XENIA — The Xenia Community Schools Foundation Hall of Honor will grow by five this year.
Bradley T. Montgomery, Phyllis Ann Pennewitt, William Timothy Spradlin, Brian Lawrence Stephan, and Aleksandar Svager will be inducted during the 20th Annual Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony and Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at Tecumseh Elementary School.
Montgomery was born and raised in Xenia. The 1976 graduate played basketball and golf for XHS and was named Western Ohio League honorable mention in basketball his junior and senior year. He ranked academically in the top 15 percent of his class of 550 students. Montgomery graduated from Manchester University in 1980 with a business degree and was a four-year letterman in golf. He has worked in the downtown Xenia family business since 1983 and is now president of Montgomery Insurance and Investments. He motivates and encourages his family, employees and fellow Xenia residents by example. He regularly encourages his staff to volunteer in civic activities. Montgomery is a lifelong member of Faith Community United Methodist Church and has served in many leadership roles there. He has served as treasurer of the Xenia Community Schools levy campaigns for many consecutive years. His company has funded school programs and he has personally coached and volunteered. Montgomery has been recognized multiple times for his support of his community. He has received the Xenia Area Chamber off Commerce S.L. Stephan Award, President’s Award, Kiwanis Guest Conductor winner, and received the 2014 XACC F.M. Torrence Award for lifelong service.
Pennewitt, a lifelong Xenia resident, graduated from Xenia High School in 1953, and attended Wright State University and Antioch University, where she earned a master’s degree in accounting. She retired in 1996 from the McGregor School of Antioch University as an accountant. Pennewitt served her community on Xenia City Council from 2000-2005 and as mayor of Xenia from 2006-2010. She has been described as “a loving, giving, energetic, positive, supporting, unselfish soul” who was an avid volunteer. Her volunteer activities were often in leadership roles, were wide ranging and included: Xenia Area Community Theater, Child Conservation League, Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Board, CASA, Greene County Historical League, City of Xenia Board for Recreation, Arts, and Cultural Activities, Board of Zoning Appeals, Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce, Golden Age Senior Citizens Board and the Mayor’s Association of Ohio. She was a member of the Faith Community United Methodist Church and served her church in many roles. Pennewitt was inducted into the Greene County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015. She died Jan. 12, 2018 and will be remembered as a role model for current and future generations of Xenia students and the Xenia community.
Spradlin was a National Honor Society graduate of Xenia High School in 1978 who later earned associate degrees in fire science technology and human resource management. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management at Wilberforce University and attended the master’s degree program in pastoral counseling at Ohio Christian University. He has more than 35 year’s experience and numerous certifications related to firefighting, rescue, law enforcement and arson investigation. He was described as “one of those guys every firefighter wants to be.” He has served with Xenia city and township fire departments, including as chief, plus the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and State Fire Marshal. He was instrumental in the response and recovery during the September 2000 F4 tornado that struck the Xenia area. Spradlin served with the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve for 30 years. He served on active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007. Spradlin was awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the Army for combat meritorious service in Iraq. He has received numerous other military medals, awards and commendations. Since 2010, Spradlin has worked at Greene County Veteran Services and with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2402 in Xenia. He operates a non-profit charity using his horses to provide equine therapy for veterans with PTSD.
Stephan excelled at Xenia High School where he earned nine varsity letters in football, tennis, and swimming. He was vice-president of student council and a National Honor Society member, graduating in 1996. Stephan received a scholarship to play football at Michigan State University, from where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in business administration and pre-law. He moved back to Xenia after graduation and started his financial planning career. He is managing partner of Stephan and Associates Wealth Management and a certified financial planner. Stephan is the past president of the Xenia Rotary Club and Xenia Rotary Foundation, past chairman of the board of the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the past vice-president of the Greene County Council on Aging. He has been recognized with a number of community awards including 2013 runner up for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society Man of the Year Award, the 2014 Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce Russ Remick Award and the 2015 Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce S.L. Stephan Award. He is active with the Adams Trust, the Xenia WEE Bucs Organization, Xenia Elite Basketball, Xenia YMCA and Xenia Community Schools Foundation.
Svager is a dedicated community volunteer. He is also a mentor, teacher and philanthropist. He has made the Wilberforce/Xenia community his home for more than 40 years and has volunteered in the Xenia Community Schools for six years. As a Holocaust survivor, he regularly shares his experiences with students in the hope that learning from history will lead to an appreciation of all individuals. He also demonstrates service to the Xenia Community School District through his leadership in the Optimist Club Oratorical and Essay Contest at Warner Middle School. Many of his students have found their participation in the essay contest to be a life-changing experience. It gave them confidence to express their opinions and to engage in public speaking. Svager was a faculty member and department of physics chair at Central State University and continuously encouraged students to set high standards. He is proud of his work in developing African-American physicists, many to the doctorate degree level. He has established a scholarship for female students in mathematics through the Dayton Foundation. His volunteer service to the Xenia Community Schools is truly valued and appreciated.
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 classroom enrichment programs and scholarships from donations and investment income of the foundation for more than 30 years.
The dinner will be preceded by the Fourth Annual Silent Auction for Grants beginning 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 each and are available at the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce, 334 W. Market Street. For more information, call 937-372-3591.