Fruitport Hall of Fame Class Announcement | Education

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The Fruitport High School Athletic Department, in partnership with the District Education Foundation, announced its 2022 inductees into the Fruitport Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2013 and celebrated a new class of winners each year until 2019. The Hall of Fame originally honored only athletes, but has since expanded its scope to include all a graduate, having worked for or contributed to the greater good of Fruitport Community Schools.

In addition to recognizing athletic achievement, the Hall of Fame has added categories for Academic/Professional Achievement, as well as Outstanding Service to Fruitport Community Schools.

This year’s class will be officially inducted at a ceremony on October 22.

Betty Kinney

Fruitport Community Schools Service

Betty Kinney and her husband, Gary, moved to the Fruitport District when their children were very young. She became an active volunteer at her children’s school and served on the Shettler Parent Teacher Association. Being intrigued by the “behind the scenes” workings of the school system, Betty felt she had time to dedicate herself to serving on the Fruitport Community Schools School Board. She was appointed to a vacant seat on the board in 1983, was elected to a four-year term on the board in 1984, and successfully won each of her re-election campaigns. Betty remained with the school board for 31 years as a trustee, secretary and chair of the board, a title she held for 21 consecutive years.

Betty was a firm believer in active participation, spending as much time in buildings as she did at board meetings. During her tenure on the council, she volunteered to help in classrooms and with PTO duties, chaperoned summer music camps, and served on numerous council and district committees. She was an active member of the Academic Booster Club (ABC) which organized and ran weekly bingo games, raising thousands of dollars for Fruitport Community Schools.

Betty has always served the district with a listening ear and based her decisions on what was best for the students. Among the many accomplishments the board accomplished during Betty’s reign were passing through tough election campaigns, mileage and obligations, developing strategic plans and implementing them, overseeing finances to keep the money in classrooms and hiring quality staff. Her fondest memories include the graduation ceremonies where she presented Fruitport students with their diplomas.

She resides in the Fruitport neighborhood.

Brandi (Fialek) Michelli

Athletics, class of 2005

Brandi (Fialek) Michelli was a four-year college starter for Fruitport Women’s Soccer. She received all-state football honors in 2004 and 2005. She also achieved all-area honors in 2002 as a rookie. She was a force in central midfield and had an excellent ability to control the pace of the game. While she primarily played in midfield, she was a utility player who often filled other positions on the pitch as the team required. She helped lead the Fruitport Girls football program to numerous successes, including regional semifinals in 2004 and conference champions in 2005. Brandi also won all-state academic honors in 2004 and 2005.

Brandi’s football career was cut short by injury. She missed her entire sophomore season after suffering an ACL tear in her knee during a preseason scrimmage. She tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her other knee late in her senior year in the District Finals game.

Brandi went to Ferris State University, where she studied nuclear medicine. A few years after graduating from Ferris, she returned to school and graduated as a nurse. She currently works as a registered nurse specializing in oncology and autoimmune infusions. She resides in Fruitport with her husband Joe Michelli (FHS Class of 1999) and their children, Grace and Cash.

James Munger

Academics, class of 1977

James balanced academics with athletics throughout his four years at Fruitport High School. He took a drawing course with Mr. John Grossa and this set James on the path he would follow for the next few years.

In the fall of 1977, James began his next adventure at Hope College, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree. From there, he went to the University of Michigan and enrolled in their master’s program in mechanical engineering. After graduating in 1982, James began working at Northrop Grumman TRW. In 1993, he received his spacecraft controller flight certification.

James held various positions during his time at Northrop Grumman. In 2010, James was part of a mission he calls his most memorable role – Mission Operations Manager for the Lunar Crater Observation and Detection Satellite (LCROSS). LCROSS was a satellite designed to discover water on the moon. The mission was a success as James and his team discovered water in the shadowy Cabeus crater near the lunar south pole. For his efforts, James received NASA’s Honor Award and Popular Mechanics magazine’s Breakthrough Award for Innovation in Science and Technology, among other awards. Throughout his career, James has served on the U-of-M Climate and Space Science Advisory Board, worked as an adjunct professor, and authored numerous publications for conferences and magazines. James retired from Northrop Grumman in 2020.

