Four Lebanon High alumni inducted into Hall of Fame

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local
Four graduates of Lebanon High School were honored for their contributions to their community and the world during the eighth annual Bud and Dorothy Page LHS Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Boulder Falls Inn Event Center.

Don Carroll

Don Carroll, Class of 1955, was commended for “lifetime achievement” by making significant impacts on the school’s students, faculty and vocational education programs.
Carroll earned a Bachelors in Elementary Education degree with a minor in physical education at Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University), then began his career in the Scio School District as a teacher, coach and administrator. He returned to Lebanon in 1966 to teach and coach at Seven Oak Middle School, where he started a football program. A couple years later he moved to the high school, where he coached football and wrestling and helped build the school’s vocational program.
“He played a critical role in the development of building the vocational department at LHS, which under his leadership went on to be one of the top vocational departments in the state,” Lebanon Alumni Association board member Carol Dinges said.
Brad Bauer introduced Carroll at the dinner, saying he’d impacted many lives. Among the multitudes of coaches at the school Bauer continued,, “(Carroll) did it better. He did it with more intensity. He did it with more passion. He did it with more desire than any person you’ve ever met.”
Carroll expressed gratitude for his own coach and teacher, Bud Page.
“I think the leadership I received by working so closely with him made me ‘little Bud’ and he was the ‘big Bud,’” he said.

Col. Michael Lynch

Col. Michael Lynch, Class of 1968, was recognized for humanitarian service for civilian and military service. He spent 30 years in the Air Force, including 12 years at the Pentagon, where he was the key interface between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other decision-makers during the first 180 days following the 9/11 attack in 2001, including planning and implementation for Operation Enduring Freedom.
After retiring from the Air Force, Lynch was selected as Chief of Staff for the Department of Defense Education Activity Office, the military’s worldwide K-12 school system, where he consolidated the military’s 13 school districts into eight, improved efficiencies and quality of education, and cut costs.
Pat Wheeler introduced Lynch with humor, citing a former classmate who quipped that “shenanigans” with Lynch would surprise some who’d expected he’d be eligible for parole rather than induction. On a serious note, however, Wheeler observed Lynch’s leadership skills as practical and supportive.
Lynch credited his teachers in Lebanon for helping him seek “more answers,” which built his problem-solving skills. He also shared facts, history and 9/11 information about the Pentagon.

Mike Rex

Mike Rex, Class of 1972, was honored for his accomplishments in athletics as one of the school’s best all-around athletes. He was a star player in basketball, football and baseball, earning All-District and All-State honors in the latter two.
According to the Lebanon Alumni Association, Rex was intensely recruited by colleges and chose to continue his education and athletic career at Linfield, where he played both football and baseball. He participated in three Northwest Conference championships in football (making the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics semifinals in 1974) and four in baseball.
Following his 1976 graduation, Rex was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and played professional baseball for seven years at the A, AA and AAA levels, with one year on the expanded major-league roster. He was chosen all-star shortstop of the California League his second year, and while playing second base for the AAA Phoenix Giants, he batted .323 and led the Pacific Coast League in double-plays.
After his retirement in the early 1980s, Rex returned to Linfield to earn a Masters of Education degree in 1985, using it to teach physical education and health before becoming Dean of Students at Patton Middle School in McMinnville. In 2001, Mike Rex was inducted into the Linfield College Athletics Hall of Fame.
Carroll introduced Rex, citing his long list of accomplishments. Rex had his own list to cite, giving acknowledgment to friends, family, teammates and coaches.
“Never underestimate the power of support and belief in someone,” he said. “It just might lead to something wonderful like this,” he said.

Angelita Surmon (provided photo)

Angelita Surmon, Class of 1968, who was unable to attend the ceremony in person, was celebrated for her achievements in fine arts.
She earned Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees at Oregon State University in 1972 and 1977, respectively, then enjoyed a 38-year career as a professional artist in various media, focusing mostly on kiln-formed glass and painting over the last two decades.
Some of Surmon’s art is commissioned, while others are included in private and corporate collections throughout the United States.
One of her pieces hangs above the fireplace at the Lebanon Public Library.
Her works are also on display in the AT&T headquarters in New York City, the Americana Hotel in San Francisco, the Claremont Club Hotel in Oakland, the Bonneville Power Administration headquarters in Portland, the Continental Bank in Chicago, and the University of Nebraska Medical School.
“She is, to put it simply, an incredibly accomplished professional artist,” Dinges said. “But on top of that, she has also earned a reputation as a mentor for up-and-coming artists for her support of others who are just getting started as professional artists.”
Surmon presented a video acceptance speech for the award while presenting the inside of her studio. She acknowledged her third grade teacher, Mrs. McCracken, “who valued the importance of music and art;” her junior high art teacher, Mrs. Allyn; and painter Ed Woods, who “in his quiet way lived his life and shared his love of painting.”