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Willard honors distinguished alumni in ceremony

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Oct 2, 2019 at 1:00 PM

WILLARD — Eight new Distinguished W Alumni were inducted as the Class of 2019 on Sept. 26 at Willard High School.

To honor and recognize these notable Willard graduates, the Willard Student Council and the Willard Teen Leadership Corps partnered with Willard City Schools to create the Distinguished W Alumni Award, established in 2018. The Willard City School District’s Tradition of Excellence began in 1880.

Since that time, Willard City Schools has helped produce civic and professional frontrunners in education, medicine, science, law, business, military, entertainment, art, literature and music. These former students have had a global impact, and our teachers have inspired many to follow in their footsteps.

The class of 2019 includes:

President of Axtell Creations, animator Steve Axtell, Pepperidge Farm Operations Manager Victoria Branham, current Huron County Sheriff Todd Corbin, former Willard City Schools Superintendent David Hirschy Sr., former Ohio Senator Harry Jump, former City of Willard Fire Chief Jim Ratliff, livestock specialist Gary Ricketts and two time cancer survivor and author, Sean Swarner.

— “I thank you Willard. I am proud to call Willard HOME” Victoria Branham

— “Thank you for the opportunities and the time you invested in me. It wasn’t wasted.” Todd Corbin (addressing his former teachers in the audience)

— Dr. David Jump accepted the award for his father, the late Harry V Jump, “Nothing would mean more to (dad) than receiving this award from the community and the school system that he loved so much.”

Distinguished W Award winners were also recognized at halftime of the Flashes football game on Friday night, followed by an open house at the 224 Varsity Club where winners and those who nominated them were able to talk with friends and classmates along with the other award winners.

Nominees are selected by a committee that consists of WHS alumni, teachers, staff and student representatives from Student Council and Teen Leadership. Nomination forms are available on the school website or at the school, and nominations for the next class are now open. The deadline for the Class of 2020 is May 28.

Willard High School Teen Leadership and student council are the organizing groups of this event.

For more information call 419-935-0181 or email the event co-organizer, Jason Ratliff, at [email protected]

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