Creating Alumni Connections + Building Alumni Relationships


In This Issue - Winter/Spring, 2018

  • SHS Has 8 National Merit Finalists

  • SHS Girls Basketball Advances to 'Elite 8' in State Tournament

  • SHS Grad Realizing His Dreams in the Movie Industry

  • Take a 'Virtual Tour' of SHS

  • Former SHS Band Director Inducted Into Ohio Band Director Hall of Fame

  • Mustangs Team Shop Open Now Through Thursday, 3/22

  • Three New Members of SHS Distinguished Alumni (Class of 2018) Announced

  • SHS Mock Trial Team Places 3rd in State Competition

  • SHS Student-Athletes Make College Commitments on National Signing Day

  • Record Number of DECA Students Qualify for National Competition

  • SHS Distinguished Alumni Event (Tuesday, April 17, 2018)

  • Send Us Your Alumni Update!


Congratulations to the following SHS seniors: Christina Fogwell, Jacqueline Foley, Erika Lee, Satya Nayagam, Shyam Polaconda, Hannah Schmidt, Suraj Srinivasan, and Rosemary Zaleski. These 8 students have been named National Merit Scholarship finalists - the most SHS has ever had in one year! They are among the 15,000 students nationwide (selected from a pool of 1.6 million students) who will be competing for National Merit Scholarships, which will be announced in the spring. Best of luck to Christina, Jacqueline, Erika, Satya, Shyam, Hannah, Suraj, and Rosemary - we are proud of all of you!

Big picture

Strongsville High School’s National Merit Finalists

Seated (L to R): Christina Fogwell, Erika Lee, Rosemary Zaleski,

Hannah Schmidt, Jacqueline Foley

Standing (L to R): Shyam Polaconda, Satya Nayagam, Suraj Srinivasan

SHS Girls Basketball Advances to 'Elite 8' in State Tournament

This year's SHS girls basketball team finished its best season in almost two decades, with a record of 22-5. The team advanced to the 'Elite 8' of the State Tournament before eventually falling to Wadsworth High School. Two of the senior starters will continue their playing and academic careers - Lindsey Thall (Kent State University) and Marnae Holland (Shawnee State University).

SHS Grad realizing his dreams in the movie industry

SHS recently welcomed back Brian Laprocino (Class of 2008), as he met with students and provided messages of perseverance and never giving up on your dreams. Brian was a student in the Connections Program while at SHS. Following graduation from SHS and a few years of “figuring things out,” Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Film Production from Fullsail University - a Film Production Tech School in Orlando, Florida. His dream was to work at Blumhouse Productions making horror films, and after working through some of life’s challenging setbacks, and never giving up, he finally realized that dream. He was able to work on movies such as Get Out, Paranormal Activity, and The Purge. Brian is currently working in California at Netflix as a Post Production Coordinator on A Series of Unfortunate Events. Thanks to Brian for coming back to talk to our students and providing solid advice about being brave and living out your dreams. #foreveramustang

Take a 'Virtual Tour' of SHS

Strongsville High School is a special place, featuring a great learning environment and opportunities for our students both inside and outside of the classroom. Click HERE for a ‘virtual tour’ of Strongsville High School - or click on the video below for the experiences being offered every day to our high school students.

Former SHS Band Director Inducted Into Ohio Band Director Hall of Fame

Congratulations to former Strongsville High School Band Director Mr. Ken Mehalko and his recent induction into the Ohio Band Directors Hall of Fame. At a recent ceremony, Mr. Mehalko was honored for his nearly 30 years of work in the Strongsville City Schools District (1961 - 1990), serving most of those years as Director of Instrumental Music. He also founded the Strongsville High School Orchestra in 1973. In addition, Mr. Mehalko’s credits include creating the Strongsville Community Band and the Strongsville City Jazz Swing Band, and re-starting the Marching Band program at his alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University.

Mustangs Team Shop Open Now Through Thursday, 3/22

Looking to add to your Strongsville Mustangs wardrobe and get some updated Mustangs gear? Visit our special, limited time Mustangs Team Shop for short-sleeve t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts,sweatshirts, and hoodies:

All merchandise can be personalized!
Hurry - Team Shop closes at 11:59pm on Thursday, 3/22!

Three New Members of SHS Distinguished Alumni (Class of 2018) Announced

This year's class of SHS Distinguished Alumni has been selected:

Mr. Thomas Laub (Class of '64) - Mr. Laub is a retired Medical Mutual of Ohio executive. Having served in a number of capacities, his many accomplishments contributed to the strategic vision and success of MMOH. Mr. Laub has also been a pillar in the Strongsville community, volunteering his time to improve our school district and our community.

