Stanley Kohn - Class of 1965 and Retired Industrial Arts Teacher
Stanley Kohn joins the Alumni Wall of Achievement as both a member of the Class of ‘65 and a retired Brush industrial arts and vocational electronics teacher and SEL administrator. In addition to his 16-year career with SEL, he has been employed by Cuyahoga Community College and the University of Akron. With a BA in Education from The Ohio State University, he went on to earn his MA from Cleveland State University.
Blessed with abilities in math and science, Stan’s parents hoped he’d become an engineer. In fact, he started in the engineering program at Ohio State. However, inspired by his high school teacher, Jack McGeary, Stan followed his passion and transferred to education.
Following his tenure with SEL Schools, he became a faculty member at CCC. He developed and served as Director of the Visual Communications Center of Excellence at CCC. In the mid ‘70’s, he founded Stan Kohn Photographics, a small commercial photography firm. The company evolved to include a strong emphasis on consultation and training with corporate clients seeking to become involved in the evolution of electronic imaging. An early advocate for digital imaging, Stan has been an “evangelist” for digital media for over 30 years and has been instrumental in the advancement of digital imaging throughout northern Ohio. He has lectured on the subject locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. Stan has served as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Akron since 2004. He has been teaching for more than 49 years, teaching numerous subjects including digital imaging, photography, panoramic photography, aerial drone photography and video. His private clients include The Cleveland Museum of Art, American Greetings, NASA, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland State University, Nationwide Insurance, The Plain Dealer and The Kellogg Corporation.
According to his nomination form, Stan “always goes above and beyond what is expected. He will never settle for less than his best. He knows his subject, is willing to share his knowledge, and is a wonderful teacher. At the high school and college levels he has taken the time to know his students and address their needs. If he has to give them additional time one on one, he makes time for them. If they need emotional support because they are having problems at home, he is there to listen.”
Although he divides his time among photography, college teaching, and consulting, his teaching expertise and concern for student success is always the driving force. His main love is to share the arts and associated technologies with his students, colleagues, industry, and business.
Stan always knew what he wanted to do “when he grew up” and was blessed to have the skills to fulfill his dream.
Linda Fox Lyman – Class of 1974
Linda Fox Lyman’s path to the Wall of Achievement has not been the traditional path. Her nominator was impressed by the fact that as an adult, while raising a family of her own, Linda went back to college to earn a BA in Business and followed that by earning a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Changing the course of her life, with a desire to make a difference in the community, she went to work for a statewide organization supporting mentoring programs for “at-risk youth.” Essentially, Linda built her career “the hard way.”
Although her education at Brush prepared her for college, family circumstances and struggles dictated that she enter the job market quickly. Her parents were not college-educated and they neither understood the college process, nor the importance of attending college. Following a brief program at a local college, Linda spent the first 25 years of her career as a paralegal. Working first for a law firm, she then worked for corporations using her skills in areas of operational, securities and real estate law, developing a strong business background. She realized, however, that without a Bachelor’s degree, advancement would be difficult. So, she spent 13 years in night classes at Arizona State University to earn a BS in Business Administration—all while working, getting married, raising a young family and volunteering in her faith community.
In her mid-40’s, she decided she wanted to do something more meaningful, so she went back to night school to obtain her Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, also from Arizona State. She was eventually hired as the Executive Director of New Pathways for Youth, a start-up nonprofit, where she says she learned many lessons through mistakes and failures. This was followed by being hired as President/CEO of Greater Phoenix Youth at Risk, Inc., an organization mentoring at-risk teenagers. Here she raised extensive corporate and foundation support to develop a successful program for at risk youth. When she took over the organization, there was a staff of 1, they served 40 youths a year with a budget of under $300K. When she left after 10 years, there was a staff of 20, they served over 500 youths a year and worked with a budget of $1.5M.
Linda has received many awards, including Executive Director of the Year and an Organizational Leadership Award, both presented by the Organization of Nonprofit Executives and Mother of the Year, presented by Fry Foods, as recognition for her work in the community. Her proudest moments, however, are when she hears from a youth that she worked with that he/she has graduated from college, purchased a home, or received a promotion. Her business career led to meaningful nonprofit work—worthy of her life, her energy, and her intellect.
Jason Pryor - Class of 2005
As a 2005 graduate of Brush High School, Jason Pryor is the youngest alumnus ever to be selected as an inductee to the Brush High School Alumni Association Wall of Achievement. As a United States Olympic Epee Fencer who competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Jason is more than deserving of this honor. Jason’s story is not unlike that of many other Olympic athletes whose unyielding pursuit of excellence leads to a life of personal sacrifice and dedication lived under Spartan living conditions.
Without knowing it, Jason started his route to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by deciding as a child to give up soccer and pursue an individual sport. Jason did not like soccer enough to stick with it. However, he was told by his parents that he could give up soccer only if he selected another sport. “So I tried to come up with the most obscure sport I could think of,” Pryor said. “I picked fencing thinking there wouldn’t be a team in my area to practice with. But my parents found a fencing club nearby and I started going there and before I knew it, I was competing in national tournaments.” At Brush, Jason was a self-described band geek who played clarinet and saxophone. Only those who knew him well knew he spent nights fencing in the basement of Shaker Heights High School with the Alcazar Fencing Club. After graduating from Brush, Jason attended The Ohio State University, where he was recognized as a distinguished scholar athlete and received a BA in English, with Honors. His intention was to retire from fencing, apply to the Japanese English Teaching program, and teach English to Japanese school children for a few years prior to applying to law school. However, along the way, something remarkable happened: Jason was ranked 8th on the senior national point list of the U.S. Fencing Association. These rankings determine the members of the U.S. World Championship teams in non-Olympic years. In May, 2009, his sole objective was to move into the top four rankings and compete in a World Cup in Bogota, Columbia. Unfortunately, this tournament was the same weekend as his college commencement. Without hesitation, Jason chose to embark upon what turned out to be the journey of a lifetime.
Currently, Jason is training in Boston during the week with former Olympian Michael Marx, who operates the Marx Fencing Academy. During afternoons and evenings, he coaches and teaches classes. On weekends, he takes a bus to New York City, where he spends a few days bouting in the New York Athletic Club and the New York Fencer’s Club.
Next up...the 2020 Tokyo Games! “Right now, I can’t imagine stopping,” he said. “I’ve never had as much fun than I did battling through the ups and downs of Olympic qualification. I’m sure I’ll go after the 2020 Olympics, and after, I’ll make moves to get into my dream job of writing for television.”
Also honored were the top seniors (class of 2019) based on GPA for six semesters of academic work.