The 2021 Paulding Exempted Village Schools Academic Hall of Fame induction will take place at the PHS Graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 23, beginning at 2:30 p.m. in the High School Gym. The following former students will be inducted:

Dr. Patricia Essex – Class of 1966

In 1966, Dr. Essex graduated from Auglaize-Brown Local High School, now a part of the Paulding Exempted Village Schools. Her education from grades 1 to 12 took place in one building in the village of Oakwood. She believes that such a small school provided her with numerous advantages.

Dr. Essex’s later education could provide some lessons pertinent to others - it took her nine years to complete her undergraduate degree, proof that temporarily dropping out of school might not spell disaster. After teaching high school for a few years, she returned to student life at 32 years old to earn a Master of Accountancy degree. Then, Dr. Essex taught as a non-tenured college instructor before embarking on full-time study again (at the age of 40) to earn a Ph.D. in Business from Michigan State. She says that a person is never too old to learn new things. While at MSU, she was fortunate enough to win grants for underrepresented people (women) in that field.

Dr. Essex’s career began as a vocational high school teacher in Fremont. It was perhaps her most fulfilling position because she could contribute directly to the success of at-risk students.

Dr. Essex was a college educator in accounting and information systems management for most of her professional life. Relatedly, she was both a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor. She taught undergraduate and graduate classes for about 25 years, primarily at Bowling Green State University. Much of that time, Dr. Essex was the only tenured woman in her department. In 2007, she retired from the tenured faculty of BGSU, where she was named the Ernst and Young Endowed Professor in 2004. A favorite memory from those years is carrying the BGSU Mace as the Grand Marshall for the 2007 graduation processional.

Since then, Dr. Essex has changed focus to a field of study that was lacking in her education: women’s history. This interest arose from artifacts that were discovered at the Oakwood home of her grandmother, Doris Maddock: quilts, aprons, and cotton bags - some from the 1800s - and even a suffrage banner. She researches and occasionally lectures on related historical topics. Dr. Essex asserts that her retirement continues her earlier life because good tools are useful in many environments. Her current interests are supported by active participation in the American Quilt Study Group, where she is on the Finance Committee, the Midwest Fabric Study Group, and the Carolina Textile Study Group, which she initiated in 2018.

After 50 years in Bowling Green, Dr. Essex and husband, Dr. Mark Asman, moved to Pittsboro, N.C. She has two “amazing” daughters nearby and two grandchildren, who she believes “hold much promise.”

Lori (Webb) McKitrick – Class of 1991

Lori (Webb) McKitrick is a 1991 graduate of Paulding High School. Lori was involved in many sports including: basketball (Coaches Award junior and senior year), track (Coaches Award sophomore and junior year), volleyball and cross county. Additional activities and honors included: band, class president (freshman year), Student Council Officer (sophomore year), Class Secretary (senior year), Science Olympiad team, Yearbook staff, and Senior Personality “Most Athletic.”

Lori earned a B.S. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Ohio University in 1995 and a M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from Ohio University in 1997. Upon graduation she completed a fellowship in Lumberton, N.C. getting experience with pediatrics - geriatrics in all healthcare settings in Speech-Language Pathology.

Following her fellowship, Lori accepted a position at St. Francis hospital in Greenville, S.C. She spent 16 years at Bon Secours St. Francis, starting out as a staff Speech-Language Pathologist and was quickly promoted to the Director of Rehab Services. She oversaw several outpatient clinics, acute rehab services, and several orthopedic service lines.

Lori, in collaboration with many staff and departments, developed a continuum of care that took each cancer survivor through each distinct phase of cancer care: from diagnosis through long term survivorship. Her focus was to incorporate patient-centered care and shared decision making into the integration of evidence-based cancer rehabilitation. Lori’s commitment to improving the outcomes of patients and their satisfaction with care while being mindful of reducing per capital healthcare costs has made her a leader in value based cancer rehabilitation care. As a result of her work in Cancer rehab she received the YWCA Dream Achiever – Women of Achievement Award 2012. In January of 2013, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the work she and others were doing in community healthcare systems for cancer survivors.

While working at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System Lori earned an MBA with an emphasis in healthcare from Clemson University in August 2012. In 2014, Lori began working with Oncology Rehab Partners (STAR Program) as the Senior Director of Client Engagement. She worked with over 200 health systems throughout the United States helping them establish and deliver value-based cancer rehabilitation care.

Lori published two research abstracts that were presented at the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators annual conference. The first abstract was titled “Cancer Rehabilitation Service Line Directors Perceive Navigators as Having High Value on Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Teams and Identify 3 Key Barriers to Improving Their Value.” The second abstract was titled “Can Nurses Provide Assessments and Interventions for Prehabilitation? A Survey Study of Cancer Rehabilitation Service Line Coordinators.” She also published a White Paper – “A Case for Dedicated Rehabilitation Space in Cancer Centers and Community Oncology Practices” Silver, Julie; Mckitrick, Lori.

On June 26, 2015 the show Innovations, with Ed Begley on the Discovery Channel, featured Oncology Rehab Partners and their mission to advance survivorship care by making evidence-based cancer rehabilitation the standard of care for survivors.

In 2017 Lori joined SignalPath a healthcare technology start-up based in Raleigh, N.C. as the Vice President of Client Engagement. She was charged with changing the way that research is conducted by improving the ease, efficiency, and profitability of trial execution. SignalPath brought together experienced researchers, master clinicians, technology experts, and designers to develop critically needed solutions to many of the challenges facing modern clinical trial management. Lori was responsible for developing the training and implementation to the hundreds of research clients nationally.