Dr. Steven Houser (Class of '85) - Dr. Houser is a surgeon in the Department of Otolaryngology at MetroHealth Medical Center and is also an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Case Western Reserve University. A past president of both the Northeast Ohio Head and Neck Surgery Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, Dr. Houser continues to provide expert patient care, as well as mentoring young doctors in his field.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer (Class of '98) - Chef Sawyer has built a solid culinary reputation in Cleveland. His restaurants include Trentina, Noodlecat, and The Greenhouse Tavern, operating under his 'Team Sawyer' brand. In 2015, Chef Sawyer took home the coveted James Beard award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. He is a tireless supporter of local agriculture and sustainable businesses both in Northeast Ohio and around the country.

Congratulations to these three alumni - we look forward to recognizing them at the upcoming SHS Distinguished Alumni luncheon on Tuesday, April 17 at 11:30am at the Ehrnfelt Recreation Center in Strongsville.

SHS Mock Trial Team Places 3rd in State Competition

Congratulations to Strongsville High School’s Mock Trial team and their adviser Mrs. Papish for finishing in the top three in state competition last weekend. The competition began with 347 teams from across the state of Ohio. After advancing through Districts and Regionals, SHS qualified as one of 32 remaining teams in the state to advance to the three day State Mock Trial competition in Columbus. At the first day's competition, Strongsville defeated two of the long-time reigning champions from Indian Hill and advanced to the semi-finals where 8 remaining teams faced off in day two. Having won their first trial in the afternoon, they advanced to the quarter finals where they earned 3rd place. No Mock Trial team in Strongsville High School's history has ever advanced to this level in the competition. SHS students earning awards included:

Shyam Polaconda (Senior) - Three State Championship awards for Best Witness

Satya Nayagam (Senior) - Two State Championship awards for Best Attorney

Suraj Srinivasan (Senior) - One State Championship award for Best Attorney

Marquis Globokar (Freshman) - Special recognition by SHS Mock Trial teacher advisor and legal advisor for being one of only a few freshman girls to ever make it to the State Quarter finals

SHS Student-Athletes Make College Commitments on National Signing Day

Sixteen (16) Strongsville Mustang student-athletes made the commitment on National Signing Day to continue their studies and athletic careers at the following universities:

Baseball: Mitch Midea - John Carroll University

Girls Basketball: Marnae Holland - Shawnee State University

Football: Tommy Zacharyasz - Mercyhurst University; Ryan Keating - University of Minnesota

Girls Lacrosse: Hannah Searles - Capital University

Boys Soccer: Trevor Hamm - Baldwin Wallace University

Girls Soccer: Cammy Bly - College of Wooster; Vanessa DiNardo - University of Cincinnati; Caitlin Jurcago - Baldwin Wallace University; Shannon Narolewski - Robert Morris University; Sabrina Ortenzi - Kent State University; Nora Potter - Ferris State University; Lauren Rakytiak - Kent State University; Ally Sidloski - University of Cincinnati

Track & Field: Jocelyn Knauss - Ohio University; Ariana Moran - University of St. Francis

Record Number of DECA Students Qualify for National Competition

Strongsville High School’s DECA program, an experiential marketing course for juniors and seniors, is sending a record-breaking 15 students to the National Competition in April.

Congratulations to DECA teachers Mrs. Frenchik and Mrs. Mason and to the following students who earned 1st - 4th place finishes at the recent State Competition and will be traveling to Atlanta to represent Strongsville High School:

Entrepreneurship Team Decision Making (1st Place) - Maria Ong, Hannah Tulloch
Business Law & Ethics Team Decision Making (1st Place) - Joanne Munshower, Julia Ostrowski
Quick Service Restaurant Management Series (1st Place) - Allison Mehmed
Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making (2nd Place) - Ali Awada, Jacob Selong
Food Marketing Series (2nd Place) - Alexander Lynch
Sports & Entertainment Team Decision Making (3rd Place) - Olivia Colabianchi, Julia Fine
Apparel & Accessories Marketing Series (3rd Place) - Abbigail Moore
Quick Service Restaurant Management Series (4th place) - Nicholas Diaz
Hospitality Services Team Decision Making (4th Place) - Aya Mualem, Rylie Phillips
Automotive Services Marketing Series (4th Place) - Mitchell Midea


Three SHS graduates have been chosen as the next class of Distinguished Alumni and will be recognized at a luncheon, in partnership with the Strongsville Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at 11:30am at Strongsville's Ehrnfelt Recreation Center. Join us as we recognize Mr. Tom Laub (Class of '64), Dr. Steven Houser (Class of '85), and Chef Jonathon Sawyer (Class of '98) - tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased at


Do you have news you would like to share? We would love to hear updates from our SHS alumni. Let us know exciting announcements you would like to share - we want to provide alumni news and share your great stories and accomplishments in "life after SHS" to our community. Send alumni news to!