Distinguished Alumni 2019


Dr. JOHN COSTIN JR. | Lorain High | 1967

John Costin, Jr. is a 1967 graduate of Lorain High School. Costin is a prominent ophthalmologist, known for his specialty in cataract surgery, who has practiced locally for 40 years. John was named after his father and learned the importance of family and the value of a strong work ethic from him. From a young age, John Jr. worked at the family business, Costin Custom Cleaners, in Lorain. In high school, John participated in Varsity Football, Math Club, National Honor Society, was Vice-President of Student Council, and was voted Most Service to School in the Senior Awards. John has always focused on service in his life and career. John remembered LHS as a fine school with many intelligent students, stating that it was a privilege to attend school with his older brother Daryl and three of his first cousins, Sharon and Ruth Kosanovich, and Linda Irwin. His fondest recollection, however, is spending time with Cindy Randall, who he first met at age 12, and who would later become his wife.                    

After high school graduation, John earned his undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University, where he remembers the rigor of the course work. He continued on at Case School of Medicine earning his M.D. in 1975. He completed both his Internship and Residency at the Cleveland Clinic and followed with a Fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. At the conclusion of his Fellowship, John was in high demand and could have gone anywhere to practice; but he decided to return to Lorain. He set up a private practice and bought a 170- acre horse farm in Wakeman, Ohio. John had always had a love of the West and horses and traveled there often. He loved raising his three children on the farm where they learned the value of hard work, discipline, and respect—standard “Costin values”. Other interests for John are reading carpentry, and farming/gardening, which he believes is cheap- er than therapy! An alternative career choice would have been Forestry. 
But medicine won out and John practiced with the Cleveland Clinic from 1979-2017. He served as the Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Lorain Institute. John has had the privilege of working for several years alongside his sons, John III and Bryan, both also surgeons and graduates of Case Medical. Daughter Megan, Master’s in Business Administration, works in the medical equipment industry.

John Costin has earned a reputation as a “Great doctor. Caring and experienced”. In 2017 John stated his medical practice was built by develop- ing personal relationships with patients and his staff. John was known for greeting patients in the waiting room, introducing them to staff, and thanking them for the honor of serving them. “We are a family taking care of our friends and neighbors. I am just continuing the core lessons taught to me by my dad and mom.” This community has been lucky to have John Costin, Jr. here.

THOMAS ELWELL | Lorain Catholic | 1971

Judge Tom Elwell is a 1971 graduate of Lorain Catholic High School. During high school, he was an honor roll student and was MVP of the Varsity Baseball team. In reflecting on his time at LC, he said, “It was a wonderful time of my life. All four high schools were open at that time. There was great respect and friendly rivalry amongst us.”      
Following high school, Tom enrolled at the University of Detroit where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in 1975. He then enrolled in Law School at Cleveland Marshall College of law and earned his Juris Doctorate in 1978 and passed the bar exam. From 1978 un- until 2004, he was in the private practice of law in Lorain. In 2004, he was elected by the Citizens of Lorain to serve as Judge of the Lorain Municipal Court, a position that he has remained until the present time.

Dr. CRAIG FOLTON | Lorain High | 1985

Craig L. Foltin is a 1985 graduate of Lorain High School. During high school, he was active in sports where he played Varsity Football and Baseball. He was also an outstanding student as he earned membership in the National Honor Society at Lorain High. Dr. Foltin’s reflection on his high school years was there were a wide range of people and the “classic” building were things that he would always remember.                

After graduating from LHS, he attended The Ohio State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He then went on to earn his MBA and Doctorate of Business Administration from Cleveland State University. Dr. Foltin is a CPA and a Certified Government Financial Manager. 
Dr. Foltin decided early in his career to pursue public service as he was elected City Auditor in Lorain in 1993. He then went on to serve two terms as Mayor of Lorain from 2000—2007. 
In addition to his public service, Dr. Foltin has a long career in higher education. He served as the Provost and Executive Vice President and was the Executive V.P. of Administration and Finance and Treasurer at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). He is also an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Cleveland State University where he has presented at countless professional- al meetings and has published 30 papers in some of America’s top accounting journals. He resides in Lorain with his wife Karen and their daughters, Lena and Eleanor.

