Alumni

Old Trail School will present our annual Alumni Awards at an event on June 2, 2018 at Old Trail School. 

Congratulations to Spencer Case '99, Mike Duff and Melissa Merryweather '79 who all will be honored with our Alumni Awards.

Click here for ticket information for this event.

Spencer Case '99, Peter G. Wilson Rising Star Award

Since graduating from Old Trail in 1999, Spencer has had many adventures from the Arctic to Antarctica. Most recently, he joined the RAND Corporation in 2015, where he is a Policy Analyst specializing in  health and military health policy research. Before arriving at RAND, Spencer was a consultant at the World Bank, and completed his Master of Science in Global Health at Georgetown University. He also served for two-and-a-half years at the American Psychiatric Association, and contributed to the development and 2013 publication of the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Prior to completing his undergraduate degree in psychology at Washington College in 2008, Spencer took a gap year after graduating from Western Reserve Academy and worked/traveled throughout the South Pacific. He is also a three-time alum of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Spencer and his wonderful wife, Rebecca, live in Bethesda, Maryland, where they’re always looking forward to their next adventure!

Mike Duff, Honorary Alumni Award
Mike Duff embodies the spirit of Old Trail School and has since 1978, when he first arrived at our School to teach high school English and encourage students in the love of literature. He became Middle School Director in 1981, a position that enabled him to engage with generations of Old Trail School students, and continued in that capacity until his retirement in 2014. He has been an integral part of the School since the moment he stepped on campus and has had caring, inspirational influence in the support and development of thousands of students in the midst of challenging middle school years, empowering them to become strong, confident, and compassionate young adults ready for the years beyond Old Trail School. His expertise, wisdom, and kindness endears him to all who meet him, including his beloved family – wife, Susan Black, and sons Brian Duff ’96 and Emmet Duff ’01. Mike’s dedication to Old Trail has continued into his retirement, with invaluable assistance and insight given in 2015 during Old Trail’s accreditation process with the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS.) Mike’s infectious spirit, expertise, and unbridled enthusiasm has created an indelible legacy, ensuring that Old Trail School will be an exemplary and innovative institution for  generations to come.

Melissa Merryweather '79, Lincoln Gries Distinguished Alumni Award

Melissa Merryweather is a US and UK-trained architect. After Old Trail School, she attended Firestone High School, Yale, and earned her master’s degree from the Architectural Association in London. She formed her own architectural practice in the UK right after graduation, specializing in children’s playgrounds and renovation of historic properties for the modern context. Projects were regularly featured in architectural and popular media and notably, a project that converted unpromising retail space in a disadvantaged neighborhood into a lively center for teens won an innovation award from the Royal Institute of Architects. She chaired the Women’s Group of the Royal Institute for 3 years, and during that time organized the first British architectural prize to recognize diverse and collaborative practices in architecture. Melissa moved to Vietnam in 1998, designing projects including a golf clubhouse, eco-resorts, office buildings and private homes until 2007. She also worked for development agencies; a key project for Save the Children created playgrounds in ethnic-minority villages in the north of  Vietnam. During that time Vietnam was going through an extraordinary burst of construction activity, making up for years of under-development, but at great environmental cost. The Vietnam Green Building Council had been established in 2007 by a US-based Non-governmental organization. She joined as Southern Regional Coordinator on a volunteer basis, continuing as Chair of the Council for the past four years. During this time she has advocated for green  building, and helped write, edit, and test the LOTUS Green Building Certification system for Vietnam, described by the leading green-building expert in SE Asia as “the best regional certification system in SE Asia”. Melissa established Green Consult-Asia in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009 and continues to provide green building consulting to the construction industry in Vietnam, working on diverse projects including housing, schools and universities, office buildings and manufacturing. She was a founder of “Green Drinks” in Saigon and its organizer for several years, showcasing speakers every month on environmental subjects including solar energy, bio-farming and eco- fashion. She has written for many publications mainly in Asia, including FuturArc, the leading eco-architecture magazine for SE Asia, and speaks frequently on green building certification systems, climate change, urbanization effects, and building industry impacts, in the local context, as well as the business case for green development. Melissa has recently moved back to London, intending to expand her knowledge and practice in the UK, while continuing to work on ongoing projects in Asia.

List of 2 items.

  • Visit Our Campus

    OTS Alumni in College and High School

    Visit Old Trail School when you have a day off from school; walk the hallways, see former teachers, or we can find a way to put you to work in a classroom to earn service hours.

    (Please give us a head’s up when you’re coming!)
  • Alumni Awards - Descriptions & Past Recipients

    The Old Trail School Alumni Award program recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the School, their communities and others.

