Class of 2009 / Biographies

Class of 2009 / Biographies

Mrs. Mary Ann Boyd Bucci

Mary Ann has spent much of her adult life with a paintbrush in hand and using watercolors to perpetuate many memories of places in and around Zanesville and the surrounding community.

Many of her paintings have depicted historic buildings, perhaps none more popular than her piece “Zanesville – A Community of Churches,” a montage of 50 churches of various ages and architectures. She has, of course, commemorated Zanesville’s famous “Y Bridge” – the painting was enlarged as a giant postcard from Muskingum County to be used in the State of Ohio Bicentennial celebration and parade in 2003 – and has produced other projects such as a walking tour map of downtown Zanesville. She has become a full-time artist, and many of her works are donated to charities, schools and churches.

Mary Ann’s works, from small watercolors to large oils, have also been part of the Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Show and the Zanesville Bicentennial Art Show. They’ve been reproduced on everything from t-shirts to billboards to pottery pieces. Mary Ann has received numerous local awards for her work. She is a member of the Zanesville Appalachian Arts Project, several watercolor societies, the Zanesville Art Center board, and the Putnam Underground Railroad Education Center board. She and her husband, Ron, also oversee the Ronna Bucci/Dr. Charles Dietz Art Scholarship Award, in part to honor their late daughter.

The daughter of the late Clarence and Helen Boyd, Mary Ann and Ron are also parents to Ryan and Holli, and grandparents to Ella and Owen.

PRESENTERS: Ryan Bucci and Holli Lambert

Dr. C. Brent DeVore

C. Brent DeVore played football and ran track at Zanesville High School, where his father was also a biology teacher. But it’s been his accomplishments since his days at ZHS that have been outstanding.

Dr. DeVore earned a bachelors degree from Ohio University and masters and doctoral degrees from Kent State University. He served as executive director of the Kent State University Foundation before entering college administration. He was vice president of Hiram College and president of Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, W.Va., before becoming president of Otterbein College in 1984.

When he retired on June 30, 2009, he had served more than a quarter-century at the Westerville liberal arts school, a tenure as the longest-serving president at a four-year school in Ohio. During his time at Otterbein, Dr. DeVore nearly doubled the school’s enrollment (to about 3,200 students), increased its endowment (from $6 million to $100 million), and increased the percentage of faculty members with doctorates (from 45 percent to 93 percent). The Otterbein campus has also doubled in size, older buildings have been renovated and he encouraged his students and staff to give more back to the community – on average, about 32,000 volunteer hours per year.

Among his many other professional affiliations, Dr. DeVore serves on the boards of Grant Riverside Methodist Hospital, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Ohio College Association and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

PRESENTER: Liz Burrier

Mr. Bob Gaiters

Bob was a star Blue Devils football player, playing two years as an offensive lineman before being moved to fullback to replace 2008 Hall of Fame inductee Donis Toler, who had graduated. Gaiters rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns that lone season as a running back, leading ZHS to an 8-1 record and a Central Ohio League championship.

After first attending Santa Ana (Calif.) Junior College, where he was a two-time All-American, Bob transferred to New Mexico State, where he starred for two seasons for the Aggies and also ran sprints and hurdles for the track team. He led a 28-8 Sun Bowl win with 122 yards on 23 carries, including a 44-yard touchdown run. In1960, his 1,338 rushing yards on 197 carries (a 6.8-yard average) led the nation as New Mexico State went 11-0 and had its best season ever. Bob scored 23 rushing touchdowns that year, also tops in the NCAA, and an NMSU record that still stands. He then had a 32-yard TD run in another Sun Bowl appearance, a 20-13 win over Utah State.

His career scoring average of 11.9 points per game was the NCAA record until broken by San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk in 1992 (12.2). He is a member of the NMSU Hall of Fame (’76).
In 1961, Bob was a second-round selection (17th overall) by the New York Giants in the NFL Draft. Bob was also the very first pick in the 1961 AFL Draft, by the Denver Broncos. He played two NFL seasons, with the Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, and one more with the Broncos, before two seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

After retiring in 1969, he became acquainted with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, who helped Bob start a career in the record production business, starting out at MGM Records.

PRESENTER & ACCEPTOR: Bishop James Gaiters

Mr. Ronald "Buster" Howe

Perhaps the most revered football player in ZHS history, Buster is also known as winner of Ohio’s first Mr. Football award given by The Associated Press. That came following a 1987 senior season that saw the all-around threat rush for 1,795 yards and score 34 touchdowns.

