Three Morenci graduates will be honored April 12 as Distinguished Alumni at the annual Morenci Education Foundation Scholarship Dinner and Auction.
Two members of the Class of 1986 were selected by a student committee and one member of the Class of 1994.
Renae Merillat—Renae (1986) is a social studies teacher who works at both Morenci Middle School and Morenci Area High School.
She was stand-out athlete for Morenci and played softball and basketball at Hillsdale College while earning a teaching degree.
Renae was hired as a social studies teacher in Morenci in 1995. In addition to her time spent in the classroom, she is said to show a “constant effort to make relationships with students outside the classroom that make her special.”
She has also served as a coach at various levels.
Tim Stutzman—Tim, another member of the Class of 1986, is a third generation farmer who manages his own farm as well as takes on custom farming for other property owners.
He earned a degree from Michigan State University before returning home to become a partner in the Raymond-Stutzman farming operation.
Tim and his family are actively involved with 4-H and are members of the First Congregational Church in Morenci.
Josh Baumgartner—Josh, from the Class of 1994, is the co-owner of The Spot: Baumgartner Chiropractic and Nutritional Wellness Center. He and his wife also own ProTeam Nutrition in Wauseon.
After earning a chiropractic degree, Josh worked in Virginia before returning to his hometown to join the staff of Morenci Chiropractic Clinic. He opened his own office in 2010 and is said to serve as a positive influence on hundreds of area residents in helping them improve their lifestyle.
Josh is a member of the Morenci Education Foundation board and is a member of the Morenci Church of the Nazarene.
Teacher, principal, coach...Kay Johnson is remembered by her students in various roles over her long career with Morenci Area Schools.
The 12th annual Morenci Education Foundation Dinner and Auction is dedicated to “Miss J” and she will be the guest of honor at the April 12 event.
Kay attended Whitmer High School in Toledo and earned a teaching degree from Adrian College where she was a four-year veteran of the field hockey, basketball and volleyball teams. She also played tennis for two years.
She was hired as a physical education teacher in Morenci after her college graduation in 1972. Kay also served as a coach in several sports during the early days of girls athletics in high schools.
She assumed the role of middle school principal in 1995 and continued that role until she retired in 2010.
In 2013, she returned to the school system to serve as athletic director. She also continues as the head coach of the Bulldog softball program, with two state titles under her belt and other trips to the semifinals.