Two Rossford High School graduates exemplifying the best the district has to offer - academics and athletics - are being honored with the district's second Award of Distinction.
Greg Brown, a 1964 graduate who went on to teach math at Bowling Green High School and coach a variety of sports teams, and Diane Baker, a 1963 graduate who now owns her own dermatology practice in Portland, Ore., are being recognized for their achievements.
Mr. Brown and Mrs. Baker meet the criteria for the award thought of by Superintendent Luci Gernot - they graduated from Rossford at least 20 years ago and have made significant contributions to society.
There were at least a dozen nominations for the award, Rossford communications liaison Diana Hersch said.
Mr. Brown has taught math at Bowling Green for 36 years and retired after this past school year. He's coached boys baseball and basketball, girls tennis and softball at Bowling Green, and Little League and sports clinics in Rossford.
Mr. Brown said he likes reaching out to students through tutoring and coaching, and all he looks for in return is a thank you.
"I've always felt I like to do things and do them because I want to do them. The hope is there's something positive that comes out of it," Mr. Brown said. "I'm trying to teach the building of self confidence in that individual."
Mr. Brown received his bachelor's degree in secondary education math and science and master's degree in education administration from Bowling Green State University.
He grew up in Rossford and continues to live in the city. His wife Kathy, who nominated him for the award, and their son Jonathan also went to Rossford schools.
"You grow up a Bulldog, you're always a Bulldog," Mr. Brown said with a laugh.
Mrs. Baker owns a dermatology practice, co-owns a research center with her husband Jim, and has been elected to be the 68th president of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The academy is the largest organization of dermatologists in the country with 13,000 members and Mrs. Baker is president elect for 2006 and will be president in 2007.
She got her bachelor's degree in microbiology and attended medical school at Ohio State University. She did her residency at the University of Wisconsin.
Mrs. Baker said she was surprised to see a letter from Rossford and it brought back some memories.
"It was incredible, I had no idea it was coming," Mrs. Baker said of the award. "To open it and find out I was selected for an award from my high school, it was fabulous. To think years ago that was my whole life. That's where my whole school life began."
Growing up on an Ohio farm and one of the "brainy" kids in school, Mrs. Baker said she never thought she'd see the success she has had.
"I really look back, and this honor from Rossford and even the honor of being president of the American Academy of Dermatology were never, ever things I thought would come my way, but it was such a gradual transition," she said. "It really helped me along the way, having that kind of humble background."
A ceremony for Mr. Brown and Mrs. Baker will be 1 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Rossford High School auditorium followed by a reception in the cafeteria.
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