This year’s class featured inductees: Katherine Mayberry (GHHS 1990), Maggie Dwyer Chaney (GHHS 2004), Doug Vanderwall (GHHS 1961), Michael Young (GHHS 1985), The Reverend, Dr. Bradford Nihl Henderson (GHHS 1982), David MacKenzie (GHHS 1979), Anthony Radspieler (GHHS 1943), Sharon (Rothi) Yonker (GHHS 1962), and Roger Jonas.
The Grand Haven High School Hall of Fame is a biennial event that was established in 2008 by the Grand Haven Schools Foundation. Its purpose is to honor successful graduates and those who have served our schools, and to provide meaningful role models for our students.
There are five categories of nomination: Cultural/Performing Arts, Athletic Achievement, Career/Academic Accomplishments, Service to GHAPS/Society, and Honorary Award for Service to GHAPS.
The GHHS Hall of Fame Advisory Council, made up of eight individuals with expertise in the nomination categories, read all nominations and choose the inductees.
The following is a sampling of the accomplishments achieved by this year’s inductees:
Katherine Mayberry has held many roles since graduating from Grand Haven High School in 1990. She is the Executive Director and founder of the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company headquartered in Grand Haven. A highly regarded actress, Mayberry specializes in Shakespeare and classical texts and is a sought- after director and dramaturg.
Maggie Dwyer Chaney left her mark on Grand Haven High School athletic teams. She earned all-conference, all-area and all-state in track for four years and was state champion in discus her senior year. She also set school records in shot put, discus and 100-meter hurdles. She also was named all-conference and all-area in basketball all four years of her high school career, as well as all-state first team her junior and senior years. She finished third in Michigan Miss Basketball voting. In 2004, she received the Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award.
Doug Vanderwall was a two-sport standout in basketball and baseball, but his true passion sparkled on the baseball diamond. Vanderwall was on the 1960-1961 baseball teams that set a consecutive game win streak of 56 games, a record that stood for 50 years and now ranks second in the state. His career won-lost record was 33-1 and his 31 consecutive wins still ranks second in the state. At Central Michigan University, Vanderwall was their top pitcher for three years. Only a serious arm injury prevented him from playing professional baseball. He taught and coached at Fruitport for 30 years.
Michael Young, the former Rockford City Manager, died unexpectedly on January 27, 2016 had a passion for wrestling. He compiled an 85-14 record over four years, a winning record which still stands as 7th overall at Grand Haven. His accomplishments led to an academic/athletic scholarship at Grand Valley State University while he earned his degree in Public Administration. Michael went on to assist with the wrestling programs at Grand Haven and Rockford and his enthusiasm and leadership helped build those programs. He was an ambassador for kids, coaches, fans, parents and officials in the sport.
The Reverend, Dr. Bradford Nihl Henderson’s passion is working with teenage kids. He is president and founder of the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation, a nonprofit charity that serves children in Pittsburgh and Haiti. It is the largest youth network in any single city in the country. He became actively involved in the lives of Haitian orphans in 1990 and, through fundraising efforts, supports the daily needs of 148 children in three orphanages. Henderson also serves as the volunteer chaplain for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.
David MacKenzie is the founder of Hortech, one of the country’s largest and most progressive wholesale ground cover nurseries. He also formed LiveRoof Global, LLC (a subsidiary to Hortech), the leading horticultural science company in the green roof industry; and LiveWall, LLC, a successful sister company that offers full vertical gardens that can be shipped anywhere in the world from headquarters on M-104 between Spring Lake and Nunica.
Anthony Radspieler graduated from eighth grade from Stone School at the age of 11 and from Grand Haven High School at the age of 16. Too young to enroll in college, he joined the Merchant Marines as a radio officer and served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. After military service, he attended Michigan State University. Radspieler earned a B.A. in sociology and anthropology in 1950 and his PhD in economics, in the German language, at the University of Zurich in Switzerland in 1954. In 1959, he was appointed to the Foreign Service staff of the State Department in Washington as an economic research adviser, and, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed him as U.S. Economic Consul to Germany.
Service to GHAPS/Society
Sharon Yonker taught various grade levels at a variety Grand Haven schools. Her most fulfilling teaching position, however, was at Elliot School and Central High School, teaching alternative education. Yonker excelled in helping her students succeed in this setting, working tirelessly to develop unique strategies to help students learn, with the ultimate goal of helping all of “her kids” graduate. Perhaps Yonker’s greatest contribution is her involvement in BUCS Pride, an organization that helps local families who are affected by cancer. She is one of the founding members of BUCS Pride, and spends countless hours organizing purple shirt games at GHHS, selling t-shirts to support her cause, and doing everything she can to help those battling cancer in our community.
Honorary Award for Service to GHAPS
Although Roger Jonas never attended Grand Haven Public Schools, he bleeds Buccaneer. Roger's years of service to GHAPS launched in 1982 when his twin daughters started kindergarten at Ferrysburg Elementary School. He served as co-chair of the Ferrysburg/Lake Hills PTA for five years, then became involved with the Odyssey of the Mind/Destination Imagination program, serving as a regional, state and world competition judge and regional tournament director for 16 years. His history of helping includes volunteering for band and orchestra events and becoming a member of the Buc Boosters. After supporting one of his own daughter's Science Olympiad teams, he coached for eight years, attending all regional, state and national competitions.