The Ashland City Schools Foundation (ACSF) and members of the Distinguished Alumnus Award Committee have reviewed the nominations and selected five inductees to be honored as members of the Ashland High School Distinguished Alumnus Award Class of 2019. The inductees are Lloyd and Norma Wygant, class of 1947; John K. "Jack" Hartman, class of 1963; Susan (Lorenz) Gregg, class of 1967; and Barb Queer, class of 1977.
This ninth biennial event honors AHS graduates who have made significant achievements as adults in their careers and/or have served as benefactors to others. Candidates for special honorary recognition may also include individuals who have not graduated from Ashland High School but have made significant contributions to Ashland City Schools. First organized in 2002, the Distinguished Alumnus Award has recognized 45 graduates and honorary recipients, including the ACSF founder, Dr. R. Lee Shafer.
The inductees will be honored Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 4-5, beginning with an invitation for them to visit various classes of Ashland High School on Friday and attend the Friday night football game. The induction dinner will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Brethren Care Village Wellness & Community Center. Tickets for the banquet are available for purchase at the Ashland City School District Administrative Offices, 1407 Claremont Ave. or online at https://secure.givelively.org/event/ashland-city-schools-alumni-foundatiopn/2019-distinguished-alumnus-award-banquet through Sept. 20.
LLOYD AND NORMA (HOSTETTLER) WYGANT
Lloyd and Norma (Hostettler) Wygant both graduated from Ashland High School in 1947 – Norma as co-valedictorian. Both served on Senior Council and were active in many school organizations. They started dating in September of their senior year.
Four years later, Lloyd received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Denver in Colorado, while Norma graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with her Bachelor of Arts in business administration. Soon after graduating from college, Lloyd entered the U.S. Marine Corps officer candidate school, and Norma took a post at LaSalle-Koch department store in Toledo. Three days following Lloyd’s receiving his commission in the Marine Corps, Lloyd and Norma married on Sept. 9, 1951.
After returning to civilian life in 1953, Lloyd worked in industrial feeding in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. and became affiliated with the Marine Corps Reserve, eventually retiring with the rank of major from the Marine Corps. The couple returned to Ashland in 1955 to become associated with the Ashland Paint and Color Company, which they later purchased from Don T. Hostettler — Norma’s father and former Ashland mayor. The Wygants worked together there until selling the business in 1965 when Lloyd joined the Ashland College administration, serving as Director of Auxiliary Services and eventually as faculty after earning his Master in business administration from Baldwin-Wallace in 1978.
Lloyd retired from Ashland University in 1997 after 32 years of service.
Lloyd and Norma have enjoyed traveling, sailing and many nature activities, especially birding, over the years. Their adventures have taken them to 43 different countries across the globe.
The Wygants are long-time members of the First Presbyterian Church of Ashland and have been very active in the Ashland community over the years, having served in many different capacities for numerous organizations. Lloyd’s involvement has included Ashland Rotary President, American Red Cross Board, Ashland United Appeal Chair, Ashland Chamber of Commerce Board, Ashland BalloonFest Treasurer, Ashland Young Men’s Business Club (YMBC) President and Samaritan Hospital Emergency Room volunteer — beginning his 23rd year of this weekly commitment.
Equally as involved, Norma’s activities have included Ashland Council of Garden Clubs President, Samaritan Hospital Board of Trustees for 12 years — four of which were spent as Chair — Ashland City Tree Commission, American Red Cross Board, Ashland United Appeal Board, Ashland College Faculty Women’s Club and the Samaritan Hospital Foundation Board.
Together they have continuously contributed their time, talents and resources to worthy causes in the Ashland community, most recently through their generous donation to help fund the new field house for Ashland City Schools. The building will be named the Keith Wygant Memorial Field House, in honor of their late son.
JOHN K. "JACK" HARTMAN
John K. "Jack" Hartman graduated from Ashland High School in 1963, where he was sports editor of the Panorama, a three-year tennis letterman and a National Honor Society member.
He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1967 from Bowling Green State University, where he was sports editor and editorial page editor of the BG News, a student council member and a student broadcaster. He received his master’s in radio-TV-film in 1977 and his doctorate in communication in 1986 from BGSU.
His career highlights include: sports editor of Ashland Times-Gazette, 1968-1971; public information officer, Ashland ODOT, 1971-1974; instructor of journalism, BGSU, 1977-1979; copy editor, Toledo Blade, 1980-1984; and professor of journalism, Central Michigan University, 1984-2015.
Hartman wrote two books, "The USA TODAY Way" in 1992 and "The USA TODAY Way 2 The Future in 2000," about the trend-setting national newspaper. He has been widely quoted regarding journalism, including in the New York Times and the Washington Post. His reporting was honored by the Ohio Associated Press and Gannett Newspapers.
Named emeritus professor upon his retirement in 2015, he was inducted into the CMU Journalism Hall of Fame in 2018. He was known for his wit, straight talk, willingness to advise students and promise of lifetime career advice. He served as department chair twice and was a long-time member of the Speakers Series Committee and the Dean’s Personnel Committee.
