By Megan Kelley
Lake Orion High School announced their 2020 Wall of Excellence inductees last week. This year LOHS has named six alumni that will join the 13 former students on the Wall of Excellence display in the school’s common area.
Among these six inductees are: wheelchair racing champion Bob Gibson (Class of 1978), professional golfer Tom Gillis (Class of 1986), Disney PIXAR artist Angela McBride (Class of 2008), NBC News journalist Shannon Pettypiece (Class of 1999), electronic musician Seth Troxler (Class of 2004) and muralist and children’s author Katie Yamasaki (Class of 1995).
Gibson, a former world-class wheelchair athlete, has won medals at the World Championships, Pan-Am Games, and the 1988 Paralympics. He has also held national and world records in the 100m. At LOHS, Gibson set the pole vaulting record before suffering a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident, which lead to his transition to the wheelchair track. Gibson eventually became Track & Field captain.
Gillis, a professional golfer, has played on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, the Nationwide Tour, and the PGA Tour Champions. His notable achievements include winning the 2009 Nationwide Tour Players Cup, being runner-up at the 2012 Honda Classic and his playoff finish at the 2015 John Deere Classic.
McBride, a lighting artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, has been credited on Academy Award-winning films such as Frozen, Feast, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia. At LOHS, McBride took art and painting classes as well as Advanced Placement portfolio classes and participated in the Art Club.
Pettypiece, a print and broadcast journalist, recently covered the White House for NBC News. At LOHS, Pettypiece was a part of the music program with goals to play for a professional orchestra.
Troxler, an electronic musician, has established himself as one of techno’s most recognizable figures. In 2013, he was named the number-one DJ in the world by Resident Advisor. At LOHS, Troxler attended art and design classes.
Yamasaki, a muralist and children’s book artist, has painted over 80 murals in diverse communities around the world. Her murals and children’s books focus on themes of social justice and local issues in underrepresented communities. At LOHS, Yamasaki played volleyball and basketball and was involved in student government. She also participated in the Generation of Promise program.
LOHS’s “Wall of Excellence” began in 2017 with the intention of honoring past students who have gone above and beyond in their career paths in order to achieve outstanding success.
“The goals are two-fold — to recognize alumni from Lake Orion High School who have gone on to have extremely successful careers and to provide inspiration, and motivation to current students,” said Assistant Principal Kyle Meteyer. “They can look up and say, ‘I can do that, too.’”
Past inductees include: footwear designer Caroline Swierszczyk, scientist, inventor and business executive Bo Zhao, Commander James Ramirez, radio anchor Greg Bownman, astronaut Andrew Feustel, Col. Daniel Choike, musician John Upton, teacher Blanche Sims, CEO Fritz Henderson, judo champion Dr. Ronald Tripp, business executive and author David M. Carlson, Ph. D., actress Cynthia Watros and professional football player Jeffrey Heath.
Inductees are determined through a multi-step process, beginning with community submissions that are then evaluated by a committee of district administrators, teachers and Board of Education members.
Nomination forms can be found at www.lakeorionschools.org/district/alumni/wall-of-excellence.
Nominations are open to the public. Anyone can nominate someone; they do not have to be a graduate of LOHS. However, all nominees must be LOHS alumni.
Due to COVID-19 this year’s induction ceremony will not take place however, a live induction event along with the 2021 inductees is expected to be held in the near future.