The Washington Court House City Schools inducted two members into its 2018 Academic Hall of Fame Monday evening as it celebrated students who earned induction into Academy of Scholars.
Tom Bailey, Washington City Schools superintendent, presented the wife of the late Frank B. Sollars, Janet Sollars, with a plaque commemorating his service to the community and nation through agriculture.
Frank B. Sollars was a 1939 graduate of Washington High School and graduated with 110 classmates, with the class motto, “It can be done,” from the now historic Washington Middle School. Class wills were a popular addition to the yearbook and senior class, to which he gave away, “I, Frank Sollars, my always being late to Corky McCoy.”
Class prophesies were another item frequently found in older Sunbursts. The 1939 class’ prediction was that Frank Sollars would become a, “nationally known advertiser, recently launched a campaign for the Sure-growth Company, manufacturers of hair restorer which sold nearly one hundred thousand gallons.”
Very active in extracurricular activities, Sollars participated in the school’s theater productions, including his senior year in “Sun-Up,” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.” His fellow Sunburst Staffers cracked a joke on this page in the yearbook, calling him, “Kibitzer” Sollars, which is a Yiddish term for one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comments.
Sollars was a member of Hi-Y, whose main service project was to find wholesome opportunities for students to partake in as opposed to their “midnight excursions,” and “all-Ohio tours,” after school functions at night.
All of these neat tidbits are preserved for generations due to Sollars’ exceptional work as the business manager for the Sunburst staff, who produced the yearbook these anecdotes were found in.
Upon graduation, Frank served his community as a professional farmer. He also served as president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, a board member of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Board of Governors of the National Agricultural Hall of Fame. In addition to agriculture, Frank served as chairman of the Board of Nationwide Insurance, chairman of the Board of the National Cooperative Business Association and as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank Advisory Committee. Following the development of the National Cooperative Bank in Washington D.C., which he was instrumental in establishing, Mr. Sollars was appointed by Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush to serve as the board chairman from 1980-1998.
Bailey also inducted Deborah Cox-Roush on Monday, who graduated from Washington Senior High School in 1972.
She began her work in politics as early as her junior year as she served on student council in her upperclassman years. She began her lifelong dedication to education as a member of Future Teachers of America in these years as well. Cox-Roush also participated in American Field Service, which brought exchange students to the district for the first time.
With a knack for performance, Cox-Roush entertained crowds on the field as a three-year member of the band, as well as a majorette her junior year and the feature twirler as a senior. Her thespian skills also showed on stage where she landed a lead role in “Up the Down Staircase.” Much like Sollars, she can thank herself for this snapshot of history, due to her great work as a member of the Sunburst staff.
Following her high school graduation, Cox-Roush earned her undergraduate degree in education/history from Georgetown College as well as a paralegal degree from Old Dominion College. Throughout her professional career, she founded DCR Creative Solutions of Florida, an advocacy consulting and event management company. Cox-Roush has also served as the assistant director of Public Events, Volunteer Coordinator for the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee and special assistant to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. Currently, she is the director of Senior Corps and White House Liaison for the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Cox-Roush served as the guest speaker for the evening. Her remarks to the Academy of Scholars inductees seated before her were on “building a foundation.” She attributed much of her success to her hometown and upbringing, and emphasized to the students that “there’s no place like home.”
In total, 333 students achieved the required grade point average between the Washington Middle School and the Washington High School to be inducted into the Academy of Scholars.
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