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Hall of Honor

Hall of Honor Award winners

The Hall of Honor is recognition given by the Oak Hills Board of Education. Nominees can be living or deceased and must have spent at least five years working for the betterment of children in the district. The award is presented at the annual recognition dinner for the Oak Hills Alumni & Educational Foundation.

headshots of winnes

2019 ~ Linus & Jill Ryland

For Linus, it began watching his parents serve in several community organizations and then all of their work at Miami University. For Jill, it began watching her parents work magazine drives, volunteer at the school library and on field trips and coaching her sports teams at St. Antoninus. Both Linus (’84) and Jill (’87) were very involved when they attended Oak Hills High School – band, orchestra, musicals, track, Varsity O, AV dept, clubs and cheering on the various teams and activities with lots of school spirit! They knew they wanted their family to have the same experiences.

Linus graduated from Miami University (’87) in Systems Analysis starting at Arthur Anderson and then P&G and Hewlett Packard. Jill graduated from the University of Cincinnati DAAP (’92) in Graphic Design starting at The Drackett Co and then freelancing for LPK and Kenner. The two recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary and have four incredible kids: Hayes (’11 OHHS, ’16 UC DAAP Industrial Design), Oscar (’14 OHHS, ’18 MU Finance, Accounting & Statistics), Libbey (’17 OHHS, currently at UC in Medical Laboratory Science), and Sabrina (’20 - OHHS).

Shortly after they married, the volunteering and service projects naturally kicked off. Linus put in many hours with the American Lung Association and they fostered their first service dog, Mandy, in 1991. After the birth of their first son, they knew the clock was ticking to get roots set in the Oak Hills School District before he started Kindergarten. He started at JF Dulles in the fall of 1998 – and so did Jill as PTA room parent. The next year, Linus and Jill took on an additional PTA role with the Hospitality Committee and it all snowballed from there! Numerous PTA committees, executive boards and Presidencies, parliamentarian, newsletters, school banking, school supplies, Winter Wonderlands, church festivals, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, American Heritage Girls, FLL Robotics, T-ball, softball, basketball, VBS, bands, copies, After Proms, Finance & Audit committees, PTA Advisory, theatres and Majorettes… and service dogs.

The best part – working together, drawing on each other’s strength, learning new things all while helping others, meeting great people, and being an example to their kids. They often refer to their projects as being done by ‘Team Ryland.' Always with kids in tow, it’s been great to teach them what it takes to hold an event or provide an activity for others – from the planning ahead, to the setup, through running it, and the part most often forgot – the cleanup and wrap up. The hope is, if Team Ryland isn't already involved, they will show appreciation to those who made something  possible. Most of all, they want their kids to know that if they see a need or want that isn’t already there – go get it started.

Watch the Ryland's video here.

2019 ~ Wil Rutenschroer

Wil Rutenschroer is an iconic pioneer in the formation of the Oak Hills Local School District. Born in 1933, Wil attended Elder High School and the Ohio State University and was a standout baseball pitcher on both levels.  In the 1950s, Wil taught and coached several sports at the former Terrace Park High School. 

He came to the newly-organized Oak Hills School District as a teacher in 1957, and was the district's first Athletic Director, as well as the first football, baseball and track coach. Besides teaching and coaching, Wil could be seen driving a district school bus, as well as fertilizing and grooming the athletic fields. 

His focus became football and his overall record was 146-62-9 over 20 years. He coached the Highlanders to seven league championships and two city championships. He was a seven-time Hamilton County League Coach of the Year. In 1963, he coached the only Highlander football team to go undefeated, in just their fifth year of competition. In 1989 he was inducted into the Ohio State Football Coaches Hall of Fame. He was elected to the Price Hill Oldtimer's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. After coaching, he became a baseball scout for the Kansas City Royals and was selected as the Topp's National Scout of the year.

Wil set an example for his students, players, colleagues and community to follow. 

Watch Wil's video here.

