To engage with and celebrate past, present, and future Blue Devils, and to work to preserve the history of the Wickliffe City School District for generations to come.
To foster pride and connection within the Wickliffe Blue Devil community.
While there have been other short-lived alumni associations through the history at Wickliffe High School, the current association has been going strong for 17 years now. The idea to create this current Wickliffe Schools Alumni Association was initiated by someone who was not even a Wickliffe graduate.
Mr. Bob Smith (Wickliffe teacher, coach, administrator, and superintendent) was the catalyst for creating the organization which officially began in 2003. Mr. Smith has such love and dedication for
the Wickliffe community and the school system, you would think he was raised there.
In the spring of 2002, Mr. Smith invited all alumni to visit Wickliffe High School for a tour and open mic night. Many alumni came to walk around and reminisce about their memories of Wickliffe
High School and growing up in our small close-knit community.
Mr. Smith invited anyone interested in hearing his ideas for starting an alumni association to stick around – about 25 people stayed.
Frank Foti and I were both in that small gathering, and we would both go on to become directors and fervent supporters of the WSAA. I met with Mr. Smith a few months later regarding a personal decision I was contemplating about switching careers from business to teaching.
Not only did I leave his office with great career advice, but somehow I got caught up in Mr. Smith’s contagious energy, and I left as the first director of the Wickliffe Schools Alumni Association with no idea where to begin.
I turned to experts who also had deep affection for our school system, my own ’82 classmates: Jim Campbell, David Hintz,
Linda Julian, Donna Palsa Mikulandra, Roger Mikuladra, and Lori Ondecko.
When our first newsletter was released, other enthusiastic alum came forward to help: Melissa Erzetic Connolly, Frank Foti,
Marien Spisich Kaifesh, Pam Nagy Sabruno, Teri DiMattia Shine, Mark Tennant, Judy Tennant Veneri, and LuAnn Urankar Zibert.
Our first board of directors was formed. The WSAA could not have grown and thrived without the early support of these dedicated individuals.
Recently I asked Mr. Smith why he was so passionate about starting an alumni association.
He stated, “I was always impressed with the fondness, appreciation, loyalty, and love the Wickliffe alums had for their alma mater. I always thought that if any school district had an alumni association, it should be Wickliffe. When I was the high school principal, I talked with some parents who were excited about
an alumni association, but no one was interested in taking it on. When I became superintendent, I lobbied the board of education to get behind the project. Having the board backing, I recruited Sue Skufca-Bell who brought her class of ‘82 gang and other devout alums. I knew the alumni director from Chagrin Falls, and he met with our group to help us get started. From that point on, these faithful alums took the ball and ran with it, creating the WSAA. The time and work they have put in has created an alumni association to be proud of.”