Gayle Morgan Schaber       Inducted 2004 - Class of 1968

Gayle Schaber, known as "Scha-Bear" to many people at Woodward, bleeds blue blood, the Woodward High School variety, that is. Her career has been diverse, in both the education and medical fields. Lucky for us, Gayle "landed" at Woodward, where she currently serves as Assistant Principal, Activities. Her dedication to WHS is unwavering. We're happy to welcome Gayle into the Hall of Fame tonight.

Gayle was born in East Toledo, and grew up on Raymer Boulevard. "My parents lived in a duplex, above my grandparents. We moved to Point Place when I was three." Gayle attended Kleis Elementary and Point Place Junior High. "Point Place was a great place to grow up! There were lots of playgrounds and not much traffic. It was like living in a small town. I remember my mother’s beautiful gardens, especially in the fall, just loaded with mums. She would make huge bouquets for me to take to my teacher. To this day, mums are my favorite flowers. The library was one of my favorite places. I could get lost for hours. I read all the books on the children’s side of the library

before I was in junior high."

Gayle's best friend, for as long as she can remember, was Kathy Konnert. "She is my son's godmother. Kathy's father, George Konnert, was an Assistant Principal at Waite High School, and I remember him taking us to sock hops in the Waite Field House." Gayle's other close high school friends were Becky Bear, Denise Tomanski, Mary Freeman, Pat Balduf, Earl Barron, Brent and Laurie Youngman, and Jerry Milheim.

One of the most significant things Gayle remembers about high school was getting into trouble during an assembly in the auditorium. Gayle, and a few other "partners in crime", was flirting with some boys. "The Assistant Principal, David Krost, came up and escorted us from the auditorium. We were so embarrassed! He told us that the way for us to have fun in high school was to get involved. He said that he needed a class ring committee, and that I was to be the new chairman of that committee. This taught me responsibility. Mr. Krost had high expectations of us. During my senior year, I won a speech tournament and qualified for the National’s in St. Paul, Minnesota. In order to finance the trip, I went door-to-door and collected returnable pop bottles."

Gayle's favorite WHS teachers were Marv Traver, Jim Bounds, Marie Williamson, and Dave McMurray. "I think that they all had one important thing in common. They pushed us to think. Their classes were never about just getting the right answer, but also about the thinking processes to get to the right answer." Included among Gayle 's favorite memories of Woodward were the four years that her son Damian was a student, from 1984 to 1989." It was so much fun to have him at Woodward. It was no longer my school. It was our school. Damian was very involved in the Band, as both an instrumentalist and as the Drum Major. He was Band president his senior year. We had Band Camp, where I served as nurse, and many great trips, including two to the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D. C. and Governor Celeste's Inauguration in 1986. I remember how proud I was when Damian won the John Phillip Sousa Band Award in 1989!  Another favorite Woodward memory is my book, Hail to Woodward High, a 264-page history of WHS. I wrote it as a tribute for the 75th Anniversary in 2002-2003. My mother, Sadie Szyskowski Morgan, Class of 1946, (yes, they're a 3 generation Woodward family) and I self-published the book. The first 300 printed copies sold out in less than one month. To date, 900 copies have been printed. Sales have approached the $17,000 mark, and $16,000 in scholarships has been awarded to Woodward seniors, as a result of this project."

After graduating from Woodward, Gayle eventually pursued a career in nursing. She received her L.P.N. training at both the College of the Albemarle in North Carolina and at St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. She earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Toledo Communication and Technical College, where she was awarded the Lubarsky Memorial Award in 1986. Gayle received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the Mercy College of Detroit in 1994, and was certified as a Medical Assistant (C.M.A.) in 1996. She received a Master of Education Degree from the University of Toledo in 1999, and finally an Education Specialist in Education Administration in 2001. She received additional training, earning education credits, in Egypt and The Nile River (1992) and in London, England (1993).

Gayle’s career in the medical field spanned several years. As an L.P.N., she was a Red Cross Volunteer in the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, Air Force Hospital, in The Azores, Portugal. She worked at the Point Place Medical Clinic (1981); was a Staff Nurse at St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo (1981-1991); taught Basic Nursing and Medical Surgical Nursing at the UT Community and Technical College (1988 and 1995); was House Nursing Supervisor at Flower Hospital (1990); taught Medical Terminology and Anatomy at The Stenotype Institute in Toledo (1990-1991); was Assistant Clinical Manager, Orthopedics, at Toledo Hospital (1991-1992); was Staff Nurse at Mercy Hospital Surgery Department in Toledo (1992-1995); was Staff Development Coordinator at Arbors at Toledo (1995); and, since 1995, still teaches medical curriculum at Libbey High School, in conjunction with their Career Technology Program.

