Distinguished Alumni 2021


Thomas Bauer

Tom Bauer graduated from California State University in Pennsylvania with a degree in Secondary Education with a specialty in Math. However, he decided to explore the business world first by accepting a position with IBM in New York. This fact is important as to his future in the Lorain City School System. Tom’s desire to put his degree in math to use and his dream to coach high school football led him to Lorain High School in 1968. Also, it is important to note his participation in college football, first at George Washington University and then finishing at Cal State, impacted his desire to coach. That summer a decision was made to have Lorain High become one of the very few schools in the state to have its own computer. Since Tom’s resume had a few years with IBM, he became the logical choice to become the first technology teacher in the system; the course back then was called Computer Math. For the first couple of years, Admiral King and Southview students could take the course by attending evening and Saturday classes. He taught in the tech field for a total of 37 years; first at LHS, then at Southview, and finished up teaching Lorain students in Early College at LCCC. Tom taught a variety of high school math courses from beginning general math up the ladder to trig and statistics, but his favorite was always geometry. With geometry, he would show real-life situations of how they could use these new skills learned. The same went for teaching tech courses. In the beginning, all students had to learn programming and coding. many times students could not understand why they would ever need to learn those concepts. Later in Tom’s career as computers became more used for their applications, he would show his students how becoming skilled with word processing, databases, and spreadsheets could be used every day of their lives. One of his greatest thrills was to have students, that he taught years before, come up and thank him because of something that they learned in one of those classes. 
The second dream of coaching football was also fulfilled by being totally involved for 40 years. On the field for both Lorain and Admiral King, and during a short stint after the closing of Lorain High, Tom traveled the state of Ohio as the head scout for both Southview and AK. After retirement, Tom put in five years as a coach at Whittier Middle School. Recently, he has partnered with Jay Ferguson under the directorship of Joe Bock to telecast Lorain Titan football and wrestling. 
Tom is married to retired teacher and Lorain Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Nancy Domanski Bauer. They have one daughter, Kelly Bartley (husband Kevin), and a nine-year-old granddaughter, Morgan.

Dr. Mark Diluciano


Dr. Mark DiLuciano, MD, grew up in Lorain, attended Lorain City Schools, and is a 1980 graduate of Admiral King High School. During high school, Mark participated in the musicals “How to Succeed in Business” and “Where’s Charlie?” He was a member of the National Honor Society. Several teachers at Admiral King impacted Mark the most.—his Spanish teacher, Jim Popiel, for making learning fun; Elvis Dollar, Math teacher, because he pushed Mark to go further; and Carmen Congelio, Science teacher, who really helped open his curiosity. 
After graduation from high school, Mark attended the University of Toledo where he earned a BS in Chemistry, Biology, and Psychiatry in 1984. He was in the honors program and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He took part in the musical “Chorus Line” and was president of the Pre-Med Society. Mark continued his studies at the Medical College of Ohio and graduated in 1988. He completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic and was chief resident. He also received a Pediatric Anesthesia Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron. 
Dr. DiLuciano was the chairman of the Department of Anesthesia at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron and Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center. He is now Chief of Staff at Southeastern Ohio Regional Medical Center. 
Other accomplishments include district representative for the Ohio Society of Anesthesia and an Ohio delegate for his national society, the American Society of Anesthesia. Mark established one of the first multispecialty pain centers for children in the country. He traveled to the Amazon in Brazil in 2020 on a medical mission. 
Mark and his wife of 34 years Kay have one daughter Ashley and two grandchildren, Hailey (3) and Logan (1). Boating is his hobby.

Samuel L. Felton, Jr.