SHERRY GLASS | Southview | 1991

The Honorable Sherry Glass is a 1991 graduate of Southview High School. From her beginnings at Southview, she developed an interest in service as evidenced by her membership in the Key Club and Student Council where she was elected as Class President her senior year. She also found time to participate in basketball and softball during her four years at Southview and was a four-year varsity letter-winning cheerleader where she was selected as captain of the team. To round things off, Judge Glass was an outstanding student as she finished ranked third in her class at Southview. 
In reflecting on her days at Southview, Judge Glass said, “My fondest memories of my school days deal with my friends and classmates. It was truly a blessing to be able to grow up in and develop relationships in a city so rich in diversity. No one was treated differently. It didn’t matter what color or what income level you held. I was a poor little white girl who lived in a shabby duplex and all my closest girlfriends had skin darker than me with dark hair and eyes and most of them had last names like Garcia, Pagan, and Perez. I couldn’t ask for better memories, a better upbringing, or a better “village” that made me who I am today. “ 
Following high school, Judge Glass attended Ohio University where she graduated with Honors. She then attended Cleveland Marshall College of Law earning her law degree in 1997. After serving several years as an Assistant County Prosecutor, Sherry was elected Judge in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Division.

JAMES HUDAK | Lorain High | 1965

Jim is a 1965 graduate of Lorain High School. During high school, he was a member and President of the National Honor Society and the Math Club. He also earned a Varsity letter in football and was a member of the German Club. In reflecting on his time in High School, he said,” Mr. Henderson drilled me in Algebra and helped me to become one of the top 100 Algebra students in the State of Ohio. Ms. Stone taught me to love Ancient History, and Mr. Brooks taught me more about life than sports.”                    

Following graduation, Jim attended Yale University where he earned an AB in Economics (1969) and then went on to earn a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan in 1971. 
Jim’s career has included a mixture of public sector and private sector employment. He has been the CEO of United Health Group and the Chairman and CEO of Paradigm Outcomes; additionally, he was a partner at Anderson Consulting (Accenture). In the public sector, he has served as the Treasurer for the City of Palo Alto, the CFO for the city and county of San Francisco, and is currently the interim Treasurer for the county of Napa, California. 
Jim has also enjoyed public service as evidenced by his serving as the Chair of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and his endowing the James B. Hudak Professorship for Health Policy at UM.

FRANK JACINTO | Saint Mary's | 1957B

Frank is a 1957B graduate of Lorain Saint Mary’s High School. Following graduation, Frank enlisted in the United States Navy and served four years, attaining the rank of Radarman Second Class during his tenure. Following his military service, Frank enrolled at Ohio State University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree, and Kent State University where he earned his Master’s Degree. 
Frank was an educator in the Lorain City Schools for 31 years. As a teacher, he taught social studies and psychology; he also spent time as a school counselor. In 1971, Frank was named principal of Lincoln Elementary and became Ohio’s first Hispanic principal. During his leadership at Lincoln, Frank was instrumental in creating the district’s first bilingual education program. 
In the community, Frank was a founding member of El Centro de Servicios Sociales and The Coalition for Hispanic Issues and Progress “CHIP”. 
As a tribute to all of Frank’s contributions to Lorain City Schools and the community, the first of the newly built Lorain Schools was named in his honor.

Theresa (Girz) & Tim KIEDROWSKI

Teresa Girz Kiedrowski is a 1973 Graduate of Lorain Catholic High School and Timothy J. Kiedrowski is a 1973 Graduate of Admiral King High School. 
During High School, Terri participate in theatre and Concert Choir where two albums were recorded in 1972 and 1973. Tim was a member of the Marching Band and participated in theatre productions. In 1971, Tim, along with his fellow AKHS drummers, wrote the marching drum cadence that is still used by the high school today. 
Following graduation, Tim worked for Deluca’s Bakery while Terri went to Providence School of Nursing, where she graduated in 1976. She then enjoyed a 25-year career as an RN at St. Joseph Hospital Women’s Health Department. 
In 1984, Tim and Terri were presented with an opportunity to purchase a struggling bakery in downtown Amherst. With “fearless youth aspirations, limited business knowledge, a solid idea, big confidence, and four children,” they started a Kiedrowski’s Bakery that has been in business for 35 years. 
In 2011, Kiedrowski’s was named the Best Bakery in America by the Baking Industry Magazine. They were also noted in Conde Nast Magazine as one of the 10 most unique businesses to visit. They were also recognized by the Ambassador of Poland who attended the famous Paczki Ball in 2012 for preserving the Polish Culture in the community.