Gayle's career path led her to Woodward in May of 1999, when she became Acting Dean. In August of that same year, she was named Assistant Principal, Activities. "l owe a big thank you to Eric Gordon, Former Principal of Woodward, who believed in me, and brought me to Woodward. I wouldn’t be standing here tonight if it were not for him."

Gayle's formal job description is "to plan and implement school-wide activities for an 1,100 student population". But her duties go far beyond this stated responsibility. She was appointed Administrative Assistant in 2000; has served as Acting Principal on short-term assignment; develops fund-raising projects for classes and clubs; serves on the Athletic Committee; serves as a member of the Woodward Knowledge Works/Smaller Learning Communities school reform initiative; participated in several projects on Issue Two (school construction); served as Co-Chairperson for the Woodward 75th Anniversary Committee; organized several community initiatives to support improvements in proficiency test scores; was involved with implementing an emergency response plan at Woodward; and produced and directed three Woodward theatrical productions. Gayle has also developed and sustained several community partnerships, which have generated thousands of dollars in donations of supplies, equipment, and services to support activities at WHS. She is a member of the WHS Hall of Fame Committee, a member of the First Urban Leadership Development Program, and is on the OSFC/TPS Committee on design for new high schools for career technology.

Never one to be tied to a desk in an office, Gayle is involved in several other activities. She is an announcer for the Woodward Marching Band; a member of the Pearson Park (Toledo Area Metroparks) Planning Commission; a volunteer pianist for Holidays at the Manor House; a past announcer for the Libbey HS Marching Cowboys Band; a volunteer for Maumee Valley Save-a-Pet; member of Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel; member of Libbey HS Building Committee (1996-1999); Libbey HS Trade and Industrial Department Chairperson (1997-1999); and member of 1998-1999 Libbey HS School Improvement Plan Committee. Gayle is also a CPR Instructor for the American Heart Association. Her professional affiliations, outside of Woodward, include Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing (University of Detroit); past member/advisor, Vocational Industrial Clubs of America; and past member of Northwest Ohio Tech Prep Consortium Committee for Health Care.

With her busy schedule, Gayle's family has always been a source of support and strength. Gayle recently lost her husband, Mark, when he passed away unexpectedly. "Mark was my silent partner during my career at WHS. He never complained about the time I spent away from home working at my job and other endeavors. Mark had a quirky sense of humor. We enjoyed our business, Schaber's Sports Bar, as much as we enjoyed our Woodward activities. "Gayle and Mark recently sold their Sports Bar, which was in Waterville, Ohio. Gayle's son, Damian (wife, Rae Barnett) recently moved to a new home in Monclova. They have two dogs, Molly and Hazel." I wish that my dad, Gaylord V. Morgan, Jr., could be with us tonight, but we lost him seven years ago. My best buddy is still my mom."

Gayle has little free time. "For many years, my hobbies were Band activities with my son, and camping. For 2 1/2  years, leading up to the May 17, 2003 event, my free time was spent as Co-Chairwoman of the WHS 75th Anniversary Committee, with Barb Schwartz and Becky Banghoff. The 75th Anniversary Committee was the best I’ve ever worked on:' Other hobbies include traveling, walking, gardening, reading, and pets. My pets are Morgan, a dog that wandered in off the golf course near our home, and Miss Scarlett, a cat I rescued from the Humane Society. If I could, I'd have 50 pets:"

Gayle is honored to be a Hall of Fame inductee. ""There are so many names on the Hall of Fame inductee list that I hold in awe, that I don't think I’ll ever forget the thrill of finding out that I'm being inducted. When you love a place like Woodward, and have had as many happy and varied associations with Woodward as I have had, this is more than you could ever hope for. It makes me very determined to make sure that the Woodward of today, and the “New Woodward,” that will soon be built, will carry our traditions into the future for generations of students, who have the same hopes and dreams that I’ve had."

Without a doubt, Gayle Schaber eats, drinks and sleeps Woodward. We thank her for that tonight. We celebrate this occasion with Gayle, along with those she loves, and with those who love her!

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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