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2024 Hall of Fame 

 The 2024 Hall of Fame Banquet and inductee presentations will be held on October 12, 2024. Do you know a Galion High School Graduate that deserves recognition for outstanding accomplishments in their careers and communities?  Please fill out a nomination form for that individual to be considered for that honor.  Nominating forms are due by June 1, 2024.  Click on the banner below to print out the nominating criteria and and form.  Provide as much information as possible, but most importantly nominate some one you feel is deserving of recognition. 

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2017 Inductee Bios PDF Print E-mail
Written by Connections Committee   
Wednesday, 11 October 2017





arthur poister.jpg

In August 2017, the Syracuse Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Setnor School of Music, Syracuse University, announced the 2018 Arthur Poister Scholarship Competition in Organ Playing. A leader in organ playing competitions, the Poister Scholarship program began in 1976 and honors one of America's leading organists and organ playing teachers of the 20th Century - Arthur William Poister.

Born in Galion in 1898 Poister graduated from GHS in 1916. According to a Richland Source article, "Poister played for services at both First United Church of Christ, his home church, and at Grace Episcopal. He was a student of Bessie Todd, who also taught Galion and Crestline residents Herb Krichbaum, Joice Hayden Cating, and Boyd Epperson." His "Galion Connection" was further acknowledged in a workshop presentation at the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists, by David Pickering, Associate Professor of Music, Kansas State University, who reported that in high school Poister worked for Bishop William Montgomery Brown, whose "demand for exactitude had a lifelong influence." Poister said of Brown: "I have always attributed any methodical sense which I may possess to him." (Pickering came to Galion at one time to do research for a biography on Poister he was planning.)

 Poister's post-high school education was extensive and included earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the American Conservatory of Music (University of Chicago) in 1925 and a Master of Music in 1931. Additionally, Poister studied in Paris under Marcel Dupre, the leading organist of the day, in 1925-26 and again in 1927-28. While studying with Dupre, Poister practiced 8-10 hours a day on a pedal piano and memorized the complete organ works of Bach and Franck (Pickering). In 1933-34 he studied under Karl Straube in Leipzig, Germany.

Poister's teaching career included stops at Central High School, Sioux City, Iowa, and positions at Redlands University, California (1928-37), University of Minnesota (1937-8), and Oberlin (Ohio) Conservatory (1938-48). (Ironically, Oberlin had rejected his application as a student due to "lack of talent." Pickering.) In 1948 he was named University Organist and Director of Music at Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University, staying there until his retirement in 1967. In addition, he also served as a Visiting Professor at various other universities and conservatories throughout his career. Not limiting himself to teaching, Poister made numerous concert tours between 1935 and 1980 and recorded several albums of organ music.

 An obituary by Will Headlee published in the American Guild of Organists magazine, noted Poister died "quietly in the Duke University Hospital on February 25, 1980, at the age of eighty-one, and a wonderfully productive musical career ended."


 CLASS OF 1972

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Born and raised in Galion, Matt Smith is one of Vic  Betty Smith's four children.       A 1972 graduate of Galion High School, he was active in a variety of groups, including National Honor Society, Student Council, High Y, marching band and varsity wrestling. In addition he was class president his freshman and junior years. Following high school, he attended Purdue University, earning a BS Mechanical Engineering. In college he served on theStudent Union Board and the Student Concert Committee. Continuing his educational pursuits, Matt earned an MBA from Ashland University while working in Galion.

After obtaining his degree from Purdue, Smith returned to Galion and joined the family business, Galion Amco, Inc. He also moved to the family farm, Firenze Valley Farm, Inc., tending to the Charolais cattle herd. In the 1980's Valentec, Inc. (formerly Amco, Inc.,) was sold, so Matt pursued other business opportunities, including joining the investors who founded PECO II. His work in power conversion equipment led to opportunities in the renew- able energy fields of wind, solar, and biofuels. He became the co-manager of VICNRG in 2006 which is active in the biofuels marketing and distribution with several locations across the US.

His nomination letter included the description: "Civic participation and contribution have also been an important part of Smith's life." And his list of some of his activities confirms this statement. Over the past three decades Matt Smith has served Galion and the surrounding areas in a variety of positions in both Crawford and Richland counties.

Among his many roles and contributions are service as:

•       Member the Galion/Crestline Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club (Past President).

•       President and Treasurer of the Ohio Heart of Ohio Boy Scouts of America.

•       Chair of two capital drives for the Galion YMCA (1995 & 2014).