Garry "Spud" Hornsby

2018 ~ Garry "Spud" Hornsby

In 1968 Garry retired after 38 years as a chemical lab supervisor. He always enjoyed working with kids so took a job with Oak Hills Local School District to keep himself busy and stay young by being around the kids. He likes to say it, “pays for my gas and groceries!" He has now been with the district for 12 years, with his most recent position at the high school as a hall monitor.

Hornsby began coaching basketball in 1978 about the time Oak Hills Jr. Pro was established and has been a head coach or assistant in the program for over 40 years. He began officiating basketball about the same time and has been an OHSAA licensed official off and on for about that many years. He had to quit in the late 90s for about five years for double knee replacements. His doctor said he would never referee again, but he proved him wrong. He has been the referee assigner and an official for the OHYA basketball program. Most recently he began officiating at games where the players are grandchildren of some of the players he has coached and refereed in years past!

Hornsby started coaching baseball in 1980 and has coached for the Delhi Merchants, Cincinnati Color, Oak Hills High School JV, St. Xavier High School Freshman and JV and JB Yeager Baseball either as an assistant or a head coach. As a coach, he runs into former players whose children are on the ball field today. "I always enjoy seeing former players from both sports who stop me to chat and talk about their memories with Coach Spud," he shared.

He has been a member of Springdale Church of the Nazarene Worship Choir for 18 years and also participated in a traveling worship choir for a number of years. He was blessed with two beautiful daughters who carry on his enthusiasm for working and volunteering in the Oak Hills Local School District. They, in turn, have given him five grandsons who he has coached through various sports and watched with pride as they do what they love……whether it be sports or drama and music.

"I am a blessed man! I take pride in our school district and I enjoy working to make it one of the best."

David Upchurch headshot

2017 ~ David UpChurch

David graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 1975 and began his teaching career at Oak Hills High School. He went on to teach at Delhi Jr. High and earn his Master’s degree in administration from Xavier University. During his years of teaching, he also coached football and basketball.

David began his administrative role at Bridgetown Jr. High where he served as both assistant and building principal. He was selected to become the first principal at Rapid Run Middle School, where he retired after 30 years with Oak Hills.  David went on to serve in various administrative positions with the Newport School district in Northern Kentucky until 2012.

Between 2012 and 2016 David enjoyed traveling, fishing, golfing and became actively involved in the North Bend Lodge.  After becoming a Master Mason, David served the lodge and the community in a leadership role where he organized various charitable events.  Even though he thoroughly enjoyed his retirement, he always had a calling to work in the field of education and came back to Oak Hills for the start of the 2016-2017 school year as human resources director.

David’s family is comforted in knowing that his legacy will live on. Watch David's video

Mindy Murphy headshot

2016 ~ Mindy Murphy '89

A 1989 Oak Hills High School graduate, Mindy attended J.F. Dulles Elementary School.  She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Ron Murphy ‘89, for 21 years. They are proud parents to three boys in the Oak Hills School District Tyler (16) class of 2018, Tanner (15) class of 2020 and Trenton (10) class of 2024.

Mindy spends much of her time in the district volunteering in several capacities in multiple buildings. She served as the Oak Hills levy chairman in 2013. She has been a member of the J.F. Dulles PTA Board since 2007 participating on a variety of committees including:  Spirit, Proficiency Breakfast, OH Fashion Show, One Hope, One Heart and 5th Grade Farewell (2011 and 2013).  She has been a J.F. Dulles room parent volunteer since 2005-present, Book Fair volunteer, \lunchroom volunteer, weekly copy mom and vision/hearing test volunteer.

Mindy served as the Rapid Run PTA Board 3rd Vice President from 2013-2015.  She was also on the following board committees: Flings, Dances, 8th Grade Day Celebration and After Prom.  She is currently the 2016 Chair for the 8th Grade Day Celebration. She also served as a Revue group mentor 2014-2016

From 2014-16 Mindy worked for Oak Hills youth basketball as a tournament volunteer scheduler. At the high school since 2014, she has been involved with the homecoming dance, Booster Bash and basketball concessions volunteer.  She will also be joining the Oak Hills High School PTA Board 2016-2017 as the Chair of PTA Ladies Fashion Show Auction/ Fundraiser.

