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Minerva Alumni Association inducts three into Hall of Fame

Published: June 15, 2017 12:00 AM
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The Minerva Alumni Association, along with the Minerva Education Foundation, inducted Joan M. Deagan, Richard N. Mikes and Chief Deputy John A. Campbell to the Minerva High School Alumni Hall of Fame at a banquet held June 10 at the Minerva United Methodist Church Wesley Hall.

Joan M. Deagan

Joan Marie Deagan Wolf, Class of 1975, was nominated to the MHS Alumni Hall of Fame by her husband Colonel Dave Wolf (USA, Retired).

After graduating as the Salutatorian of Minerva High School's class of 1975, Joan pursued a bachelor of science degree in nursing at Bowling Green State University. She graduated in 1979 earning Cum Laude honors. Joan has served as a registered nurse over 37 years and as an army wife for over 29 years. In each of these roles she has served willingly and brilliantly.

In her nursing profession, Joan has served as a clinical nurse; as a labor and delivery nurse; as a nursing instructor for both BSN and diploma nurses; as a post anesthesia/recovery room nurse; and for the last 13 years as a hospice nurse. In each of these positions, and especially in her current role, she has brought passion, compassion, and the healing ouch that only a nurse can bring to a patient and family in need.

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As an Army wife, Joan willingly picked up her household and moved nine times in their 29 year military career. She lived in El Paso, Texas twice; Bowling Green, Ohio; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Germany twice and Virginia. They have been in Virginia for the last nine years, with two moves.

As her husband's official responsibilities in the Army grew, her unofficial duties as a mentor of other, younger Army wives grew as well. Over the last 30 years, the army has evolved its family support functions to meet the needs of a Continental United States-based army with frequent deployments throughout the world. Her support role for the soldiers and families of the units that her husband commanded evolved as well and was critical to their mission success. When her husband was unexpectedly tapped to command a battalion as Fort Bliss, as the unit was closing due to draw-down after the Gulf War, Joan played a key role in keeping the morale of our families high while also working full-time in her nursing career.

Her greatest accomplishment in support of army families came when her husband commanded a battalion in the 1st Armored division in 1995-97; his battalion of almost 600 soldiers deployed from Germany to Bosnia-Herzegovina in December 1995 with "Task Force Eagle" and remained there until November 1996. Joan remained with the battalion families in Germany and voluntarily served as the senior advisor to the battalion's family support group, ensuring that over 270 families received the most current information about deployment activities of the battalion, and when the battalion would return home. She developed and sponsored numerous activities for the families to ensure that they bonded into one large family that looked out for one another.

She also offered medical advice during this period and offered the support needed to each family. While she did not work as a nurse during this time, she accumulated 1,200 hours of volunteer service during the unit's deployment and earned the prestigious United States Army-Europe's Volunteer Award for her service. Following deployment she led the effort to organize a Re-Union Ball over Valentine's Day 1997, which almost every soldier and wife in the battalion attended. It was such a special event that five German mayors from neighboring towns to our army post attended. Most significantly, the 1st Armored Division leadership (Division Commander, Major General William Nash' Assistant Division Commander- Maneuver, Brigadier General John Abizaid; and the Division Sergeant Major, Jack Tilley) made special arrangements to attend the event, with their wives.

Joan has brought honor and distinction to Minerva High School through her volunteer work and her career as a nurse. Col. Wolf said, "To say that I am proud of my wife would be a huge understatement. I would offer that my pride in her is well justified when what she has done since high school graduation is considered.

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Richard N. Mikes

Richard N. Mikes, class of 1967, was nominated to the MHS Alumni Hall of fame by Donald Lynn Molen with seconds by Mike Gallina, Gary Chaddock and Brett Yeagley.

During his high school years, Richard was president of his junior and senior classes as well as the National Honor Society. In 1972 he received a bachelor of science in education from Kent State University where he received dual certification in elementary grades, 1-8, and secondary English and speech. In 1982 he received a master of science in education and educational administration summa cum laude from the University of Dayton. He has done post graduate work at Ashland University.

