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Mariemont High School Distinguished Alumni Selected

Mariemont High School Distinguished Alumni Selected

The Mariemont Alumni Association and the Mariemont School Foundation are pleased to announce the recipients of Mariemont High School’s fifth annual Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes Mariemont High School graduates of at least 10 years who have notably distinguished themselves by extraordinary contributions and/or remarkable accomplishments in their chosen career; skill, trade or business; in civic duties; in military service; in philanthropy; in volunteerism; in the arts; in the sciences; in education; in religion; or any other field, endeavor or pursuit.

The 2017 recipients are Gayle Gleckler, class of 1960, Advertising Executive, Writer, Artist; Christopher Martin, class of 1974, Astrophysicist and Professor; and Maritza (Crabtree) Stapanian (dec.), class of 1967, Astrophysicist and Air Force Major. The fifth class of recipients was selected from nominations submitted to a committee of Mariemont School Foundation (MSF) board members.

On Friday, October 6, these truly distinguished alumni will spend the day at Mariemont High School, where they will meet the faculty, visit with students and share their stories of success. At 5:30pm, they will be featured as honored guests in the school district’s annual Homecoming Parade. Finally, the Distinguished Alumni will be formally introduced and honored before the Homecoming football game at Kusel Stadium.

Gayle Gleckler graduated from Mariemont High School with the class of 1960.  She was active as class Vice-President, editor of the Warpath, a member of the Pep Club, and in the visual arts.  She attended the University of Florida where she received a Bachelor of Design degree.  Following graduation, Gleckler moved to New York and quickly made her mark in the advertising world.  She was responsible for Clairol’s “I’m gonna wash that gray right out of my hair” and many other ad campaigns.  Additionally, she co-wrote “Lord of the Flatbush”, a film starring Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler and has written and illustrated several books.  Her paintings are shown in galleries in New York City and along the East Coast. In her “free” time, Gleckler volunteers for Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and AdVets for WarVets Foundation.  She and her husband enjoy travelling the world and use their experiences to inspire their next artistic endeavor.

Christopher Martin was a member of the class of 1974.  He attended Oberlin College where he graduated with Honors in Physics and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received a PhD in Physics from the University of California Berkeley before teaching Physics at Columbia University for 6 years. In 1993, he became Professor of Physics at the California University of Technology (Caltech), where he has taught ever since. Martin’s research includes his role as Principal Investigator for GALEX, a NASA Small Explorer mission, which involves an orbiting space telescope observing galaxies in ultraviolet light across 10 billion years of cosmic history.  GALEX’s observations are telling scientists how galaxies evolve and change.  He conceived and designed the Cosmic Web Imager at Caltech, where astronomers can obtain the first three-dimensional pictures of the inter-galactic medium (IGM).  Martin has received numerous awards for his work, including the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal.

Maritza Stapanian (Crabtree) graduated Valedictorian of the class of 1967. Upon graduation, Stapanian studied at the Space Physics Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she graduated with Honors.  She subsequently was admitted to the Planetary Science Program at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where she earned a PhD. The conclusions from her doctoral thesis helped to update the time horizon calculations for the creation and evolution of individual stars, our galaxy and solar systems. After earning her PhD, Stapanian enlisted in the US Air Force where she had a distinguished career with assignments in programs highly critical to national security.  She received numerous Air Force honors including the Commendation Medal (twice) and the Meritorious Service Medal (three times).  Her diagnosis of ovarian cancer led her to actively support scientific research of the disease. She died in Cincinnati in October 2001.

The Mariemont School Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support the long-term success of our students and community through initiatives that enhance educational excellence in the Mariemont City School District. Your support of its Annual Fund Drive is critical to the success of the organization. For more information, contact Molly Smyth, MSF Trustee, at 513-271-3316. Nominations for the sixth annual Distinguished Alumni Award will be solicited in the spring. Visit for more information.