miller is a Distinguished Research Oceanographer and a Senior Lecturer in Climate Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, where he has also served as Head of the Oceans and Atmosphere Section. He studies oceanic influences on climate variability using a combination of computer simulation models and observations. He also works with biologists to understand how environmental changes affect marine ecosystems.

Dr. Miller has served on numerous national and international committees, advised 19 Ph.D. students, mentored many other students, and engaged in public outreach through media appearances and public lectures.

Miller, along with his wife and son, live in San Diego and enjoy welcoming visitors.

Dr. Lynda Blackmon Smith
Class of 1969  ·  Inducted 2001

Lynda Blackmon Smith is a 1969 graduate of Lutheran High School East.

She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from George Washington University and is an expert in psychotherapy, counseling, assessment, and testing.

Lynda is the President of Chemical Addiction Recovery Enterprises, Inc.

Additionally, she serves on multiple local, state, and national boards including those of The Chamber of
Commerce of Southeastern Connecticut, The Citizens Bank of Connecticut & Rhode Island, and the National Defense Advisory Committee of Women in the Services.

Cheryl Parker
Class of 1982  ·  Inducted 2007

Following her graduation from Lutheran East in 1982, Cheryl went on to attend and graduate from the Marquette University College of Journalism.
Cheryl is the Director of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Club Alliance, the third-largest AAA motor club in the nation.

She is based in Cincinnati and oversees the department’s media relations, traffic safety, advocacy, and business line partnership efforts in parts of Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.

She joined AAA in January of 2012 after a successful television news career that included a reporting stint at WLWT in Cincinnati and 16 years as an anchor and reporter at WXIN-TV in Indianapolis.

Parker was appointed by the Ohio governor to the Executive Advisory Board of Drive Ohio. She also served on the Kentucky governor’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety.

Carol Rambo
Class of 1961  ·  Inducted 2006

Carol has made an enormous impact in the world for Christ through her faithful involvement in her church. She serves diligently in many capacities at one of the country’s largest and most active Christian churches: Willow Creek Community Church, in Barrington, IL.

Actively involved in missions and outreach, she and her husband open their home to overseas church leaders and church builders who come to America to attend conferences—the dynamic messages of which are taken back with them to all four corners of the earth. As well as organizing host families for these hundreds of conference attendees each year and hosting overseas guests with her ministry of hospitality, Carol and her husband work the conferences as well. They lead an active small group ministry at their church, touching the lives of hurting and needy people inside and outside the group meetings. Additionally, Carol supports various missionaries around the world.

Carol is also a Nutritional Consultant, which serves as yet another avenue for her to help others.

As much energy as Carol focuses on her ministries and her service to her church and to Christ, she is equally proud of her roles as a mother and grandmother. She takes seriously, creatively, and lovingly the role she has in her family’s life to shine forth Christ.

Carol’s family says that she truly understands what it means to be a Christian woman and servant of Christ.

Dr. Russell Raymond
Class of 1971  ·  Inducted 2003

Dr. Russell Raymond is a 1971 graduate of Lutheran High School East and a graduate of Asbury University and the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a noted cardiologist at The Cleveland Clinic, where he is currently celebrating his 40th year. His work has been published in over 90 medical journals. He has received numerous awards in the field of cardiac medicine.

Each year since 1999, Dr. Raymond has organized a medical team which provides crucial care for hundreds of impoverished people in Honduras. He established The Raymond Foundation, which annually funds heart surgery for Honduran children at The Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Raymond is also active in the ministry of The Salvation Army as a member of its Greater Cleveland Advisory Board.

Jonathan Reitz, MCC, ACTC
Class of 1985 · Inducted 2023

Jonathan Reitz, MCC, ACTC is a 1985 graduate of Lutheran High School East. Jonathan is Director for Education / CEO at FLUXIFY in Cleveland, Ohio, a company he started in 2007. FLUXIFY provides coaching development for individuals working on their coaching skills and for organizational Learning & Development Teams training in coaching core skills, asking powerful questions, developing active listening skills, and drawing out actions that move goals, people, and relationships forward.

