For more than a century this school has helped to prepare some remarkable people for stellar careers in a variety of fields. Among the notable graduates from the past were leaders in business, education, law, media, and other professions. In an effort to recognize distinguished professionals who have graduated from Sparrows Point High School and, more importantly, to motivate current high school students with the inspiring lives of those achievers, a Sparrows Point High School Alumni Hall of Fame was formed during the 2008-2009 school year as part of the Centennial commemoration.
Each year the school holds an Alumni Hall of Fame Induction assembly for all of the current students to attend in the auditorium. This ceremony involves students from the marching band, chorus, student council, journalism class, and culinary arts club who prepare a presentation to honor the inductees. The inductees are introduced to the student body with a biographical slide show prepared by the journalism class. Each honoree is presented with plaques on behalf of the faculty, students and alumni association, after which the new inductee delivers a motivating speech to the audience consisting primarily of students.
In the Main Office Hallway of the school hang plaques celebrating each inductee. The plaque includes a portrait of the inductee taken at the reception as well as an engraving of an inspiring quote from his or her speech, providing immortal words of inspiration for student now and in the future.
Roger B. Hayden (Class of 1962)
Business executive, school board president, Baltimore County Executive.
Advice from Mr. Hayden's Speech to the Students
“I have a one-word credo about how to be successful. …This four-letter word is ‘work.’ And if you want to be successful in anything you do, work is the direction; work is the effort.”
“Volunteer, help where you can, and be an important part of the community.”
“What do employers look for? They look for people who work; they look for people who try; they look for people who are able to accept change and who give of themselves. So put those things together and keep them in mind.”
“Don’t say “I can’t,” but “How can I?”
John A. Olszewski, Jr. (Class of 2000)
State delegate, Chairman of the Baltimore County Delegation, teacher, lecturer, adjunct professor, senior account executive.
Advice from Mr. Olszewski's Speech to the Students
“When the issues are pressing, when you know you’re the right person to be involved with something, go do it! That may involve some hard work and lots of time. You could very well face disappointment along the way. But go after it. You deserve it; you’re doing it for the right reason.”
Bob Marlin Mroz (Class of 1962)
Engineer, FCC Director of Advanced Technologies, entrepreneur, founder and CEO of HY-TEK Ltd. and HY-TEK Bio.
Advice from Mr. Mroz's Speech to the Students
“There are forces that will be with you your entire life, forces that you can use to do the things that you want to do and make things happen. Those two forces are passion and knowledge.”
“What changes a person is the passion and the knowledge.”
“Once you have a passion for something, you want to get better at it. … You learn a little bit more about it. … And then, you do get a little better at it. And when you get better at it, it fires the fuel of your passion.”
“Knowledge ignites passion.”
Elmer Jackson Hall (Class of 1960)
Local historian, author of a series of four books on local history, school administrator, guidance counselor, teacher.
Advice from Mr. Hall's Speech to the Students
“Each of you has an enormous reservoir of potential that is just waiting to be tapped. The only limitation you have is you. When you encounter an obstacle or situation that is overwhelming, or when you hear someone say, ‘Someone needs to do something about that’—stand up, step forward, and let it be you. Embrace the challenge; let it become your passion; and it could be your ladder to the stars.”
Gary Kendall (Class of 1981)
Professional baseball manager, coach, scout, working in the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres organizations.
Advice from Mr. Kendall's Speech to the Students
“Like who you are, because everybody brings something.”
“Dedicate yourself every day. Try to be a better person every day.”
“The love that you’re going to get out of your career is going to be so much more valuable than those extra dollars.”
“You have to persevere… pull yourself off the ground and … be determined that that there’s something good going to happen around the corner.”
Kathi Hill (Class of 1976)
Attorney, assistant district attorney, college instructor.
Advice from Ms. Hill's Speech to the Students
“Keep dreaming, but remain flexible.”
“Keep moving; the path in your life may change.”
“Love your life while you live it.”
“You can’t do it alone. Life is a big, wonderful, scary, beautiful, sometimes dark place, and you will always need your friends and your family.”
“With your friends be gentle; they need to last you a long time. Don’t wear them out.”
