POMEROY — Five graduates of Meigs High School earned distinguished alumni awards in recognition of their accomplishments in pre-game ceremonies at Friday night’s Meigs-Vinton County football game.
Recognized and presented large wooden “M”s were two alumni with careers in the military, one who excelled in his coaching career, one who was recognized as the first woman to get a marching position with the Ohio State University Band, and another who graduated from Middleport High School in 1965 but became a part of the Meigs Marauder family through his varied contributions over the years.
This year’s recipients were:
— Paul Gerardof Middleport who began videotaping football games in 1972 and has continued to record games over the past 40 years. He defines his contributions as the route by which he has been able to work with outstanding coaches, administrators, teachers, students and fans.
— Karen Griffith of Pomeroy, graduated from Meigs High School in 1970 and Ohio State University in 1974, and became the very first women to make the Ohio State University Marching Band in a regular marching position. For 98 years the band had been “male only” but the change to accepting women came about as a result of Title 9 of the Higher Education Act of 1972. Her degree and interest in animal science has taken her through a varied career ranging from nutritional and farm management consultant at various places to her current career of raising quality herds of Paint horses in Meigs County.
— Bill Kerr of Bliss, Mich. was recognized for his service in the Air Force during which time he completed 84 combat missions. One of the dozen of awards he received for his military service was the Air Force Intelligence Airman of the Year award. His military career took him to many locations including England, Japan, South Korea, Germany,Saudi Arbia, and Iraq. Due to an injury he retired in 2006 and now runs a non-profit organization which last year brought in over $1.4 million to his local community.
— Rick Van Matre of Greenfield,Ohio, a 1971 Meigs graduate has excelled in his coaching career. It began in Gallia County schools where he coached until 1981 when he went to Greenfield McClain High School where he coached for 28 years and had championship teams on many occasions. In 1987 and 2007 his teams were undefeated in regular season play. Van Matre was the AP Division II Coach of the Year in 1982 and 2007. He is a member of the McDonald’s Classic Hall of Fame, District 14, Coaches Association Hall of Fame and Ohio High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
— Dr. Rob Wyatt of Middleport graduate from MHS in 1992 and Ohio University in 1996 at which time he was commissioned into the U. S. Air Force under the Health Professions Scholarship program. He served in the Air Force from 1996 to 2009. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he served in the Medical Brigade. He was recommissioned into the U. S. Army in April of this year as a major and is attached to the 307th Medical Brigade based in Blacklick, Ohio. He is currently employed as the Director of Psychiatric Services at Hopewell Health Centers in Athens.
Also presented by the Meigs Local Alumni Association were three scholarships to college students. They went to Alyssa Cremeans who attends Alderson Broaddus University at Phillippi, W.Va., where she is majoring in special education; Kirsten McGuire who is pursuing an athletic training program pursuant to going to Marshall University for a degree in physical therapy, and Shawnella Patterson who is attending Ohio University for pre-athletic training for further pursuit with a graduate degree in physical therapy.