By Scott Halasz
April 11, 2014
XENIA — The Xenia Community Schools Foundation will induct four individuals and one couple into hits Hall of Honor on Saturday. Melvin (Mack) Bottorff, John A. Finlay, Luann and Jim McHarg, James W. Percival and William D. Spahr will be honored at the 6:30 pm. ceremony at Tecumseh Elementary School.
Approximately 15 were nominated for induction this year, according to Barbara Stafford, executive director for the Foundation. Nominees are evaluated in several areas including career success and service to the local community. This year’s induction class stood out among the rest of the nominees.
“They’ve all done volunteer work in the local area,” Stafford said. “They’re all still local people and they all contributed back to the local community.
Bottorff (Class of 1961) identifies himself as a person “dedicated to serving young people, particularly the youth of Xenia Community Schools.” Bottorff served his country as a Marine during the Vietnam War. During the past 45 years he has been an educator, coach and volunteer. He is also an ordained minister and has served Xenia youth within the spiritual community. He is retired, yet he continues to serve at Mound Street Academies assisting promising former drop-out youths to find paid co-op employment in the local community.
Finlay (Class of 1959), an attorney, was a captain in the United States Air Force and continued to serve the community after his service time by often providing pro bono legal service to non-profit organizations. He has served on numerous committees and in many organizations including the Xenia Community Schools Board of Education and the Xenia Community Schools Foundation. He is a former member and chairman of the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce, and he has received many awards for his service to the community and Greene County.
Luann (Class of 1966) and Jim (Class of 1960) McHarg distinguished themselves as graduates of Xenia schools who worked as district teachers. Jim McHarg, who is being inducted posthumously, was also an administrator. Luann McHarg served two generations of students who attended Tecumseh Elementary, while Jim McHarg distinguished himself as an elementary and middle school math teacher, a district math consultant, and a secondary supervisor. They were role models to the community in terms of their commitment, dedication and caring, according to a release from the Foundation.
Percival recently retired as Xenia city manager after 23 years of service to the citizens of Xenia. The Xenia Community Schools Board of Education voted unanimously, by a resolution on February 10, 2014, to nominate him as a candidate for induction into the Xenia Community Schools Hall of Honor. His central thesis during his career was that children are our future and will become the foundation of a thriving community.
Percival actively participated in the coordination of many school and city endeavors including providing support and assistance through his role as a city leader during the recent construction of five elementary buildings and with levies. He helped to re-purpose older school buildings and shared the use of city facilities with the school district. The safety of our children was one of his primary concerns.
Spahr (Class of 1966) is from a multi-generational Xenia family. In high school, he was active in in music, theater, 4-H and student council. He attended Central State University and the University of Dayton and has made significant contributions to education in Xenia through his service as a member of both the Xenia Community Schools Board of Education and the Greene County Career Center Board of Education.
His has also been an avid volunteer in a significant number of community activities. Spahr had a very successful 43-year teaching career in Fairborn. Over the years, he provided professional volunteer service to the Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio Department of Education and the Governor’s Office. He has been awarded numerous honors and awards for his service.
The Xenia Community Schools Foundation is dedicated to enriching the academic pursuits of all students, faculty and staff within the Xenia Community Schools. The Foundation has provided grants for teacher and classroom enrichment programs and scholarships from the investment income of the Foundation for the past 29 years.
Stafford said more than 200 are expected to attend the event, which is the largest group since it’s inception in 1999.
Tickets for the Hall of Honor event are $25 each and are available at the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce 334 W. Market Street. For more information call 937-372-3591.