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Hall of Honor

History of The Distinguished Hall of Honor

The Hall of Honor, which began in 2006, recognizes those alumni who have distinguished themselves beyond their high school years through their significant accomplishments or service. The distinguished alumni are feted on both Friday and Saturday of the Hall of Honor weekend. Friday, the honorees meet with students at the high school, tour the building, speak to a number of classes, are served lunch by the Culinary Academy in the Blackhawk Cafe, and are presented with their plaques which are prominently displayed in the high school auditorium foyer. Saturday, the honorees are feted at a banquet in their honor at the Aurora Country Club and are presented with replicas of their Hall of Honor plaques.

The Hall of Honor program’s goals are to honor distinguished alumni for their achievements and national / international impact and to raise the self-expectations of West Aurora students with the realization that the distinguished alumni grew up in their neighborhoods and attended their schools.

The A+ Foundation continues to seek distinguished alumni to add to its Hall of Honor. If you would like to nominate someone, please fill out the online nomination form or contact Ingrid Roney, ingridroney@sd129.org.

 

**POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE**

2020 DISTINGUISHED HALL OF HONOR DINNER

April 25, 2020
5:00 P.M.
Aurora Country Club

 

2020 Hall of Honor Recipients

marina

MARINA POCRNICH BOGARD
Class of 1978

Marina is the CEO of Playport Gaming Systems. She is a global business executive with over 25 years of experience in telecommunications, broadcast, cable, and gaming. Marina rose through the ranks of this field, previously dominated by males, to become one of the ‘names’ that is recognized industry and world-wide. She is a mentor to employees and volunteer mentor to college students as well as other business executives. Marina is actively involved in Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as an active member of Kieretsu Forum. As a recipient of many leadership/sales management awards from numerous organizations, Marina is an avid supporter of inclusion ensuring that all programs she builds for an organization include diversity and inclusivity. 

While at West High School, Marina was a cheerleader for all four years and also involved in theatre and choir. She attended Hall Elementary School and Washington Middle School before moving on to West High.

Spaeth

DR. ANDREA MARIE SPAETH
Class of 2003 

Andrea is a member of the Rutgers University faculty, a Postdoctoral Researcher at Temple

University and, formerly, was at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where she specialized in experimental psychiatry and sleep and chronobiology. Andrea has published several articles, book chapters and editorials that build upon her seminal work which has helped advance our scientific understanding of the relationship between sleep, weight management, and health – a topic particularly timely given the simultaneous epidemics of short sleep and obesity in America.

She has earned awards from the Sleep Research Society, the Obesity Society, the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology and the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Medicine and continues working on two studies that aim to improve health in ethnic-minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. She volunteers with iPraxis which works to inspire middle school-aged students in underserved Philadelphia communities to explore STEM.

While at West High, Andrea was a member of the Student Council, as well as the Honor Society. She was the spring musical student director, a Reading mentor, a member of the Acapella Choir and was also involved in cross country, tennis, and soccer. She attended Freeman Elementary School and Washington Middle School.

Neal Ormand

NEAL ORMOND III
Class of 1958

As the Vice-President of Human Resources for W.W. Grainger Inc., an American Fortune 500 industrial supply company, Neal was responsible for growing the company from $500 million in sales to over $3.2 billion. Neal also served in the same capacity for Quaker Oats Company and was the youngest VP in the Quaker Oats Company while there. Neal’s responsibilities included recruiting, training and development, labor relations, affirmative action, compensation, benefits, organization planning, community, and public affairs. 

Neal has and continues to serve in numerous volunteer capacities - many in a leadership role - within and around Aurora. He has served as a Board member and President of the West Aurora School Board, as the “Voice of the Blackhawks” for the last 60 years, as a board member for the Community Foundation. He has also served as a coach for numerous sports and was the West Aurora Sports Booster co-founder.

While at West High, Neal was captain of the Debate and Tennis teams. He was a basketball letterman, President of the Science club, Class Vice President, a member of the National Honor Society, as well as a performer in the junior and senior class plays. He attended Freeman Elementary School and West Aurora Junior High School (before being renamed Franklin Junior High School).

Peter Whinfrey

PETER K. WHINFREY
Class of 1967

Peter is the owner of Environmental Solutions International, a chemical manufacturing and distribution company. Considered a visionary and knowing the negative impact of potentially hazardous chemicals on people, he has worked toward creating environmentally and user-friendly solutions to replace toxic chemicals. The benefit of his vision has created CHOMP products (common household cleaners and products) which are environmentally friendly. He has been instrumental in the founding of 3 Tier Technologies, a manufacturer and distributor of products for turf, crops and a variety of environmental bioremediation solutions.

Peter has overcome personal challenges while helping others. His visual impairment does not impede upon his high level of independence and positive attitude. His philanthropic support continues with his being a huge proponent for advocating the need for home-based primary care nationally, He believes that home-based primary care should be an integral part of our country’s health care system. He is also involved with the Spectrios Institute for Low Vision assisting underserved individuals at risk.

While at West High, Peter was a member of the Student Council and Golf team. He attended Freeman Elementary School and Jefferson Middle School.