JACKSON TWP. The Jackson Alumni Association inducted three new members to the Jackson High School Wall of Fame during a reception Saturday at the high school for the new members: retired Judge Julie Edwards (class of 1971), Suzy Venet Pietz (class of 1994) and Carlin Isles (class of 2008).
The new inductees were presented their plaques during half time at the Jackson High School basketball game. Each of the three have now have a plaque mounted on the wall, and each received one to take home.
The Wall of Fame started as the Hall of Fame in the mid to late 1970s. At the time, it was meant to honor outstanding athletes who graduated from Jackson Local Schools. In 2002, the alumni association took over and opened the recognition to outstanding athletes and citizens who graduated from the district. To date, there are 78 members displayed on the Wall of Fame which is located in the hallway of the gymnasium.
"We base our selections on six categories: athletics, community contributions, professional accomplishments, political leadership, humanitarian contributions or education leadership," said Jennifer Jones of the alumni association.
This year’s inductees were excited and honored to be selected. Below are their profiles and statements about the experience.
Retired Judge Julie Edwards, 1971, political leadership
Edwards is a graduate of The Ohio State University. She was a member of Phi Betta Kappa and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State College of Law. Edwards has held many titles in the county such as assistant Stark County prosecuting attorney, chief of the juvenile divison, chief referee of Stark County Family Court, elected judge in Stark Family Court and was the first woman to serve and was elected to serve on the Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals. She was also the first woman to serve as president of the Ohio Association of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She has served on many local boards including Canton Palace Theatre, Canton Blue Coats Drum and Bugle Corps and was the first board president of Canton Calvary Mission. She resides in Jackson Township.
"I’m excited and thrilled, this is such a great honor," Edwards said. "I had a great time in Jackson Local Schools. I had a lot of great teachers who were influential on my life. My band director taught me an appreciation for music and he encouraged me to apply and attend college and if it weren’t for that encouragement, I may not have gone to college," she said.
Suzy Venet Pietz, 1994, basketball
Pietz played soccer and basketball and was in track during her time at Jackson High School. She achieved 11 varsity letters and was in the National Honor Society. Pietz earned several titles including All Federal League, all county for all three sports, all county for basketball, All Ohio Honorable Mention for basketball, best defensive player for basketball, state qualifier for track and Ohio and all academic honors for soccer, among others. She earned more letters in basketball while at Mount Union College and was inducted into its Wall of Fame. She is currently the girls head basketball coach at Mount Union. Pietz and her husband live in Alliance with their two children.
"Once a Polar Bear, always a Polar Bear," Pietz said. "This induction means everything to me. I have so many great memories of being at Jackson. The coaches here had a great influence on me."
Carlin Isles, 2008, track & field
Isles is the most celebrated Jackson boys track and field athlete of all time. He was a four-year varsity letter winner, All Federal League, all county, All Ohio and state qualifier. Isles holds the school record for 100- and 200-meter dashes and long jump. During his junior year, he finished third in the state in the 100 meter and was runner-up in the 200 meter. He finished his senior year with state runner-up in both the 100 meter and long jump. He also holds records for track and football at Ashland University and was on the Detroit Lions practice squad in 2013. Isles was a member of the 2016 USA olympic rugby team, where he is known as the fastest rugby player in the world. He lives in San Diego.
"I dreamed of being on the Wall of Fame when I was younger. I would see the photos and names on the wall and always wanted to have my name on the wall," Isles said. "My hard work and dedication has paid off starting tonight. This means everything to me to be on the Wall of Fame. It’s a childhood dream come true."