Running the old single-wing offense to take advantage of his myriad of skills – in the first game against Columbus East, he scored seven touchdowns -- Buster also threw for 431 yards during the season. On defense, he had eight interceptions. As a kicker, he booted three field goals, 38 extra points and had a 40.9-yard punting average.

But it wasn’t just his gaudy statistics. It was how Buster compiled them. He rarely left the field and, when he was on it, he dazzled everyone with his tremendous skills and his ability to do what seemed impossible to many.

For his career, he rushed for 4,055 yards and scored 54 touchdowns, impressive when you consider he didn’t get his first real opportunity to run the football until the last couple games of his sophomore season. Buster was named a Parade magazine first-team All-American on offense and a Bally’s first-team All-American on defense after his senior year. He also won numerous other awards, including UPI and AP Back of the Year, and being named All-Buckeye Central Conference at four different positions – running back, safety, punter and placekicker.

His No. 3 is the only football jersey number other than John Sulsberger’s No. 70 to be retired by ZHS.

PRESENTER: Whit Parks

Mr. Bob Johnson

Mr. Bob Johnson
Bob graduated from Zanesville High School in 1965 and from Miami University in 1969, with a degree in economics. From then on, the sky was the limit.

Literally.

Bob began his career with GE Aircraft Engines and spent a dozen years in management, both in the United States and overseas. He then moved on to vice president and general manager of manufacturing and services for another aviation company, AAR Corporation. Next was a move to AlliedSignal Aerospace, as president and chief executive officer of the electronics and avionics division, then as president and CEO of the entire company. Then, from 1999 to 2006, he served as president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace, the world’s largest supplier of aircraft engines, equipment, systems and services for commercial transport, regional, general aviation, and military aircraft.

His retirement was brief, however, as Bob was soon after named chief executive officer of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, a $15 billion investment to establish six aerospace subsidiaries. He retired again following completion of those projects late last year.

Bob is also a member of the Sigma Chi International Hall of Fame, and in 2007 was honored as International Executive of the Year by Miami University’s Farmer School of Business. He is a member of both the board of directors and trustees of Arizona State University Foundation, is a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and serves on three corporation boards – Roper Industries, Spirit Aero Systems (as chairman) and Ariba.
 
PRESENTERS: Bill Stewart, Jim Clawson & Barry Broome

Mr. Jay Payton

Jay was one of the most decorated athletes in Zanesville High School history, and has gone on to a very successful career in Major League Baseball. He was an all-Ohio soccer player at ZHS and graduated as the school’s all-time leading goal-scorer. But it was his passion for baseball that propelled him into a pro career.

Jay came up to the ZHS varsity team as a freshman, and batted better than .400 for his career, including an astonishing .586 as a senior in 1991.

His outstanding play and his academics earned him a full scholarship to Georgia Tech, where he starred with fellow Major Leaguers Jason Varitek and Nomar Garciaparra in leading the Yellow Jackets to a runner-up finish in the 1994 College World Series. He led the nation with 102 runs batted in that season, batted .467 and was named to several All-America teams.

A first-round draft pick of the New York Mets, Jay battled several injuries in his minor-league career before finally reaching the majors for good at the end of the 1999 season. The next season, Jay had a stellar rookie year as the regular centerfielder that saw him play in the 2000 World Series, won by the New York Yankees, but during which he hit his first career World Series home run, a three-run shot off Yankees star reliever Mariano Rivera. Since then, Jay has also played for the Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s and most recently the Baltimore Orioles.

He has a career .278 batting average with 119 home runs and 521 runs batted in through the end of the 2008 season. His ZHS jersey No. 2 has been officially retired, and in the spring of 2008 the rebuilt baseball diamond at ZHS was officially named Jay Payton Field in his honor.

PRESENTER & ACCEPTOR: James Payton Jr.

Mr. Don Stahl

Don came to Zanesville in 1945 when his former coach at Dalton High School – fellow 2009 inductee George Vlerebome – was hired as head football coach at Zanesville High School.

Don started as a junior high coach and athletic director, the first ever for both at Hancock Junior High. He coached football, basketball and track, and also spent his summers playing baseball in the semi-professional Eastern Ohio League.

Don helped reinstate the ZHS baseball program in 1948, and he coached the Blue Devils to a 49-10 record in five years. He moved on to become reserve football coach at ZHS, and his Blue Imps went 25-4 over five years, including undefeated seasons in 1957 and 1958. That was followed by a 10-year stint as the varsity backfield coach.

