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Fourth Salem Community High School Academic Foundation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The Salem Community High School Academic Foundation held the fourth Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Salem Community High School cafeteria on Saturday, October 17, 2015.

The honorees were selected by the Academic Foundation committee based on leadership and character and by having made exceptional contributions to the honor and prestige of SCHS. Members selected for induction are: Michael Benchoff, Dr. Cynthia Hines, Donald Miller, Dr. Don Roberts, Dr. Jon Schoonover, and Jeff Trammel. A continental breakfast was served to those attending.

Michael Benchoff - Class of 1954


Michael Benchoff, resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is a noted and extremely awarded successful attorney specializing in criminal law. He was a graduate of Notre Dame in 1958 and attended Law School at Columbia University receiving his credentials in 1961. In a listing in the publication “Best Lawyers in America,” Benchoff ‘s brief bio states, ”Benchoff is known to be combative, intense, feisty, and tenacious – all to the benefit of those whom he defends.” It further stated he has probably handled as many homicides, white-collar crime, and other criminal defense cases as any lawyer in Arizona during the past few decades. Benchoff is also a member of the SCHS Sports Hall of Fame for his efforts in football, basketball, and track.

Dr. Cynthia Hines - Class of 1978


Dr. Cynthia Hines has been selected for induction into the Academic Hall of Fame based upon her success in 3 major fields. After attending Kaskaskia College, Hines finished her nursing degree at Central State University in Oklahoma. She followed her nursing career with the pursuit of a law degree. She was awarded her Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and practiced law in Texas and Oklahoma where she specialized in commercial litigation and insurance defense. She received an additional Doctorate degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in the field of anesthesiology. She shared her knowledge with the people of Tanzania, teaching classes in anesthesia. She currently acts as the CEO and serves as a staff anesthesiologist at the Same Day Surgicare of New England in Fall River Massachusetts.

Donald Miller - Class of 1968


Donald Miller has been awarded placement into the Hall for his outstanding efforts in the field of education in Illinois. Miller has spent his entire career as an educator. Miller graduated from Kaskaskia College and received his B.S. in Elementary Education, along with a Master’s and Specialist’s degrees from SIU-Edwardsville. Miller taught in Grant Fork to begin his career then moved to a teaching principal position in Litchfield. Following 15 years of service, Miller moved to his first full time administrative position as principal of Nashville Grade School then up the ladder to assistant superintendent and finished the last years of his career as the superintendent of Nashville Elementary Schools. During his tenure as principal, Miller was selected by his colleagues to represent Illinois administrators and received the prestigious “National Distinguished Principal” award from the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Don Roberts - Class of 1987


Dr. Don Roberts is an Associate Professor in the field of computer science at the University of Evansville in Indiana. Roberts has been involved in technology since he was introduced to the early desktop computers of the early ‘80s, and it has been a love affair that has been developed into a long term relationship. Roberts regularly teaches students at the university in programming and software engineering while also being involved with independent consulting projects providing many major improvements to software which interfaced to their existing program improving overall operations for their technology. Roberts has collaborated with other colleagues to author 13 publications in the field of technology and computer science. He has also designed special helps for various projects for commercial use. They include the Refactoring Browser for Smalltalk which was the first commercial refactoring tool which has since been ported to every major dialect of Smalltalk. Also, S# is a Smalltalk compiler for Microsoft’s .NET framework and, according to Roberts, it is a completely new implementation of the Smalltalk language and allows programmers to interoperate with Microsoft’s .NET framework and build standalone executables. He is also responsible in part for the SmaCC program transformation framework generator that allows users to easily create program transformations for various programming languages with a minimum of effort.

Dr. Jon Schoonover - Class of 1995


Dr. Jon Schoonover is being awarded a place in the SCHS Academic Hall of Fame for his efforts in the impacts of land use on water across multiple land uses such as floodplains, forests, agricultural land use, and urban-rural interfaces. Schoonover received his education at Kaskaskia College and finished his B.S, and M.S. in Forestry then completed his PhD in Forest Hydrology at Auburn University in Alabama. Schoonover and colleagues have written for several grants at SIU-C and have been awarded funding in the amount of $3,484,839 since January, 2006 in various fields of related areas of hydrology and several related fields. Schoonover has his name on several journal publications over his career in the science of Forest Hydrology and Water Chemistry.

Jeff Trammel - Class of 1980


Jeff Trammel  is a 1980 graduate of SCHS  who went on to graduate from McKendree College in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. After graduation, Trammel was hired as the Assistant Director of Public Relations/Media Relations for the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and served in the position until 1995.  He left the Blues organization to work for the St. Louis Post Dispatch as the Public Relations Manager where among other things, he promoted and planned more than 50 yearly special events including speaking series, music concerts, educational programs and regional spelling bees.  He returned to the Blues in 1997, where he first served as the Director of Communications, and later as the Director of Multimedia and Publications.  Trammel left the hockey club in 2003, and spent the next four years as the Director of Communications for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  In that capacity he had daily contact with local and national media and served as the official spokesperson of the Symphony on numerous occasions.  From 2007 to 2015, he was the Director of Communications & Marketing for GO! St. Louis. Trammel has recently taken on yet another challenge and has accepted the job of Communications Executive for Ameren Missouri, a Fortune 500 public energy company.