When Lori is not working, she can be found in a gym or on a field supporting her husband and sons in their athletic endeavors. She also has been involved in the School Improvement Council for Northwest Middle School and held the Chairperson position during the 2017-2018 school year.

Lori currently lives in Travelers Rest, S.C. with her husband of 21 years, Brian and their three sons Isaac (17), Caleb (16), Luke (13).

Lori credits many of her teachers, coaches, and administrators along the way for giving her the foundational education and leadership opportunities.

Martin Miller – Class of 1982

Dr. Martin Miller has completed 33 years in public school education and has served for the past five years as the Superintendent of Antwerp Local Schools in Antwerp, Ohio. During his career in education, Dr. Miller spent 12 years as an elementary principal including his service as Paulding Elementary Principal from 2004 – 2009. While serving the PEVS district, Dr. Miller was a candidate for the 2009 Ohio Association of Elementary Administrators Distinguished Principal Award. Dr. Miller also earned his doctorate degree in Leadership Studies from Bowling Green State University in 2008 with a 4.0 GPA. Prior to his service as an elementary principal, Dr. Miller served for sixteen years as a high school social studies teacher and coach of several varsity level sports. His most notable coaching experience took place during the 2000 Track and Field season, as his Continental Local Schools boys track team garnered a 3rd place finish at state along with two individual state champions.

Dr. Miller has on three occasions (2008, 2017, & 2019) visited China as part of the China Bridge Delegation for the purpose of studying the Chinese educational system. In 2016, Dr. Miller was the recipient of the BASA Global Leaders’ Summit scholarship that afforded him the opportunity to visit Finland and study their educational system and attend the World Leadership Forum at The Hague, Netherlands. In 2008, Dr. Miller was the recipient of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund scholarship allotting him the opportunity to visit Japan and study the Japanese educational system. In 2004, Dr. Miller participated in the Oxford University Roundtable discussion on at Risk Students in the UK and US at Oxford, England. Through his travels, Dr. Miller has sat in classrooms in nine countries, on four continents including a Maasai village school in the Serengeti of Tanzania, Africa. Dr. Miller has also served as a presenter in January 2019 at the national Future of Educational Technology Conference on the topic of Generation Z learners.

On a personal note, Dr. Miller is the founder and president of GENZED, LLC., a company in partnership with RISE English Training Center; Beijing, China; providing online education for Chinese students. Dr. Miller has completed five marathons and for the past four years, qualified and participated in the PowerX weightlifting national championships.

Dr. Miller and wife Nancy (public school teacher), have resided in rural Defiance county for the past 30 years and have four adult children and two grandchildren. Dr. Miller and his wife are also proud owners of a 111-acre farm in the Paulding Exempted Village School District near the village of Charloe. Dr. Miller is the son of Gene and Ann Miller of rural Oakwood.

Patricia Clark Roper – Class of 1973

Integrating the words and music of living, the need to question and connect with others through visual arts forms the core of Patricia Clark Roper, who does not remember a time when she did not draw and who always has a painting percolating in her mind. Art belies rigid mindsets and facile solutions, instead prompting appreciation for diverse approaches to situations and empathy for unconventional thinkers – helpful traits for the person, serious student, and sensitive teacher Patty has aspired to be throughout the years. From making bulletin boards for her mom to painting flats for PHS musicals and posters for her science project for two International Science and Engineering Fairs (Kansas City 1971; San Diego 1973) to creating murals for and with children, memorial portraits, logos, illustrated instructional materials, cards, and social statements, art has always been a vital thread throughout Patty’s personal and professional life. She has donated many works to numerous philanthropic causes and looks to expand the scope of her outreach and service.

After graduating from Paulding High School in 1973, Patty attended Bowling Green State University, student teaching at Colegio Nueva Granada in Bogotá, Colombia, and earning a B.S. in Education in 1977. In 1978, she earned a B.A. in Spanish through the BGSU Academic Year Abroad Program in Spain. She then lived and worked in Madrid and Barcelona, teaching English as a second language through the Berlitz School of Languages de España and studying, drawing, painting, and traveling for two more years before returning to the U.S., where she taught in Paulding Exempted Village Schools for a year. She was then awarded a graduate teaching assistantship and scholarship at the University of Cincinnati, where she earned an M.A. in Spanish Literature in 1983, followed by further graduate work.

Patty´s career on three continents includes teaching elementary, high school, university, and adult students in English and Spanish. In addition to the already mentioned institutions, she also taught at Centerville High School, was a founding teacher at Gladstone Spanish Immersion School in Columbus, taught and volunteered in Princeton City Schools, and spent eighteen years as an instructor in the Department of Romance and Arabic Languages and Literatures at the University of Cincinnati, where she was recognized twice for outstanding teaching by the Darwin T. Turner Scholars Program and was also nominated for the Dr. Simon Anderson Faculty Recognition Award. In addition, she received the RALL Susan R. Cogan Exceptional Service Award in 2016 and 2017.

Patty is forever grateful to her parents, Patrick and Coletta Clark, her family, her teachers – and her husband, Emmett ‘Chip’ Roper, and children, David, Daniel, and Emily, who continue to inspire her to believe in all that is good.