Eight Selected for the 2019 Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame
The newest class of the Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame is comprised of eight men and women who have made significant contributions to the fields of health and medicine, law and justice, government, arts and culture, and athletics.
Nathan Clements, Class of 1998, played for a total of 12 seasons as a cornerback in the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals. At Shaker Heights High School, he led the Shaker Raiders to the best finish in school history, and was named “All American” by USA Today. In 2005, the Shaker Heights Athletic Department retired his jersey number. He went on to play at The Ohio State University, where he started in 24 of 36 games. He recorded 177 career tackles, seven interceptions, and returned two kicks for touchdowns. After attending the NFL scouting combine, he was ranked as the top cornerback prospect and was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2001 NFL draft, 21st overall. In Buffalo, Clements was named All Pro in 2005 and played in the Pro Bowl in Honolulu. Clements signed with the 49ers in 2007. He was named MVP by his peers in 2008 and was their nominee for the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year, in recognition of his integrity and hard work both on and off the field. Clements has been an avid volunteer throughout his time in the NFL and beyond, serving such organizations as the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, and Make a Wish Foundation.
Kristen VanValkenburg DeStigter, M.D., Class of 1980, is the John P. and Kathryn H. Tampas Green and Gold Professor and Chair of Radiology at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and the Radiology Health Care Service Chief for the University of Vermont Health Network. Her accomplishments include unique applications of ultrasound in rural medicine, the provision of integrated medical imaging services in under-served communities, medical education in diagnostic radiology, and global advances in women’s health care. She is co-founder of Imaging the World, a nonprofit organization that specializes in integrating low-cost ultrasound programs into remote health clinics where radiologists, technologists and imaging systems are lacking. Through her work, clinical facilities in rural Uganda have access to reliable imaging. In 2016 she received the American College of Radiology Foundation Global Humanitarian Award for her work improving medical imaging and access to care. In addition, she received a Certificate of Recognition from the Uganda Society for Advancement of Radiology and Imaging. Most recently, she received the 2018 University of Vermont Citizen of the World Award from the Larner College of Medicine. She holds a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed a residency in diagnostic radiology and a body imaging fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland. She earned her B.S. from Calvin College.
Barbara Fisher, Class 1972, is Executive Vice President for Reel One Entertainment, a production and distribution company in Los Angeles. She oversees a slate of more than 50 movies as well as multiple series. Most recently, Fisher was Senior Vice President of original programming for the cable network UP TV. She has also served as Senior Vice President of the Hallmark Channel; producer/consultant for National Geographic Entertainment; and Executive Vice President of Entertainment at Lifetime Entertainment Services, where she oversaw programming and production for Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women. Under her leadership, Lifetime dramatically increased its commitment to original programming, including the Emmy-nominated film “Homeless to Harvard.” Fisher also expanded the network’s advocacy campaigns to address a range of issues such as breast cancer, violence against women, and self-esteem. Prior to joining Lifetime, Fisher was President of Universal Studios Network Programming and was responsible for series such as “Just Shoot Me” and “The Steve Harvey Show.” She began her career as a publicist for A&M Records, produced reality documentary programming, and was Vice President of Creative Affairs for New World Pictures. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College.
Lorna Hartling, Class of 1983, is an accomplished violist with the world-renowned Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin. She began playing the viola at the age of 13, and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, and in Berlin. In 1986 she was selected as one of three violists in the country to take part in the first All American College Orchestra of Disney World in Epcot Center. She later had the opportunity and privilege to work and perform with Leonard Bernstein at the International Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Northern Germany during the summers of 1987 and 1989. This led to a prestigious two-year apprenticeship program with the Herbert Von Karajan Akademie, where she performed regularly with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1992, she was invited to audition and became the first African American member to join the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, where she recently started her 27th season. Hartling has also put her musical talents to use in service of others. After September 11, she organized a benefit concert with members of her orchestra to raise money for families affected by the tragedy. In 2004, she gave a benefit concert in the South African embassy honoring the ten-year anniversary of the end of Apartheid. In 2013, she began a second career studying the inner science energy healing method called Pranic Healing, which emphasizes vitality, forgiveness, and mental health. She became a certified Pranic Healer in 2018.
Eugenie Kleinerman, M.D., Class of 1967, is Professor of Pediatrics and holds the Mary V. and John A. Reilly Distinguished Chair at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She was the first woman to lead a clinical department serving as Chair of Pediatrics and Head of MD Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital from 2001-2015. Internationally recognized for her scientific and clinical expertise in sarcomas, her research focuses on developing new therapies for children with cancer, and using diet and exercise to prevent chemotherapy-induced cardiac failure in childhood cancer survivors. She identified a new immunotherapy for children with bone cancer which reduced the death rate by 30% at 8 years (the first improvement seen in more than 25 years), and led the clinical trials that resulted in the drug’s approval by the European Medicine Agency in 2010. She is a graduate of Washington University, St. Louis and Duke Medical School and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both institutions. She also received the Faculty Achievement Award for Clinical Research from MD Anderson, the Outstanding Women in Texas Government Award, and was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Hall of Fame. Prior to joining MD Anderson, she completed her residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C., a fellowship at NCI and was a Senior Investigator at NCI-FCRF.
