These 9 Springfield natives did great things, and now they’re being honored by their alma mater

Todd A. J. Walker

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Todd A. J. Walker

Nine people who graduated from Springfield City Schools will be honored as distinguished alumni tonight.

James Bacon, chairman of the Steering Committee, said each person who will be honored earned it through their success in their professional careers and also their service to their community.


“Many times we overlook accomplishments in our own community,” Bacon said. “We see a lot of things shared from other states and cities. But we have the same things occurring in our own backyard.”

Those who will be honored are:

Rick Chamberlin, Springfield North class of 1975: After being named head football coach of the Dayton Flyers in 2008, he earned his first Pioneer Football League Coach of the Year Award in 2010 and was named the 2015 AFCA District Coach of the Year and 2015 PFL Coach of the Year.

Under Chamberlin’s teaching and guidance, the UD football program has reached new heights academically. Chamberlin and his wife Jayne Chamberlin live in Kettering and have two grown sons, Jason Chamberlin and Tyler Chamberlin, who are also graduates of the University of Dayton.

Judge Benjamin J. Goldman, Springfield High School class of 1922: He was admitted to the Ohio Bar and began his legal career in Springfield. In addition to his private practice, Goldman was a city solicitor and an assistant Clark County prosecutor. During World War 11, Goldman joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at the Panama Canal Zone.

After service, Goldman returned to his law practice and community service. In 1953, he was elected as a municipal court judge, serving four years. In 1957, he was elected to common pleas court and presided there until retiring at age 70.

Goldman died on April 6, 1975.

Kristen Huffman-Gottschling, Springfield North class of 1989: Huffman-Gottschling is the Executive Director of PACTT Learning Center in Chicago providing therapeutic educational, residential and vocational services for children and adults who live with severe and profound autism. She is adjunct professor at Jane Addams College, is a school council board member for Stone Scholastic Academy, on the Institutional Review Board of Cook County Circuit Court plus several other community board and membership commitments.

James Hoshino-Huffman, Springfield North class of 1985: Hoshino-Huffman moved to Tokyo after graduation and began teaching English at Fujimigaoka Junior and Senior High School. In 2000, James joined the Nippon Foundation in Tokyo, where he has worked his way up to manager in the International Network Team of the International Projects Division.

He has carried out projects around the world, including the West Asia North Africa Forum, the UK-Japan Global Seminar, International Expert Symposium, Scholarships for Central Asian Studies in Turkey, Scholarships for Asian students, Scholarships for American graduate students to study advanced Japanese in Yokohama and the Tokyo International Literary Festival in 2016.

Amy D. Klaben, Springfield North class of 1975: Klaben decided to devote her life's work to starting and growing non-profit organizations in Columbus and is a partner in a legal firm, developing creative and innovative solutions for affordable housing and health care and education.

She consults with various clients through her firm and has earned a reputation as an advocate on issues impacting economic development, poverty, housing, health care and education.

Bruce Allen Ludlow, Springfield North 1978: Ludlow graduated in the 110th Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy Class in 1981 and was assigned as a trooper to the Athens post. As he progressed in his career, Ludlow worked assignments in Zanesville, Bellefontaine, Springfield, Walbridge, Wilmington and Piqua, where he served as the Captain of the Piqua District.

When promoted to Major, Bruce was assigned to OSP Headquarters where he directed Human Resources. Among his honors and awards, Ludlow was recognized for his contributions assisting the USA Secret Service and helped coordinate presidential and dignitary visits in Ohio with the Secret Service on numerous occasions.

Audra Harshaw Taylor, Springfield South 1989: Taylor attended Howard University on an ROTC Scholarship, was a distinguished military graduate, received her B.S. degree in medical technology and commissioned a second lieutenant in the US Army Medical Service Corp in May 1994.

Taylor’s military assignments in the past 23 years of active duty have taken her to Korea, Thailand and Iraq as well as numerous base operations in the U.S. Taylor is recognized as a key leader in the laboratory science field and has distinguished herself and the US Army with a record of achievements in the blood program.

Craig Alan Umbaugh, Springfield North class of 1977: Umbaugh is recognized as an outstanding businessman, community volunteer and attorney in Denver, Colo. Umbaugh received his B.A. at Northwestern University in 1981 and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1985.

Through his extensive legal experiences, Umbaugh established himself as an eminent corporate lawyer, specializing in mergers, acquisitions and real estate. He is now widely recognized as one of the leading sports attorneys in the nation.

Todd A. J. Walker, Springfield South class of 1987: Walker earned a full athletic scholarship to Indiana University, where he earned his B.A. in criminal justice in 1992. He was invited to NFL Combine and signed a free-agent contract with the Denver Broncos in 1992.

Among his awards and honors, he was inducted into the SSHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Virginia Beach Rotary Club in 2009.

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