The Alumni Newsletter for Shaker Heights High School | Visit us online
January 2018
In This Issue
Where Are You Now? 
We want to keep in touch with YOU! It has been several years since our alumni office has participated in a formal outreach to update our Shaker alumni contact information. A postcard and/or email message was recently sent from Publishing Concepts requesting that you update your contact information. Please take a moment to reply so we can keep you up to date on reunions and other important news and events. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at
What's Red & White and 26 Years Old?

Since 1992, A Night for the Red & White has raised more than $2.6 million for the enrichment of all Shaker students. Billed as Shaker's Black-Tie Block Party, this gala event attracts nearly 800 attendees each year from throughout the community for dinner, dancing, an amazing silent auction, and student performances. (Perhaps you were one of the students who has performed at this event!)

We invite all alumni to join us at this year's event, which will be held on Saturday, March 10 at 7 pm, at the fabulous new Cleveland Hilton Downtown.

If you're not able to attend but would still like to support the event, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution. We also invite you to donate an item for the silent auction or place an ad in the event program prior to February 9. Beginning one week before the event, you can bid on silent auction items and purchase raffle tickets for a Grand Getaway: two round-trip tickets to your choice of  London, Paris, or Rome with a three-night stay in the heart of the city!

Hope to see you on the dance floor!
Shaker Street Smarts: Thank you for your support!
What's Your Sign?
Jennifer Proe, c/o '85
Thank you to the many alumni who supported the Shaker Schools Foundation by participating in the Shaker Street Sign Auction! We were overwhelmed - in a good way - by your support. We are pleased to announce that the auction has raised more than $100,000 to date for the Shaker Schools Foundation! The proceeds will be placed in a dedicated fund to support new  initiatives benefiting all Shaker students.

A list of street signs that were not sold in the auction will be publicized by the end of January.  A five-day online sale for these signs will take place April 16 to 20.  Be sure to follow the Shaker Schools Foundation and Shaker Alumni Facebook  pag es and check to get all the details.

Are you excited about your new (gently used) Shaker street sign? Send us a photo with your sign, and we'll post it on Facebook!
Photo taken by Laurie Stein Marsh,  c/o '70

Laurie Stein Marsh, Class of 1970, shared a photo of hew new Palmerston street sign, a surprise gift from her nephew, Andrew Kopf, Class of 1995, who also purchased signs for himself and for his mother, Betsey Stein Kenyon, Class of 1966. (Betsey and Laurie's mother, Elaine Krasnoff, is a member of the Class of 1944!). Says Laurie, "I have added the sign to the heavily traveled intersection in my heart - the incomparable Memory Lane and Gratitude Blvd. Thank you for the privilege of growing up in Shaker!" We hope  they enjoy them in good health and with good memories of their Red Raider days - and that you do too!

Flashback: High School Murals
This past summer the Class of 1987 held its 
Now: Artists from the c/o '87: Lori Newman (not pictured), Julie Lutjen Lawrence (not pictured), Rhonda Brown, Laurie Rosenthal Seiler, and Julie Hart Roberts 
30th reunion. It was a fantastic weekend celebrating friendship and Shaker 
memories.  During the Saturday high school tour, classmates enjoyed time admiring a mural on the first floor that was created by five members of the Class of 1987. During their senior year, Lori Newman, Julie Lutjen Lawrence, Rhonda Brown, Laurie Rosenthal Seiler and Julie Hart Roberts were preparing portfolios under the guidance of their art teacher, Mr. Hoffman. For their senior project, they decided to collaborate and transform a barren hallway into a vibrant mural that still decorates 
Then: In 1987, students working on a mural for their senior project
high school walls today. The artists continually traded places as they painted the mural to integrate their 
various artistic styles. It was a true collaboration of talents resulting in artwork that highlights the diverse Shaker community that existed then and now.  
Upcoming Reunions and Events
Class of '97 celebrating 20th reunion
Visit our  reunion page to learn more about upcoming reunions. Also, please be sure to  update your contact information so that we can keep you posted on each of our alumni events. 

