Richard Hoffman said the most profound moments in his life - finding out about the death of his brother and news that he was becoming a father - happened at Woodward High School.
Mr. Hoffman, who graduated from the school in 1964 and went on to teach at the institution and direct plays for 34 years, will be one of the inductees into the school's Hall of Fame this month.
The retired English teacher, who is now a part-time instructor at Bowling Green State University, will be honored during the 23rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Dana Center on the campus of the Medical College of Ohio on April 23.
Mr. Hoffman will be honored with:
●Joe Correa, Class of 1971 and founder and president of ABC Seamless Siding and Windows;
●Donald Kornowa, Class of 1960 and a teacher for 36 years at Woodward;
●Robert A. Murray, Class of 1977 and assistant athletic director at Woodward;
●Martin A. Torgler, Class of 1964, a former FBI special agent and now director of corporate security for Combine International.
●Martin J. Bogue, a longtime teacher at Woodward and businessman, honored posthumously.
The cocktail reception will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 6:45 p.m. and the induction ceremony at 8 p.m.
Mr. Hoffman, 59, said he spent his first year of teaching at Northwood High School, but still maintained close ties with Woodward. He said it didn't take much arm twisting to get him to return to his alma mater.
"It was the late 60s and time to change the world," Mr. Hoffman said. "I think the fit was better in the city than in the suburbs. The staff had not changed much since I was in high school and I was just honored to be a part of it. I'm very pleased that I had a career in public schools."
Mr. Hoffman retired from Woodward in 2003, but continued his work at Bowling Green.
Another honoree, Mr. Kornowa, said he was the "second wave" of family members to attend Woodward. He said his father, Andrew, and his family attended Woodward.
Mr. Kornowa, 62, a longtime occupational work experience coordinator before retiring in 2000, said his father had to leave school in the 10th grade to help support the family during The Depression, giving up sports.
He said his father's stories inspired him to excel, winning All-City and honorable mention All-Ohio honors as a receiver on Woodward's football team. He earned 13 letters in football and other sports.
Mr. Kornowa said he was most pleased to see the development of students from the school's OWE program.
"Many of these students were written off or had problems in school in one way or another," Mr. Kornowa said. "Many of them went on to become successful."
Pat Bray, a member of the Woodward Hall of Fame committee, said the organization has been pleased with the growth of the program over the years. Ms. Bray said the committee hopes to give out five to 10 $1,000 scholarships this year.
Ms. Bray said on April 22, the inductees will return to Woodward to talk with students and participate in a luncheon.
Gayle Schaber, one of the committee members, said the inductees will participate in an assembly with about 300 to 400 students followed by a luncheon with the scholarship finalists.
She said during the assembly, the inductees will talk about their experiences at Woodward and their lives after they left the school.School officials said that the top 10 percent of the graduating seniors are encouraged to apply for the scholarships. The scholarship winners will be announced in May.
"They will get a chance to walk the halls of the school," Ms. Schaber said. "Some of them hadn't been back to the high school since graduation."
Contact Clyde Hughes at:
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