“Don’t be boring. Go create something that will make the world awesome. We could use it, guys.”
Dr. Valarie Ann Hoyle Zeithaml, PhD, M.B.A. (Class of 1966)
Best-selling author of business books, distinguished professor of marketing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Advice from Dr. Zeithaml's Speech to the Students
“Learning to write well is the single most important skill that you can develop to be successful in your lives. It will help you get a job. It will help you achieve in that job. You will be more confident, more effective, and have more choices if you learn to write well.”
Colonel Scott A. Doyle, U.S.M.C. (Class of 1972)
Military Leadership, Aviation. Served as a commander in Iraq and as a pilot of Marine One. Recipient of the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star, the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Achievement Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 4 Stars, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Legion of Merit, the National Defense Medal with 1 Star.
Advice from Colonel Doyle's Speech to the Students
“Don’t wake up tomorrow or one year from now or ten years from now and say to yourself, ‘I should have. I should have studied harder for that test; I should have gone to college; I should have played football in high school; or even … I should have asked Sally out for a date.' … If you think you should, do it! –and have NO regrets.”
Dr. Michelle Danna-Christian, D.V.M. (Class of 1990)
Veterinarian practicing traditional medicine and pioneering the use of holistic treatment of animals.
Advice from Dr. Danna’s Speech to the Students
“Are you ready for the challenge to change your life, even when you may not be the top student in your class or people you know just think you’re not smart enough to make something of yourself?”
“You need to believe in yourself.”
Professor Neil O. Hardy, (Class of 1947)
Medical artist, professor of Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Advice from Professor Hardy’s Speech to the Students
“Ask yourself, ‘Is this the best job I could do today?’ The answer is, hopefully, ‘Yes.’ But the next question is, ‘Can I do better tomorrow?’ Because you can’t stop at one point. You always have to keep learning more and improving what you’re doing.”
Judge Magistrate John S. Kaul, (Class of 1964)
Federal judge in West Virginia.
Advice from Judge Kaull’s Speech to the Students
“I challenge you to take the tools you have been given by the dedicated teachers in this place, by those you revere in your home community, and add them to your gifts.
Go forth into life; set your course following your moral compass; continually prepare yourself; do your best; get into the arena; act daringly, so that, when your lights finally go out, you will be assured that the world is a little better place for your having lived in it.”
Vice Admiral John E. Shkor, (Class of 1962)
Retired vice admiral of the Coast Guard Atlantic Region.
Advice from Vice Admiral Shkor’s Speech to the Students
“What course your life will take is wide open. It depends only on the decisions you make and the energy you expend. If you make good decisions and work hard, options stay open. Make bad decisions or get lazy, and options start to close like doors.
"Keep learning. Hold what you’ve got. Keep those options open.”
Dr. Rachel Barnes Dodge, M.D., M.P.H., (Class of 1993)
Pediatrician and founder of the ESP Girls Lacrosse League.
Advice from Dr. Dodge’s Speech to the Students
“What is truly important about success is that it is defined by you. Sure, we all want to please our parents and teachers, but success can’t be about pleasing others.”
“The greatest thing I have learned on my journey is that happiness comes from within.”
Ed Hale, (Class of 1964)
CEO and founder of First Mariner Bank and owner of MISL soccer team, The Baltimore Blast.
Advice from Mr. Hale’s Speech to the Students
“I’ve taken many risks in my life, and I enjoy them. You want to be a risk-taker, but you don’t want to be a thrill-seeker. If you see an opportunity come up, take it. Make sure you know what you’re getting into, but take it. Do not cower in the corner and procrastinate. Get it done. Make sure that you’re out there in the game, all the time, playing.”
Ron Swoboda, (Class of 1962)
Sportscaster and MLB outfielder best known as a member of the 1969 World Series "Miracle" Mets.
Advice from Mr. Swoboda’s Speech to the Students
“The one thing I would give to everybody in this room—if I could just give it to you—would be a passion for the things you’re going to do. I love to feel passion. I’m a fool for love. And I think it makes you better at any of the things you’re going to do.”
SPHS Alumni Hall of Fame Committee Seeks Nominations