Watch Mindy's video

Bob Sehlhorst head shot

2016 ~ Bob Sehlhorst

Bob Sehlhorst graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Comprehensive Social Studies and he received his Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from Xavier University and later went on to earn certification in education administration. Bob served the students and families of Oak Hills School District for 31 years as a Delhi Jr. High history teacher, coach, athletic director, and assistant principal. In addition to those roles he served as principal at J.F. Dulles Elementary and Rapid Run Middle and he retired in 2015 from Oak Hills as Assistant Superintendent. Through his leadership and collaboration with colleagues, Bob was instrumental in leading buildings and the district to earn high academic achievement. He helped to lead the charge in promoting world languages and infusing a global perspective to educational programs at all levels. Bob continues to stay involved in education as the Vice President of Ohio Middle Level Association and as an adjunct professor at Xavier University. Bob is also a member of the Leadership Board for Ohio Schools To Watch.

Bob’s wife Tina is a passionate and popular second grade teacher at C.O. Harrison Elementary and all three of his children, Bridget, Eric and Alex graduated from Oak Hills High School. Since his retirement from Oak Hills he was elected to the OTR Community Council Board of Trustees and he started his own property development business, OTR Metropolis LTD, and he provides historical and architectural walking tours of St. Mary’s Church and Over-the-Rhine.

Watch Bob's video

Judy Hoehn headshot

2014 ~ Judy Hoehn '69

Judy has been involved in the Oak Hills Local School District as a student, teacher and parent for over 50 years. While attending Oak Hills, she was involved in sports as well as many other clubs and activities, and was given the “All Around Girl” award in 1969. She then went to the University of Cincinnati, where she majored in Health and Physical Education. She played two years of basketball and volleyball, and in 1973 was awarded the “C Ring” for most outstanding senior woman.

Judy began her teaching career in 1973 at Delshire Elementary, and in the next 41 years also taught at Oakdale, C.O. Harrison, Bridgetown and Oak Hills High School and is finishing her career this year at Rapid Run Middle School where she was named Educator of the Year for 2014. She is currently the JV girls golf coach at Oak Hills. As well as teaching young people during the day, Judy also taught fitness and aerobic classes after school hours at Western Sports Mall and Paramount Gym for 30 years. Her interest in fitness led her to establish an elective aerobic class for juniors and seniors at Oak Hills, and along with teachers Jennifer Heidorn and Dick Roche changed the focus of  the Physical Education program to one of lifelong fitness.

Judy resides in Bridgetown with her husband David. They have four children Rachel ‘93, Bo ‘96, Tyler ‘09 and Richard Lavernier, St. Xavier ‘09, who became part of their family when he was in high school. Judy also has three beautiful grandchildren Olivia, Nicholas and Kendall.

Jan Wilking headshot

2013 ~ Jan Wilking '89

Since Jan Wilking began serving as the Oak Hills Local School District’s Athletic Director nine years ago, Oak Hills has won 21 conference titles, five district championships, two regional championships and 7 teams have qualified for state finals. In addition to Oak Hills’ on the field success, she has been focused on athletic facility upgrades in the district, resulting in Oak Hills High School being a stronger force in the Greater Miami Conference. She had spearheaded
fundraising efforts that have totaled almost $2 million dollars over the course of three years.

In 2008, Jan was awarded the Ohio Athletic Director Horizon Award. In 2009, she earned her Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) Certificate from the National Federation of High School Sports. Jan currently serves as on the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Southwest District Board and Diversity Committee. She also serves as Vice President of the Greater Miami
Conference and is an instructor for the OHSAA Coaches Fundamental Course throughout the state.