But it was in basketball where Don made his mark. After three years as reserve boys coach, he became varsity coach in 1962 and spent the next 11 years guiding the Blue Devils in the rugged Central Ohio League. His ZHS teams compiled a 168-54 record, and Don was named COL Coach of the Year five times. He was runner-up for the Ohio Class AAA Coach of the Year award in 1970.

In 34 seasons of coaching at various levels, none of his teams ever had a losing record. Still active since his retirement, Coach Stahl has been president of the ZHS Tipoff Club since 1991, and in December 2007 had the honor of the Winland Memorial Gymnasium court named in his honor.

PRESENTER: Mike Haddox

Mr. Jonathon Thomas

Mr. Jonathon Thomas Jonathon starred as a track-and-field athlete at ZHS and has since starred as a businessman with several top companies.

His first successes came on the track in John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium, where he excelled as a hurdler. Jonathon was a three-time state champion, once in the 100-meter high hurdles and twice in the 300-meter low hurdles. Twice named a high school All-American, he earned a scholarship to Indiana University, where he majored in psychology and continued to shine on the track.

Jonathon was the first Big Ten athlete to win the 400-meter intermediate hurdles four years in a row, and was also an All-America track athlete from 1982 to 1985. His mark of 48.95 seconds in 1985 is still the Big Ten record. His final season, Jonathon was NCAA runner-up to Olympic silver medalist Sven Nylander of Sweden. He also anchored IU’s mile relay team to a Big Ten record, helping the Hoosiers win the league conference meet his senior season.
Since then, he has earned a masters degree and hopes to complete his doctorate by 2011. As a senior executive, Jonathon has demonstrated success with companies such as Pepsi-Cola, Sara Lee and The Kerry Group. He is now president of Titan Management Advisors LLC, an international investment/consulting firm.

He is a member of the Indiana Athletic Hall of Fame, the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame, and was named to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s “Greatest Athletes of the First 100 Years,” recognized at the Ohio State Championships in 2007 to celebrate the 100th year of the state track-and-field competition.

PRESENTER: Wayne Clark

Mr. George Vlerebome

George ushered in the modern era of Zanesville High School athletics when he became head football coach at ZHS in 1946. Over the next 20 seasons, his Blue Devils went 144-38-4, winning eight Central Ohio League championships outright, and sharing three others. He retired as coach after the 1965 season, and he was so respected, legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes came to his retirement dinner.

George also coached the South All-Stars to a win in the 1952 Ohio North-South game. He was and assistant in 1951, a South victory, and also in 1956, a tie game. In all, 25 of his players participated in that special all-star game. Coach Vlerebome was also active in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association, serving as president, vice president and director, and is also a member of the OHSFCA Hall of Fame.

But his legacy at ZHS went further than football. George was the school’s first director of athletics, a post he assumed in 1948 and didn’t relinquish until his retirement in 1972, and he was also the first commissioner of the Muskingum Valley League. He helped re-establish the school’s baseball program – led by one of his former athletes at Dalton High School, fellow inductee Don Stahl – and began the groundwork for the addition of other sports at ZHS.

Coach Vlerebome was also instrumental in working with 2008 Hall of Fame inductees Dr. J. Diehl and Mrs. Elizabeth Sulsberger in funding the construction of John D. Sulsberger Memorial Stadium.

PRESENTER: Dick Morrison
ACCEPTOR: Anne Vlerebome Hunnicutt

The Hon. Howard "Butch" Zwelling

A former trumpet player in the ZHS band, “Butch” was the last student to walk across the stage and receive a diploma from old Lash High School. He was only getting started on a distinguished career.

After earning a degree from Muskingum College in 1959, he went on to get a law degree from Ohio Northern University in 1962. Butch then began a lengthy career in the public eye. He taught at the old Dresden High School before it became part of the Tri-Valley School District, and also taught at Muskingum and Ohio University-Zanesville. In fact, Butch is still a faculty member at OUZ.

He tried nine murder cases in 22 years as a trial attorney. Butch served as a Zanesville City Council member for four years during the 1960s, and in 1983 was elected to the Zanesville Municipal Court bench for the first time. He served 16 years and, in 1995, was elected president of the Ohio Municipal Court Judges. Butch then served six years as Muskingum County Common Pleas Court judge after his election in 1999, and has served as Mayor of Zanesville since July 2005.

Muskingum College awarded him with its Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2003 and in 2007 he was given the Zanesville Jaycees Lifetime Achievement Award. Butch has served the community in all three branches of government, and has also been active in many local service organizations, including Sertoma, ZHS Tipoff Club and ZHS Quarterback Club.

PRESENTER: Ron Apperson
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