Alumni Spotlight: Larry Wozniak
What's your name and when did you graduate?
My name is Larry Wozniak and I graduated from Gabriels High School in 1967.
What are you doing these days?
I'm a retired Hotel Owner/Manager and still a Board Member of the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council-30 years, Advisory Board Member and past president of West Michigan Tourist Association-20 years, Officer in St. Joseph the Provider Knights of Columbus Council 13942-4 years, Lions Club Member-2 years, Board Member on Lest We Forget-9 years, Board President the last 3 years. Former Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Board Member-29 years (Board President 3 years), Former Lake Michigan College Hospitality Advisory Board Member-20 years. I taught 8th grade CCD/Confirmation-6 years and was Youth Minister for a parish-5 years, taught Religion (3 Freshman & 1 Senior Class) at Msgr. Hackett High School, Kalamazoo-1 year. I have headed the Gabriel's Class of 1967 Reunion Committee since 1997.
What is your fondest memory of your time at Gabriels as a student?
My fondest memory is 4 years with Latin Teacher Sr. Jean Margaret, O.P. and Junior Classical League (JCL). She also was in charge of the drama department. For a weekend in the Spring she would take 4-5 of us boys to clean up the yard at the Dominican Summer House in Irish Hills. Also, I still keep in touch with Br. Kevin Fitzgerald, FSC, currently in Chicago. Gabriel's football coach and my Biology Teacher, Phil Brooks, now lives in my community.
What activities were you involved in as a student?
JCL, School Plays, Band, Audio Visual Coordinator, Acolyte for school chaplain, Fr. Sears, who is my current parish retired pastor.
What staff person/teacher inspired you, and how?
Br. Kevin Fitzgerald, FSC, encouraged me to pray with him and helped build my self-confidence.
How did your time and experiences at Gabriels prepare you for your life or work?
I don't remember the student population number but it was around 600. Everyone knew everyone and teachers were able to get to know us. We were all encouraged to do better.
What made Gabriels unique among high schools while you attended?
Boys wore ties, girls wore plaid skirts, classes were not overcrowded. The majority of the staff were Christian Brothers and Dominican Nuns.
How do you see God at work at Lansing Catholic today?
The student body is involved in community and Church activities. Lansing Catholic can be proud of its sports programs.
Editor's Note: In 2020, Larry was awarded the Alumni Service Award of the Year from Lake Michigan College, and in 2019 he was honored as the Michigan 21st Senate District Veteran of the Year.
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