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Published: Wednesday, 4/21/2010

5 named to Sylvania Hall of Fame

BLADE STAFF

Five alumni of Sylvania's high schools have been chosen to be the Class of 2010 in the Sylvania Academic Excellence Foundation Hall of Fame.

The foundation annually recognizes local graduates based on their accomplishments in professional endeavors, with civic organizations, or military standing. It was established in 1985 through a bequest from the estate of Augustus Zimmerman, a long-time employee of the Sylvania schools.

It uses interest from the invested bequest plus community donations to award grants for school enrichment programs and sponsor five annual scholarships for five graduating high-school seniors.

The five hall-of-fame honorees were recognized during a luncheon on Friday.

Sophocles Papavasilopoulos has received numerous awards for his work as a composer of music for theater, opera, film, video, dance, video games, and the concert stage.

A 1993 Southview High School graduate, Mr. Papavasilopoulos then studied music at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, from which he graduated in 1998. He now is pursuing a doctoral degree in music composition at New York University, and lives in New York with his wife, Sheila, and their son.

John Laux is an associate professor of counselor education at the University of Toledo whose passion for counseling includes active memberships in numerous professional organizations and publications and engaging his expertise working with the Special Olympics and teaching in Sri Lanka.

Mr. Laux graduated from Northview High School in 1986 and received a bachelor's degree in theology from Ambassador College in Texas, then master's and doctoral degrees in counseling from West Virginia University and the University of Akron, respectively. He and his wife, Audrey, live in West Toledo (in part of the Sylvania school district) with their two children.

Dr. John C. Burchfield both teaches and practices ophthalmology, the former as an assistant professor at Wayne State University and the latter as an owner-practitioner at Vision Associates in Sylvania Township. He also is active with professional organizations in his field.

After graduating from Southview High School in 1981, Dr. Burchfield studied biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University, graduating in 1985. He received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and had internships and residency at Northwestern University and Washington University Eye Center. He and his wife, Mary, are rearing two children who attend the Sylvania schools.

David J. Spiess, an employee-benefits consultant with SeaGate Benefits, has been a member of the Sylvania Board of Education since [year] and is involved with numerous other civic organizations and programs. He also is a stout supporter of the University of Toledo, his collegiate alma mater.

Mr. Spiess graduated from Sylvania High School in 1973, then majored in accounting for his bachelor of business administration degree from UT, conferred in 1978. He taught and coached in the Toledo Public Schools before joining Connecticut Mutual in 1980. He and his wife, Sue, live in Sylvania and are the parents of two Sylvania schools graduates.

Patti A. Maurer, the former Patti Zeigler, was an accomplished professor and department chairman of occupational therapy at the Medical College of Virginia campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. After her retirement in 1994, she remained active with numerous committees and campus activities until she succumbed to cancer the following year. She will be honored posthumously.

Mrs. Maurer was a 1950 graduate of the former Burnham High School who received a Bachelor of Science (cum laude) from Ohio State in 1954, a Master of Education from Boston University in 1955, and a doctoral degree from Purdue in 1964. Her life's work is perpetuated through her husband, children, and the Patti A. Maurer Scholarship in Occupational Therapy at VCU.

- DAVID PATCH



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