Paul Coderko, Hillsboro Class of 1976 and his aunt Mary Hartline Donahue, HHS Class of 1945 were honored as Distinguished Alumni at the 2010 Hillsboro Educational Foundation banquet.
Coderko has earned three Emmys for his work in television production. His first was for a public service program in 2006, next he won for producing the Tournament of Roses Parade, and his last Emmy was for a news broadcast based out of Los Angeles in 2008."Earning the three Emmys has meant a lot to me, but they don't mean as much as being here tonight," he said. He credited his hometown as his constant inspiration. "This is home," he said. He also credited teacher Ron Deabendefer, for teaching hiim to love journalism, and Librarian Randy Thomas for giving him invaluable tools that allowed him to grow. Producing television shows is a challenging job, complex, and requiring extreme attention to detail. Paul's favorite, is producing the World Series, "I can't get enough of it, and getting paid too is just great." he said. He thanked Doris Enochs for nominating him. "If I ever run for office, you're my manager." he said He was introduced by a high school classmate Sara Shankland Merlin, who told of Paul's work ethic. "He never stops working at it," she said. His parenting skills were also highlighted, "He has three of the nicest kids," she said. She also stated that he is one of the kindest people she knows.
Mary Hartline Donohue, whose radio and television career brought her fame in the late 1940's and 1950's, was introduced by Lyn Lingle. "She always persevered," Lingle stated. Three short highlight TV clips of Hartline in "Super Circus" and in ads for Kellogg's "Sugar Pops" cereal were shown. As a member of the "Super Circus" she became a household name. The show started in January 1949 and was produced in Chicago. It was later moved to New York in 1955. The show would open with Mary, a glamorous blonde, costumed in her signature red dress with white heart leading a band and twirling a baton. In 2004 she appeared in the Hillsboro Old Settlers parade, as Grand Marshall wearing her famous red dress. Besides commercial success as spokesperson for Kellogg's cereals, she was also the face for Canada Dry ginger ale. Mary acknowledged she was awestruck and "so grateful" for being honored."I love Hillsboro, my church, the school and my pals. It has been wonderful being back in Hillsboro," she concluded.
Alan Pretnar, president of the Foundation served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.