Dr. WILLIAM KISHMAN | Lorain High | 1941


Dr. William Kishman was a 1941 graduate of Lorain High School. During high school, Dr. Kishman was a member of the National Honor Society and served as the editor of the Scimitar. 
Following graduation, Dr. Kishman attended Western Reserve University. He then went to the New York Medical College where he graduated in 1947 and completed his residency at Huron Road Hospital in Cleveland. 
Dr. Kishman served in the Army Medical Corps as a Captain until 1954 when he returned to Lorain to build his private practice. He served as Lorain County Coroner starting in 1972 and would go on to serve four terms. He was on the staff at St. Joseph and Lorain Community Hospitals. Dr. Kish- man was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Lorain County Medical Society and Ohio State Coroner’s Association. 
An avid supporter of Lorain Athletics, Dr. Kishman was a member of the Lorain High School Booster Club and served as team physician for 24 years.

GEORGE KOURY | Admiral King | 1968

George Koury is a 1968 graduate of Admiral King High School. During high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society, earned Varsity letters in football and baseball, and was co-captain of the baseball team during his senior year.                    

In reflecting on his time in high school, George fondly remembers the time his homeroom teacher, Mr. Bakalar, needed someone to fill in for an ill member of the speech team to serve as MC of a school pep rally. Though he was nervous, he was handed the microphone and “improvised” for over an hour and “hasn’t shut-up since.” 
Following graduation, George attended Ohio University where he played baseball and graduated in 1972 with a B.A. He then attended Ohio Northern University College of Law where he earned his J.D. in 1975 and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. 
Professionally, George has had a long and varied legal career. In addition to his private practice, he has served as an NFL players’ representative, as an Asst. Lorain City Law Director (1980-85), and Asst. Lorain County Prosecutor (1975-80). George was elected as a Lorain County Commissioner (1985-90), Lorain City Safety & Services Director (1996-2000), and has served as Lo- rain County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Staff since 2005. 
George has remained in the Lorain Community and served on countless boards and has been honored for his leadership re- repeatedly. However, his heart has remained with supporting athletics and educational opportunities for Lorain students.

JASON MOLINA | Admiral King | 1992

Jason Molina was a 1992 graduate of Admiral King High School. At an early age, Jason developed a love of music and began playing trumpet and then the guitar. Throughout high school, he was involved in soccer and the Jazz Band as he nurtured his true love of music. In 1988, during high school, Jason was a charter member of the heavy metal group the Spine Riders, winning a local Battle of the Bands that lead to studio time and eventually a contract with Secretly Canadian Records.                    

Following graduation, Jason attended Oberlin College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History in 1996. He had a short-lived “real job” as a curator at the Chicago Museum of Art. However, in 1993 Jason admitted to a friend “I want to be a rock star”. 
Jason came to prominence as an indie/alternative singer-songwriter during the late 1990s when he wrote, recorded, and performed as Songs: Ohia and later as Electric Magnolia Co. Often referred to as a visionary and creative genius, Jason created a remarkable song catalog of stark and heart-breaking music that left a lasting impression on those who heard his music. A prolific performer, Jason toured the U.S., Europe, and Australia between 1997 and 2009, creating a diverse and loyal fan base that exists to this day. 
Jason’s untimely death in 2013, at the age of 39, was reported by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and NPR. Lorain is deeply embedded in Jason’s music. As a 24-year-old he told an interviewer, “I grew up in a burnt-out shipbuilding and steel making town. Lorain is profoundly important to my music. It is the environment where I learned to walk away from the darkness. It is a place of water and storms and falling red sky and lightning. I learned to write music there about the world because out there it was immense and sudden. I learned that misery is not to capture but to learn about. Lorain and I have an unspoken agreement to always remain in each other’s lives. It is a hard place.” Welcome home, Jason Molina.

RAMON PAGAN | Admiral King | 1966


Ramon “Ray” Pagan is a 1966 graduate of Lorain Admiral King High School. During high school, Ray was selected as Captain of the baseball team for the Admirals. He was also selected by his classmates as “Best Personality” among his senior class. 
Following graduation, Ray enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and has the honor of serving in the Vietnam War. Following his service, he attended the University of Akron, where he became one of the first in his family to graduate from college. He would go on to earn a Masters of School Administration and Superintendent Certificate in Education from Bowling Green State University. 
Ray had a long history as an educator first and then an administrator in the Lorain City Schools (Whittier and Southview) and was honored as being selected as the first Puerto Rican High School principal in Lorain. His success garnered national acclaim as Southview was honored by the National Hispanic magazine for keeping Hispanic students from dropping out of school. 
Ray has served on countless boards over the years and has the honor of having the Hispanic Fund’s and Southview Booster Club’s Ray Pagan Scholarship. He has been happily married to his wife Diane. They have three children (Michael and Sarah attended AKHS and Daniel SVHS) who are all graduates of the Lorain City Schools.