Jonathan holds the Master Certified Coach (MCC credential and the Advanced Certification in Team Coaching (ACTC from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He is also the co-founder of the Team Coaching Global Alliance and a top-rated speaker at the World Business and Executive Coaches Summit (WBECS). He was named to Coaching com’s list of Top Executive Coaches in the world (2021-2023).

Jonathan serves on the ICF’s Artificial Intelligence Task Force and has been a subject matter expert in developing the ICF’s Team Coaching Competencies. He is also the former President of the ICF’s Cleveland Charter Chapter.

His father, Leonard Reitz, served as Chair of the CLHSA Board of Directors for eight years, and his mother, Barbara Reitz, worked in the LHSE office from 1979-1991 as the State Funds Administrator. 

Prior to his current professional path, Jonathan enjoyed a radio and television career, working at WGAR, WKDD, and 107.9 The End in Northeast Ohio, along with media outlets in Tulsa, Tampa, and the Quad Cities. His favorite interviews included President Bill Clinton, President George H. W. Bush, Garth Brooks, Frank Sinatra, Doc Severinsen, Sally Field, and the cast of Friends.

Reitz is the author of Coaching Hacks: Simple Strategies to Make Every Conversation More Effective. He is also the Director of Education in the Weatherhead School of Management Coaching Program at Case Western Reserve University.  

Reitz is active in ministry, having served in leadership, pastoral, and planting capacities at numerous churches both locally and around the country. He has also generously given his time as a board member for organizations including Building Hope in the City (Cleveland, OH), Worship Catalyst (Jacksonville, FL), Blueprint 1543 (Knoxville, TN), Network 211 (Springfield, MO), FiveTwo (Austin, TX), and Lutheran Chaplaincy Service (Cleveland, OH).

Jonathan Reitz lives in Medina, Ohio, with his wife Joy and daughter Julia.  

Rev. Rick Schalk
Class of 1972  ·  Inducted 2002

Richard (Rick) Schalk attended Zion Lutheran School, then Lutheran High School East. After graduating from Lutheran East in 1972, Rich Schalk earned Associates of Art degree from Concordia Lutheran College in Ann Arbor, MI, his Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, IN, his Master of Divinity degree from Christ Seminary-Seminex in St. Louis, MO, his Master of Sacred Theology from The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA in May 1987, and his Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA in May 1993.

Rick was ordained as a Minister of the Lutheran church in January 1983 and served as the Pastor of St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church in Pawtucket, RI from 1992 until 2004, and as the Pastor of The Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Foxboro, MA from 2004 until 2019. Pastor Schalk was the recipient of the Richard Rapp Memorial Award in Doctor of Ministry Studies.

He was active in resettlement efforts for Liberian refugees, helping with housing, food, clothing, and employment
opportunities in the United States.

Pastor Schalk passed away in 2020.

Ewald Sems
Class of 1962 · Induction Year 2021

Ewald was born into a German community in Poland, and his family fled to Germany toward the end of World War II. As the Russian army advanced, they fled further into what eventually became West Germany. Having lost everything, the family lived in a barn above the farm’s cattle for seven years until they qualified to emigrate to the United States. In 1952, they came through Ellis Island in New York and settled in Cleveland, OH.  

The day after they arrived, Ewald began school at St. Paul’s on East 55th. He recalls that he did not speak a word of English, but the Lutheran teachers patiently taught him both the language and the scriptures through memorization. Following St. Paul’s, Ewald attended Lutheran High School East, where he says he was “just an average student,” but fondly remembers playing basketball and making friends for a lifetime.

After a teacher at Lutheran East encouraged him to take a college prep course, he graduated from LHSE in 1962 and subsequently graduated from Kent State in 1966 with a degree in accounting. In 1967, Ewald became a United States citizen and, as he says,  “was rewarded with a one year in Vietnam.”

