Grand Haven honorees return home for Hall of Fame induction

Inductee Robert Monetza receives his award from principal Tracy Wilson.

Alexandra Bakker

The Grand Haven Hall of Fame grew last Saturday when twelve honorees were inducted during the ceremony at Spring Lake Country Club. The Grand Haven Schools Foundation welcomed a total of 12 inductees under one of five categories as legends of the Grand Haven community. They have either made significant contributions to their field as an adult or were exceptional as a student.


The multi-generational nominees were appreciative and humbled by the recognition.


“I’m honored to be firmly entrenched in the history of Grand Haven,” honoree Randy Poel said. He grew up in Grand Haven but attended a Christian school all his life. “My dream of being a Buccaneer really came true tonight.”


John Sluka, another inductee recognized for his athletic accomplishments, was overcome by emotion as he recalled his high school experience.


“It just so happened that the night of our graduation was the night we played Muskegon for the conference championship and we went to extra innings,” Sluka said. He was tasked with giving a speech on the baseball season at graduation and rushed to get there in time. “We thought they’d be done because we were so late, but when we walked in it hadn’t even started yet. They gave us a standing ovation.”


Sluka says he attributes his success to his father’s wise words.


“My dad always said ‘the best is none to good,’” he said, teary-eyed. “You can always strive to do better.”


Rebecca Addison, another athletic inductee, explained how she achieved her own goals.


“You have to be patient and work hard,” Addison said. “It doesn’t always come right away, but don’t give up.”


The inductees’ field of accomplishment and graduating class can be seen below.


Cultural or Performing Arts:

Derek DeYoung – 1999


Paul Trap – 1980


Athletic Achievement:

Rebecca Addison – 2009


Girls Cross Country Team of 2010


Douglas Poort – 1956


John Sluka – 1961


Career or Academic Accomplishments:

John Beernink – 1957


Brent Jackson – 1997


Service to GHAPS or Society:

Brent A. Boyink – 1958


Leon Stille – 1957


Honorary Award for Service to GHAPS:

Robert Monetza


Randy Poel