ROSS PILLARI | Lorain High | 1968


Ross Pillari is a 1968 graduate of Lorain High School. During high school, Ross participated in Student Council, serving as Class President his senior year. He was also voted Most Service to School and was President of Lorain Youth Center. Finally, Ross was a member of the National Honor Society, was a three-year letter-winner in the band, and served on the Scimitar (yearbook) staff for two years. 
Following graduation, he attended Case Western Reserve University and earned a BA in Economics. Following graduation from Case, Ross was a member of the Air National Guard from 1972 through 1975. Not one to rest on his laurels, Ross returned to school in 1995 to complete Stanford University’s prestigious Executive Management Program. 
Ross has enjoyed a long and diversified career in the energy industry following his start in Lorain. In the 1990s, he served as Chairman of Netherlands Refining Co., Director of Marketing for BP Australasia, and was Group Vice President, Global Marketing for BP plc. From 2001—2006 he was elevated to Chairman & CEO of BP of America. 
Mr. Pillari has a great deal of community service. He was a member of the White House Hydrogen Energy Task Force (2002), served on the Secretary of Energy’s National Petroleum Council (2005), and has been published in the Harvard Business Review and Journal of Ethics at the University of California at Berkeley.

MARIE (Sofia) DiLUCIANO | Lorain High | 1947B

Marie (Sofia) DiLuciano graduated from Lorain High School with the Class of 1947B. She loved her experience at Lorain High. She spoke of attending movies after lunch period, going to the football games, and participating in intramurals. She was extremely proud that she was a member of the National Honor Society. She was a school aide, participated in clubs, and was involved with dramatics. Most of all, she met the love of her life, Al DiLuciano.                    

Born to Italian immigrant parents, receiving her high school diploma was important; but higher education was not. Besides, her focus was marrying Al and raising a family. She and Al married on February 18, 1950. Marie passed away just shy of their 60th anniversary. They had four children—Sue, Randy, Alice, and Russ. 
In the mid-60s, her husband Al and several partners began a business that manufactures plastic welding rods. Because they worked full time and could not perform the day-to-day operations of the business, Marie stepped in. Despite her lack of higher education, her hard work and dedication enabled the business to flourish with her taking care of the ordering, contacting and working with the customers, and managing the financial aspect of the business. Marie was a pioneer in a sense. She worked and managed a business before it was common for women to be involved in running a business especially one that sells products globally. Along with raising children, managing a household, taking care of elderly parents, and later babysitting grandkids, she succeeded in being instrumental in creating a successful business. The business, V & A Process, Inc., continues to operate under the ownership of her four children. 
Marie was also active in her Church, St. Peter’s Parish where she was a member of the Holy Name Society, a home visitor for homebound and nursing homes, and taught PSR classes. She was involved in service clubs such as Serra Club, St. Francis Mission Group, II Century Council, and Lakeland Woman’s Club.

She truly loved God; people; her City of Lorain; and, most of all, her family.

PHILLIP STAMMITTI | Lorain High | 1968


Phil Stammitti is a 1968 graduate of Lorain High School. Beyond playing Varsity Baseball, his high school years weren't that noteworthy. In fact, Stammitti was very shy and introverted during high school. However, he has a memory of his Guidance Counselor Mr. Jones who challenged him by saying that based on the effort he was putting into high school, he would probably never go to college or amount to much. Stammitti said, “I didn’t realize at the time, but later in life, I got it, that he was motivating me to do something. He is one of the reasons that I ended up working harder to achieve things in life.” 
After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for four years. When he was honorably discharged in 1972, he started taking night classes at LCCC and was hired by the Lorain Police Department in 1973. He would work full-time on night shift and take classes at LCCC until he received his Associate’s Degree with Honors in Police Science in 1977. 
In 1978 Stammitti was voted as the first Policeman of the Year. He served as a patrol officer, worked on the felony crime squad, and the Narcotics Bureau. In 1986 he was hired to work in the Sheriff’s Office where he was promoted to Captain and served in many different capacities. Following the retirement of Sheriff Mahoney, Stammitti was elected as Sheriff in 2001 and continues in that capacity to this day.