    Peter G. Wilson Rising Star Award
    The Peter G. Wilson Rising Star Award is presented to an Old Trail alumnus from 1982 and later.  The recipient has shown professional and community leadership and exhibited appreciation for Old Trail School. The Award is named in honor of Peter G. Wilson, former Old Trail Headmaster.

    Award Recipients:
    2005 Elizabeth Sheeler '87
    2006 Tony Troppe '81
    2007 Peter LeVan '84
    2008 Jessica Rohlik '93
    2009 Katie Keith Dettling ‘95
    2011 Major Robert C. Bender ‘90
    2012 Alison Spitzer ‘94
    2013 Andrew Freeman ‘93
    2014 Jackie Rohrer ‘94
    2015 Rachel Rubin ‘95
    2017 Evan C. Delahanty ‘99

    Lincoln Gries Distinguished Alumni Award
    The Lincoln Gries Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an Old Trail alumnus who has made an important contribution or given extraordinary service to others in some field, as a professional or as a volunteer. It is named after Lincoln Gries, a former parent, board member and board chair who provided exemplary service to Old Trail School.

    Award Recipients:
    1980  Betty Looker Jaycox '30
    1981  Dorothy Seiberling Steinberg '39
    1982  Dorothy Hoyt Mollin '32
    1983  Christine Dietrich Freitag '52
    1984  Bonnie Stewart Mikkelsen '50
    1985  Suzanne McCormick Rickards '50 
    1987  Judy Bear Isroff '54
    1988  Betsy Frost '34
    1989  Mary Laub Babcox '45
    1990  Barbara Brooks Smoyer '33
    1991  Peggy Jett Pittenger '40
    1992  Susan Akers George '52
    1993  Sarah Mabry Born '58
    1994  Frances Seiberling Buchholzer '52
    1995  Susan Bruggemeier Kruder '49 & Jeanne Schulman Leventhal '38
    1996  Rachel Ober Burrell '46
    1997  Cheryl Gates McFadden '66
    1999  Mary Catherine "Kitty" Guinther Brown '42 & Rebecca Knight '79
    2000 Virginia Brown Sperry '43 & Anne Alexander Sperry '45
    2001 Lucretia Leonard Romey '51
    2002 Jane Johnston '52
    2003 Karin Lewald Clumpner '53 & James Figetakis '79
    2004 Marilyn Buckey '64 & Marjory Wheeler '39
    2005 Deborah Wince Smith '68 & Sonya Haddad '54 (posthumously)
    2006 Esther Sans Takeuchi ’71
    2007 Suzanne Rogers '49
    2008 Leland P. Smith ‘77
    2009 Kim Paradis Coryat ‘75
    2011 John Frank  ‘54
    2012 Coralie Munroe ‘68
    2013 Katherine Merseth ‘63
    2014 Amy Freitag ‘81
    2015 Elisa Drumm Van Aucken ‘80
    2016 Sandra Korman Auburn, Ph.D. '63
    2017 Lucinda Faxin Weiss ‘67

    Alumni Association Honorary Alumni Award
    The Alumni Association Honorary Alumni award is presented to a person who has made an important contribution or given extraordinary service to Old Trail School.

    Award Recipients:
    1981  J. Penfield Seiberling
    1982  Nora Hamlen Robinson
    1983  Lincoln Hays Gries
    1984  Beatrice York Allen
    1985  Ruth Courtney & Edwin L. Mollin (posthumously)
    1986  Thomas R. Merryweather
    1989  Margaret Cameron & Donna Lord
    1990  Marion Schell Garnish & Alice Mae Pierce
    1991  Gertrude Foutz & Jan B. Parry
    1992  Jeanette Williams Homeier  
    1993  Hope Chandler Gates
    1994  Alice Wilson
    1997  Anne Saalfield Macdonald
    1998  Bernard Tolan
    1999  John F. Seiberling
    2000  Peter G. Wilson
    2001  Kathleen "Boo" Whitmer & Jerry Whitmer
    2002  Ann Hubiak
    2003  Julia Shepard Gregory
    2004  Joe Henninger & Olive "Ollie" Townsend (posthumously)
    2005  George Parry
    2006  Carl Hay
    2007  Karen Patterson
    2008  Sandra Haslinger
    2009  George and Sue Klein
    2011  Ron Allan
    2012  Robert Briggs
    2013  Judy Brookhart
    2014  Sam Yannerilla
    2015  J. Michael Hochschwender
    2016  Terry L. Squire
    2017  Drew and Nancy Forhan
Old Trail School is an independent day school (toddler through grade eight) located in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.