Dr. Hartman was chosen as the Al-Jazirah Newspaper International Chair of Journalism by King Saud University, visiting in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
He and his wife Kay were both elected as delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. He covered the DNC in Denver in August 2008. Elected five times to the Bowling Green board of education, he served from 1978-1997, serving as president twice. He presided over the dedication of the addition to Bowling Green Senior High in 1989.
The Hartmans were chosen Family of the Year in Bowling Green in 1981. An avid tennis player, he and Rick Spreng were doubles champions of Ashland five times, he was singles champion of Medina once and he was part of championship teams in Ashland, Toledo and Columbus. He served as Worthington Kilbourne High School boys JV tennis coach in 2019.
A resident of Powell since 2008, he has held several appointed positions in Liberty Township. He has been a media columnist for the Columbus Free Press since 2015 and has taught for Kent State University.
Hartman and the former Kay Franks, a 1966 AHS graduate, were married in 1967. They have three daughters and seven grandchildren.
SUSAN (LORENZ) GREGG
Susan (Lorenz) Gregg is a 1967 graduate of Ashland High School. During her high school years, she studied organ with Mabel Zehner, violin with Cal Rogers, piano with Elizabeth Pastor and accompanied ballet classes for Harriet Jacoby.
She graduated Magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from Miami University (Ohio) where she was president of Delta Omicron, a music honorary fraternity and received the Star of Delta Omicron for outstanding service and enthusiasm. She was also elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
In 1973, Susan received a Master of Music degree from Boston University, where she was elected to the national honorary music fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda.
Upon returning home, she became the music director of First United Methodist Church where she has remained as organist for the past 45 years. She became President of the local chapter of The American Guild of Organists, a member of the Ashland Musical Club and played in the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. She taught Suzuki violin and piano for a dozen years before teaching preschool through eighth grade at St. Edward School for 25 years and St. Mary’s School in Wooster for 14 years.
In 1990, Sandra Brown brought her on board as accompanist for the newly formed Ashland Symphonic Youth Chorus, where she eventually directed Prep I and II Chorus as well. She had the wonderful experience of touring England and France with them and playing on some of the famous organs there.
Presently Susan is pianist for the Ashland Area Chorus under the direction of Elizabeth Slade. She is also collaborative pianist for all the instrumental students and faculty at Ashland University. As a board member of Ashland Symphony Orchestra and president of Ashland Musical Club, as well as a member of the women’s scholarship organization PEO, she is actively involved in the life of the Ashland community.
Gregg is a gifted musician, educator, pianist, organist, violinist and leader in the music and arts of the Ashland community and beyond. She has instilled a love for music in the hearts of countless young people as well as touched the lives of so many through her moving performances and accompaniment.
Married to Dr. Robert Gregg, Susan is the proud mother of three sons and enjoys her extended family of three wonderful daughters-in-law and seven amazing grandchildren.
Barb Queer graduated, with honors, from Ashland High School in 1977. Shortly after graduation, she began her extensive career in public service, working for Ashland County. She started as the "voice of Ashland County" in her first job answering the County’s switchboard and directing callers to proper office or department. Next, an opportunity presented itself in the county commissioner’s office in the position of deputy clerk. Queer served in that position for 18 years.
In 1996, due to the growing demands in county government for a human resource department and administrator, the commissioners created that position and promoted Barb to the role. Duties and responsibilities grew, and the Commissioners relied heavily on her experience and knowledge of the county’s budget, personnel matters and much of the general business of Ashland County. Her title changed once again to business administrator.
In 2008, when a vacancy occurred on the Board of County Commissioners, Barb decided to run for the open seat. After a hard-fought campaign in the primary election, she defeated two Republican opponents. She then defeated yet another, Independent opponent in the general election and was elected county commissioner to begin her four-year term in January of 2009. This was the first time in county history that there were two women serving on the three-member board, both graduates of Ashland High School (Kimberly Clark Edwards, class of 1976).
Barb ran unopposed in 2012 for another four-year term and then retired at the end of that term in 2016, after 39 years of serving Ashland County.
In 2001 Barb was the recipient of the Women of Achievement’s "Woman to Watch" award.
Barb graduated from the JoAnn Davidson Leadership Institute in 2006, an eight-month program created to encourage and train women in business and civic leadership to assume more prominent roles, in government or in their community. Each year, between 20-25 women from across Ohio who have an interest in politics and public service and who meet a diverse range of criteria for participation, are selected to join the Institute’s class.
In 2014, Barb and her teammates on the 1977 Ashland High School Softball team were inducted into the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame.
Barb has also served on many boards locally and at the state level. Locally, she has served on the Ashland County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Ashland County Historical Society, American Red Cross, Ashland Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Strategic Planning Core Team for the Ashland City Schools.
Currently she is serving on the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) as an economic development liaison. She also was appointed by the Republican Party to serve on the board of elections board and is vice chair of the Ashland County Republican Party.
Queer volunteers for the Ashland County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society and the Friends of the Library.