During his working years, Sems was CFO of an industrial mineral company in Chardon. Ewald married wife Alice in 1969 and the couple has 3 children and 13 grandchildren. After retiring in 1996, Sems led the expansion of Pilgrim Lutheran Brethren Church and was involved in the development of Sandridge Golf Course in Chardon. He enjoys playing golf and spends the winters in Florida. Ewald says that his life is dedicated to Jesus Christ as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Anthony (Phil) Smith
Class of 1970  ·  Inducted 2004

Anthony (Phil) Smith (former member of St. Philip Lutheran Church) is a 1970 graduate of Lutheran East. Following high school, Smith went on to attend Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska, where he majored in math and trained to be a secondary school teacher.

After graduating in 1974 from Concordia, he earned a Master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Cleveland State University in 1980.

Phil then taught math at schools in Nebraska, the Bronx (New York), and Warrensville Heights before establishing himself in the Shaker Heights school system where he was a math and computer science teacher from 1986 until his retirement. Smith also served as Chairman of his school’s Computer Science department.

Smith has served as an active member of the Lutheran East Alumni Association, leading alumni activities such as the annual picnic, clean up days, the Alumni Hall of Fame, and re-connecting with alumni

James Snodgrass
Class of 1992 · Inducted 2006

James Snodgrass, better known as Jamey, is a 1992 graduate of Lutheran High School East. He graduated from Mount Union College in 1996 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine. That year, he was named “Outstanding Senior Athletic Trainer” by the college. In February of 1999 he began working for the Houston Astros Baseball Club as a minor league athletic trainer. Jamey worked his way through the minor league system and spent his final 5 years with the Astros as their Minor League Medical Coordinator. During his time with the Astros, he worked with and helped numerous Major League and Minor League players rehab after surgery and injury. He was named his league “Trainer of the Year” three times in his 17-year career in baseball.  

After leaving baseball in 2016, Jamey began working as an athletic trainer for Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Worth, Texas. After a year, he began working for an orthopedic surgeon’s office as their Director of Sports Medicine. After realizing how much he missed working with young athletes, he returned to Fossil Ridge High School in 2020.

His time in baseball allowed him to experience many amazing things. He was on an episode of the Simple Life 2 with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. He worked with Justin Timberlake as he filmed The Open Road as a player for the Corpus Christi Hooks. He also worked closely and developed relationships with Baseball Hall of Fame members Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. He was privileged to meet many wonderful people including former President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, who was a huge Astros fan.

Jamey currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife Becky.

Cliff Walton
Class of 1967 · Inducted 2002

A member of the Class of 1967, Walton played football, basketball, and ran track at Lutheran East. He went on to Concordia Lutheran University in Chicago, where he lettered in football and wrestling. He then earned a Master’s degree from Kent State University in 1978.

Walton returned to LHSE in 1973 where for five years he taught physical education, coached football and wrestling, and served as Athletic Director.

When the football program at Lutheran East was temporarily discontinued, Walton was offered the Assistant Football Coach position at Hawken School. He went on to achieve a remarkable 32-year career at Hawken, becoming one of the most successful and respected coaches in Northeast Ohio. Walton also served as Hawken School’s chairman of the Physical Education Department and coached wrestling for 21 years.

His achievements and awards are too numerous to list, but include: 13 wrestlers qualified for the state tournament. 213 football wins at LHSE & Hawken and counting. 4 undefeated football seasons, 8  appearances in the state football playoffs, 3 final four appearances in  football playoffs, 1987 state runner up in football playoffs, 19 times named Coach of the Year by various media outlets, 4 time head coach of county football All-Star game, 60 players went on to play college football, 20 former players now coach football., 2 former players played in the NFL (Jack Williams - LHSE and OJ McDuffie - Hawken).

