Jean D. Harris
Class of 1966
Describing herself as an Aurora student who was hyperactive with probable unidentified special needs, Jean credits her teacher’s great patience, especially Tom Craddock, and growing up in a small caring town for her later successes in life. Jean Harris went on in life to attend 6 universities and earn six degrees and varied certifications. Her life has been a multifaceted eclectic path that has ranged from human services to a nationally recognized leader in the food industry. Her insatiable desire to fearlessly learn, improve, innovate, and push boundaries has taken her to the highest levels of corporate America.
After earning her first degree from Kent State, Jean began her human services career at the Youth Enrichment Center in Hudson. Looking to expand her experience she next went to the Warrensville Center in Cleveland, a residential facility. After marriage and a move to Tiffan, Ohio Jean continued her human services career at the Tiffan Institution- Mental Retardation and Mental Illness. While there she was offered the position of Chief Administrative Officer for Fairfield Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she was involved in a ground up endeavor from facility design to programming needs. At that facility, Jean created a new Parent/Guardian Advisory Council, a groundbreaking concept which streamlined and oversaw the facilities operations 24/7. After 15 years of the demanding and growing responsibilities of the Fairfield Center she was ready to head a new direction. Fortunately, the President of her Fairfield Advisory Council was the General Manager of Pierre Foods, and offered her a job. Jean made a complete career change and moved into the food industry.
After ten years with Pierre Foods, Jean moved to the Pizza Hut division of PepsiCo in Washington D.C. In her capacity there she learned how a marketing driven company functions. From PepsiCo Jean moved to the Iowa Beef Producers (now Tyson) in South Dakota and the new challenge and learning experience of utilizing technology to streamline physical movement in a 15 billion dollar worldwide company with 35,000 employees. At IBF she became to only female Director and then the onlyworldwide corporation. Ultimately she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Food Brands, a subsidiary of IBP. For the past twenty years Jean has been with a family owned business Don Lee Farms based in Los Angeles where she is the Senior Vice-President on the management team that works with the nationally recognized industry innovator and community philanthropist Donald Goodman.
Jean’s other accomplishments, honors, and roles have included, but not limited to “Industry Member of the Year” and 3 terms as an Industry Advisor with the School Nutrition Association, member of the Governing Board for the National School Food Service Management, Board of Directors of the Sandusky County Mental Health Organization, Board Member of the Tiffan, Ohio League of Voters, was a designated Certified Federal Expert Witness for Barbara C Class action suits, negotiated the largest school business award in history between the Los Angeles School district and Don Lee Farms, and was presented the “Hammer Award” by Vice-President Al Gore for her work on a Federally sponsored program to identify and eliminate waste in the governments food distribution program. She also served as a Big Sister to the same young woman for 15 years.
Jean is currently living in Melbourne, Florida with her longtime Aurora High School sweetheart Chuck Harris.
Dr. Edward Hall - Class of 1968
William R. Markesbery, M.D. Chair in Neurotrauma Research Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center and Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Kentucky.
Dr. Ed Hall's accomplishments are incredible. Click here for the 2016 Hall of Fame program from the event.
David Edmonds - Class of 1975
David graduated from Aurora High School in 1975 where he played Basketball and Baseball. He graduated from Kent State University in 1980 where he was a member of the baseball team. After graduation, he began his career in the transportation business. In 1986, he joined Roadway Services, a transportation holding company from Akron, OH. He, along with several others, was responsible for the design and development of RPS, the fastest growing business ever known for its first five years in business. In 1998, he and his partners sold RPS to FedEx of Memphis, Tennessee. In 1999, the FedEx board elected him to the position of Senior Vice-President, Worldwide Services. In that capacity, he has traveled to over 200 countries managing various aspects of the corporation.
David serves on several Boards of Directors, including the Memphis Music Foundation, Ballet Memphis, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Kent State Athletics Foundation.
In October 2014, the Kent State University Athletics Foundation dedicated a newly constructed building for Men’s and Women’s athletics. David was the lead donor and subsequently named the building in honor of his mother and father.
David’s reflections of his time in the Aurora Schools are many. He genuinely appreciated the great counsel, guidance and learning opportunities from his teachers, coaches and administrators. David recalls that he really enjoyed playing Basketball and Baseball for Aurora, the many athletic events and the competitive spirit and school camaraderie before and after each game.
Having made many lifelong friends, he believes the social and academic setting at A.H.S. provided a launchpad for his future years, both professionally and personally.
Recalling his time at A.H.S. David states, “It was just too cool!”
