BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — Maumee High School recognized alumni and former staff members for their contributions to the school on Saturday, January 21.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award presentations were held along with the Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Excellence and Contribution induction ceremony during “A Night of Stars,” with 13 Maumee graduates recognized.
Current MHS principal Scott Perrotte introduced each award winner and inductee, and athletic director Cam Coutcher thanked attendees for supporting the school, encouraging them to nominate candidates for next year’s awards.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Bryan Borcherdt, a 1991 graduate, had a memorable career at Maumee as a student-athlete, Perrotte said. He was the most prolific scorer in Maumee history with 1,240 points in just two seasons.
His many accomplishments at Maumee included being named NLL Most Valuable Player, first-team all-district and third-team All-Ohio.
After graduating, Borcherdt went on to coach and teach at Anthony Wayne Local Schools, where he has been for 26 years, emulating the coaches and teachers who had motivated him.
“Much of who I was as a head coach at Anthony Wayne or teacher or person is due to what Coach Robinson and Coach Kober taught me 30 years ago and that forever changed the trajectory of my life, and I’m forever grateful for that,” Borcherdt said.
He also thanked his family, including his parents, for instilling in him the importance of hard work and supporting his dreams in high school.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Evan Karchner is the newest Maumee High School head football coach and a former Maumee student-athlete.
“When I was 14 years old, I walked into Maumee High School and I remember walking down the Hall of Fame and looking at all the plaques, and I said to myself, ‘I want to be up there one day,’” Karchner said. “It was easy to say, but it was harder to see it, and it’s crazy now to be up here talking to everyone.”
He thanked his teammates and coaches for helping him reach that goal, along with his family – including his siblings for inspiring and motivating him.
Athletic Hall of Fame
George L. (Caith)
A 1995 graduate, George (Caith) Chapman IV was recognized for his time as a basketball and baseball player during his time at Maumee.
Chapman said it was a humbling moment to share the evening with the other inductees and alumni award winners. He recalled the older players he looked up to and the teammates he played alongside that made him a better athlete.
“It’s the totality of the work and the wins and losses together that form the basis of my experience as a Maumee basketball player,” Chapman said. “It’s an experience for which I am enormously grateful. I am proud to have made some small contribution to the program.”
He also thanked the community for supporting the team and his family for celebrating and spending the evening with him.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Benjamin (Bo) Waggoner
Perrotte described Benjamin Bo Waggoner, a 2007 grad, as a quintessential scholar-athlete.
“I am extremely proud and extremely grateful for the education I received here at Maumee, and an important part of that upbringing and education for me was athletics,” Waggoner recalled.
Running was how he met many of his lifelong friends, including his wife, he said.
His time in cross country and track also taught him a few important life lessons, including how to support and work with your community, even when you’re moving through life on your own path, and the most important lesson he needed as a young man: Show up, put in the work, get better.
The lessons he learned while running in high school are what he turns to when he needs guidance now as an adult, he said.
Athletic Hall of Excellence and Contribution
For his time as a coach and educator at Maumee High School from 1969 to 1996, Larry Welch was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Excellence and Contribution during the dinner.
Welch said he never would have expected something like this would happen for him but expressed his gratitude for those who nominated and then selected him for the honor. He also thanked those he coached with and for and allowing him to coach the way he wanted to in several sports.
“Now that I am an old man, a third of my life was spent in Maumee, but it was an enjoyable time thanks to many of the staff, the students and all of you here,” Welch said.
A 1988 graduate, Gayle Dean, M.D. was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna of MHS.
Dean is a certified obstetrician/gynecologist and was the first woman of color named chief of staff for Tucson Medical Center in 2019.
Her old school friend, Jennie Kleinfelter, who she had lost touch with, reached out after several years and then nominated Dean for the award. Dean thanked Kleinfelter for thinking of her for such a high honor.
She also thanked her family and friends for being her biggest cheerleaders and those who have comforted and loved her unconditionally.