Richard's professional accomplishments are many. He served 37 years in public education as a teacher and principal which is one of the longest of any serving principals in Minerva history. From 1973 to 1983 he was a fifth-grade teacher of language arts and math in Minerva Local Schools. He became the assistant principal at Hazen Junior High in 1983, and from 1992-2010 served as a principal at Minerva Middle School. Under his leadership the Minerva Junior High transitioned to a middle school which is a difficult and complicated process and the Minerva Middle School staff evolved into a staff of all highly qualified teachers. The school was the first Minerva district building to be rated excellent. Minerva Middle School was named by Kent State University as its most effective school.

He was instrumental in leading professional educators in developing middle school culture of compassion, responsibility and respect. He developed a parent involvement program in partnership with Dr. Jim Smith and the University of Mount Union called "The Home/School Partnership." The students considered his morning and noontime intramural programs for grades six, seven and eight a big plus.

Richard was a freshman football coach for eight years, assistant varsity wrestling coach for seven years, and an assistant varsity baseball coach for two years. Since 2003 he has been the 'Voice of the Lions" public address announcer for Minerva High School varsity football games and since 1995 has been the announcer for Minerva High School varsity basketball games.

From 2011 to 2014 he was a University of Mount Union Supervisor of Student Teaching. His professional organizations include Phi Kappa Delta, National Council of Mathematics Teachers, the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), Minerva Local Education Association, NEA, and a life member of the OEA.

Another important facet of Richard Mikes' life is his work with the Church of Christ on Fox Ave., N.E. He has been a minister of the Church of Christ for 47 years where he has handled the education, weddings, funerals and counseling of his flock.

Molen completed his nomination of Richard by writing, "Rich has been under the radar too long. On a scale of one to 10 as an administrator and teacher, Rich earns an 11."

Chief Deputy John A. Campbell

Chief Deputy John A. Campbell, class of 1986, was nominated to the MHS Alumni Hall of Fame by Dee Arnold who was one of John's high school teachers. Dr. W. Lynn Campell added information to his brother's nomination. Most of the following is taken from Lynn's nomination letter.

John dedicated his life to law enforcement, rising through the ranks within multiple departments to reach positions of authority and high responsibility. He was a decorated officer, receiving recognition for putting the safety of others before his own, and always looking to do the right thing when duty called.

In the 30 years he lived beyond graduating from MHS, John's endeavors were remarkable and noteworthy. Coming from the home of a single mom with six siblings, John was able to stay focused and show determination and grit. While his mom's bartending wage and tips sustained him, John gained much more from her work ethic and commitment to do what's right. He began his post high school education at Kent State University, but left Kent to become a police officer, which is what he really wanted to do.

John graduated from the police academy, worked as a deputy in Carroll and Wayne counties, became a field agent for Liquor Control, and worked his way up to Agent in Charge. John received many accolades and awards, along with certifications and educational endorsements. After retiring from the department of Public Safety, John was recruited by the Stark County Sheriff to serve in the capacity of Chief Deputy, which he did until his untimely death.

Throughout his life, John took many risks and always found a way to reach his goals. He moved to Toledo for a while to acquire his first Agent in Charge, knowing that he will one day come back to Stark County. As a loving husband and father of two sons, this was a big chance to take. However, he had a goal to better his career for the betterment of his family, and he made it work. All the while, Tami and John Michael and Josh stayed on the front burner as John remained a model family man.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, John was an absolute joy to be around. No matter where he went, John's jocular personality was noted and appreciated by all. John had a way of connecting with people, helping him to see the brighter side of things. This undoubtedly served him well in his career and life.

Among his many awards, John was the recipient of the Life Saving Award from Buckeye State Sheriff's Association, a Certificate of Exceptional Duty from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Dean's Scholar Award from the Southern Police Institute, and he became an Honorable Kentucky Colonel.

In summation, Lynn recommended the induction of John to the MHS Alumni Hall of Fame. John overcame the odds, leading him to a most wonderful career. He was a tremendous husband and father and he lived his life beyond high school in a way that could serve as a model for today's MHS graduate. John was proud to be a Minerva Lion, and as evidenced by the outpouring of love and community support during his funeral procession, Minerva was proud to have had John.

Classroom grants and alumni scholarships were also rewarded.


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