Four Waite High School graduates were honored as Distinguished Alumni at the 46th Annual Purple and Gold Dinner celebration held April 17 at St. Michael Centre, Oregon.
The 2010 inductees included Romules L. Durant, class of 1994 (education and community service); Victor Kissoff, class of 1954 (business and community service); Michael D. Lorton, class of 1972 (medicine, law and community service); and Stanly R. Starkey, class of 1965 (business and community service).
Dr. Romulus L. Durant was born to Benjamin and Carolynne Durant on Dec. 11, 1975. He and his siblings became very involved in athletics, helping his parents, who coached at both Franklin and Birmingham elementary schools.
He played most of his little league football for the East Side Raiders, where he became known for wearing his jersey labeled “Hit Man.”
At Waite, he earned multiple awards for athletics as a three-year varsity letterman and two-year captain. His prowess earned him team awards of “Best Linebacker” and “Most Valuable Defensive Player” three times. In addition, he was twice voted All-City and All-District Teams, and also received All-Ohio distinction for his play as a middle linebacker. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Toledo, where he was a four-year varsity letter winner and was twice awarded the Jon Binder Award, given for exemplifying true heart and courage.
He was inducted into the Waite High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
For his abilities off the field, he earned more than 15 academic scholarships. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in education in 1998, he went on to be selected as a member of the Intercollegiate Urban Leadership Development Program, where he earned a master of education degree in 2002. In 2007, he obtained a doctorate degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of Toledo.
Recently, he had the opportunity to collaborate with other professional educators in New York City to devise a plan on the topic of “Equity and Excellence” for the Obama administration. As a result, he was hired by the National Research Institute to be a facilitator for all future conferences.
Dr. Durant has spent his last 11 years in the Toledo Public Schools District, serving as principal of Riverside Elementary and currently as Assistant Superintendant of Elementary Education.
For his accomplishments, he has been inducted into the Birmingham Hall of Fame and was honored by local government as a “Distinguished Citizen.”
Victor Kissoff was born in 1936 to Valcho and Elena Kissoff, who immigrated to the U.S. from Bulgaria in the late 1920s. The Kissoffs operated a restaurant on Front Street in East Toledo, and lived in an apartment on the second floor.
Kissoff attended Franklin elementary and graduated from Waite High School in 1954. While at Waite, he lettered in football, basketball and track, earning All-City honors in football. In 1981, he was inducted into the Waite High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
After graduation, he attended the University of Toledo, where he majored in accounting, graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Though he received some scholarships, he paid for most of his tuition while married and working full time.
He subsequently worked as a cost accountant for the Page Dairy Company and as an internal auditor at the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co. Later, he was the vice president of finance at the Tuschman Steel Company (presently part of the OmniSource Corp.).
He passed the Ohio CPA examination in 1956, and from 1962-1979, he worked at Arthur Young and Company, a national accounting firm. He later established his own public accounting practice, beginning as a sole proprietor and adding partners as the business grew.
Until recently, the company operated under the name of Kissoff, Rayner, Foos & Kruse. Kissoff retired from an active role in the firm in 2006.
Kissoff is active on a number of local boards of directors, including Planned Parenthood and Toledo Day Nursery. He has served on various committees of the United Way and is a former president of the Downtown Coaches Association. He is a past president of the board of deacons of Messiah Lutheran Church and served on the board of elders for several years.
Kissoff has been married for 54 years to Joyce Compton, his high school sweetheart, who was also a member of the Waite class of 1954. They have three children, Nicholas, Gregory and Victoria, all of whom are graduates of UT. They also have five grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.
Michael D. Lorton was born in Oregon Sept. 26, 1954. His parents, Richard and Barbara Lorton, who graduated from the University of Toledo, are retired teachers living near San Antonio, Tex. Lorton has one sibling, Susan Lorton Boullion, M.D., who also lives near San Antonio.
Lorton attended Raymer Elementary School. At Waite High School, he was a member of the National Honor Society, Forum Literary Society and the Alchemists Society and was elected student council president his senior year. He also played junior varsity and varsity basketball and was a distance runner on the track and cross country teams.
Lorton attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he majored in chemistry and minored in biology, and ran intercollegiate track and cross country. His honors included election to the Phi Beta Kappa Honorary before his graduation in 1976.
Subsequently, he attended medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he met and married his classmate, Christy McNeely Lorton, M.D.
After medical school, Lorton completed his residency at the Medical College of Ohio, staying on to complete his cardiology fellowship. He is currently board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
In addition, he received a law degree from the Duke University School of law, and is licensed to practice law in Ohio. He practiced as a litigation attorney while his wife was completing her residency in dermatology.
He also received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, concentrating in finance and strategy for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Lorton served three years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a general medical officer and flight surgeon stationed at Zweibrucken Air Force Base, Germany.
The Lortons are the parents of Jessica, Alex, Holly and Hillary.
Stanley R. Starkey grew up in East Toledo, graduating from Raymer Elementary in 1961 and Waite High School in 1965.
While at Waite, he was a member of the National Honor Society for three years, graduating with honors. He also played three years of varsity basketball and four years of varsity tennis, serving as co-captain of both teams his senior year. He earned All-City honors in basketball his junior and senior years and was selected to the Ohio tennis final his junior and senior years.
Starkey also earned the Bob Rettig award for outstanding scholastic, athletic and leadership accomplishments at the end of his senior year. He was inducted into the Waite Hall of Fame in 1977.
He attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he played varsity basketball and tennis. He earned All-Ohio Conference honors in basketball in his junior and senior years, and graduated as the fourth leading scorer in Wittenberg history. He graduated in 1969 with a bachelor of arts degree in English literature.
His first position was with RCA, Computer Systems Division in Dayton. His business career was interrupted from 1971-72 when he served in the U.S. Air Force. Following his discharge, he worked as a systems analyst at the Bostwick-Braun Co. in Toledo for two years before joining Comshare, Inc., in Ann Arbor. During his 20-plus year tenure there, Comshare became one of the world’s leading providers of business software.
Starkey also served in various executive capacities with Gentia Software and Workforce Software, and is currently senior vice president of sales at Sircon Software in Lansing, Mich. For a number of years, he managed his own consulting company, assisting sales and marketing functions of many software companies.
Starkey was a volunteer in the University of Michigan’s Athletic Mentor Program, where he worked with athletes who were planning careers in sales or marketing.
In 1968 he married Sue Kansorka (Waite 1965), who passed away. They have two sons, Todd and Chad.