by Melissa Martin
The Brecksville-Broadview Heights Gallery of Achievement grew by five members following an induction ceremony and luncheon at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Oct. 6.
The BBHHS Alumni Association established the Gallery of Achievement awards program in 2002 to honor Brecksville-Broadview Heights graduates and former faculty who have distinguished themselves through community service, personal development and vocational accomplishment.
That spirit of caring, participation, and excellence, members of the selection committee say, continues to be what has given BBHHS graduates the tools they need to be good citizens. Likewise, teachers also are involved in that process, which extends beyond formal classroom instruction. They serve as role models, as their guidance and encouragement provide a positive influence that prepares students for adult life.
Accordingly, the 2023 class of inductees includes the following graduates and faculty members: John “Jerry” Gunner, class of 1957; Richard Packard, class of 1964; James Roytz, faculty; Gary Skaljac, class of 1991; and Chuck Valley, faculty.
John “Jerry” Gunner, class of 1957, served in the U.S. Army after graduation and also served as a member of the Medina Auxiliary Police Force, where he assisted active patrol officers. As a member of the Medina County Sports Hall of Fame, Gunner was also recognized for coaching peewee football for more than 25 years.
Gunner also serves as a Friend of the Cemetery and maintains the children’s section of the cemetery by bringing his own mower to cut the grass, restoring headstones and planting flowers. Since 1969, he has also been a member of the Order of Odd Fellows Morningstar Lodge No. 26, where the Jerry Gunner Betterment Scholarship Fund established in his name provides monetary awards to the “do-ers,” not necessarily those students with the highest grades.
Richard Packard, member of the BBHHS Class of 1964, has owned and operated Packard Hardware in Brecksville for the past five decades. In addition to serving as the lead organizer of the Brecksville Christmas parade, he is also a board member for Brecksvlle Town Center and a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Merchants Association.
Packard is also the owner/operator of Packard Repair.
James Roytz, a 1966 graduate of Wickliffe High School, graduated from Youngstown State University and taught music, marching band, jazz ensemble and orchestra for the South Euclid-Lyndhurst Schools before taking of the BBHHS music program in 1984.
During his 21-year tenure with the BBH district as director of bands and music department chair, he developed many of the traditions in the BBHHS music program that are still followed to the day. He also served as a mentor to many upcoming music students.
After retiring in 2005, Roytz has since been performing in the Suncoast Concert Band in Bradenton, Florida, where he also serves as board treasurer, and as a member of Windjammers Unlimited.
Greg Skaljac, who graduated from BBHHS in 1991, is remembered by the community for twice serving as his class’ vice president and for being a three-year varsity basketball player and two-year team captain. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Miami University in 1995, he went on to become a three-term Brecksville City Councilman from 2006-2018, holding positions as the board’s president and vice-president. He also served on the city’s recreation commission fro 2003-2005.
Skaljac is president and owner of Luce, Smith and Scott Insurance Agency in Brecksville and has also served as a member of BBHCSD Business Advisory Council, BBHS Foundation Trustee, CAPA Board member, school levy chairperson, youth sports coach, Bees Youth Football Board and Bees Travel Basketball Board. He also originated and served as the director of the Bees Travel Basketball Youth Tournament.
Chuck Valley spent 25 of his 35-year teaching career in music education as the orchestra director, choir director and assistant band director for the BBHHS music department through 2011. Prior to his time at BBHHS, he worked for the Wickliffe City Schools where he spent five years at the high school teaching vocal music.
Valley also served as the minister of music for the Wickliffe Presbyterian Church, directed the Lakeland Community College Civic Chorus for nine years and was also a guest conductor for the Lorain County Community College Orchestra. He was also a Disney “Teacher of the Year” nominee, a BBHS Friend of the PTA and was designated as the Broadview Heights Lion’s Club Citizen of the Year.
This year’s inductees join 68 others who have achieved Gallery of Achievement status since 2002.
This year’s selection committee was comprised of BBHHS Principal Kevin Jakub; Jean Carouse Travaglianti, president of the BBHHS Alumni Association; Lou Carouse Jr., member of the BBHHS Alumni Association; Matt Harper, representative of the Brecksville Chamber of Commerce; John Klipfell III, member of the Broadview Heights Chamber of Commerce; and Janelle Henning, representative of the BBH School Foundation. ∞