Tia Dionne Hodge-Jones - Class of 1990
Tia Dionne Hodge-Jones is an award-winning writer, actor, playwright, screenwriter and director/producer. She earned her M.A. and B.A. in English Literature from Case Western Reserve University.As an actress, she has appeared in numerous national and regional on-camera and voice-over/radio commercials, and has appeared on 666 Park Avenue, in a number of the Law & Order T.V. series episodes, as well as the pilot The Third Degree for Fox, to name a few.
Todd F. Clossin - Class of 1980
Mount Union College – Bachelor of Business Administration
University of Akron – Masters of Business Administration
President and CEO of Fifth Third Band Northeastern Ohio
Brian Rothenberg – Class of 1984
Marietta College – B.A. with Honors in Political Science and Journalism
Ohio Democratic Party Communications Director
Executive Director, ProgressOhio.org
Colonel (Retired) Robert J. Labadie – Class of 1967
Distinguished 29 year career in the Army. Received The Silver Star,
Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart.
Director of Governors Office of Veterans Affairs
Jim Hickey – Class of 1976
Miami Universtiy – Bachelor Degree
President and co-founder of Arras Group
Scott Keglovic – Class of 1979
University of Akron – Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design
Executive Creative Director and co-founder of Arras Group
Dana Benjamin Gilliland – Class of 1983
Kent State University – Bachelor and Master Degree,
Western Reserve – Master Degree,
Ohio State University – Doctorate Degree
Attorney in Appalachia, Ohio and practices family law.
Michelle Jimenez Belardo, M.D. – Class of 1986
University of Akron – Bachelor Degree in Natural Sciences,
Northeastern Ohio University –
M.D. College of Medicine
Fairview Hospital where she is on the Executive Council and Process
and Improvement committee of Department OB/GYN,
Utilization Review committee. Also has office in North Olmsted.
Shirley Louis Greenslade – Class of 1952
Senior Pastor of Agape’ Word and Worship Center,
Operates Master’s Closet and Pantry, twelve years of mission work in Haiti
Stephen C. Rumsey – Class of 1970
General Motors Institute – Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering,
MIT – Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering,
University of Rochester – Master Degree in Business Administration
President and Representative Director of Kodak Digital Product Center,
Michael Shea – Class of 1984
Kent State Universiy
CEO/President of the Alternate Press Magazine
Plain Dealer Award – 50 Most Influential People in Cleveland Music History
Jody Jurkiewicz Kocsis – Class of 1985
Notre Dame College (Ohio) – Bachelor Degree in Chemistry
Technology Manager of Engine Oil Product Development Division of Lubrizol,
has 6 USA patents and one defensive publication.
Gregg Keidel – Class of 1966
Ohio University – Bachelor Degree in Communications
Founder of the Aurora Advocate, startup team member of
Browns Beat Magazine,
Director of racing at Northfield Park
Russ Bennett – Class of 1978
Kent State University – Bachelor in Education, Master Degree in Education
1998 MEOSERC “Educator of the Year”
1998 Aurora City Schools “Outstanding Teacher” Award
Science Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal and coach at Harmon
Middle School and Superintendent of Aurora City Schools.
Paul Farkas, Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force – Class of 1983
Clemson University – Bachelor Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Regents College/Webster University, (United Kingdom) – Master Degree in Computer Information systems and Resource Management
Assigned to the Air Staff at the Pentagon as Chief, Architecture
and Technology Branch, director of War Fighting Integration.
Susanne Bradley Brown, M.D. - Class of 1955
Ohio State University – Bachelor Degree in Education,
Case Western Reserve Medical
School - M.D. in Medicine
Medical Missionary in Haiti
Director of the State of New Mexico Medical Care
Kathleen Kenyon Thornton – Class of 1965
Bowling Green Universtiy – Bachelor Degree in Education,
Tomson University – Master Degree in Education
Physical Education Department Chairat Bel Air High School Maryland,
1996 National Physical Education Teacher of the Year
Robert G. Shaw – Class of 1974
Marquette University – Bachelor Degree in Business Administration
Senior Vice President of International Operations at New Horizons Computer
Learning Center in Anaheim, California
Robert R. Dean – Class of 1982
Kent State University – Bachelor Degree in Education
Hudson City Schools Administrator
President and Director of Spectrum Training Services and head coach for
Hiram College Women’s Soccer
Dick McKinnon – Class of 1960
Northwestern University – Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and Economics
Pioneered computerized genetic-algorithm scheduler for Deere & Company
Cheryl Woodsy – Class of 1978
University of Akron – Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and Finance
Budget and Financial Analysis, Cleveland Postal Service
Byron Spruell – Class of 1983
Notre Dame University – Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering,
Master Degree in Business Administration
Senior Manager, Huston, Detoitte and Touche LLP
Holly Benjamin – Class of 1986
Pediatrician, researcher, writer, and consultant for Little Company of Mary Hospital, University of Chicago
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