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Published: Wednesday, 9/27/2006

Hall of Fame roll to grow with induction of 11

BY BENJAMIN ALEXANDER-BLOCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Although fame may be a fickle thing, halls of fame have an air of permanence.

The Bedford High School Alumni Association's Hall of Fame has 26 living members. Its 7th annual induction ceremony is Saturday. From 46 nominees from schools and businesses throughout the year, there will be 11 inductees - three posthumously.

Like all halls of fame, the Bedford hall honors individuals who have made significant achievements.

The Bedford High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame Selection Committee reviewed autobiographies from the nominees for a month, and then voted on them.

"A Hall of Famer's role is to continue to work in support of Bedford High School through the Alumni Association, to help with fund-raisers, and to speak to school children as role models," said Mary Zaums, head of the selection committee and the principal of Bedford Junior High School.

Richard "Dick" Boehme, 75, of Temperance, one of this year's winners who graduated from Bedford High School in 1949, couldn't remember many of his "famous" moments.

He couldn't recall that during his senior year on the high school football team the Mules, the team had the only undefeated season in the school's history. It has also slipped his mind that, during his senior year on the basketball team, his team won more games half way through the season than any other previous team had realized all season.

These "famous" moments and records - the reasons why he will be inducted Saturday - are not the things he remembers.

Instead, he said he recalls a memorable figure who influenced the course of his life: his football coach, William Early.

Mr. Early, 85, of Frankfort, Mich., was in Bedford's first Hall of Fame class in 2000.

"He ran the football team like the Marine Corps," Mr. Boehme recalled, fondly. "He was probably the reason I joined the Marines after high school and went over to Korea."

The year Mr. Early started, in 1946, was the year Temperance and Lambertville school districts first merged and became one district, Bedford Public Schools.

"Back then you knew everyone that went to your school. There were only 45 that graduated with my class," said Mr. Boehme. "Back then everyone was involved. It was a small community; it was a farm community."

Eleanor Gordon, 76, of Toledo was at Bedford Public Schools during a different, but nonetheless seminal, moment of its history.

She became the first female administrator in the district in 1970.

"I was very, very fortunate ... I know that many times women would find that they weren't accepted very well by the male population, but I was very fortunate because the majority of the male administrators were very respectful of me and my ideas," said Mrs. Gordon.

Mrs. Gordon said she remembered someone else, June Hopkins, who inspired her to break through the traditionally gendered hierarchy.

"She was with the Monroe County Intermediate School District, as an assistant superintendent. I used to interact with her frequently and, seeing her, in a position similar to the one I would later hold, helped me make the transition," said Mrs. Gordon. "I am very honored, of course, to be recognized [by the alumni association]. The people of Bedford are quality people. They have offered me many opportunities."

The Hall of Fame dinner will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Connie's Celebrations Hall, 6195 Lewis Ave., Toledo.

Other inductees include:

Walt Chany, a 1965 graduate of Bedford High, who still holds the school record for the 880-yard relay, and the school and regional record in the mile relay. In 1972, he became the Ohio Judo Champion. He has taught at Bedford Public Schools for 37 years.

Shane Heams, a 1994 graduate, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners following his senior year. In 2000, he played on the U.S. Olympic baseball team, where he and his teammates won the gold medal in Sydney.

Leslie Keane, a 1996 graduate, earned five varsity letters in her senior year: basketball, cross-country, volleyball, track, and softball. She is a school resource officer in Adrian and a defensive back in the Women's Professional Football League. She was featured in Sports Illustrated for Kids in 2006.

Carol Kwiatkowski began teaching at Bedford High in 1962. Before retiring in 2000, she directed and produced the high school musicals and plays for 20 years. She died in 2005.

David Long, a 1967 graduate, led the Mules to Bedford's first Great Lakes League football championship title his senior year. That same year, he won the Michigan Class A state wrestling championship at 165 pounds. Mr. Long died in 2005. His wife, Cathleen, is an English teacher at Bedford High School.

Ken Moyer, a 1984 graduate, played tennis and football. He played professional football with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1989 to 1994 and the Philadelphia Eagles during part of 1995. He is the chaplain for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Lynn Parachek, a math teacher at the high school for 34 years, died in 2002 after a long battle with cancer. He was the varsity football coach from 1975 to 1983. His three sons were Bedford High School graduates, and his wife, Rebecca, is a teacher at Douglas Road Elementary.

Ed Rudd was president of Bedford High School's Band Boosters from 1978 to 1988, during which time he helped raise $175,000 for the school band, preventing its dissolution. He received the Michigan Minute Man Award from Bedford Township, a community tribute from the Michigan Legislature.

Kara Shavo, a 1983 graduate, competed in cross-country, and track and field, leading her team to the State of Michigan Girls Cross Country Championship. Mrs. Shavo, who broke eight of the high school's track and field records, received her bachelor's degree in math from the University of Toledo, her master's degree from Michigan State University, and her doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

Contact Benjamin Alexander-Bloch

at babloch@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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