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Published: 3/24/2005

Sylvania chooses 3 for school Hall of Fame

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Sue Hetrick, Steve Shelly, and Peggy Esplin-Bentley, from left,
are the new members of the Sylvania school district Hall of
Fame. Eddie Boggs, right was honored as educator of the year.
Sue Hetrick, Steve Shelly, and Peggy Esplin-Bentley, from left, are the new members of the Sylvania school district Hall of Fame. Eddie Boggs, right was honored as educator of the year.
ALLAN DETRICH Enlarge

Three graduates of Sylvania schools have been inducted into the school district's Hall of Fame of the academic excellence foundation.

They join more than 60 members who have been named to the hall of fame at earlier dinner recognitions.

Margaret Bentley, now associate dean for Global Health at the University of North Carolina, said she "was not a mainstream student," when she attended Sylvania schools.

After graduating high school in 1965, Ms. Bentley traveled for some years before beginning college when she was 23.

The independence, she said, came in part from support she was given at Sylvania by a teacher, George Bang, who helped her in speech and debate and taught her how to "engage people and have a presence."

In traveling, she said she found that "I was an anthropologist before I studied it."

Her field of study is medical anthropology and she has spent time in many parts of the world researching nutrition and its effects, particularly on women and infants.

She has a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Connecticut.

She has been at the Chapel Hill campus since 1998 where she started as an associate professor. She has two grown children.

Susan Hetrick graduated from Sylvania High School in 1975, and from Bowling Green State University four years late.

She moved up the ladder at Owens Corning Fiberglas working in graphic design and became a vice president when a segment of the company was split off to form Image Source.

She left that position and began to advocate for people with disabilities after her second son Micah was born with Down syndrome.

Her life to this point, she said, can be defined by what she did before his birth and since then.

Ms. Hetrick is now the advocacy program director and children's advocate for The Ability Center of Greater Toledo.

She has received numerous awards for her work including the Advocacy Award in 2003 from the National Council on Independent Living.

She said recognition from Sylvania schools was as gratifying as any others because it's from her community.

Her son, Nicholas, attends Ohio State University and Micah is a freshman at Southview High School.

J. Stephen Shelly is also a 1975 graduate of Sylvania High School. He is a botanist and a program coordinator for the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He said botany and related subjects have always interested him and that interest grew as he hiked along areas of Oak Openings when he was younger.

He also credited a biology teacher at Sylvania with showing classes, "elegant examples of science," which increased his curiosity.

Mr. Shelly has a master's degree in systematic botany from Oregon State University.

His area of responsibility now includes Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota, where his work includes restoration of natural plants and the preservation of threatened ecosystems in those states.

In addition to the three new Hall of Fame members, Eddie Boggs, a guidance counselor at Timberstone Junior High School, was recognized as the school system's Educator of the Year.

He began working for the system in 1973 as a social studies teacher and has been at Timberstone as a counselor since the school opened in 1997.

In addition to his work in the schools, Mr. Boggs is well-known locally as an entertainer.H is in his fourth year of producing the annual "Old Fashioned Holiday Variety Show," at Lourdes College which has raised a total of $175,000 for the homeless.



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