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Success Stories
Brad Lenhart shares his story
 Name:Brad Lenhart
Year of Graduation:1981
Field of Study or Major:Education
Degree or Specialized Training acquired after high school graduation:Bachelors Degree
How did Western School District make a difference in your life or career?:Western made a difference to me because of the great staff and family like atmosphere that the school district provides.  I moved to the district in the 7th grade from Ohio soon after my father passed away.  The teachers and administrators were always very helpful, well prepared, and provided a good educational background for when I went to college.  Because of this exemplary atmosphere and constant striving for educational excellence I knew that I wanted to work in the district upon graduation.
Jessica McGrady shares her story
 Name:Jessica McGrady
Year of Graduation:2005
Field of Study or Major:Public Relations
Degree or Specialized Training acquired after high school graduation:Bachelors Degree
How did Western School District make a difference in your life or career?:I here so many stories from colleagues and peers who dreaded their high-school experience. I however have nothing but fond memories from high-school. Western gave me so many opportunities that only added to my collegiate experience and still follow me into my career today. I work in Marketing for a branch of a  global staffing agency. Our office is a franchise and I am the first in the company to ever hold my position. As a trailblazer I have been recognized on the corporate level and sought after by other franchise owners across the united states about my position and what I do for the company. I excelled in the fine arts at Western, participating in National Art Honor Society, Drama, and Semi State finalist in Forensics. I also gained leadership and confidence through my role in Student council and holding co-presidency my senior year. Today in my current position  I can wear a number of hats. A typical day c
 an involve speaking to a group of high school seniors about the workforce and how the choices they make today WILL make an impact on their future job, designing a billboard, recording a radio ad, or delegating and making tough management decisions. Without doubt these abilities and characteristics I carry today began forming and were molded by the wonderful staff and opportunities Western High School gave me. Thank you Western! Once a Panther, always a Panther!
Paul Bickel shares his story
 Name:Paul Bickel
Year of Graduation:1988
Field of Study or Major:English, Music, and History
Degree or Specialized Training acquired after high school graduation:Masters Degree
How did Western School District make a difference in your life or career?:Western Schools provided me with an education from grades K-12.  I had great teachers along the way, including Craig Raehtz (my 5th grade teacher) and Kathy Larson (10th Grade Biology).  The Hamptons and Mr. Rudland were also teachers who inspired me to enter the field of education as well.  I graduated from the University of Michigan, and later earned my Masters'' degree at SAU.  I have been one of the band directors at Western since 2002, hired after teaching for a decade at Vandercook Lake Schools. I am grateful to Western for both educating me and allowing me to continue to educate the next generations.  Go, Panthers!
Jan (Snyder) Bradford shares a Success Story
Year of Graduation:1982
Field of Study or Major:Biology
Degree or Specialized Training acquired after high school graduation:Masters Degree
How did Western School District make a difference in your life or career?:As I write this, it troubles me to leave any particular teacher out as I feel I received training from so many that loved their craft, and truly cared.  For my particular career path, however, I have to say that my high school biology and composition teachers had the most influence.  Not only did they teach the content well, but they taught skills that would help us succeed in college.  Now, as I teach biology courses, I often think of them and am reminded how important it is to model excellent learning/life skills, such as organization, prioritization, outlining, being detail-oriented, and working hard.  I’m sure I didn’t appreciate the hard work at the time…but I don’t know that I would have met the same level of success without the refinement, resultant from their instruction.
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Craig Raehtz shares a Success Story
Year of Graduation:1973
Field of Study or Major:Education
Degree or Specialized Training acquired after high school graduation:Masters Degree
How did Western School District make a difference in your life or career?:When I transferred to Western High School as a junior, I was introduced to all the district and community had to offer.  I was accepted and welcomed by students and staff alike. Western truly became my home.  As a result, my wife Vickie (Boadway, class of 1973) and I chose to live and raise our family in this community.  All four of our children graduated from Western and my oldest grandson now attends Parma Elementary.  I was fortunate enough to be hired as a teacher in the district which led to eleven years as a building principal. I am now in my sixth year as Director of Curriculum and Operations.  I am proud to be a Western Panther!

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