Wall of Excellence
Lake Orion Community Schools have a rich history of achievement and success.
Now there is a visible sign of the best and brightest.
The Lake Orion High School Wall of Excellence debuted in the fall of 2017 with a number of events, recognizing the six inductees in its inaugural class: astronaut Andrew Feustel, Col. Daniel Choike, musician John Upton, teacher Blanche Sims, CEO Fritz Henderson, and judo champion Dr. Ronald Tripp.
“Lake Orion High School has a really proud tradition of honoring its alumni and career-focused education is a big part of what we do here,” said LOHS associate principal Kyle Meteyer, who spearheaded the project. “So we decided it would be great to have Lake Orion High School focus on its alumni that have achieved the pinnacle of success in their chosen career field.”
A committee met over the preceding year to sift through nominated candidates and decide on the initial group of inductees.
Tripp and Choike spoke to high school students about their accomplishments and attended the wall’s first enshrinement ceremony and were recognized at a football game.
Nominations for the 2018 induction class were accepted until June 1, 2018. The nomination form is here.
The school would like like to thank the sponsors who helped make the Wall of Excellence possible: Mike Macy MEEMIC Insurance, Kohl’s, Pine Tree Elementary and the Lake Orion Education Foundation.
Daniel Choike (Class of 1977)
Choike became a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, the highest rank of a known LOHS grad in the U.S. military. His final assignment was as a commander at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. An Olivet College grad where he played football and was a wrestler, he also earned an MBA at National (Calif.) University. He currently works as an executive manager in the defense contractor industry.
Andrew Feustel (Class of 1983)
Feustel is a NASA mission specialist. He has already flown on two Space Shuttle missions, one to the Hubble telescope in 2009 and to the International Space Station in 2014. With degrees from Oakland Community College, Purdue and Queen’s University in Ontario, his physics and chemistry classes at LOHS set him on a path to outer space. He will commander the International Space Station, leaving on his mission in 2018.
Frederick “Fritz” Henderson (Class of 1976)
Henderson was the General Motors CEO in 2009 after serving as GM’s vice president, chief operating officer and president. Henderson has a business degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s in business from Harvard University. Henderson was a baseball pitcher at LOHS and then at U-M as well.
Blanche Sims (Class of 1895)
Sims was in one of the first graduating classes in the school district and taught for 50 consecutive years. Following her death in 1947, the Orion Schools named an elementary school after her, recognizing her years of service and impact on hundreds of students.
Ronald Tripp (Class of 1971)
Tripp was the 1994 SAMBO world champion and a national and Pan-American judo champion. He ascended to become president of USA Judo and served on the U.S. Olympic Committee. Tripp became a chiropractor and won Arvidson Award as the nation’s highest honor in the field in 2010. A multi-sport athlete at LOHS, he held school track records in the 880-yard run, cross country and mile relay.
John Upton (Class of 2008)
Upton is the principal oboist in the Florida Orchestra. Previously he was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the New World Symphony, plus playing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland, and then the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada. Upton attended The Julliard School and the Eastman School of Music. While attending LOHS, he thrived in the band and graduated third in his class.