In August 2007, Hawken School built a new football stadium complete with lights and artificial turf and named it Walton Stadium. Asked what he is most proud of, Walton said there are two things: 1) “The real success of a program or coach is not realized until years later when one sees what kind of man, what kind of husband, and what kind of father the player has become. Countless letters received over the years give validity to the impact of the programs. 2) Barb,  my wife of 50+ years, is my greatest earthly gift from God. We met at LHSE and graduated together. My three sons who love the Lord have married wives who love the Lord and are raising ten grandkids who know and love the Lord. God has been so good to me, far in excess of what I deserve. To Him be the glory!”

Jack Williams
Class of 1974 · Inducted 2002

Jack Williams graduated from Lutheran East in 1974. As a linebacker and tight end on the Falcon football team, Williams displayed extraordinary athletic success. He led the Falcons in tackles and receptions, was named to the first team All East Suburban Conference in his junior and senior seasons, led the team in interceptions in his senior year, and was named the Class of 1974’s Most Valuable Athlete.

Following graduation, he received a full scholarship to play football at  Bowling Green State University, where he played defensive line and received letters during three of his four years. He was an All-Mid American Conference selection in his senior year at BGSU.

In 1978, the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals drafted Williams as a defensive end. He continued his football career in the Canadian Football League, playing as a starting defensive end for the Ottawa Roughriders from 1982-1985.

During his professional football career, Jack earned an MBA from Cleveland State University.  In 1986, Jack laid down his cleats and decided to become a lawyer. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Law in 1989 and joined the prestigious Atlanta law firm King & Spalding. He spent six years at the firm as an associate and then he was asked to become a federal prosecutor in Atlanta. Jack served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia for over 5 years. During that time he represented the United States in a number of high-profile criminal trials. Jack thereafter returned to King & Spalding as a partner.

Jack is currently a litigation partner with the Cleveland-based international law firm Jones Day. Over the years, Jack has served on and chaired the Georgia State Ethics Commission (appointed by the Governor), the Federal  Magistrate Judge Selection Committee (appointed by the district's federal judges), and as a board member for the Georgia Court- Appointed Special Advocates Program.

Rodney Wilson
Class of 1976 · Inducted 2001

Rodney Wilson, a member of the Lutheran East Class of 1976, was a successful high school and college track athlete. He went on to earn a PhD in Kinesiology from Michigan State University.

Professionally, he has worked as a counselor and social worker, as well as a college professor in the field of Social Psychology.

Throughout his adulthood, he continued to participate in track, earning numerous national and international awards in Master’s track competitions.

Dr. Micah Wells
Class of 2007 · Inducted 2023

Dr. Micah A. Wells was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Lutheran East, graduating in the Class of 2007. While in high school, Dr. Wells was on the Dean’s List for academic excellence and a member of the boys’ basketball team. During his basketball career at Lutheran East, Dr. Wells was a member of the 2005 State Championship team and earned a plethora of awards such as the Falcon Award, Defensive Player of the Year, and All Lake District 2nd Team Honors.

In 2011, Dr. Wells graduated from Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN with a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a concentration in Therapeutic Studies. He then attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where he earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2014. He is currently working through a sports fellowship for the achievement of the FAAOMPT distinction through the Institute for Athlete Regeneration.

Dr. Wells currently resides in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC, and he is the founder and CEO of The Micah Touch® Sports Performance and Physical Therapy Services. As a sports physical therapist, Dr. Wells utilizes his expertise to address musculoskeletal and neuromuscular injuries in order to improve overall athletic performance and recovery. He is also certified to conduct sideline medical coverage at sporting events for both amateur and professional athletes. Dr. Wells is currently an active member of the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and serves on the Board of Directors as the Vice President for the APTA’s DC chapter.

Outside of physical therapy, Dr. Wells enjoys spending time with his family and friends, working out, playing basketball, attending running events with his run club, and traveling the world.

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