Sen. Damon D. Thayer
Class of 1985
Career Pathway: Business, Management, Marketing & Technology
Sen. Thayer was nominated by former CASD educator Arthur Thayer, who also accepted the award on his behalf.
When asked how he wished to be addressed, Senator Damon Thayer, of the Kentucky State Senate, replied, "I came into this world as Damon D. Thayer, and I will go out of it the same!"
Unable to attend the induction ceremony, Sen. Thayer wrote: "I'd like to thank the committee for voting me into the Grayling High School Alumni Hall of Fame. I wish I could be there today, but it is Kentucky Derby weekend here in the Bluegrass State, and yesterday I attended my 19th Derby. But I appreciate Art Thayer, my longtime friend and 6th grade science teacher, for accepting this award on my behalf. My years at Grayling High School provided me with a strong foundation that serves me well to this day. The leadership skills I learned on Student Council helped prepare me for my role as a Kentucky state Senator, and my involvement in the GHS speech and theatre program certainly comes in handy every time I take the floor of the Senate to deliver a speech on the issues of the day.
"As a conservative Republican, I can tell you that my colleagues find it amusing that I once portrayed President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the GHS production of Annie back in 1984. I tell them that I have since come to my senses and joined the party of another President Roosevelt named Teddy!
"I want to take this opportunity to thank some of my favorite teachers: Nancy Lemmen, who taught Spanish and Advanced Studies as well as was the director of the first theatre production I was involved with during my freshman year; Mike Delp, who taught me the importance of critical thinking, even though he and I agreed on few issues political; Mike Dean, who helped me muddle through algebra and physics; and Mike Wieland, one of the funniest and most irreverent people I have known!
"Most of all, I want to thank my parents, Dan and Sue Thayer, who supported then, and support now, my somewhat unusual pursuits. They never questioned my endeavors and always promoted the value of a good education. I am proud that, thanks to their encouragement, I became the first member of my family to graduate from college, but prouder still that I was not the last as my sister Dena continued the trend and is now a nurse at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey.
"I made a lot of great friends at GHS, many of whom I saw last summer at the Class of 1985 reunion. My time here is filled with great memories that we made, and those make this honor even more special to me. Thank you very much."