Dr. BRUCE WEIGL | Admiral King | 1967


Bruce Weigl graduated from Admiral King High School in 1967. Following graduation, Weigl enlisted in the Army and served in the Vietnam War where he would earn the Bronze Star. After his service, Bruce enrolled in Oberlin College, where he would earn a bachelor’s degree. He also earned a Master of Arts in Writing/American and British Literature from the University of New Hampshire. Finally, he earned a Ph. D. from the University of Utah in 1979. 
Weigl has gone on to be known and respected as an American Contemporary poet. His first collection of poems, A Romance, was published in 1979. Understandably, Weigl’s writing was greatly influenced by his experience in Vietnam. Works such as The Monkey Wars and Song of Napalm were other collections of poetry that Weigl authored. He went on to publish an acclaimed memoir entitled The Circle of Hahn: A Memoir. In that memoir, he wrote, “The war took away my life and gave me poetry in return . . . the fate the world has given me is to struggle to write powerfully enough to draw others into the horror.” 
Bruce was first awarded a prize in 1979 from the American Academy of Poets. He has received two Pushcart Prizes, a Patterson Poetry Prize, a Bread Loaf Fellowship in Poetry, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988. Weigl was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1988 and again in 2012. In 2006, he was awarded a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. 
Weigl has also enjoyed a long career in Academia. As a distinguished professor of English, he has taken up academic residence at Lorain County Community College after previously teaching at the University of Arkansas, Old Dominion, and Pennsylvania State University. While at Old Dominion, Weigl was the president of the Associated Writing Programs.

GENERAL JOHNNIE WILSON (Ret.) | Lorain High | 1961

Johnnie E. Wilson is a 1961 graduate of Lorain High School who has the distinction of being a Retired United States Army Four-Star General. 
Born in Louisiana, Wilson was raised in Lorain and graduated from Lorain High in 1961. Following graduation, he entered the Army in 1961 as an enlisted soldier. He was able to earn the rank of Staff Sergeant before attending Officer Candidate School in 1967. 
Following OCS, he earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Science Degree in Logistics from the Florida Institute of Technology. 
General Wilson’s long and decorated legal career included positions such as Deputy Chief for Logistics, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army Material Command, Deputy Commanding General, 21st Area Theatre Command, and culminated in his being the Commanding General, U.S. Army Command. He is the recipient of the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit, Bronze Star (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Special Forces Tab. General Wilson retired from the U.S. Army on April 26, 1999. 
Lorain City Schools has acknowledged and honored General Wilson for his military contributions by naming one of its schools after him.

CHLOE WOFFARD | Lorain High | 1949A

Chloe A. Wofford (Toni Morrison) is a 1949A graduate of Lorain High School. Writer, novelist, editor, critic, professor, poet, daughter, mother, sister, aunt, icon. Life for Chloe began on the racially integrated streets of Lorain in a home where her parents strongly encouraged her interest in reading and education. Unaware of racism as a young child, Chloe has said, “When I was in first grade, nobody thought I was inferior. I was the only black in the class and the only child who could read”. Graduating LHS with Honors, Chloe went on to Howard University where she received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English from Cornell University. Spending her early years in academia, Morrison taught at Texas Southern, Howard, Yale, Rutgers, and Bard. Settling in at Princeton in 1989, she achieved Professor Emeritus status by her retirement in 2006. She also was a Senior Editor at Random House for 20 years.  

Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970 when Morrison was 39 years old. Her journey to pre-eminence did not come easily and recognition from the literary establishment was slow to arrive, but arrive it did. Morrison said the initial reception to her work was like its leading character, Pecola Breedlove, “dismissed, trivialized, misread.” Her first award was in 1979, from the American Academy of Poets. Awards that followed included the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988, The American Book Award in 1988 for Beloved, the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Anis- field-Wolf Book Award, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by President Obama in 2012. Other novels by Morrison include Sula, Song of Solomon, Jazz, Love, Paradise, A Mercy, Home, and God Bless the Child. Still actively writing at age 88, The Source of Self-Regard and Mouth Full of Blood was published in 2019. Morrison has had an enormous influence on literature and American culture. Some major themes in her work are self-identity and self-worth from an African-American perspective, society, and the influence of racism. Her work reflects an absence of sentimentality and focuses on the emotional entanglements and importance of family. A recent documentary, “The Pieces I Am”, about her life, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and at our own Palace Theater last night.

Lorain City Schools has acknowledged and honored Toni Morrison for her many accomplishments by naming one of its schools after her.
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