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Local Medina County News

Brunswick Hall of Fame inductions scheduled for Saturday

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    Pictured is the Brunswick High School 1986 softball team that won the state title after defeating Massillon Jackson 3-2.

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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Three Brunswick High School graduates will be recognized Saturday as class of 2017 Brunswick High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inductees at the district’s annual Spring Fling hosted by the Brunswick Education Foundation.

They are Jacqueline Jones, class of 1998, and Hannah Laird and Katie Klaus, both from the class of 2002.

Three staff members also will be recognized as Outstanding Staff Alumni — Charles Hawley, Donna Mittler and Clyde Kincaid.

The Spring Fling begins 6 p.m. Saturday at Coppertop at Cherokee Hills, 5740 Center Road, Liverpool Township. In addition to honoring the Hall of Fame recipients, the event will feature a silent auction and dinner. Tickets are $40 and available by contacting Jan Rizzo at (330) 273-0201.

Distinguished alumni

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Hannah Laird

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Laird is a seven-year member of Encore Cast Performing Arts, a nonprofit organization that presents concerts, cabarets and musicals with all profits donated to charity. The district said Laird has done work with DisneyWorld in Orlando, Fla., alongside Tony Award-winning directors, choreographers and writers.

She was in the original cast of the musical “In Transit,” which was chosen to receive the “Outstanding Ensemble” at the annual Drama Desk Awards (equivalent to a Golden Globe). Additional performances include Harry Connick Jr.’s “The Happy Elf,” “Finding Nemo: The Musical,” “Carousel” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Laird earned a bachelor’s degree in music theater from Baldwin Wallace College. She received the Mel Hakola Prize for academic and vocal excellence.

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Katie Klaus

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Klaus graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music. After graduation, she moved to New York City and performed in three Broadway shows in her first two years — “The Times, They Are A-Changing,” “Inherit the Wind” and “A Catered Affair.”

In 2007, Klaus was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a disease that paralyzes muscles. She went through seven years of treatment to regain her health.

Klaus since has returned to Broadway in “Bonnie and Clyde.” Recently, she has been with the first national tour of “The Bridges of Madison County.”

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Jackie Jones

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Jones is manager of research and development for the clinical engineering and user experience team and early technologies at Medtronic in North Haven, Conn. She works on surgical devices and procedures. She has more than 15 years’ experience in technology and clinical work including robotic surgery, regenerative medicine and laparoscopic techniques.

Jones has published 10 journal articles in biomedical science and has been awarded three patents. She is affiliated with several groups including the Women’s Leadership Alliance, Connecticut Technology Council Women of Innovation and the Connecticut Technology Council Girls of Innovation.Jones has mentored more than 60 industrial and academic students and reviews articles for two peer-reviewed journals.

She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve University in biomedical engineering.

Outstanding alumni

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Charles Hawley

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Hawley spent several years at Brunswick Schools, beginning as an assistant principal in 1965. He later became the high school principal and assistant superintendent before serving as the first superintendent for the Medina County Career Center. He was honored by an Ohio superintendents group.

Hawley was a Medina County commissioner for four years, assisted in the creation of the Medina County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the expansion of the Medina County Public Transit and an advocate for education for the disabled.

He also serves on the Medina County Mental Health Board, Medina County Solid Waste District, Medina Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame, State Right to Read Committee and the Ohio State Department of Vocational Education Council.

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Donna Mittler

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Mittler taught speech and theater classes at Brunswick High for 30 years. She worked on the design of the Brunswick High School Performing Arts Center and has been a director of productions for the Medina County Arts Council. She also organized and directed the Liverpool Township Spirit Walk last year.

Mittler volunteers at Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital and tutors for the literacy nonprofit Project: LEARN.

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Clyde Kincaid

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Kincaid, who taught English at Brunswick High School, often was referred to as a “southern gentleman” whose calm guidance inspired student self-confidence.

Athletic Hall of Fame

The Brunswick High School Athletic Hall of Fame also is expanding with the addition of Dustin Zielaskiewicz, a 2007 graduate, and the 1986 state champion softball team.

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Dustin Zielaskiewicz

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Zielaskiewicz was a member of the football and baseball teams. In football, he was part of the Pioneer Conference championship team in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Zielaskiewicz had 61 pass receptions in his career and 1,056 passing yards in his three years on the varsity team. As a senior, he was first-team All-Medina County and first team All-Ohio.

In baseball, Zielaskiewicz had a batting average of .362 his junior year and .462 his senior year. After graduation, he attended the University of Findlay and was a four-year starter in football and baseball.

Zielaskiewicz graduated with a bachelor of science in education and intervention specialist.

The 1986 state champ Blue Devils softball team was coached by Howard Cook. It had the most wins in a softball season (25), defeating area teams including Medina, Strongsville, North Ridgeville, Tallmadge and Cuyahoga Falls. The team defeated Massillon Jackson 3-2 in the state championship game.

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.

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