The 20th Annual Tecumseh Local Schools Hall of Honor Ceremony was held April 23, 2016 at Tecumseh High School (THS). Mr. Roger Pankake, Mr. William (Bill) Neff Scarff, Jr. and Mr. Reed Romine make up the 2016 Tecumseh Hall of Honor Class. They join the Hall’s 78 current members. The annual event is sponsored by the Tecumseh Education Foundation (TEF). Serving as Emcees for the afternoon were THS seniors and National Honor Society members, Mr. John Driscoll and Ms. Abigail Krakora. The Tecumseh AFJROTC opened the ceremony by posting the Colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. TEF President, Mr. Kevin Harmon began the ceremony by explaining the history and purpose behind the Hall of Honor (HOH) and the TEF.

The TEF was established in 1993 is a nonprofit 501 (3) (c). Its mission is to “provide and fund initiatives and enhance lifetime partnerships with students, staff, alumni, and the community.” The TEF’s fundraising efforts are used to maintain three endowed scholarship funds with the Springfield Foundation in order to award scholarships to THS Seniors. The TEF also provides mini-grants for Tecumseh Local School District (TLSD) teachers who design innovative projects to enhance student learning.

The HOH was implemented in 1996 in order to recognize former TLSD employees who have provided an extraordinary example to others and/or provided extraordinary service to the school district. It also honors citizens who have provided significant contributions or service to the TLSD and local community. THS alumni who have achieved exceptional accomplishments as outlined in the Tecumseh HOH nomination form are honored as well.

The first presenter, Mr. Thomas Sherwood, is a long-time friend and former colleague of Roger Pankake. Sherwood outlined several of Pankake’s achievements and shared several personal stories involving Pankake before presenting him with his HOH award.

Pankake enjoyed a 23-year career in the TLSD, serving as the Unit Principal at THS (1980-82), the Principal at Olive Branch Middle School (1982-85), the Principal at THS (1985-88), and the TLSD Assistant Superintendent (1988-97). Pankake also served as the TLSD Superintendent from 1997-2003.

During Pankake’s term as Superintendent, several academic programs and building projects were implemented or completed. These included the adaption of an all-day kindergarten, a renovation of the athletic stadium, and construction of an athletic building. Pankake also played a key role during planning stages for the TLSD building project that included six new buildings. The project was eventually implemented in 2005 and completed in 2007. Pankake is also a member of a number of community service organizations.

A poignant moment in the celebration then took place when Ms. Carrie Scarff presented her nephew, Mr. Ryan Scarff, with her brother, Bill Scarff’s, posthumous HOH award. Carrie outlined her brother’s many professional and philanthropic achievements.

Bill Scarff graduated from THS in 1976 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the Ohio State University. As an adult student, he earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Wright State University, eventually moving to California to pursue his Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California Law Center. At the height of his legal career, Bill Scarff worked for the Allergan, a global pharmaceutical company as Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Chief Litigation Counsel.

Bill Scarff’s philanthropic pursuits included serving in Allergan’s in-house mentoring program and the Orange County (California) Bar Association’s Charitable Fund. He was a strong supporter of the Collaborative Courts Foundation; he also volunteered and supported the United Cerebral Palsy Orange County Life without Limits campaigns, the United Way of Orange County, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. He served on the Grant Review Committee for the philanthropic Allergan Foundation and was honored with the 2014 General Counsel of the Year Award through the Orange County Business Journal.

Visibly touched, Ryan Scarff accepted his father’s award and opened his remarks by saying his father was “the greatest man I ever knew.” Scarff then spoke briefly about Bill’s love for Ohio, his pride in being an Arrow, and his fight with cancer. Ryan closed his remarks, in part, by thanking the audience and saying his father would “cherish this award.”

Reed Romine’s son, Mr. Richard Romine, presented his father with his HOH award, but not before sharing some humorous family anecdotes illustrating how important family, faith, and education are to his father.

As Reed Romine accepted his award, he confirmed his son’s remarks by proudly outlining his and his family’s long list of accomplishments. Many of Reed’s own achievements came during his career with the U.S. Air Force and in a civilian position in the Space Systems Division at the Foreign Technology Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Reed has also has been heavily involved with the local community during his long membership with Sulphur Grove Church and through his service with the TLSD.

Some of Reed’s many civic activities have included serving as chairman at the Medway Elementary School PTO and as a charter member of the Tecumseh Education Foundation Board of Trustees. His private and commercial pilot licenses have also allowed him to provide “familiarization flights” for each Tecumseh AFJROTC Student of the Month. Reed has also served in a Webelos Scouts Program as a den leader. He is an election official at Bethel Precinct 2.

The Tecumseh Athletic Boosters provided refreshments at the close of the ceremony.

All honorees were chosen via a public nomination process. More information about the Tecumseh Education Foundation and rules for nominating individuals for the Tecumseh Hall of Honor can be found by clicking on the “District” tab and following the TEF link on the TLSD webpage at