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Distinguished Alumni 2012

Periodically, the Great Oaks Education Foundation chooses successful Great Oaks Career Campus graduates as Distinguished Alumni.  The award recipients are honored at a banquet prepared by Scarlet Oaks Culinary Arts students.

2012 Distinguished Alumni

This year’s honorees are the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District Chief and two local business owners.  Their stories:

Bradley George
Laurel Oaks, Firefighting
Graduated 1988

Bradley George has spent his entire career protecting and helping people.  He started in his home town of Greenfield, and also volunteered on his days off with the Greenfield Area Life Squad as an EMT.  Rising through the ranks as a member of the county dive team and fire investigator, he became Assistant Chief in 1997.

Not content to serve his community only as a firefighter, he completed Ohio Peace Officer Training in 1991 and worked for a number of years as a Highland County Sheriff’s Deputy and as an officer for the Leesburg Police Department.

After a stint with the State Fire Marshall’s Office, he was chosen to become the first  Chief of the newly-formed Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District in December 2009.

A tireless community volunteer and high school swim team coach, it has been written about Chief George:  “He has managed to make his professional life personal to him, which in turn benefits his community and the areas served by the Fire District.”

Gary Gilbert
Diamond Oaks, Carpentry
Graduated 1979

Gary Gilbert exemplifies Great Oaks.  In his personal and professional life, he practices the Great Oaks values of honesty, trust, respect, quality, and equity.  He also used the skills he learned at Great Oaks to be successful in his career in construction.

Gary started as a co-op laborer with HGC Construction; he worked his way up to his current position as vice president and part owner of the company.

Through the years, he has given back to the schools which gave him his start.  He serves on the Diamond Oaks Business/Industry Advisory Council for the Construction program and also sits on the Oak Hills High School Advisory Board.  He is active in SkillsUSA, employs Great Oaks students, and regularly speaks to potential students and parents.

Even as a company owner, Gary continues to grow and expand his skills.  He stays on the forefront of green building technology and has become LEED certified.  He’s also involved in professional organizations, and was named 2008 Estimator of the Year by the Cincinnati Chapter of the American Society of Professional Estimators.

Joan Junker
Diamond Oaks, Cosmetology
Graduated 1979

Joan Junker has been a successful businesswoman almost from the day she graduated in 1979 as one of the youngest cosmetologists in the state of Ohio.  After 18 years of building a reputation and clientele, she became a business owner in 1997.  Her popular salon, Hair Management, has grown five-fold through her expertise and passion.

She shares that expertise, too—with potential cosmetologists at Diamond Oaks, Empire Education Group, and the International School of Beauty, and also informally with other salon owners trying to expand their businesses.

She is a member of the Diamond Oaks Cosmetology Business/Industry Advisory Council, she proctors state cosmetology licensing exams, and she regularly speaks to classes.

Joan’s community activities are numerous.  A Girl Scout leader and Sunday School teacher, she also involves her business in the community by supporting individuals and organizations through fundraising activities at Hair Management.  She has organized evenings at her salon for mothers with special needs and mothers of children with special needs.

Joan was honored in 2005 for her work in employing teenagers with developmental disabilities.

The photos and stories of each year’s Distinguished Alumni are mounted in the halls of the four Great Oaks campuses to serve as an inspiration for current and future students.