James Levin, Class of 1971, is a community activist, theatre founder, producer, professor, playwright, and attorney. Levin founded Cleveland Public Theatre in 1981 launching such projects as the New Plays Festival, DanceWorks, and the Performance Art Festival. As the founding director of the Gordon Square Arts District, he helped lay the foundation for the renaissance of one of Cleveland’s most thriving neighborhoods. He later founded the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival which he directed from 2005 to 2011; the Cleveland World Festival in 2013; and Lorain’s FireFish Arts Festival in 2015. As an attorney, his practice focuses on criminal defense. In 2014 he launched LegalWorks which provides services to the indigent throughout Cleveland. His clients have included the NE Ohio Greens, American Indian Movement, and the Cleveland Homeless Coalition. Levin has also volunteered at the Mexico/Texas border providing pro bono services to women and their children hoping to gain asylum. He is a past recipient of the Community Shares “Gerson Award” for impact on social justice, the Governor’s Award (for community impact from the Ohio Arts Council) and the Cleveland Arts Prize “Robert Bergman Award.” He earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan and his law degree at Case Western Reserve University.
Joshua A. Levy, Class of 1990, co-founded the Washington, DC law firm of Cunningham Levy Muse LLP, which specializes in litigation and investigations. On behalf of the Rwandan Ministry of Justice, the law firm is investigating the role of French government officials in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Most recently, Levy has represented Fusion GPS in congressional investigations and litigation related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Previously, Levy served as counsel to U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which, at the time, investigated governmental failures in Hurricane Katrina. He has taught numerous seminars on congressional investigations and health care fraud at Georgetown Law. He also serves on the advisory committees to several non-profits, including the Washington Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, Bet Tzedek, and Pathways. Levy graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. and a Masters of International Affairs. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of The Michigan Journal of International Law.
The Honorable Thomas B. Modly, Class of 1979, is the 33rd Under Secretary of the Navy, and serves as Chief Management Officer and Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Navy. Throughout his tenure, Secretary Modly has focused on increasing agility and accountability throughout the Department’s workforce and business operations, including information management, that support warfighting wholeness for Sailors and Marines. Secretary Modly undertook the most comprehensive review of naval education in over 100 years. This study informed key organizational, governance, and policy reforms to better support the development of strategic and critical thinking in the naval service. Prior to his current position, Secretary Modly was a Managing Director with PricewaterhouseCoopers. At PwC, he was the lead partner for the firm’s NATO account and he led economic development teams in Iraq and Afghanistan. His experience also includes time as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Financial Management and 10 years as a corporate strategist and mergers and acquisitions specialist. Secretary Modly graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned his M.A. in Government/International Relations from Georgetown University and an MBA with honors from Harvard.
Shaker School Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner
Saturday, October 12, 2019, 6:30 pm, Shaker Heights Country Club, 3300 Courtland Boulevard
Tickets are $65 person and must be reserved by October 4.
The inductees will be introduced at a special Hall of Fame assembly at Shaker Heights High School on Friday, October 11, where they will share with current students how their Shaker Schools experience has impacted their success.
On Saturday, October 12, the eight will be honored at a dinner and induction ceremony at Shaker Heights Country Club, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The celebration is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online for $65/ person. We hope to see you there!
The eight inductees join the 290 graduates who have been inducted in the Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame since it was established in 1986, representing excellence and achievement in all walks of life, including business, medicine, law, education, the fine and performing arts, government, and public service, among other pursuits. A complete list of members can be seen here.
The Shaker Schools Foundation Alumni Committee selected the accomplished graduates from a large pool of nominations gathered from the community at large. To be considered, alumni must be distinguished in their field of endeavor, make significant contributions to the community, and serve as positive role models to current students.
Class of 1999 Reunion
Reunions – Come Home to Shaker
Join your upcoming class reunion!
This year, we have upcoming reunions for the following graduating classes:
1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 and 2009. The Class of 1970 has plans for 2020!
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David Pogue, Class of 1981
Congratulations to the Class of 2019!
Shaker Schools Alumni Giving Guide
Check out our new Shaker Schools Alumni Giving Guide! Through philanthropic support from our community, the Shaker Schools Foundation will continue to support the extraordinary work of Shaker Heights City Schools. Together, we can give every child access to a great education and a bright future!
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2018 Shaker Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees
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