About Town

The Highland Foundation for Educational Excellence has announced the appointment of five new trustees to its board of directors.

“As the foundation continues to grow and strengthen its mission, we are excited to welcome new leadership and fresh perspectives to our team,” stated Foundation Executive Director Theresa Wright. “Each of these individuals brings with them a diverse set of skills and interests, as well as a commitment to our schools, students and the Highland community. We are eager to work in tandem with them to move the foundation forward.”

The new members include Dave DeSimone, Deanna Dolan, Tonia Fisher, Amanda Pfahl and Rachel Shephard.

DeSimone is the chief security officer at Binary Defense, an information security company based out of Stow where he is responsible for information technology operations, security and service delivery. He currently serves on The Highland Foundation Scholarships and Grants committees and assists the IT Committee. He and his wife, Kim, live in Granger Township with their two sons, Josh and Nick, both students at Highland Middle School.

Dolan and her husband, Pat, are the current owners of The Portaro Group. She joined the foundation’s PR Committee in 2021 and focuses on content for its social media accounts. The Dolans, who reside in Hinckley Township, have two children, Alexis, a junior at Highland High School, and Patrick, a sophomore at John Carroll University.

Fisher is the President of Free Enterprises Inc. She and her husband Brian live in Sharon Township and have two sons.

Pfahl, who is the owner of Amanda Pfahl State Farm Insurance and Financial Services in Hinckley, currently serves as chair of the foundation’s Public Relations Committee. She and her husband, Jeremy, live in Granger Township with their children, Graham and Samantha, who attend Granger Elementary School.

Shepard is the Founder and CEO of LonaRock. She is the author of a weekly macroeconomic newsletter called “The LonaRock Report” and previously spent 17 years in the banking industry. She and her husband, Charles, reside in Sharon Township with their two children who attend Sharon Elementary School.

Sarah Lyons of Hinckley was among 21 students who participated in Baldwin Wallace’s faculty-led study abroad program in Germany during the spring 2022 semester. Lyons, a graduate of Highland High School, completed a culture-related course before going on the three-week experience. The program allowed students to explore the theory and the praxis of intercultural communication by immersing themselves in the language and culture of Germany. Students spent time in Berlin and Munich, where they visited Germany’s sites of world, historical and cultural significance, including the Brandenburg Gate and Neuschwanstein Castle. While in Berlin, students also studied German at the German Language School.

The 2022 Medina County Fair Honors Ensembles performed in concert at the fairgrounds Aug. 4. Approximately 170 students participated in the ensembles, including McKenna Felton, Eleanor Fiala and Lilly Holmes. All three students attend Hinckley Elementary School and perform as part of the Elementary Honors Choir.

Featured vocal soloists in the Youth Honors Choir included Cadence Heaton and Ben Miller, both of Highland High School.

Jessica Singh of Hinckley was among 42 students at the University of Findlay who recently received a crisp white lab coat at the college of pharmacy’s most recent White Coat Ceremony. The ceremony signifies the students’ entrance into the third year of the six-year program, which is the first year of professional courses in the school’s college of pharmacy. ∞