James met his wife Lesley at the University of Michigan, and together they have two sons. James has lived in California for 40 years and recently bought a house in Holland.

Ken Erny

Fruitport Community Schools Service

A native of Burlington, New Jersey, and an alumnus of Cedarville University (Ohio) in 1978, where he played tennis, Ken came to Fruitport after graduating. He was first hired by Faith Christian to teach and start a football program at the school. Other duties at Faith included coaching basketball and serving as athletic director. In 1989, when Faith Christian closed, he taught for a year at Calvary Christian in Muskegon. In 1990, Fruitport Community Schools hired Ken to work full time with their community education program. Additionally, he was named coach of the high school’s first soccer team. In 1996, he accepted the position of athletic director at the school, where he served until his retirement in 2020.

Ken led the Trojan boys football team for 19 years, compiling a 242-133-20 record with multiple trips to regional finals. As Fruitport’s athletic director, he oversaw the Trojans’ first three tag team state championships and half a dozen individual state titles.

In addition to myriad day-to-day responsibilities as athletic director, he conducted a three-year self-study leading to statewide athletic excellence recognition in 2008. In 2006, he was established a relationship with a fledgling program that provides athletic opportunities for students with special needs. More Sidelines,” which continues in many West Michigan schools and colleges today. After retiring from coaching, he created the Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT), challenging students to reach their full potential in the hallways and on the field.

In 2015, Ken was honored to be inducted into the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In October 2020, the Fruitport football field was dedicated to him, now called Ken Erny Field. In June of that year, he received the Gene Young Service Award from the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Ken resides in Fruitport with his wife, Lori.

Mindy Erny Acre

Athletics, class of 2003

Mindy Erny Acre was an athlete who set the bar high for future goalies and the athletes who would follow her. Mindy was the starting goaltender for Fruitport Women’s Soccer during her four years of high school. She received top honors for her football career, including All-Conference (2000-03), All-District (2001-03), and All-State in 2003. Mindy holds school records for most shutouts (53 ) and career goals against (0.54). ). She was also named an all-state varsity in 2003. She received the top honor of student athlete of the year in 2003. Mindy also played four years of tennis at Fruitport.

Mindy then played college football at Cornerstone University. She has earned numerous accolades, including three years all conference, three years all region, and an American honorable mention in 2006. Mindy also received the National Champion of Character award in 2007. Mindy holds the University goalie record Cornerstone for career wins (44), save percentage (.871) and shutouts (29).

Mindy has coached a variety of soccer teams ranging from junior high to high school to college. She competed both as an athlete and then as a coach in the NAIA National Tournament.

Mindy currently resides in Kentwood with his wife Nicole. Together, they welcomed many children.

Rex Malarik

Athletics, class of 1977

Rex Malarik was a member of the football team for all four years of his high school career and excelled at middle and outside linebacker. Rex was recognized for his efforts on the football team by being selected to the Class B All-State Team his senior year. Rex was also a member of the swim team for four years and played baseball for Fruitport.

Rex then attended Alma College, where he played football for four years as a center and offensive guard. He received his undergraduate degree in physics in 1981. He continued his studies at Michigan State University, earning his second undergraduate degree at the School of Engineering.

Rex continued his football career later in life by becoming a college football coach at South Lyon East High School. It was a unique position because the high school and the football program were brand new. He coached the offensive and defensive line from 2007 to 2015 and led the program to numerous successes.

Rex is employed at General Motors. He and his wife Peggy (Moore) have four children. Rex joins his sister Tracy Malarik, who was previously inducted into the Fruitport Hall of Fame for swimming.

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