Pictured from left to right are the Barberton Academic Hall of Fame inductees for 2015: Ms. Elissa Young, Mr. Curtis Sims, Representing Mr. David Ricks are his father, Leon and sister Kimberly, Mrs. Michele Cerne, Dr. Scott Gallagher, Dr. Ann Morvai, Mr. Lawrence Sutter III.
David Leon Ricks., Class of 1977
Ricks graduated with honors from Barberton High School in 1977. After graduating he attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD where he graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. After graduating he married his wife Julia and four years later they were blessed with a son, Justin. In 1987 Ricks attended the Naval Post-graduate School in Monterey, CA, and in 1988 he was awarded a Masters of Science degree in Financial Management. After serving 22 years of active duty, Ricks retired from the Navy Yard, Washington, DC with the rank of Navy Commander in 2003. Accomplishments include tours in the United States, Hawaii and Japan. Ricks has over 30 years of major facility program management, infrastructure regional planning, construction contract management and financial administration experience.
Ricks also began his powerlifting career while attending the Naval Academy. He has been awarded numerous awards including Naval Officer Athlete of the year in 1993. He is a seven time “World Powerlifting Champion”, listed as a Top 10 African-American Male for 2008 in Dayton, OH and inducted to the International Powerlifting Federation Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Barberton Sports Hall of Fame and the Summit County Hall of Fame.
Ricks currently is the Public Works Director for the City of Norfolk, VA. He and his wife, Julia, of 34 years, reside in Norfolk and have one son, Justin who lives in Plano, TX with his wife Kishna and daughter Justine. Ricks is the son of Leon and Thelma Ricks.Curtis Sims, CA, Class of 1972
Sims received an undergraduate degree from the University of Akron in 1976. He was selected to be a trainee in an apprentice program offered by Goodyear. After completing his education and while still employed with Goodyear, Sims obtained training and education in the aviation field. He received his Commercial Pilot’s license in 1978, working at Goodyear during the day and flying freight at night. In 1986 he was hired as a Flight Engineer at Eastern Airlines and was employed as First Officer on Boeing 757. In 1997 after entering the teaching profession, he was offered employment with Continental Airlines as a First Officer. After eight years flying MD80 and Boeing 737 aircrafts, Sims was promoted to a Captain on Boeing 737 aircrafts.
Sims has served as Lead Instructor for the National Center for Tooling and Precision Machining and currently works as a Captain on Boeing 757 and Boeing B767 aircraft for United Airlines.
Sims has two sons, Curtis Andrew and Spencer Aaron Sims and resides in Medina, OH.
Lawrence A. Sutter, III, Class of 1982
Sutter earned his Bachelor degree in History and Political Science at Glenville State College, Glenville, W.VA. in 1986 and a Juris Doctorate with Certificate in Litigation at the University of Akron, School of Law in 1989.
In 1989 Sutter began his career as associate with Reminger & Reminger Co.L.P.A. in Cleveland, OH becoming a partner after four years. He has received many awards and honors, including being named as one of the “Top Ten Trial Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal, named “Super Lawyer” 14 times in Ohio and Tennessee, named “Outstanding Alumni” at the University of Akron, School of Law and appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline and the Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Professional Conduct.
Sutter is committed to the teaching and training of young trial lawyers and serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Akron, School of Law where he directs the trial advocacy competition program. His mock trial team won 4 national championships and 18 regional championships. Along these same lines, he has served as an instructor for the critically acclaimed IADC Trial Advocacy College, as well as a speaker on multiple NITA, DRI and AAJ advocacy programs.
Sutter has been a Managing Partner of a nationally recognized Civil Defense Firm, Sutter O’Connell in Cleveland, OH since May 2002. Sutter and his wife, the Honorable Paula C. Giulitto, Judge for Portage County Common Pleas Court, live in Streetsboro, OH. In his spare time, Sutter is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson and working his championship bird dogs in the field.
Ann M. Morvai, M.D., Class of 1980
Morvai earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from The Ohio State University in 1984 and graduated from The Ohio State University Medical School in 1988. She completed her residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and became Board Certified in Family Medicine in 1991.
