Two alumni will be inducted into PPHS 2018 Hall of Fame in Feb. 9 ceremony

Butch Hindenach •

   PAW PAW - Paw Paw High School will induct the 19th class of honorees to the Hall of Fame Friday, Feb. 9 during the varsity girls and boys basketball games. A reception  will be held beforehand. 
   This year's inductees are Dr. Becky Bielang Stafford, class of 1998, and Jason Meyer, a 1995 grad.
   Dr. Stafford was a three-year standout at Paw Paw in both cross country and track, after having competed at Ionia High School her freshman year. She was All-Region in both sports all three years at Paw Paw, as well as a member of the All-Conference teams in both sports. She served as team captain in cross country and track and field as a senior. She finished her career at Paw Paw on the top 10 board in cross country, and as a holder of school records in three track events, including the 4x800 relay, a record that still stands.
   In addition, Stafford was a member of the All-State Track team one year at Ionia, and all three at Paw Paw. 
   Her academic achievements at Paw Paw included being a member of the National Honor Society, and class valedictorian as a senior. Following graduation she competed in cross country for  four seasons at Kalamazoo College, and also ran unattached in track as the college did not field a team.
   Stafford graduated in 2002 magna cum laude from K-College with a major in biology. While in college, she studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, for a semester in 2000, participated in Earth Watch Costa Rica. She graduated from University of Chicago Pirtzker School of Medicine in 2008 and served  her internship/residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she became certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. 
   Later, she worked at community hospitals in Virginia, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. She worked at the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 2014 to 2016 for the International Organization of Migration as a medical escort, flying with sick refugees from Ethopia to new homes in other countries. 
   Dr. Stafford currently works in a private practice clinic, doing primary care and moonlighting as a hospitalist. She and her husband, Damian and their children, Lander and Finley, will be moving to Vancouver, Canada, in 2019. 
   Meyer was a three-sport standout at Paw Paw, and followed it with a football career at Central Michigan University. He was a member of the Kalamazoo Valley Association All-Conference  team in 1994 and 1995, and earned All-State honorable mention status his senior year. He was named the Redskins’ Most Valuable Player in football as a senior. 
   Meyer was a starting member of a Paw Paw basketball team that won a District Title his junior year, reached the Regional Finals and earned the Wolverine Conference team championships. Meyer also was a three-year KVA track and field first team member. 
   He earned nine varsity letters at PPHS, and was an All-State Academic Team member in 1995. He established school records in track with a 6-6 high jump effort, and in football with a 94-yard run from scrimmage for a touchdown.  
   At Central Michigan, Meyer walked on to the football team as a freshman, and later was rewarded for his play with a scholarship, starting at fullback for three years and earning two Mid-American Conference All-Academic Team awards. 
   In 1999, he was the Chippewas’ team captain and was awarded the Football Scholar/Athlete of the Year award. He also was the winner of the Mid-American Conference Humanitarian Award for Excellence on and off the field and proving he was as talented in the classroom as on the turf, he was a member of the school's Dean's List 1995-2000, with a GPA of 3.92 overall. He also was a member of the select National Burger King Division I Scholar Athlete team.
   Meyer has taught art at Hudsonville (MI) Public Schools since 2000, is active in Special Olympics and Art Reach, and is a Big Brother mentor. He and wife, Jodi, reside in Hudsonvlle with their five children.
   A third selection, Doug Falan, a 1963 Paw Paw High School graduate, has declined induction into the Hall of Fame, according to Athletic Director Rick Mitchell.
   Falan attended Paw Paw Public Schools from kindergarten on, and was a four-sport standout at PPHS, earning varsity letters in  football, basketball, baseball, and track. He led the 1962-63 basketball team to the Wolverine Conference championship with a 11-1 record and was named to the All-Conference second team that season.
   In football, Falan set a school record for his season punting average of 47.5 yards, which still stands. He was named to the Wolverine Conference All-Conference Eleven and was an honorable mention All-State selection his senior year.
   He went on to play baseball and football at Albion College, and a Hall of Fame inductee there as a member of the undefeated 1964 Albion football team.
   Falan has spent his professional career as a U.S. history teacher and track coach at Brighton (MI) High School. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) named him Michigan’s History Teacher of the Year for 1984-85.


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