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Princeton City School District Recognizes Distinguished Alumni
CINCINNATI, OH - The Princeton Alumni Association of the Princeton Education Foundation is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 7th annual Distinguished Alumni Award banquet. The recipients, along with other awardees, were honored at a banquet on November 16th, held at the DoubleTree Suites in Sharonville.
The 2019 recipients are Dr. Lisa Brock, class of 1975, academic director, college professor, author, and internationalist historian; William Christopher Clarke, class of 1988, senior assistant vice president for Trinity College and The Graduate School at Duke University; Kevin Fehr, class of 1976, basketball coach and professional referee; and Dr. Paul Waller, class of 1979, TriHealth Priority Care physician.
Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards are chosen for service and achievement in their fields and significant contributions to the local or global community. With the addition of this year’s recipients, Princeton has honored 37 alumni since the award’s inception in 2013.
Princeton Alumni Tracey Farley-Artis, Chair of the event, class of 1983, and Superintendent Tom Burton presented the awards to the honorees.
“Each year the Distinguished Alumni banquet celebrates the achievements of our alumni. This event highlights their achievements and draws our families back to Princeton and allows them to reflect on their time here and share their testimonials,” states Farley-Artis, who was an honoree in 2018. “It is a privilege and honor to plan and execute this event with members of the alumni association and our great school district.”
“What an honor to be in the presence of distinguished Princeton alumni who embody the spirit of Princeton Pride and the great tradition of our district,” expressed Burton. “Hearing their stories and tributes, we understand the importance of empowering each student for college, career, and life success.”
Emeritus Awards were bestowed upon Jay and Diana Sroufe, former teachers at Princeton High School, who were both involved in student functions. Jay coached gymnastics, girls and boys golf, and the chess team. He was also the Student Activities Director, in charge of dances, Homecoming, Student Council, and all the clubs at Princeton. Diana coached girls gymnastics, founded the girls golf team, and was in charge of the football and basketball programs.
Kelsey Cress accepted the Emeritus Award for her mother, Ann Cress (posthumously). Ann Cress was a guidance counselor at Princeton High School for thirty-nine years. She also taught Physical Education and Health at Lincoln Heights Elementary School and Princeton High School. She participated in annual staff musicals, including playing the lead role in The Sound of Music.
The Compass Church and Landmark Church were recognized as Friends of Princeton.
To learn more about Princeton alumni events or nominating fellow classmates, please visit www.princetonschools.net/alumni.
Honoree Dr. Lisa Brock is an international historian who leads contemporary discussions about race, class, gender, and global oppression. Brock is the academic director and acting executive director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. She has been an activist all her life, including stances for girls and black rights in the Cincinnati area, against police violence and judicial misconduct in Washington D.C., and leading the anti-apartheid movement in Chicago, Illinois. Brock has successfully led study abroad programs in South Africa and Cuba and worked with student activists at Kalamazoo College to create a Critical Ethnic Studies department and Intercultural Center for marginalized students.
“My career would not have been possible without Princeton,” Brock stated during her acceptance speech. “I had great teachers, counselors, coaches, and mentors all the way through my time at the Princeton City School District.” She remembered several teachers by name noting they made her feel special and smart, including her second-grade teacher, Ms. Ware from Glendale Elementary School; her seventh-grade science teacher, Mr. McHenry; PHS Black Studies course teacher, Miss Russo; the girl’s basketball coach, Ms. Hillard; and PHS English teacher, Mr. Ingles, who bought stamped envelopes for Brock because he believed her poetry should be sent to publishers. Her award-winning poems and academic writings have gone on to be published in several journals and books.
“I was introduced to the writer’s world and publication when I was only in tenth grade,” Brock explained. “I even won $100 for my poetry when I was at Princeton High School.”
Brock announced that she was surprising her family and everyone in attendance with the pledge of $25,000 to start a new scholarship fund to be awarded to a Princeton High School senior who is a student-athlete, who shows leadership, and has illustrated a strong passion for social justice. This scholarship will be named The James and Gina Brock Scholarship for Sports and Social Justice, to commemorate her parents.
Honoree William Christopher Clarke is the senior assistant vice president for Trinity College and The Graduate School at Duke University. Clarke oversees a program that generates nearly $100 million per year in private support for the institution. He is an active member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
“We had the best education that Cincinnati had to offer and it was a wonderful experience,” Clarke stated. “When I was told I was being honored, I began to think about the people and teachers who impacted my life. What I remember about Princeton is the unending opportunities and that no matter what you wanted to do, if Princeton did not have it, the staff was certainly willing to give it a try.”
“I currently am at an elite university, where we strive to do the things with diversity that Princeton did every day. I feel like Princeton was ahead of the curve, a pilot for dealing with some of the racial tensions that existed in Cincinnati at the time. Diversity and excellence were the same. There was excellence through diversity; not excellence and diversity. I could see a reflection in the faculty, mirroring the same demographics that we had in our little communities. Very few places have that, and we strive to have that at Duke University.”
Honoree Dr. Paul Waller graduated with honors from Princeton High School in 1979 and went on to enroll at Morehouse College, where he continued to flourish and pursue his interest in medicine. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a residency in Family Medicine at Bethesda Hospitals. His career as a physician has been devoted to serving those in need. He continues to mentor students interested in pursuing a medical career.
Waller stated, “Integrity, scholarship, perseverance, discipline, and truth matter. We learned this in high school and we need to be active role models for the students of today and the next generation, who will be our leaders.”
Honoree Kevin Fehr was a star on the basketball court while at Princeton and continued his education and sports career at Gulf Coast Junior College for his Associate of Arts degree, followed by his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. During his teaching career, Fehr taught sixth-grade as well as high school math, science, and computer classes. Fehr began coaching in 1981 and has coached baseball, football, and basketball, where he led teams to many postseason tournaments. Hired as an NBA Basketball Official in 1995, Fehr officiated the NBA Rookie All-Star Game in 2003, the NBA All-Star game in 2011, and the SEC Basketball Tournament/NIT postseason games in 2015.
Classmates, Tony Brock and D.A. Daniels, both 1976 classmates of Kevin Fehr, spoke on his behalf, as he lives out of state and was unable to attend the banquet. One specific highlight Brock and Daniels both mentioned was when Fehr officiated the game where Kobe Bryant scored 81 points for the LA Lakers in January 2006.
"Tradition Never Graduates"
Nominate notable alumni who have been outstanding in their professional accomplishments or have made significant achievements benefiting their local or global communities. Thanks to the Princeton Education Foundation and the Princeton Alumni Association for sponsoring these awards. This year's banquet was be held on November 16, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. at The Doubletree Hotel in Sharonville.
The Distinguished Emeritus Awards
The Distinguished Emeritus Awards
The Friend of Princeton Honorees
The Compass Church- Pastor Dorien Hensey
Landmark Church- Pastor Matt Holman
Photos at the top of the page from Distinguished Alumni Banquets
Program from 2019 Distinguished Alumni Banquet
Program from 2018 Distinguished Alumni Banquet
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