In addition to serving as Athletic Director, Jan organizes the Oak Hills “Champions For Life” program. This program works with student athletes within the Oak Hills district to tackle student leadership issues and promotes positive decision-making both academically and socially. Oak Hills earned the OHSAA Harold C. Meyer Sportsmanship Award in 2008 and again in 2011.

Jan is a 1989 graduate of Oak Hills High School and a 1993 graduate of the University of Charleston, where she was a four-year scholarship basketball player. Jan currently resides in Green Township with her husband, Tim. They have two children, Max and Emma, who attend Springmyer Elementary School.

Lovey Schoch headshot

2012 ~ LaVella "Lovey" Schoch

Lovey Schoch, cafeteria manager at Delshire for 25 years, is one of the kindest and most selfless people you will meet. The students and staff at Delhi Middle School and Oak Hills High School
would also agree.

Lovey says “kids” are her hobby, anything that has to do with kids. She was often found
playing baseball, mat ball and dodge ball with Delshire students after school. Laughing, she’d
say “If you hit me with the ball, I’m not making cookies anymore.” Lovey had a passion for her
students and for the work she did. Creating special connections with each and every child was important to her.

Lovey retired in May 2011, and her best memories are all of the hugs and kisses she received from her students. She still gets those hugs when she runs into former students in her community. They tell her they’ll always remember her kindness.

“There’s no greater place to be than with all of those kids, I’ll tell you. No matter what they are or what they do. Some of our families had money some didn’t, and we had all the ones in between. The kids all just went together. They didn’t care. And, the Delshire staff is unbelievable.”

Lovey’s four children all graduated from Oak Hills. In her retirement she enjoys spending time with them and her seven grandchildren.

Ed Eckel headshot

2011 ~ Ed Eckel

In 1973 Mr. Eckel gave administration a try when he became assistant principal at Bridgetown Junior High. A few years later in 1978, he left Oak Hills to accept the assistant principal position at Indian Hill High School.  A year later he returned to Oak Hills to become associate principal at Oak Hills High School, a position he held until 1984 when he was appointed head principal. He retired in 1989.  

Mr. Eckel was a Cincinnati native, who graduated from Western Hills High School. He earned a B.A. in economics with minors in mathematics, political science and German from the University of Cincinnati in 1960, and earned a M.Ed. in Secondary School Administration in 1969.

Following a successful career in primary and secondary education, Mr. Eckel continued to serve in the field as Executive Director of Admission at the College of Mount St. Joseph from 1989-2001.  He passed away in 2008.

Throughout his tenure in education, he also taught school administration courses and student teacher seminar classes at Xavier University. He lectured on economics and the stock market through the Greater Cincinnati Center for Economic Education at the University of Cincinnati. He presented for the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Mr. Eckel also developed “On Choosing or Being Chosen by a College,” a presentation about the college application and admission process for high school students and their parents. He presented this more than 100 times to a total audience of more than 15,000.

Throughout his more than 42 years as an educator, Ed Eckel’s leadership touched many lives and inspired and supported the accomplishments of many individuals, groups, classes, teams, clubs, departments, organizations and schools. Along the way, he received such honors as Educator of the Year from the Oak Hills Local School District; Outstanding Young Educator by the Western Hills Jaycees; Teachers Touch Lives from the Ohio Education Association; Exemplary Educator by the Greater Cincinnati Center for Economic Education; Award of Honor by the National School Public Relations Association; named Honorary Admissions Counselor by the United States Naval Academy; and  received The Maroon Award of Western Hills High School, which recognizes lifetime service of distinguished alumni.

As noted by his colleagues, “No one was more committed to the students, to quality education, or to preparing students for the future.”

2010 ~ Dick Roche

2010 ~ Betty Lancaster

2009 ~ Patricia Brenneman

2008 ~ Sandi Crowley

2008 ~ Pat "Grandma Pat" Gutzwiller

2007 ~ Pat Osborne

2006 ~ Walter James Arrington, Jr.