Ludlow, Ross to join Fort Loramie Wall of Honor

FORT LORAMIE — The Fort Loramie Wall of Honor committee along with the Fort Loramie Education Foundation (FLEF) will welcome Larry Ludlow and Dave Ross as its 2023 inductees. The Wall of Honor induction ceremony, which is open to the public, will be held on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.

Larry A. Ludlow was born and raised in Champaign County. He graduated valedictorian from Graham High School in 1972 where he had been active in band, serving as Drum Major for the marching band, wrestling, Student Council and National Honor Society.

After high school, Ludlow attended college at Ohio University in Athens where he was a Music Education major and a member of the Ohio University Marching Band. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from OU in 1976, Ludlow was employed by Highland Local Schools as director of Bands.

He earned his Master’s Degree in School Administration at Ohio State. Ludlow was the director of Fine Arts at the Newark City Schools, during the 1985-86 school year. The following summer he was selected as principal at Southeastern High School. After five years at Southeastern, he was selected as high school principal at his alma mater, Graham. He completed his school superintendency licensure at Wright State University during his years as a principal.

Ludlow began his tenure as Fort Loramie school superintendent in August 1992. The board was clear upon employment that the district was facing challenges, both financially and with the size and condition of facilities. Over the next 17 years, Larry would work with the board, district treasurer and numerous community volunteers to pass two operating levies and two bond issues that would stabilize the district’s operating budget and provide top-notch facilities.

When Ludlow arrived in Fort Loramie, there was minimal use of computers and other technologies in the classroom or for administrative functions. He worked with staff members from the county educational service center and the Fort Loramie Library-Media specialist to author two technology grants. These grants would bring thousands of dollars to Shelby County schools to provide the foundation for computer networks and new technology-based curriculum resources into high school science classrooms. Ludlow left the superintendency after two years for what became a one-year stint as executive director of the Miami Valley Educational Computer Association.

Ludlow returned to the superintendency at Fort Loramie in the fall of 1995 where he remained until his retirement. In January 1996, he became aware of a potential pilot program with the Microsoft and Toshiba Corporations involving the use of laptop computers in the classroom. The district would pursue this opportunity and developed a plan that allowed the district to become one of only 23 school districts in the country to pilot a “Laptops for Learning” program. Fort Loramie’s efforts over the next several years to implement technology was boosted by Ludlow’s, the technology staff, and teacher grant writing efforts, which brought over $1.5 million to the district. The network infrastructure and classroom technology capabilities that were included in the junior/senior high school classrooms in the 2000 addition to the original high school building became the design that is now prevalent in the Ohio Facility Construction Commission School building projects throughout the state. Ludlow’s leadership efforts in school technology resulted in him being recognized twice with the Southwest Ohio Educational Technology Association Leadership Award, In 2005, he was named the Ohio SchoolNet/BASA Technology Leader/Administrator of the Year.

The tradition of outstanding athletic programs and facilities continued and expanded. Early on, Ludlow worked with the Track Boosters to complete the installation of the all-weather track and track bleachers. The softball program was added in 1998. The 1998 Bond Issue provided the tax dollars for the construction of the new high school gym and Ludlow worked with various organizations to coordinate additional enhancements to the building. Beginning in 2003, he worked with the Board of Education and the Football Committee to develop plans for the implementation of football.

Facility improvements were extensive. In the 1990s, grant programs were accessed to replace the boilers and improve electrical access and network connectivity to prolong the life of the 1885 school building. The addition to the original high school building was completed in the late 1990s. The design and construction of the new elementary and renovation of the junior/senior high school through the Ohio School Facility Program occurred from 2006-09. Throughout all these projects, Ludlow spent countless hours soliciting input and assistance from numerous community and staff committees, reviewing design drawings, coordinating classroom and equipment moves as necessary and coordinating community volunteer efforts.

After his retirement from Fort Loramie and public education in 2009, Ludlow joined Freytag & Associates Inc.- Architects/Engineers, as an educational planner. In this role, he has been involved in the planning and design of school facility improvements at many school districts in the area.

Ludlow has been involved with Kiwanis where he served as organization president and chaired the committee that transitioned the group to the Fort Loramie Community Service Club. He assisted the Fast Cash Bash Committee with technology needs in the late 1990s. He was a member of the Dugout Club that raised over $200,000 for the Redskin Park. Ludlow works in the press box at football games and keeps the scorebook for Girls Basketball and Baseball.

Ludlow has been married to Gwen for 42 years. Together they have raised two children, Kyler and Kenleigh. The Ludlow’s are proud grandparents to Keegan and Mara. Ludlow is a member of the New Hope United Methodist Church where he has served on many committees.

The life that Ludlow has lived in Fort Loramie reflects the tremendous support and cooperation received from family, Board of Education members, school staff, students, parents and community members. As he was known to say in his newsletter messages, together they kept Fort Loramie “A Great Place to Learn and a Great Place to Live!”

Ross is a 1972 graduate of Sidney High School, Urbana College in 1976, and the University of Dayton in 1978. Though he moved to Lake Loramie in 1995, he has remained very visible and active in his hometown area.

Ross was inducted in the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor in 2010. His induction plaque cited multiple areas of philanthropy and service including local and Ohio Sports, Hall of Honor, local history, Sidney Memorial Stadium, University of Dayton, Urbana University, YMCA, and social outreach. He is also saluted as an accomplished sports announcer.

The Fort Loramie area first got to know Dave through his radio broadcasts of Redskins basketball beginning in 1976. Shortly thereafter, he began a two-decade run as the voice of Fort Loramie Old Time Fourth of July parade.

Ross moved to Fort Loramie as he wanted to live on the water but knew he could not be far from Sidney. In addition to Lake Loramie’s proximity to Sidney, Ross has many friends around Fort Loramie, making Fort Loramie the logical site to relocate.

While maintaining his Sidney ties, Ross is active and supportive of his adopted hometown including football stadium upgrades, Redskin Park fundraising including his sponsorship of Jared Hoying Field (baseball) and continues in his role of public address announcer for the Fort Loramie girls’ basketball program.

Ross has provided matching financial support for many worthy causes around the county through the Shelby County Community Foundation, including Fort Loramie Schools as a benefactor to support our community.

Ross’s nomination to this Wall of Honor emphasized his commitment to volunteer his time to the community, his philanthropist support of Fort Loramie schools for the development and design of the school facilities plus Mental Health program, which will continue to provide students opportunities which might not otherwise given. Ross has participated in several interview committees to select personnel and a key member in the establishment of the Fort Loramie Wall of Honor committee.

The Wall of Honor is a program being constructed to recognize and honor those persons living or deceased, who, through their performance, achievements and contributions, reflect credit on the Fort Loramie Schools so that present day students may find identity with the past and establish goals for the future. The Wall of Honor will reinforce and enhance a positive image inside and outside of the Fort Loramie School district as it also strives to foster an increased sense of pride among students, faculty, administration, alumni and residents.