“Walking down the schools of Fairfield Elementary, Gateway Middle School and Maumee High School, I rarely saw anyone brown and female that looked like me,” Dean said. “In spite of this, I had teachers that cared and shared with this young, brown girl. They saw potential in me.”
Her time in Maumee helped shape many of the experiences in her young life and taught her several of the fundamental principles she follows today.
In 2003, Jordan Strack graduated from MHS but has continued to dedicate time and energy to the community he grew up in, Perrotte said. Strack is the current sports director for WTOL in Toledo.
“He never misses an opportunity to tell his viewers he is a proud Maumee High School graduate,” Perrotte said.
Strack said he had always known growing up that he wanted to be a sportscaster, and several of his teachers, coaches and community members embraced his dreams and helped him achieve those dreams.
“I am in communities all around Northwest Ohio for my job every single day and I can tell you, there is no place like home. It is a special, special community,” Strack said. “I am so proud and glad that I get to say I am from here.”
A 2004 graduate of Maumee High School, Caitlin Coyle, Ph.D., has dedicated much of her time since working to better her community.
She said Maumee is one of the places that helped her learn how to take matters into her own hands and how hard work can pay off. One of the best things that Maumee gave her, though, is the people, she said.
“One of the things I always remember about Maumee High School is the lifelong friends, even though I have not been a resident of the town for a long time,” Coyle said.
She also credited her family for believing in her and helping her become a lifelong learner and someone who can contribute to her community.
Allison (Schrinel) Fiscus
Maumee alumna Allison (Schrinel) Fiscus graduated from MHS in 2004 and has spent her time working for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library system, where she is now the adult services coordinator.
She said Maumee helped instill her love of reading and she is glad to be able to provide that same resource for her community now. It is a privilege, she said, to live in this community still.
“As a graduate and now a parent of two current Panthers and one baby Panther, it’s really a blessing to be able to send my kids to school and have the peace of mind knowing they are both safe and challenged to be the best person they can be,” Fiscus remarked.
Judith (Thompson) Barr
Although she was unable to attend, Judith (Thompson) Barr, Sc.D., M.Ed., a 1963 graduate, sent her gratitude for the Maumee school district and said the schools provided her with the foundation she needed to excel.
Barr is engaged in civic and professional organizations, a published scientific author and professor and the director of the National Education & Research Center for Outcomes Assessment in Healthcare at the School of Pharmacy at Northeastern University-Boston, Perrotte said.
Marshall B. Otwell
After his friend nominated him, Marshall B. Otwell, a 1962 graduate, said he was honored to receive the recognition.
Otwell, a musician, said Maumee High School provided him with a wonderful education and allowed him the chance to excel in his career.
He also recognized teachers from every grade for having a positive influence on him and his classmates.
“My time in this area really shaped my outlook on life,” Otwell said.
The community showed him what he wanted and needed in life, and he looks back on his time here with gratitude. He said the friends he made are still very important to him and he thanked them for supporting him over the years.
Jeremy Joan Hewes
Jeremy Joan Hewes is also a 1962 graduate and is an author, photographer and exhibiting artist.
She was unable to attend the ceremony, so her friend Tom Brady accepted on her behalf and read a statement from Hewes, who said she was thankful for the honor and treasures her time at Maumee High School.
Her class was the first class at the current high school, and she said she is proud to have such an important role in Maumee history.
Hewes’s old teachers, classmates and the community are the people she misses most about the Maumee community, she said in her statement.
William Patrick (Pat) Donnelly
A 1961 graduate, William Patrick (Pat) Donnelly, passed away in 2020 and was recognized as a 2021-22 Distinguished Alumnus. Tom Brady, a 1962 graduate, spoke on behalf of the Donnelly family at the ceremony.
Brady said Donnelly recalled fondly the time spent in Maumee and the people he met along the way. Even former Naval Academy friends and those he worked with in life knew how important Maumee was to him, Brady said.
One of Donnelly’s friends said there was no one better than Pat Donnelly and it was impossible not to love him.