Samuel Felton was a life-long resident of Lorain and a 1968 graduate of Lorain High School. 
Following high school, Sam served three tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1968 to 1971. During that service, he received the Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with combat operations in Vietnam. Specifically, he is credited with assisting three wounded Marines who were unable to return to the perimeter unassisted while he was also wounded and un- der enemy fire. Felton would also earn a Purple Heart for his service. 
Following his military service, Felton returned to Lorain and was the owner of a karate academy and several billiard halls. However, after reflecting on the violence he observed in Vietnam, Sam focused on his true passion—helping fellow veterans. 
For over 45 years, Samuel Felton advocated for veterans throughout the county and state. Here is a small portion of his service to veterans: he served as the co-founder and past president of the Lorain Veterans Council; past Commander of AMVETS; Commander and Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans Lorain Chapter 20; Chairman of the Valor Home Board; member of the National Association of Black Veterans, and Ohio Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Valor Home, which is a nonprofit organization providing services for homeless veterans. 
Though he did not seek recognition, Sam was honored in 2006 with the Vietnam Service Multiple Medals Award, the Secretary of State’s 2007 Outstanding Veterans Award and was named the Lorain Ohio Veteran of the Year in 2010. Felton would receive numerous proclamations and awards from local, state, and national entities for his service. 
Felton was also active in his community by encouraging academics and athletics to the youth. He was the founder of the Sam Felton Athletic Club and Youth Center and the Jackie Jones Felton Scholarship Fund for College-bound students. He also was known for giving motivational speeches at graduations, community and military events. In 2018, Lorain added Sam’s name to a section of East 36th St. between Grove and Clinton Ave. It became Sgt. Samuel L. Felton Jr. Boulevard. Recently, Central Park was renamed Samuel L. Felton Jr. Central Park. 
Sadly, Samuel “Sam” Felton, Jr. died on May 23, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Sonya R. Felton, and his two sons, Colon T. Lewis and Samuel L. Felton, III.

Nichole Francis-Reynolds

Nichole Francis-Reynolds is a 1994 graduate of Lorain High School. Nichole has “special memories of the richness of the music and athletic programs, the fantastic, dedicated coaches and directors, and the comradery that was shared amongst the members of the orchestra, marching band, Choraleers, volleyball, basketball, and softball programs. Many of those special friendships continue to last today.” In addition to those activities, Nichole also participated in the National Honor Society, Mortar Board, Student Council, and the Homecoming Court. After high school, Nichole attended Eastern Michigan University, graduating cum laude and with high honors in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in both Political Science and Spanish, Honors Senior Thesis. In June 2001, Nichole earned her Juris Doctorate at The Ohio State University College of Law. 
Ms. Francis- Reynolds first experienced Washington D.C. as an intern with the House of Representatives through the Office of Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the summer of 1996 and the Office of Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) in the summer of 1997. Collectively Nichole spent ten years in Washington D.C. in a variety of senior roles on Capitol Hill. She also gained experience working on national presidential election campaigns and congressional races. 
Next Francis-Reynold served for five years as Vice President of Public Policy & Community Relations at Mastercard. In 2019 she became Vice President of Government & Public Affairs for the Interstate Natural Gas Association. Currently, Nichole serves as Vice President & Head of Global Government Relations at ServiceNow, Inc. In this role, she leads the company’s global government relations and public policy and advocacy agenda, domestically and internationally. Nichole is the company’s top lobbyist working on technology policy issues. 
Francis-Reynolds serves on numerous boards and commissions and is the recipient of many Honors, Awards, and Recognitions including The HILL’s Top Lobbyist on Capitol Hill in 2018, 2019, and 2020. She resides in Washington D.C. with her husband and her two children.

