October 2019

Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame

Congratulations to the 2019 Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees:

NFL cornerback Nathan Clements, 1998; pioneering radiologist Kristen VanValkenburg DeStigter, M.D., 1980; Entertainment executive Barbara Fisher, 1972; world-renowned violist Lorna Hartling, 1983; pediatric cancer specialist Eugenie S. Kleinerman, M.D., 1967; attorney, activist and artist James Levin, 1971; attorney Joshua A. Levy, 1990, who specializes in congressional investigations; and The Honorable Thomas B. Modly, 1979, Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy. Read their full bios.

The inductees spoke to our 800 juniors and seniors at a special assembly on October 11th and were inducted into the Shaker Schools Alumni Hall of Fame at a celebratory dinner on the 12th at the Shaker Country Club.

Please consider nominating one of your Shaker Schools alumni friends or classmates to the 2020 class. Check back here in January 2020 for the guidelines and to make your nomination.


We are incredibly fortunate that so many Shaker graduates return to share their talents as professionals in the Shaker Schools. As you can see, nearly 100 Shaker alumni proudly serve throughout our school district as teachers, administrators, coaches, counselors, and staff. Are you interested in returning to Shaker in a professional capacity? Check out employment opportunities in the District.

Upcoming Events

Shaker’s Big Night Out: A Night for the Red & White

Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 7 pm, Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Enjoy dinner, dancing, silent auction, student art show and music. This year we welcome Michael Tate, Class of 1985, as emcee and auctioneer for the event.

Each year, this community-wide gathering draws more than 600 attendees in support of the Shaker Schools, students and teachers. It’s a great party for a great cause! Mark your calendars now. Tickets to go on sale at the end of October. More information can be found here.

Hear Author Susan Orlean, Class of 1973, Shaker Middle School, October 15, 2019

The Shaker Heights Public Library and the Shaker Schools Foundation are pleased to present Susan Orlean, Class of 1973, author of The Library Book and The Orchid Thief. The program will be held at Shaker Middle School tomorrow, Tuesday, October 15, from 7-9 pm. Make your free reservation. Enjoy this article in Shaker Life featuring Susan Orlean!

MAC Scholars 30th Anniversary Alumni Celebration: June 20, 2020

Calling all MAC Scholars alumni! Join us for the 30th Anniversary Celebration of our outstanding MAC Scholars program on Saturday, June 20, 2020, from 6-9 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Beachwood. Please make sure we have your updated contact information so you do not miss out on this special gathering. More information will follow. Please share with other MAC Scholars who may not be on our list. Also, enjoy this article in Shaker Life featuring our MAC Scholars! (Please note the date for the event is on June 20 and not June 13 as stated in the article.)

Alumni News

Anita Hollander, Class of 1974, shared her personal story with two of our High School theater classes. She spoke with them about her 50-year performance career and her experience as a performer with one leg. She has used her disability not only to enhance her roles but to promote greater visibility and employment for performers with disabilities. The students were inspired, got some great acting tips, and had the opportunity to ask her questions. You are invited to see Anita perform in her one-woman show, “Spectacular Falls,” at 7 p.m. November 2 at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple, 23737 Fairmount Boulevard in Beachwood.

On September 11, Shaker Heights High School students, local dignitaries and representatives from the City of Shaker Heights Police and Fire Departments attended a special assembly coordinated by senior, Caleigh Leiken. The assembly included a video of first-person stories, a Q&A with Megan Jones, Class of 1997, Senior Director of Education at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and a performance by members of The Cleveland Orchestra. We invite you to watch the video of this moving assembly. Megan’s remarks begin at 37:57.

Raider Hall Celebrates Athletic Excellence at Shaker

On Homecoming Weekend, current and former Shaker athletes and fans attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate Raider Hall, located in the North Gym lobby at Shaker Heights High School. The space features new photo murals depicting Shaker athletes from several decades, displays for team championships, and the retired jersey for former NFL cornerback Nate ClementsClass of 1998. Raider Hall will be a highlight on the tour for reunion groups; come check it out when you’re in town and see which faces you recognize!

Shaker Legacy Writing Center Fund Established In Memory of Peter Routman Benmar, Class of 1987

A group of donors led by Amy Rosewater Halushka, Class of 1989, has established the Shaker Legacy Writing Center Fund in memory of Peter Routman Benmar, Class of 1987. The Writing Center at Shaker Heights High School provides a motivating place for peer-to-peer mentoring with writing, including assistance for classroom assignments, college essays, and other writing projects. The fund will also be used to help students attend writing workshops, bring in visiting authors, and support infrastructure needs.

Says Amy, “Peter and I became friends while working together at The Shakerite. Both of us were so fortunate to have a wonderful experience with the school newspaper as we both pursued journalism careers. Although Peter spent much of his later years in the Pacific Northwest, he was very proud of his Shaker connections and often spoke of his experience at Shaker Heights High School with fond memories.”

Peter wrote for The Cornell Daily Sun in college and later at The Times of Northwest Indiana and The Seattle Times. He also worked at Microsoft before becoming a senior content strategist for University of Washington Continuum College. He passed away on January 7, 2019 after a battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Claudine and two daughters, as well as his parents Regie and Frank Routman.

Shaker Speaks Series

The Shaker Speaks Series events are held in private Shaker homes with proceeds benefiting the Shaker Schools Foundation. Thank you to our speakers, hosts and attendees for supporting our mission!

Aaron David Miller, Class of 1967, on September 13, led a rousing discussion on global policy and the current political landscape, based on his many decades of experience as a foreign policy analyst and as an analyst, negotiator and adviser on Middle Eastern issues.

Jamie Babbit, Class of 1989, on September 29, regaled us with tales of her time in the director’s chair on the Emmy-winning “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, as well as the HBO series “GIRLS”, “Silicon Valley”, and more.

Stay Connected

Reunion Time!

Whether you are celebrating your 10th or 50th reunion, there is something special about returning to Shaker to reminisce about school days and catch up with your Shaker classmates. Check out upcoming reunion information and come home to Shaker! More reunion class information will be shared in the coming months so keep checking back.

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Send your news so we can share it with others. Want to know what’s going on with your fellow classmates and Shaker grads around the world? Follow us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!