Morvai’s professional accomplishments and achievements include: Associate clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, Tufts University Medical School and Boston University Medical School, part of the Family Medicine Clinical Mentorship Program; Landacre Research Society; Phi Eta Sigma & Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Societies; Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and The Ohio State University Arts and Science Scholarship Recognition Award in 1984. She has memberships with the American Medical Association; the Massachusetts Medical Society and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Morvai is currently the owner and Medical Director of Arlington Family Practice. She is married with 3 children and lives in Winchester, MA.
Scott Gallagher, MD, FACS, Class of 1989
After graduating from Barberton High School, Gallagher matriculated Ohio Wesleyan University graduating in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude with a double major in Chemistry and Pre-Medicine. He earned his Doctor of Medicine from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health in 1997. He completed his General Surgery Internship and Residency in the Department of Surgery at the University of South Florida in Tampa from 1997-2002, where he served as Administrative Chief Resident in his last two years. He continued his Postdoctoral Training at the University of South Florida (USF Health) with the Advanced GI & Bariatric Surgery Research Fellowship followed by a Junior Faculty Surgical Endocrinology Fellowship to become the only Endocrine Surgeon at USF Health as Assistant Professor. Dr. Gallagher was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of General Surgery at the University of South Florida; he served as Vice Chief of the Department of Surgery at Tampa General Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for USF Health. Nationally, he has served on the Board of Directors (Grand Council) for Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity; and is currently the American College of Surgeons Nominee Commissioner to the Accreditation Review Commission on education for the Physician Assistant.
He was recruited as the Founding Medical Director to establish the Novant Acute Care Surgery Program, where he also works as an emergency general surgeon at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, a 900-bed, tertiary care hospital in Winston-Salem, NC--the flagship hospital of Novant Health, comprised of 15 hospitals across the southeast.
Dr. Gallagher resides in Bermuda Run, North Carolina with his wife Linda (Boyer) Gallagher and their 14 year old son, Mitchell Scott.
Elissa A. Young, Class of 1971
Young earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Akron in 1982 and Masters in Education from the University of Akron in 1987. She continued her Post Graduate education at Ashland University earning an Administrative Certification in 2001. Young has worn many hats while working at the Barberton City School District; Teacher; Principal of Barberton’s Memorial and Oakdale Elementary Schools; Curriculum Specialist; and Director of Curriculum. She also has served as an Ashland University Adjunct Professor, as a University of Akron “Best Practice” Clinical Instructor, and Presenter of Science Workshops at local, state and national levels.
Over Young’s career, she has amassed a great number of educational awards and accolades, naming just a few: National Board Certified Teacher – Middle Childhood Generalist; Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher to study educational practices in Japan; runner-up in the 1999 Ohio Teacher of the Year competition; and named University of Akron’s chapter of Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year award for 1998.
Young has been active in many professional associations and community organizations working for their betterment; such as Magic City Kiwanis, Lake Anna YMCA Advisory Board, Phi Delta Kappa, and Delta Kappa Gamma, Beta Xi, Fellowship.
Young is currently working with the Barberton City Schools as a School Improvement Coach through the Summit County ESC. Young resides in Doylestown, OH; has two sons, Chris and Brian Young, and five grandchildren. She is the daughter of Ann and George Harris.
Michele Oberlin Cerne, Class of 1979
Cerne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Akron in 1989. She continued her education at Marygrove College and earned a Masters in the Art of Teaching in 2000. Cerne started her years of employment at Barberton City Schools in 1990 as a Title One tutor for Kindergarten and first grade at Johnson Elementary School. She became a full-time Kindergarten teacher in 1998; and has remained in Kindergarten throughout her career, currently teaching at Barberton Elementary School West. Cerne was a member of the Title One Team that received the “Ohio’s Best in Reading State Award” in 1992. She was chosen as the “Barberton PTA Council Teacher of Year” during the 2006-2007 school year.
Cerne has been actively involved in all aspects of the school and community, engaging in and coordinating events between the two.
Cerne resides in Norton, Ohio with her husband, John. They have a son, John, who has completed firefighter training and a daughter, Megan who is a college graduate and currently furthering her education.