Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame Class of 2024

Congratulations to our 2024 inductees! The newest class of the Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame will be celebrated on September 13-14, 2024. Our inductees include eight Shaker graduates who have made significant contributions to the fields of healthcare, community impact, economic development, law, architecture, engineering, the arts, K-12 education and advocacy.

The Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will be on Saturday, September 14, at the Shaker Heights Country Club and is open to the public. Tickets must be purchased in advance. (Drinks for purchase at the bar with credit card only.)

The eight inductees join the more than 334 graduates inducted into the Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame since it was established in 1986.

Dr. Andy Ellner, Class of 1993, is a physician entrepreneur focused on reimagining healthcare delivery systems with the north star of great healthcare for everyone. He’s building a platform to accelerate access to transformative care for people with rare and complex conditions like sickle cell disease. Previously he was founder and CEO of Firefly Health, a virtual-first advanced primary care company that offers health plan products in 50 states.

Of all the educational institutions I’ve been associated with, Shaker schools stand out for uniquely living into a value I deeply embrace. It’s a community that is core to my identity and has been essential to shaping the person I most want to be.

Jeff Epstein, Class of 1993, is the Chief of Integrated Development for the City of Cleveland. He supports equitable community and economic development in the City, overseeing the Department of Planning, economic development, community development, and building and housing. Before this, Jeff served as the Executive Director of MidTown Cleveland. Under his leadership, the neighborhood saw $230 million of transformative real estate development.

My Shaker education prepared me for the rigors of college and professional life and kindled my passion for civic and community work.

Reverend Rachel Hollander, Class of 1981, is an ordained InterFaith/InterSpiritual minister, speaker, teacher, writer, performer, podcaster, singer/songwriter, ritual officiate, and performance interpreter and has shared her music and message across the country. In 2009, Rev Rachel was ordained as an InterFaith/InterSpiritual minister. Rev Rachel’s life is based on gratitude and authenticity and is the true embodiment of Pilgrimage.

Who you are now does not need to define who you will be in the future. You have no idea where life will take you. Believe it or not, that’s the fun part!

Dr. Leslie S. Kean, Class of 1983, holds the position of Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and is the Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is dedicated to enhancing outcomes for children and adults undergoing bone marrow transplantation for non-malignant and malignant hematologic diseases. Her contributions have resulted in the development of multiple innovative transplantation models, pioneering first-in-disease clinical trials, and the recent FDA approval of the first drug ever approved for preventing graft-versus-host disease, a major complication of transplantation. 

Education in Shaker opened my eyes to the world: through early French classes, opportunities to study Economics, Art History, and advanced science courses, I was poised to take the next important steps in my journey.

Jonathan (Jon) Leiken, Class of 1990, is an experienced general counsel, law professor, civic and charitable leader, and former federal prosecutor in New York City.  Jon currently serves as the General Counsel of Dollar Tree, a public company and national retailer with over 16,000 stores and 200,000 employees. He teaches as an adjunct law professor at the law schools of Case Western Reserve and The Ohio State University. In 2023 Jon served as the elected president of Cleveland’s Legal Aid Society.

Being part of the Shaker Theatre program in high school shaped my life and worldview: as in the theatre, we are our best selves when we reflect and share what makes us human beings. We do this in art, law, teaching, service to others, and giving back to our community. All that I do ties back to things I learned.

David Warren Mason, Class of 1971, is the President, CEO and founder of David Mason + Associates, a firm providing Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying and Underground Utility Investigative services. The firm currently has offices in St. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia and Tampa and is celebrating its 35th  anniversary in 2024. His firm has worked on numerous iconic projects including the Obama Presidential Center, the redesign of The St. Louis Arch Park and numerous projects for the University of Chicago. He serves on multiple boards in St. Louis and Philadelphia. David is also President of Tacer Development, a real estate development company.   

At the time during the late 1960s, it was easy to see our multicultural experience at Shaker as the norm. That could not have been farther from the truth. I now cherish the “Shaker Experience” as it prepared me, and my classmates, for today’s diverse world.

Judy Payne Immerman

Judy Immerman Payne, Class of 1974, launched two nonprofit organizations that have improved the lives of thousands in Northeast Ohio. She co-founded the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank to ensure all children in our community have access to book ownership to foster literacy and a love of reading.  Additionally, she founded the Goods Bank NEO to provide organizations with access to new, nominally-priced resources to support their operations, programs and those they serve, all to stretch their impact.

 

Bishop St. Clair Walker, Class of 2008, is an activist, educator, and theologian, committed to fostering education and empowerment. Bishop teaches World Religion and African American Studies at The Field School in Washington, D.C. He also created a unique travel course, guiding students on an annual civil rights history journey through the Deep South. A proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., he taught world history at Howard University Middle School. He designed one of the city’s first African American studies curricula for middle school students through project-based learning.

My education at Shaker impacted me by knowing that success is not defined by the absence of obstacles but by the determination to overcome them.