A doctor, a Broadway veteran, an author, an educator, an historian, and an entrepreneur will be inducted in the 2015 Gallery of Success at Steele High School.
Their names were revealed Wednesday by Russ Marty, advisor to the Steele student council.
Every two years, the Gallery inducts alumni who boast incredible careers, inspiring accomplishments, and who have given back to the community.
Here are this year’s honorees as chosen by students:
• Dr. Scott Bentz is chairman of emergency medicine at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, Colo., where he also serves as medical director.
A 1990 Amherst graduate, Bentz holds a bachelor of arts in neuroscience from Oberlin College and a doctorate from Wright State University.
Students were especially impressed that he has made two trips to Africa providing care for underprivileged children and adults.
Bentz was nominated by Bill Matthews.
• Mark Dobrow has served as stage manager for many Broadway shows, most recently on “Into the Woods.”
A 1987 Amherst graduate, he put in a full decade working on “Miss Saigon.” He is also widely known for the national tours of “The Producers” and “The Phanton of the Opera” as well as Broadway runs of “Mary Poppins,” “Ring of Fire,” “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” and “End of the Rainbow.”
Dobrow was nominated by Dave Cotton.
• Matt Kish gained national accolades in 2011 upon publishing “Moby Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page.”
The illustrated work was named one of the most beautiful of the year by the New York Daily News and drew attention from The Atlantic, Huffington Post, PBS News Hour, The Chicago Tribune, and Cincinnati Magazine.
A 1987 Amherst graduate, Kish holds an education degree from Bowling Green State University. After working for the Lorain City Schools, he now serves as a librarian for the Dayton Metro Library System.
He was nominated by Charles Dermer.
• Richard Lewis is the executive director of the Ohio School Boards Association.
He’s spent more than three decades advancing the cause of public education in Ohio, earning the Ohio University 2011 Samuel L. Hicks Executive-in-Residence Award highlighting leaders in the education field. In 2013, he also received the Thomas A. Shannon Award, the OSBA’s highest honor.
A 1979 Amherst graduate, Lewis was nominated by Rob Delane.
• Fay Van Nuys Ott is a longtime Amherst Historical Society member and expert on the city’s past.
A 1944 Amherst graduate, Ott is a former Amherst News-Times columnist, penning “This Ole Place” for many years. Her book, “The Amherst Pictoral History” has become a vital reference piece for local researchers. She also worked with now-retired Lt. Dan Jasinski to write a history of the Amherst police force.
Ott was nominated by Joan Rosenbusch.
• Christopher Russo opened his first Panini’s restaurant in 1998.
Today, his empire has expanded to include the Brew Kettle in Strongsville as well as the soon-to-open Brew Kettle in downtown Amherst.
A 1989 Amherst graduate, Russo was the driving force behind the development of the Dale Smith Scholarship Fund, which awards $2,000 scholarships to an athlete each year at Steele and St. Ed’s high schools.
He was nominated by Bill Matthews and Ryan McNaughton.
The Gallery of Success induction ceremony will be held Sept. 25 at the Steele High School cafetorium (time to be announced).
All inductees will accept their honors in person with the exception of Dobrow, who has a prior commitment to a Broadway show.
The event will also mark the dedication of new plaques to permanently honor inductees. Brass nameplates will bear the names of not only the 2015 Gallery honorees, but also all those who have been ushered into its halls over the decades.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.