Scott Lukens, Jim Stonkus, Donald Wood Ph.D., Neil F. Irish and Dr. Milan Pavkov.
Photo courtesy of Carl Boon, The Barberton Herald
Neil F. Irish, Class of 1978
Irish received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Geology from Miami University in 1983 and earned his Master of Science degree in Geology from Purdue University in 1987. At Purdue he was awarded a fellowship to fund his research in low-temperature geochemistry of silver and copper mineral deposits. Irish also performed geochemistry research of Antarctic coals and worked to develop the use of fluid inclusion microscopy as a precious metal prospecting tool. After graduation he moved to Southern California and applied his technical skills in the then-newly emerging fields of environmental assessment and remediation of contaminated soil and water. Today Irish is recognized as an established expert in these fields.
Irish has led numerous projects at sites throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. The U.S. Air Force recognized him for the logistically and technically challenging projects he led on the remote Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. He has published and presented papers in professional journals and conferences. Irish is a company principal and Board of Directors member of The Source Group, Inc., a California-based environmental engineering and consulting company. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Terra Solutions and Services, a Native American-owned environmental start-up company based in Northern California.
Irish is married to Joanne, his wife of 21 years, who hails from Santa Monica, California. The couple resides in Southern California and has two teenaged children, Zoe and Glenn. Irish is the son of Terry and Alice of Barberton. His sister Erin, class of 1976, was inducted into the Barberton Schools Academic Hall of Fame in 2012.
Scott Lukens, Class of 1975
Lukens attended Kent State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1979, a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1980 and a Master of Architecture degree in 1993. He began his career working on projects for The Bernard Construction Company and worked at S.S.O.E., Inc. in Toledo where he was involved in all phases of architectural construction. He met the requirements for the Architectural Ohio Registration in 1985. In 1986 Lukens was hired at Ellis Myers Architects where he provided a full range of architectural services. While there, he was a Project Architect and designer for many small and large commercial projects. From 1983-1997 he was with TC Architects, Inc. becoming Partner in 1994. He received his
National Council of Architectural Registration Board Certification in 1987.
In 1997 Lukens moved on to work for his current employer, Hasenstab Architects, Inc. He became a Principal at HAI in 2003 and acted as Principal in Charge of the $600 million Akron Public Schools project, being named Director of Design in 2009. Other prominent
projects he has worked on are the Resnik Community Learning Center; the Akron General Health and Wellness Center in Fairlawn; and the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in Akron. Lukens was named Director of Design in 2009. In 2005 he received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditation.
Lukens has instructed Local Trade Union apprentices and students at Stark State College of Technology and Kent State University, where he continues to be a successful role model. He and his wife Diane currently reside in Wadsworth. They have two children, Katie and Daniel.
Dr. Milan Pavkov, Class of 1944
Pavkov earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1950 and a Masters Degree in Educational Administration in 1953 both from Kent State University. In 1968 he earned a Doctorate of Educational Administration from Case Western Reserve. Pavkov taught in Warren, Beachwood and Barberton. He served as principal of Oakdale Elementary School for seven years. Pavkov was the Assistant Superintendent of Barberton Schools for three years;
Superintendent of Poland Local Schools eight years; and Superintendent of Barberton Schools six years.
In 1989 Pavkov led a group known as Citizens for Barberton’s Future. The debate was whether to merge Barberton Citizens’ Hospital with Akron General Medical Center. The city would receive approximately $2.5 million from the transaction. Pavkov and his group opposed the merger for financial reasons and the fear that the hospital would cease to exist as an acute care facility in Barberton. The issue was rejected.
In 1996 a new option was introduced and Pavkov led the effort for approval to sell the hospital to Tennessee Quorum Health for $75 million. This time the proceeds would be going to the city and would be placed safely in a Foundation to benefit Barberton citizens. Voters approved this deal and it was signed December 4, 1996. Pavkov became the first Board Chairman of the Barberton Community Foundation in 1996 and was the only person to serve two separate terms as chairman, as he was elected again in 2000. The first grant ever awarded was for $32 million to build Barberton High School at no cost to the taxpayers. Another grant of $8 million allowed the schools to purchase the land where the middle school sits. The Foundation
has awarded more than $47 million in grants and scholarships for the Barberton Schools.
Pavkov will always be appreciated for his impact on the school District as well as the community. He and his wife of 65 years, Hazel, reside in Barberton.
Jim Stonkus, Class of 1978
In 1985 Stonkus received his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-med from the University of Akron. He received his MBA from Baldwin Wallace University in 1997. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has been a member since 2000, completing their CEO Boot Camp in 2006.
Stonkus served as Director of Business Development, Customer Satisfaction & Market Research at Barberton Citizens Hospital 1997 – 2001. He also held the title Regional Vice President of Business Development for Summa Barberton Hospital and Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital. He is currently working as a Healthcare Consultant.
Stonkus has been very involved in community and professional organizations. He has been active in Leadership Akron XXII, the Forum of Healthcare Executives (past president), South Summit Chamber of Commerce (board member and past president), Barberton Community Health Clinic (past vice-president), Tuscora Park Health & Wellness Foundation (board member) and a member of Magic City Kiwanis. Stonkus has also served on the Health Care Advisory Board as an oncology and cardiovascular roundtable member.
Stonkus is married to Kay and resides in Canal Fulton. They have two sons, Nicholas and Keith and four grandchildren. He is the son of Paul and Linda Stonkus and son-in-law of Edward and Jan Weber.
Donald A. Wood, Ph.D., Class of 1970
Wood did a lot of traveling to further his education after graduating from Barberton High School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies in 1974 from Wittenberg University. In 1977 he earned a Masters’ Degree in the History of Art from The University of Kansas and received his Ph.D. in the History of Art, with honors, in 1985 from The University of Kansas. In addition to these degrees, he has participated in programs at universities located in Germany, Japan, Canada and Vermont.
As the Virginia and William M. Spencer III Curator of Asian Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Wood has established an important collection and comprehensive display of Asian art that is one of the jewels of the field. He has organized several major exhibitions, some of which have traveled to museums in the United States and abroad. Among the more noteworthy – Echizen: Eight Hundred Years of Japanese Stoneware, The First Emperor: Treasures from Ancient China and Kamisaka Sekkar: Rimpa Master-Pioneer of Modern Design. His efforts on Dragons and Lotus Blossoms: Vietnamese Ceramics from the Birmingham Museum of Art received a stellar two-column review in the The Wall Street Journal. Wood has distinguished himself as a leader among his colleagues as they feel the field is richer because of his contributions. He is a model and inspiration to others in the field.
Wood has received the Key to the City in both Maebashi, Japan and Amarillo, Texas. In 2009 he was the Franklin D. Murphy Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at the University of Kansas and was honored by Apollo Magazine in December 2011 as “Acquisition of the Year”. Wood is currently a Senior Curator at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham Alabama and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.