Marie (Gioffre) Bonaminio


Marie Bonaminio is a 1944A graduate of Lorain High School. During her high school years, World War II was at its peak. Many males were drafted or enlisted in the armed forces, and the girls went to work in war-time factories. The focus was on the present, not the future. Graduation from high school was the pinnacle of Marie Bonaminio’s educational career. She never attended college, but that didn’t prevent her from being successful in many areas throughout her life. After graduation, Marie’s first job was as a Fuller brush salesperson. She then worked in the display advertising department at the Lorain Journal, where she learned the value of advertising. She first worked at the flower shop that she would later purchase and operate as Bonaminio’s Lorain Flower Shop for 42 years. Marie was a self-taught artist and a life-long resident of Lorain.                
In May 2020, Marie was recognized with a proclamation by the Lorain County Commissioners for her contributions to the community, and her business was recognized as a treasured family-owned community icon. The flower business allowed Marie to showcase her wonderful artistic skills. She won many ribbons and awards for her creative artwork over the years. During the 1980s, Marie was a frequent guest on the Morning Exchange television program hosted by the popular Fred Griffith where she demonstrated her many talents. Also, an author, Marie wrote a book titled “Cooking with Flowers”. Her original artwork graces the Stations of Cross at her beloved St. Peter’s parish. Marie was designated “Business Woman of the Year” in 2014. She participated in many civic organizations and remained active right up until her death at age 95 on February 21, 2021. Among the organizations Marie belonged to and supported are Zonta, Lorain Palace Civic Center, Lorain Arts Council, Lakeland Women’s Club, Lorain Historical Society, the Italian American Veteran’s Ladies Auxiliary, and the Friendship Animal Protective League. 
What was Marie Bonaminio’s proudest achievement? Being a mother to successful entrepreneur, James Bonaminio, owner of Jungle Jim’s International Market in southwest Ohio. Jim is an inaugural member of the class of Distinguished Alumni honored by the Lorain Schools Alumni Association in 2018. Like mother, like son. Business success obviously runs in the Bonaminio family.

Dr. Thomas Gornall

THOMAS "Tag" Gornall is a 1961 graduate of Lorain High School and made the most of his high school years by becoming a member of the National Honor Society, an Eagle Scout (remembers Scout rifle practice under the gymnasium—there actually was a range there!), received the LHS Service Plaque for three years, was a member of the Noon Movie Team, was selected for the Joe Berg Science Seminar Series, was vice president of his 1961A class, and earned a Red Cross life-saving badge. 
His high energy and curiosity also took him to the shores of Lake Erie, where he and a buddy acquired diving suits and once chopped a hole in the ice to use them. His passion for all things aquatic was so well-known that on the back of his graduation pictures there was the quote: “I bet I’ll turn on the television on one day and see you swimming next to Lloyd Bridges.” 
After graduation, Tag saw the ocean for the first time four months after he entered Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle and in 1965, received a BS in Zoology with a focus on physiology. Feeling constrained by a lack of contact with live subjects, he went on to Washington State University to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1971. Tag grew up with deaf parents and he attributes his acute observation and listening skills, which were so critical in his work with animals, to that experience. 
Over the course of a long and adventurous career, Tag became one of the world’s foremost marine mammal veterinarians. He is known for his work with the heart and diving studies of Namu, the first orca in captivity. He worked with sea otters during the Exxon-Valdez oil spill and helped design aquariums around the world. He was consulting veterinarian for the Seattle Aquarium and other national and international aquariums. He also consulted on movies about marine life including Free Willy 2. Tag owned several veterinary clinics and was the director of the Marine Animal Resource Center based in Seattle. He is a past president of the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine. 
Tag spent his whole career working to rescue, heal, study, and rehabilitate marine and other mammals. Now retired, he has turned his efforts in both business and volunteer work to organizations devoted to bettering his community on Vashon Island, Washington. Tag sees these projects as his chance to give back to all the blessings in his life.

Admiral Ernest J. King

On November 23, 1878, Ernest J. King was born in Lorain, Ohio to Elizabeth Keam King and James Clydesdale King. After graduating from his class in 1897 as the valedictorian, Ernest enrolled in the United States Naval Academy. He became a midshipman lieutenant commander in his senior year which was the topmost ranking. He graduated 4th out of 67 in 1901. 
Admiral King served in the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. He was still in the naval academy when he experienced his first military encounter during the Spanish-American War on the USS San Francisco. 
During WWI, King served under the Atlantic Fleet’s Commander in Chief as the Chief of Staff and then was promoted to Captain. He was awarded the Navy Cross for the first time because of his service as the Atlantic Fleet’s Assistant Chief of Staff. 
With the outbreak of WWII, King was promoted to Admiral and appointed Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet in 1941. He worked closely with representatives of the Army and British military services. He also contributed to the Allied effort of antisubmarine tactics in the Atlantic. 
Not only did Admiral King serve in the Navy on the water, but he stepped up when his expertise was needed in aviation. He attended the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida in 1927 so he could earn his wings. 
King retired from active duty on December 15, 1945. He resided in Washington DC where he served as president to the Naval Historical Foundation and as an advisor to the Secretary of the Navy. 
On June 25, 1956, Ernest King suffered a fatal heart attack in Kittery, Maine. He was buried at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. 
He met Martha “Mattie” Rankin Egerton while attending the Naval Academy. They married in 1905 in a ceremony at the Naval Academy Chapel. They had seven children together—six daughters and then finally a son named Ernest Joseph King, Jr. 
Ernest Joseph King will be remembered as an American naval officer, brilliant strategist, and organizer. Lorain recognized his importance by naming a high school after him, Admiral King, which was in operation from 1961 to 2010. After its closing, the newly built elementary school on Lorain High’s property was named Admiral King Elementary School.

