BHS graduation set for Friday night

BHS graduation set for Friday night
Posted on 05/23/2024
Dr. Chad McKenzie

The Bellefontaine High School Class of 2024 will graduate Friday night.

The ceremony starts at 7 o’clock at AcuSport Stadium.

This year’s BHS Distinguished Alumni are Dr. Chad McKenzie (Class of ’91), Michael Hassel (Class of ’68), and Susan Insley (Class of ’63).

Dr. McKenzie is the guest speaker.

United States Navy Captain Chad McKenzie graduated from Bellefontaine High School in 1991. Dr. McKenzie then chose to attend the University of Toledo as an undergraduate in the College of Pharmacy. While earning his undergraduate degree, Dr. McKenzie was accepted into the U.S. Navy Health Services Collegiate Program as an Officer Candidate and later commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps upon his 1996 graduation with his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. Dr. McKenzie also obtained a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2002, an Executive Master of Business Administration degree in 2011, and a Master of Strategic Studies degree in 2015.

After his graduation from the University of Toledo, Dr. McKenzie began an intensive career, starting at the National Naval Medical Center. In 1999, Dr. McKenzie reported to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Keflavik, Iceland as the Pharmacy Department Head and subsequently served in both pharmacy and hospital leadership roles at a variety of overseas and stateside medical facilities. In 2010, Dr. McKenzie was deployed as the Pharmacy Mentor to the Afghan National Army under NATO Training Mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. McKenzie served as the Director of Health Care Business for the Naval Hospital Camp in Pendleton, California.

Dr. McKenzie then grew throughout his career to build an impressive resume. His services included being the Director of Clinical Support Services and Pharmacy Department Head from 2011 to 2014 at Naval Hospital in Oak Harbor, Washington; Assistant Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery and Director of Communications and Change Management for Information Management and Technology in Falls Church, Virginia from 2015 to 2017; Officer in Charge at Branch Health Clinic Diego Garcia, British Indian Ocean Territory from 2017-2018; Executive Officer/Chief Operations Officer at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Patuxent River in Maryland from 2018-2020; Commanding Officer and Hospital Director at U.S. Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command in Naples, Italy from 2020 - 2022; and presently the Deputy Director of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center and Commanding Officer of the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Great Lakes.

Dr. McKenzie has also received personal military decorations and unit awards including the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, five Navy Commendation Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation, and two Meritorious Unit Commendations.

Dr. McKenzie is married to Christina and has three daughters, Maggie, Amelia, and Lydia who reside in North Chicago, Illinois.

Michael Hassel graduated from Bellefontaine High School in 1968. Mr. Hassel then continued his education at Urbana University and graduated in 1972. After graduation, he was immediately hired by Bellefontaine City Schools to begin his career as a middle school Language Arts teacher. In the early 1980s, Mr. Hassel transitioned to a Guidance Counselor position at BMS. He obtained his Master of Science from the University of Dayton in 1984. After about a decade, Mr. Hassel became the BMS Assistant Principal, then finished his career as the Head Principal. Mr. Hassel served BCS for 34 years.

Throughout his career with BCS, Mr. Hassel coached BHS and BMS students. He was a BHS and BMS track and field coach, a BHS girls' junior varsity basketball coach, and a BMS boys' basketball coach. He also was the BMS Athletic Director.

Mr. Hassel’s dedication to Bellefontaine extended beyond the educational system. Mike has served his community as a member of the Auburn Avenue Baptist Church, the Bellefontaine City Planning Commission, Bellefontaine Civil Service Commission, United Way of Logan County Board, Logan County Chamber of Commerce Board, Lutheran Community Services Board, One on One Board, Logan County Cooperative Operation Round-Up Board, and Mad River Theatre Works Board. He also enjoyed coaching his sons’ baseball teams for the Bellefontaine Parks and Recreation Department.

Mr. Hassel was awarded the Urbana University Alumni Association Three Arches Award and the Martha Holden Jennings Scholar Award.

Mike and his wife Cassie, a 1971 BHS graduate, have been married 51 years. They reside in Bellefontaine along with Mr. Hassel’s mother Lois, a 1947 Bellefontaine High School graduate. Mr. and Mrs. Hassel’s oldest son Sean graduated from BHS in 1991. He is married to Danielle and they have two children, Harper and Ella. Their second son Aric graduated from BHS in 1996. Aric and his wife Beth have three children, Ava, Henry, and Louis.

Susan J. Insley is the daughter of the late Merrill and Frances Insley and a 1963 graduate of Bellefontaine High School.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, majoring in Comprehensive Social Studies, from The Ohio State University in 1967. Upon graduation, she taught American History and Government at Westerville High School. Then she spent 6 years in Washington, D.C. working as a Congressional Aide to United States Representative Clarence J. Brown. In 1974 Susan entered law school at Ohio Northern University, receiving her Juris Doctorate in 1976.

Susan was an attorney with the Vorys Law Firm in Columbus from 1976-1985, becoming a partner in 1984. She worked extensively with Honda of America Mfg. in the location and establishment of Honda’s Anna Engine Plant and with Asahi Glass in the location and establishment of its auto glass manufacturing plant in Bellefontaine, as well as with other Honda suppliers throughout Ohio.

In 1985, Susan joined Honda as Vice President-Corporate Planning with responsibility for internal and external communications, government relations, and senior leadership team responsible for developing and expanding Honda’s Five-Part Strategy for growth in America. This included establishing Honda’s East Liberty Auto Plant and expanding R&D, engineering, local suppliers, and auto exports. In 1992, she became head of Honda’s Anna Engine Plant and in 1995 became part of the company’s senior leadership council. In 1996, Susan became a management and communications consultant.

Susan was elected to the Board of Trustees of Ohio Northern University in 1977 and from 1977-2005, served in many capacities including Board Chair. She also served from 1985-1994 as the Board Chair of The Ohio State University Hospitals. During her service as Chair, she helped to facilitate a relationship between University Hospitals and Mary Rutan Hospital. For several years, she served as a Director of three corporate boards: Camco Bank Holding Company, Grede Foundries, and Westfield-Ohio Farmers Insurance Company. She was the first woman to serve on each Board and became Westfield’s first Lead Director in 2016.

Susan has received an Honorary Degree from Ohio Northern University, a Distinguished Service Award from The Ohio State University, the Ralph Davenport Mershon Award for Leadership and Service from The Ohio State University Alumni Association, and the recipient of the Columbus YWCA Women of Achievement.

Susan currently enjoys retirement in Palmetto, Florida, where she lived with her late husband Don Penny and their dog Winston.

The 2024 BHS Co-Valedictorians are Elliana Lloyd and Oliver Moreland.

You can watch Friday night’s ceremony at https://www.youtube.com/live/EusGv9iYZHw

The livestream will start around 6:45 p.m.

Congrats to the graduates and their families!

Photos: Dr. Chad McKenzie

Michael Hassel

Susan Insley

Michael Hassel

Susan Insley
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