The Dwight Township High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame welcomed two new members September 6, with a ceremony held in their honor in the DTHS Auditorium.
Dr. Michelle Wargo Rub was one of the honorees. She grew up in Dwight, just down the street from the high school on Philmar Street, with parents Carole and Dave, and siblings Tracie and David. Her mother still resides there today, with her stepfather, Steve.
Dr. Rub graduated from DTHS in 1986, where she played softball, participated in band, art, French Club, drama, and Year Book. She ran track and played basketball for one year, and was a cheerleader for one year. She worked as a lifeguard at Stevenson Pool through high school and college, manufactured phone books at RR Donnelley and Sons, and delivered the Bloomington Pantagraph from the sixth grade through the end of her junior year of high school.
She still has nightmares about delivering papers and forgetting her route.
Dr. Rub attended Florida Institute of Technology, the University of Miami, Illinois Wesleyan University, and eventually graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Champaign-Urbana, in 1993 – with a degree in Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Rub worked as a small and large animal veterinarian in Yorkville during 1994 and 1995, gave birth to twin daughters in 1996, and returned to school in 1997 to pursue additional training in marine science. In 2001, she graduated from Oregon State University, Corvallis, with a master’s degree in Marine Resource Management and a minor in Earth Information Science and Technology.
Dr. Rub has worked for NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, Washington, since 2001. She is currently stationed at the NWFSC’s Pt. Adams Research Station in Hammond, Oregon, where she studies protected marine and anadromous species.
She spent the first half of her career with NOAA teaching biologists how to perform surgery on fish and studying the effects of small micro-acoustic transmitters on fish survival. Most recently, she has been studying the predation impacts of seals and sea lions on threatened and endangered Columbia River salmon.
Dr. Rub currently lives in Astoria, OR, with her husband, Howard (fellow DTHS graduate, class of 1986, as well as former DTHS athletic director and head football coach from 1993-1997), son Rocky, age 15, and golden retriever Guster, age three. Her twin daughters are currently in graduate school – Kennedy is in her second year of Law School at the University of Florida, and Zhoe is pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Rozalin Franklin University in North Chicago.
In her spare time, she works as a small animal veterinarian at a low-cost clinic in Astoria and hosts an Airbnb vacation rental 15 minutes outside of Astoria, using a building that was previously located in Dwight – the former Dwight Java Stop – that she has renovated into a tiny vacation home.
Curt Cronin, a 1994 graduate of DTHS, was also inducted into the HoF on Friday. Over his 19-year career as a Navy SEAL, Curt deployed 13 times and spent more than four years overseas. In that time, living and working in an environment where milliseconds made the difference between life and death and winning and losing, he honed his talent as a catalyst for transformation and rose to eventually lead the nation’s premier SEAL assault force.
As a SEAL leader, he maximized his team’s effectiveness by forging unique and unlikely alliances. He transformed an offensive unit of Navy SEALs into a defensive Presidential protection unit in the midst of combat and single-handedly created the model for multi-disciplinary counter-terrorism operations out of a widely-disparate patchwork of organizations as part of an Embassy team in the Middle East.
Curt’s experiences as a SEAL reinforced his fundamental belief that the competitive edge for any organization in the information age is neither technology nor information, but the unparalleled power of an aligned team. As a speaker, Curt addresses the art of leadership, organizational change for the information age, and the talent of harnessing your own courage and heroism to inspire and empower individuals and teams.
Curt’s passion is to engage each person, team, or organization’s highest aspirations, and help them connect to the “hero within.” He has counseled organizations including AIG, Disney, HP, and the Miami Dolphins, and is an expert at maximizing human potential and synthesizing the strengths of a team to create unprecedented results in any context.
His presentations address the importance of building a “meta-purpose” as Curt’s expertise is in identifying and developing the talents of each member of a team and uniting them through shared ownership
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of a purpose-driven mission. He creates teams empowered to act decisively in any environment because they embody both the content and the context of a leader’s vision.
In addition to his combat experience, Curt is an entrepreneur and innovator. Currently, CEO of Aiki (Ah-kee) Partners, he capitalizes on his combined experiences and lessons from the military, academic, and business worlds to advise numerous organizations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to niche startups on how to catalyze an exponential culture of execution and innovation.
Prior to Aiki Partners, he co-founded Mastery Technologies, a global talent solutions firm, and before that, began his entrepreneurial career with General Stan McChrystal and the McChrystal Group, where he served as a managing partner in transformational consulting.
Curt received his MBA at combined programs from the London School of Economics, New York University’s Stern School of Business, and the HEC School of Management in Paris.