Chris Kuhar

Christopher Kuhar is a 1991 graduate of Lorain High School. Chris cherishes amazing memories of great friends and playing baseball and basketball at LHS. Chris was the President of the National Honor Society his senior year, which gave him the honor of speaking at his high school graduation. Chris noted this as a special memory as it provided him with an early experience in public speaking, a skill he has been required to use frequently throughout his career. He also mentioned that he enjoys public speaking!                    

Upon his graduation, Chris first attended Mount Union College, then transferred to the University of Akron where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1995. In 2000, Chris earned a Master of Science in Zoology at Oklahoma State University and he completed his academic journey by earning a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004. Through the years, Kuhar has taught at several higher education institutions including Oklahoma State University, Georgia Tech, Spelman College, University of Central Florida, and Cleveland State University. He is currently an adjunct Assistant Professor in Biology at Case Western Reserve University. Kuhar has authored 47 research works. 
Chris began his career as an animal behavior scientist research intern at the Cleveland Metroparks in 1997, moving to the Atlanta Zoo in 2000 as a research assistant. From 2003-2008, Chris was Research Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Buena Vista, Florida. He returned to Cleveland as the Curator of Primates & Small Animals and then the Curator of Animals before being named Executive Director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo in 2012. In this position, he strives to provide the best possible care for the animals that live at our zoo. He partners with several conservation groups that work to protect some of the most vulnerable species across the globe 
In September 2019, Kuhar was sworn in as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Association of Zoos & Aquariums. His responsibilities included overseeing the 239 accredited facilities worldwide. Kuhar has held several other Committee positions in the Association. Kuhar also serves as an Association of Zoos & Aquariums Executive Leadership Development Program mentor, passing on his knowledge and experience in the field to those pursuing a similar career. 
In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports and is an avid outdoor lover. He is proud of Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio. Chris lives in Strongsville with his wife, Gayle Albers, and their two children.

Brian Love

Brian Love is a 1992 graduate of Admiral King High School. From an early age, Brian realized that he enjoyed academics, athletics, and the arts and realized that the Lorain Schools were a place that would foster this growth. 
Academically, Brian was a member of the Hawthorne Academy, the National Honor Society (served as president his senior year), and was an honors graduate of Admiral King in 1992. Athletically, he was a letterman in both baseball and basketball for the famed “Admirals” and earned All-Erie Shores Conference Honors in both. Artistically, Brian was a 2-year member of the LAK show choir and served as the lead in school musicals (1991 and 1992). Importantly, it was his exposure to the arts that Brian found his true calling in his professional life. 
Following high school, Brian enrolled at John Carrol University where he earned a BA in Communications and English; he also did post-graduate work at Boston University. 
Professionally, Brian has had the great fortune of serving on four national Broadway tours including the first national tour of Whoopi Goldberg’s Sister Act and in The Lion KingHe also played the role of Benjamin Coffin III in the national tour of Rent in the U.S. and Japan. He served as the featured ensemble member in The Ten Commandments: The Musical at Kodak Theatre. In addition to performing on Broadway, he has performed on T.V., recorded multiple tracks in the studio, and worked with famed executive/producer, Berry Gordy. 
Brian currently resides in Jupiter, Florida, with his wife Shawn and daughter Cyan and runs a voice and performing arts company.