•       "Long-standing contributor" to the Richland Foundation (Nomination letter).

•       Trustee of North Central State College Trustee since 2003, holding at various times positions as Chair, Vice chairman and Secretary.

Matt describes himself as "An advocate of higher education and workforce training." For his commitment to community and education, Smith was named as the 2008 recipient of the Richard P. Adams, Ph.D., Educational Service Award from the Ohio Association of Community Colleges. Also passionate about the environment, he was a member of a Cousteau Society expedition to Fiji and supports several conservation groups. As a member of ASES &Green Energy Ohio, he continues working on wind & solar opportunities.

Matt and his wife Linda are the proud parents of three, all born while the family lived at Firenze Farm. Residents of Mansfield the Smiths are enjoying their new roles as grandparents.



mark enright.jpg

National Honor Society, swim team, cross country, Eagle Scout, Class VP. A common set of accomplishments for students graduating each year from high schools across the country. But another event sets Mark Enright apart from the multitude of high school achievers. According to Ken Jarvis, who nominated Enright, "Mark's interest in lasers began at Galion Middle School. He was still in high school when he built his first laser." This early interest in lasers became the basis of a long and distinguished career in optics and photonics. How did he get where he is today?

His path: GHS (1979); The Ohio State University - BS Electrical Engineering (Communications, Electromagnetics, and Propagation - 1983); and Stanford University -  MS Mechanical Engineering (Optical Diagnostics -1991). Following his graduation from OSU, Enright moved to the San Francisco Bay area and began his career, working primarily in the field of lasers and laser/optics for scientific, industrial, and biomedical applications. On April 25, 2016, Mark joined the Amplitude Laser Group as CEO of Continuum, operating out of San Jose, CA. Prior to accepting this position, he had been the CEO of Quantel USA. According to the press release announcing his hiring, Enright's new position will be to spearhead "...the development of the Group's activities in North America." Eric Mottay, CEO of Amplitude Systemes, called Mark " excellent addition to our team - his expertise, strong leadership skills, and commitment to innovation are in line with our vision of growth for the company," which designs and builds high energy solid state laser systems.

But Mark is more than a scientist, engineer and CEO: He is a family man. Residents of Cupertino, California, he and his wife Mary, the education coordinator for math and science for the Cupertino middle schools, have two sons, Christopher (25), and Matthew (22). His non-work interests include photography, woodworking, amateur radio, and backpacking. His interest in amateur radio led to him and son Chris working for the Cupertino amateur radio emergency service (CARES), a volunteer emergency communications response organization. He was also a member of Rotary for ten years.

Beyond his commitment to CARES and his love of his hobbies, Enright is actively involved in scouting. In describing this role, Mark says:

 •  I have been working with the Boy Scouts in Cupertino for more than 18 years.

 •  I was the Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 492 for 8 years. I am currently an

 •  Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 476 of Cupertino (for the past 11 years,)...I was also the Scoutmaster for 4 years, as well as the Eagle Scout coordinator for 3 years. Both of my sons are Eagle Scouts (I am too, by the way). My son Chris and I both received the Boy Scout Heroism award for saving the life of an motorcycle accident victim.

As Jarvis noted, "Galion should be proud of this fine alumnus."


 CLASS OF 1987

lee burkham.jpg

According to Aaron Ivy, his friend of thirty-two years, Dr. Garrett "Lee" Burkam " represents what G.H.S. alumni should offer. His professional accomplishments speak for themselves and his personal life mirrors his strong sense of family and commitment to others."

In 1987 Burkam graduated from Galion High School where he was active in National Honor Society and Varsity ‘G" and was a member of the swim and cross country teams. He also served as Class Vice President. After Galion, Lee began a post- high school educational path that included: The Ohio State University - Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Professions (1993); the University of Florida - Master of Health Science (2007); the University of St. Augustine - Doctorate of Physical Therapy (2009); and Harvard University - MBA (2015).

Burkam has been the CEO & President of Summit Orthopedic Home Care since 2012. Previously, he founded and served as president of Burkam & Associates Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. Among his other Physical Therapy experiences are stops at OSU, the University of Florida, and the Columbus Thunderbolts of the Arena Football League. Burkam serves on numerous boards in Central Ohio, including the Columbus Chapter of the Harvard Business School Club and the Arthritis Foundation. His work as a volunteer at the US Olympic Training Center, Colorado Spring, CO; with the Anaheim Angels during spring training in Tempe AZ; and for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (Hockey Venue & Hockey Challenge Cup) reflect his belief in service to others.

