She Dared to Wear Pants

Susan L. Russell (SHS 1970), a National Merit Scholar, Editor of the school newspaper, and the first girl who dared to wear pants to school, will come home to Sidney High School to be inducted into the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor on Friday, April 21, at 7:30pm. 

She will be joined by Martin L. "Mick" Given (SHS 1975), Thomas P. Milligan (SHS 1978), and the late Kenneth W. McCormick (Teacher 1968-93) in raising Hall membership to 123. The public event will be followed by an open gymnasium reception.

It was only natural that Susan L. Russell was destined for a career dealing with the written word. Her mother Margo (SHS 1937, HoH 1998) was the internationally known Editor of Coin World while father Marion held a similar position with the Sidney Daily News.

She received two degrees from Miami University and served seven years as the institution's Creative Director of Publications. She also held similar positions at the Rockefeller Foundation and Princeton University before launching her own marketing company, the Russell Mark Group, in northern California, which specializes in branding and name selection for businesses and other entities. Clients include a "who's who" of the nearby Silicon Valley along with the Fortune 500.

One unique client was the International Astronomical Union, which catalogs and names minor planets. They were so impressed with the Russell Mark Group that they named a minor planet for the company. This would have undoubtedly pleased 2002 Hall of Honor inductee Dr. Clyde Fisher, the "father" of American astronomy. "My mom made sure I was aware of Clyde Fisher since both of us are from Orange Township," she recalled recently. Fisher graduated from Orange in 1892.

Russell has been very active in public service, especially where her marketing and branding talents could be employed; she was recently honored as Volunteer of the Year at her local YMCA. She's a personification of excellence and versatility as a classically trained singer and a certified teacher of English as a second language.

Her 1970 graduating class has now produced four members of the Hall of Honor. Russell is joined by Retired Lt. Col. Lloyd E. Lutz, Jr. (1995), William Hudson, Jr. (1996), and Kevin Stayton (2011). She resides in El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay region of northern California.