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2017 Dukes of Distinction

Elmhurst School District 205 launched a York Distinguished Alumni Program in 2013, which was designed to recognize and honor York Community High School alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant and/or extraordinary accomplishments, service and/or an outstanding contribution to society.

This year’s “Dukes of Distinction” were honored on
Thursday, November 2, at 6:30 PM in the
York Community High School Commons

The event was free and open to the public. The following day, the honorees met with York High School students in both large and small group settings to serve as an inspiration to our current Dukes.

Lieutenant David Bosse, BFD Ret. Class of 1980 – After exploring many jobs, he answered an ad looking for part-time firemen. Dave was hired fulltime by the Bartlett FD, where he graduated from the Paramedic Program with honors. After the 9-11 attacks, he aided the NYFD; then in 2005, Dave worked the aftermath of Katrina, receiving Armed Forces Humanitarian and Mutual Aid Box Alarm System medals for his service. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2007. He also received the Medal of Merit for his actions at a fire where a woman was trapped. Lieutenant Bosse retired in 2016 after 20 years of full-time service.

Blake Byrne, Class of 1953 spent 35 years in television broadcasting before retiring in 1997. He is Chairman of his son’s company, Byrne Acquisition Group, with TV and radio stations in Wisconsin and South Carolina. Blake founded the Skylark Foundation, advocating for the protection of LGBTQ rights and supporting diversity. Blake is a supporter of the arts and an avid art collector. He is a Lifetime Trustee of MOCA, was the Founding Chair of the Nasher Museum, and was honored with a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an honor given for making a significant contribution to the
arts in France.

Brigadier General Thomas Fisher, Class of 1986 began his military career in the Michigan Army National Guard and continued with the Utah Army National Guard. He was promoted to Brigadier General in 2016, a position appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the US Senate. He is currently the Land Component Commander. BG Fisher was deployed to Iraq from 2003-2005 and graduated from the U.S. Army War College with a Masters of Strategic Studies. In his 23-year civilian career, he has served as a transportation planner and county manager for five counties in Michigan, Colorado and Utah.

Linda French, Class of 1982 – is a twelve-time U.S. National Badminton Champion. As captain of her team, she led York Community High School to a second-place finish in the team State finals in 1981 and 1982. She won the Illinois State Badminton Singles Title in 1979, 1981 and 1982. Linda qualified through a rigorous year-long international process for the U.S. Olympic Badminton Team in 1992 and qualified again for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. Extensive travel inspired Linda to serve as an immigration lawyer. Linda represents athletes, businesses and individuals. She is proud to represent, pro bono, asylum seekers and victims of violence.

Dr. Judith Bond Johnson, Class of 1955 is a nurse and was the first to receive a PhD from the Adult Education program at the University of Minnesota. Her company, HealthQuest, serves individuals, companies and hospitals whose interest is living with chronic illness. Dr. Johnson’s PhD thesis, the I Can Cope cancer patient education course, was adopted by American and international hospitals. Dr. Johnson has lived and traveled abroad. She was appointed as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010. She is editor of the journal Asian Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing and presents on living with chronic illness and patient education.

Mary McEnerney Woolley, Class of 1964 is an influential medical and health research advocate. She is president/CEO of Research!America, the nation’s largest non-profit alliance dedicated to making medical and health research a higher national priority. Mary is an elected member of the distinguished National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She sits on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Higher Education and the Workforce and is a Founding Member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.  She holds two honorary doctoral degrees.