Questions?  Email us.

Senior Projects 2018
Do you remember your senior project? They're still going strong - and we need your help!

Are you interested in helping our seniors with their  Senior Project or do you know 
someone in the Cleveland area who may want to sponsor a student?

Senior Projects take place May 7 - 31, 2018. Each student is required to have 100 project hours for the month (study hours for AP tests, varsity sports time, and other school activities count toward that total). The sponsor does not need to see the student every day and there is flexibility in how the project is designed.

Students are interested in careers such as business, computer science, education, medicine, engineering, law, accounting, fashion, automotive, and many others. For more information click here. Our students would love your help! Please share this opportunity with others.
My Shaker: James E. McMillan, Class of 1987
His belief that a mistake is a teachable moment resulted in his success.

Where are you now?
James grew up surround ed by brilliant musicians like his grandparents who shared stories about touring the world with Nat King Cole and other jazz greats - unwritten treasures whose value he realizes now more than ever. His grandparents were known in Cleveland as "Mr. and Mrs. 88 Keys." Their oral history resonated with him. However, the pain and frustration about their struggle to get by, coupled with the fact that they were deprived of the fruits of their talents, lit a fire in him to make a difference. He was inspired to become the person who made sure that artists are financially protected and have a real path for professional success. 

Today, James is the founder of his New York City law firm, James E. McMillan, P.C., where he represents many top artists and popular brands. He mentors law students who wish to pursue entertainment law and has trained over 30 young attorneys to date. Currently, he is co-writing a book that he hopes will instill the truths that "failure is a teachable moment" and "one must be honest with oneself in order to truly grow and improve." 

What Shaker schools did you attend?
James transferred to Shaker after living in East Cleveland and attending several private schools. He started in the Shaker schools in the 5th grade at Mercer. Then he moved to Byron Jr. High for 7-9th grades and the high school for 10-12th grades.

James enjoyed the diversity of Shaker's student body. He loved the social network of the kids who surrounded him. He felt that Shaker groomed students for success and provided a diverse environment conducive to learning and collaborating with others who come from different experiences and backgrounds. These experiences prepared him for life outside of Shaker.

How did the Shaker Schools prepare you for your future?
Shaker taught James how to work hard and fostered a sense of confidence that he could achieve his dreams. He learned how to persevere and understood that future success could result even after failure along the away. Shaker taught him the value of education. School was seen as a tool to stay competitive and to achieve future success. 

Do you have a favorite teacher or educator from Shaker?
Ms. Birdsong, his English teacher, will always be one of his favorite teachers from his entire educational career. James took advanced classes where he frequently found himself the sole African American student. Ms. Birdsong took the time to mentor students like James who she believed showed promise. She made sure that he had the support he needed to work to his potential. This attention and support helped him develop confidence which he took with him as he achieved further accomplishments.

What did you do after graduation?
After Shaker, James went to college and law school. He entered college more mature and better prepared than most incoming freshmen largely due to the Shaker experience. 

James studied hard, but it was not easy. There was failure along the way. In pursuit of his goal to become an entertainment lawyer, he continued to law school in Houston. As a young man surrounded by older classmates, he quickly realized that he was not ready. He stumbled and had to put his legal education on hold for two years, but fortunately, the dean of the law school helped him to return and finish his degree. This time, James coupled hard work and diligence with laser-sharp focus, which led to success. After earning his J.D., he secured a clerkship in Washington, DC and a year-long position at a law firm. He was then ready to start his own firm.

James continues to work hard for his artist clients as their advocate, and in some cases, as mentor. We look forward to James McMillan returning to Shaker to share his inspiring messages with the next generation!

My Shaker is all about you! 

Email or call the alumni office at 216-295-4877. We would love to hear your story.
Shaker Heights City Schools
15600 Parkland Drive
Shaker Heights, OH 44120