Ivy credits Burkam with creating "hundreds of quality jobs in and throughout Ohio." His LinkedIn profile notes he fosters a "...culture of excellence by working with people who share common core values and with a participative management style." A review at LinkedIn describes Burkam "As a clinician, one of the best in the business. As a business owner, leader & visionary...THE BEST."

Of his business philosophy and approach, Burkam says:

"Our people are our strongest asset and I want to challenge them to innovate and improve our systems and processes...They are all really smart and I want their brains and their ideas to help make us better."

Married for twenty-one years, Lee and his wife Amy, also a physical therapist, have three children. In raising their family, the Burkams' approach has revolved around the belief each of us has "One life to live. This is not a dress rehearsal. Make the most of it."

Those three sentences, fifteen little words, summarize not only Dr.Garrett "Lee" Burkam's beliefs about life but also how he has lived life and approached his career.



chris bailey.jpg


•     Associate Professor of Neurology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

 •     Director of the University Hospitals Sports Medicine Concussion Center

 •     Director of the Concussion Program for the Neurological Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

 •     Founding Director of the Adult Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

•      Neuropsychological consultant to the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Monsters, the Cleveland Gladiators, as well as several colleges/universities, high schools, and youth sport organizations in northeast Ohio.

Each of the above positions are held by the same man: Dr. Christopher M. Bailey. Following his graduation from Galion in 1997, Dr. Bailey earned a BA in Psychology from Ohio University and his MS (Clinical Psychology) and his Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) from Penn State University before interning in neuropsychology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and serving as the chief fellow in neuropsychology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

According to his University Hospitals biography, at UH, Dr. Bailey has worked ... collaboratively with multiple departments and specialties to update, integrate, and standardize concussion management services across a large hospital system, including developing a network of multidisciplinary concussion specialists with the goal of improving concussion identification and management on and off the sports field. Clinically, he has assisted in the neuropsychological management of concussion in all contexts, including work at all levels of sport.

A board member for the Sports Neuropsychology Society, Dr. Bailey represented Ohio neuropsychologists in 2014-2015, as Ohio was working on youth concussion legislation. Bailey has presented several invited addresses at national conferences and written peer-reviewed articles and chapters focusing on sports concussion management. His focus is understanding the factors which may influence the accuracy and validity of concussion testing and evaluation.

On the personal side, Bailey is married to another Galion graduate, Beth (Beach) Bailey. While noting that he is not worried about being well known for his work in the field of concussions, his mother-in-law, Kathy Price, says his goal is " provide widespread access to gold standard care." Calling Chris "a devoted husband and proud father of three girls" Price emphasizes that Bailey's work "...requires many hours including numerous evening and weekend obligations, but he manages to keep his family and home responsibilities high on his list of priorities."



Outstanding Educator 1983 - 2008 (POSTHUMOUSLY)

judy beers.jpg 

  In May 2004 Judy Beers received a B. E. S. T. Award from The Crawford County Business/Education Advisory Council. Those honored for this recognition are Crawford County teachers, chosen not by some committee or administrator but by students, who have been selected by their home schools to be recognized for their efforts both inside and outside the classroom. Brian Tuscan, a 2004 Galion student selectee, chose Mrs. Beers as a teacher who had greatly impacted his life.

In honoring her, Brian wrote:

...All of my teachers have inspired me in one way or another. One in particular stands out...Mrs. Judy Beers...she cared about each and every one of her students...she's willing to go the extra mile and a half mile for them...she cares about their future. High praise indeed from a former student who began looking into education as his career.

Born in Wooster in 1944, Edith E. "Judy" Beers was the daughter of Henry and Lucille Arnsby. After graduating from Wooster High School, she earned her Bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and her Master's degree from Ashland University. She came to Galion in the 1970s when her husband Harry was named Galion's varsity football coach. An avid sports fan, Judy loved the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians. The Beers have two children, Tony and Stacy, both GHS graduates, and three grandchildren.

Judy taught 27 years in Galion, all at the Middle School, where she made a lasting impression on Tuscan, others students and her colleagues. Upon her retirement in 2008, Judy's impact was recognized by her friends and co-workers at Galion Middle School. Among the accolades:

 "You're great! I loved bouncing ideas off you."

 "You've set a high standard for me and others; for that I say thanks."

 "It's not going to be the same without you!  But, your presence will still be here in all the wonderful memories of these years. Thanks for being You!"

 "The teaching profession is losing a great example of good teaching."

Judy Beers - daughter, wife, mother, teacher, friend and, very importantly, Inspiration



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