Dr. Jon Thompson
Class of 1975
Career Pathway: Human Services
Dr. Jon Thompson was nominated by Jim Tobin.
Jon graduated from Grayling High School in 1975. While attending GHS, he played five sports – baseball, basketball, football, tennis and golf – and was editor of the high school newspaper.
Jon said he had good English teachers at Grayling High School -- including Michael Delp, Chuck Spencer and Rob Woodland -- who influenced him to continue his study of English.
Jon graduated cum laude from Alma College in 1980 with a bachelor of arts degree and a major in English. He earned a master of arts degree in English from Central Michigan University in 1993.
From 1981 to 1986, Mr. Thompson worked as a reporter for the Crawford County Avalanche, and in 1986 he was named editor and general manager of the newspaper. He held that position until 1994, when he joined the faculty of Kirtland Community College as a writing instructor.
In 1998, he worked with a Michigan State University professor and instructors from Delta College and Northwestern Community College to design on-line training modules for advanced composition students.
He earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Central Michigan University in 2006. His dissertation was entitled "Adapting the Process Communication Model to Higher Education Writing Connecting to Personality Types."
Dr. Thompson has co-authored three books – two about the history of the AuSable River Canoe Marathon and one on the history of Kirtland Community College – and has had many articles and photographs published in magazines and newspapers throughout the state.
He continues to enjoy participating in sports, including basketball, running and paddling. He has competed in many Michigan Canoe Racing Association events and will race in his tenth AuSable River International Canoe Marathon this coming July.
Dr. Thompson has been active in community organizations, including vice president of the Crawford County chapter of the American Red Cross, vice president of the Michigan Canoe Racing Association, vice president of the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Crawford County Planning Commission and the Grayling Township Planning Board, a board member and coach for the Grayling Little League and Grayling Junior Basketball programs, director of the Cornell Tennis Tournament, publicity chair for the Grayling Winter Sports Festival and a director of the Grayling Basketball League.
Both of his sons, Jason and Eric, graduated from Grayling High School. Jason was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004. His wife, Ellen (O’Mara) Thompson, was also a GHS graduate, as were his father, Ross Thompson; his mother, Phyllis (Schmidt) Thompson; his brother Joe and his niece Candy Grigsby.