Aaron Simmons

Aaron Simmons is a 2004 graduate of Admiral King High School. 
At an early age, Aaron had an interest in design as a result of his passion for sneakers. However, he would not realize how this passion would play a role in his daily life until many years in the future. 
In high school, Aaron was probably better known for his prowess on the basketball court as he was a four-year participant in basketball for the Admirals. However, his art teacher, Mr. Rafaledis noticed his potential and told him stories of his travels to Paris and Rome, which planted a seed for Aaron. 
After a brief stint at Lorain County Community College, he started his brand, Jevon Terance Fashion Line in 2007. This began with producing fashion shows at various landmarks throughout Lorain such as the Palace Theatre and Rose Garden at Lakeview Beach. Following this success, he began a pop-up shop in 2012 which turned into a full-time business in downtown Lorain where he has remained to become an anchor of that community. 
After years of hard work, he realized his dream that was planted during high school in 2015 when he showcased his collection at Paris Fashion Week. He has gone on to participate in four New York Fashion Weeks, LA Fashion Week, and dressed celebrities such as the NBA’s Chris Paul.

Helen Steiner-Rice

Helen Steiner-Rice is a 1918 graduate of Lorain High School. As a young girl, she attended both Garden Avenue and Garfield Elementary Schools. She began writing poetry early in her life with some of her earliest poems found in the 1916 and 1918 Lorain High School Scimitar yearbooks. Steiner-Rice became one of America’s most inspirational and beloved poets, widely known as “The Poet Laureate of Inspirational Verse”. 
Plans to attend college were diverted when Helen’s father died in the Influenza Pandemic of 1918. Instead, she went to work at Lorain Electric Light & Power Company to support her mother and younger sister Gertrude. Soon she founded her own business, Steiner Services. Steiner-Rice was a respected businesswoman and nationally known speaker by the age of 25. Ahead of her time, she was a strong advocate for “the important role women play in business” and encouraged people to view women as partners in the workplace. Helen soon became an editor at the Gibson Art Company in Cincinnati. In 1929, Helen married successful banker Franklin Rice just before the stock market crash. In order to overcome financial hardship, Steiner-Rice returned to work at Gibson. Sadly, Franklin Rice killed himself in 1931 in their home, making Helen a widow at the young age of 32. 
By 1940 Steiner Rice was one of the leading poets in the greeting card industry, focusing on an inspirational verse for the Gibson Card Company. A prolific writer, she authored 15 books of poetry during her lifetime with more than 60 additional books published since her death in 1981. Steiner-Rice’s popularity soared during the 1960s when her poetry was frequently read on the popular Lawrence Welk Show on television. In 1963 Welk asked Helen to commemorate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in a poem to be read on his program. 
Steiner-Rice established the HSR Foundation just prior to her death in 1981. Its purpose is to give assistance to those in need. Just this April 23, on the 40th anniversary of her death, a ceremony was held proclaiming that date Helen Steiner-Rice Day in Lorain. The Helen Steiner-Rice Elementary School in South Lorain is named in her honor.

Dr. Michael Timko

Dr. Michael “Mike” Timko is a 1993 graduate of Lorain Admiral King High School. Mike began his academic career in Lorain at Lakeview Elementary (K-6), Hawthorne Academy (7-8) before attending Admiral King High School. 
During high school, Mike was a participant on the tennis team and the Academic Challenge team that were both coached by Paul Falencki. He also fondly recalls being a part of the school musical, “Hello Dolly”. Academically, he was National Merit Semifinalist, the class Salutatorian, and attended the Ohio State University. 
Mike received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State and an MS and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also trained as a post-doctoral student in the lab of Nobel Laureate Dudley Herschbach at Harvard University. 
Following college, Mike’s training and career have focused on sustainable engineering, with an emphasis on sustainable chemical and energy technologies. Dr. Timko has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers and has been cited more than 2,300 times. 
Dr. Timko has achieved countless awards for his efforts in chemical engineering but, of note, are his 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award and 2019 Fulbright Award that will enable him to spend three months in France learning to develop a device he can use in his research on biofuels. 
He currently resides in Arlington, Massachusetts with his wife Audrey and his four daughters. He also is an associate professor of chemical engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
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