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Distinguished Alumni

Graduates of Great Oaks programs go on to do great things.  They may be successful in their career fields; they may become local or state elected officials; they may influence the lives of many and the lives of those closest to them.

Since 2006, Great Oaks has honored alumni who have distinguished themselves personally and professionally, and who have had an impact on their world.  To be eligible for the Distinguished Alumni Award, nominees must have attended a Great Oaks full-time career program as an adult, high school or satellite student, and have graduated at least 10 years ago.

Read the stories of our Distinguished Alumni by clicking on the links below.

After a two-year hiatus in honoring Distinguished Alumni, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil was honored in December 2015. 

Distinguished Alumni from previous years include:


Christy (Pennington) McMurry, 1986, Assistant VP, Fifth Third Securities, Inc.
David Daniels, 1975, State Representative, 86th House District
Chad Eastham, 1990, National Sales Manager, Technicote
Robert Giesman, 1992, Chef, Sheraton North Cincinnati
Gary Grubert, 1986, VP Sales and Marketing, Gasket Resource Inc.
Mary Kay Hansen, 1974, inventor of BLADEater
Lois Woodward Shuler, 1986, Manager, UC Dept. of Laboratory Animal Medical Services
Danny Sims, Ph.D, Esq., 1981, founder, Archipelago Bat Guano LLC
Karla Addington-Smith, 1976, owner, Bow Wow Boutique
Tim Young, 1976, Senior Analyst Programmer, Cincinnati Milacron

Read more about the 2006 Distinguished Alumni


Dale Bartholemew, 1975 graduate, owner, Daleco
Darrell O. Pace, 1975, Olympic Gold and Silver medalist (archery), telecommunications
coordinator, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
James Sumner, 1975, Manager of Group Environmental Programs, GE Aviation
Susan (Lillis) Williams, 1997 (School of Practical Nursing), program coordinator/nursing
instructor, East Ridge (Fla.) High School
Joe Vonderhaar, 1986, Vice President, USI Midwest

Read more about the 2007 Distinguished Alumni


Thomas Cornwell, 1978 graduate, owner, Cornwell Electric
Paula Losey, 1973, Benefits Coordinator, Great Oaks Career Campuses
Russell Wayne, 1976, owner, Wayne Buildings, Inc.
Janice Zoladz Allison, 1985, business owner and Emmy nominee

Read more about the 2008 Distinguished Alumni


Colonel Rodney Jackson, 1977, community activist
Mark Meinking, 1977, owner, Meinking's Service
Sgt. Benjamin Moreland, 1999, police officer, Reading Police Department
Dr. Daniel Young, 1980, Quality Assurance Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Read more about the 2009 Distinguished Alumni


Jim Brady, 1976, school superintendent, inventor, and business owner
Scott Snow, 1990, Police Chief, Reading Police Department
Dave Spears, 1981, educator and business owner

Read more about the 2010 Distinguished Alumni


Kenneth "Doc" Kilgore, 1979, radio host and police specialist
Jerry Turner, 1975, business owner
Shawn Wilkin, 1973, educator

Read more about the 2011 Distinguished Alumni


Bradley George, 1988, fire chief
Gary Gilbert, 1979, business owner
Joan Junker, 1979, business owner

Read more about the 2012 Distinguished Alumni