The third class of the Swanton Local Schools Distinguished Hall of Fame was recognized last Monday. The newest members of the hall of fame are Sesario Duran and Steven Haller.
A ceremony that included an introduction and a luncheon was held at Swanton High School. Following that, there was a student assembly where the distinguished alumni could speak to students.
Later in the day, the inductees were recognized during halftime at the varsity basketball game.
Duran is a 1958 graduate of Swanton High School. He was a co-founder, officer and 49-year member of the Board of Directors of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC).
For the past 16 years, he has dedicated countless hours to organizing the community through the worker center in the FLOC office, working with immigrant workers to find jobs, navigate a complicated immigration system, translate when needed, and continue assisting workers in the camps.
FLOC has celebrated its 50th anniversary, and Sesario is proud to say that he has been a part of all of the major historic moments in its history.
Other awards received by Duran in the past have been the 2012 Distinguished Hispanic Ohioan Award, the 2013 Diamante Award: Latino Adult Leadership Recipient, and the 2014 Lifetime of Service and Organizing, Farm Labor Organizing Committee.
Haller is a 1995 graduate of Swanton High School. He received his doctorate in biomedical science in 2012. Following his doctorate, Haller completed post-doctoral training at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences with a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association.
He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, where he is also co-director of the Women and Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Center.
Haller has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in highly-respected journals and has received funding on a national, state, and local level from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the University of Toledo Medical Research Society, and the University of Toledo Women and Philanthropy to support his research.
He is very proud of Swanton and the school system, which provided the frame work for his professional education, and he routinely enjoys visiting with friends and family in the local community.
Nomination forms for the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame are available at all the school buildings and the board office at 108 N. Main St.