Volleyball’s April Ross among 15 to be inducted into Newport Harbor High Hall of Fame

When the Newport Harbor High School Alumni Assn. inducts 15 more members into the Newport Beach campus’s Hall of Fame next week, the list will include Olympic and pro beach volleyball player April Ross, drummer Tris Imboden of the band Chicago and former Costa Mesa Police Chief Tom Gazsi.

The 10 alumni and five faculty members will be inducted Thursday during a presentation at Newport Harbor’s Robert B. Wentz Theater. The event begins at 6 p.m. and includes jazz music. Seating is first-come, first-served, and refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

Ross, Class of 2000, won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and bronze in 2016.

“I had such a fun time competing for Harbor and am very thankful to have been on the teams I was on and to have had the coaching I had,” Ross said in a statement. “I’m beyond honored to be inducted to the Hall of Fame and I’m excited to see everyone. I don’t get back as often as I would like, but this is as good of an excuse as any.”

Imboden, Class of 1969, is the lead drummer for Chicago. He was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and is noted for his performances on the soundtracks for the movies “Footloose” and “Caddyshack.”

Gazsi, Class of 1979, is a former Newport Beach police officer and Costa Mesa police chief and the current chief of the Port of Los Angeles police.

Other honorees are:

  • Don Cantrell, Class of 1950, journalist who worked at the Daily Pilot and Orange County Register and as a public relations professional for Cypress College
  • Margot Cunningham, English teacher from 1963 to 1998
  • Bob Hailey, biology teacher from 1960 to 1996 and a track and field coach
  • Betty Orbach, English teacher from 1963 to 1988 and a former synchronized swimming star
  • Dudley Gene Smith, chemistry teacher from 1956 to 1992
  • Arthur Worden, vocational arts teacher from 1931 to 1952
  • America Arias, Class of 2005, Emmy-winning news producer
  • Dr. Ingrid Buhler Pisetsky, Class of 1963, psychiatrist
  • Jerome Keithley, Class of 1934, former mayor of Stockton and city manager of Palo Alto, Oakland and Glendale
  • Roderick MacMillian, Class of 1945, local Boys & Girls Club athletic director and former board president for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District
  • John Shirley, Class of 1942, World War II veteran and former mayor of Livermore
  • Tod White, Class of 1955, philanthropist


Twitter: @BradleyZint


4:40 p.m.: This article was updated with a comment from April Ross.

This article was originally published at 2:30 p.m.

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