7571 North Elyria Road, West Salem, OH 44287
Phone: (419) 846-3151
Fax: (419) 846-3361
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Mike Burkholder Memorial

Mike Burkholder Memorial

The Mike Burkholder memorial committee of Paula Abrecht, Julie McCumber, Randall Hafner, Jeff Burkholder and Jeff Layton initially met two weeks ago regarding development of a memorial discussion and concept to recognize and memorialize the leadership and accomplishments of Mike Burkholder.  The committee has remained in communication with the Northwestern Board of Education Members as the process has evolved.

The Northwestern Board of Education recently gave informal approval for moving forward with this project, which will be formally approved at the May 18th Northwestern Board of Education Meeting.  They did so in order to begin the early phases of the project.

The family has established a fund for funding this Northwestern Mike Burkholder memorial and the Orrville Mike Burkholder field project through the Wayne County Community Foundation.  Contributions can be made by contacting or mailing a check to:

Wayne County Community Foundation

“Burk” Memorial Fund

517 Market St.

Wooster, OH 44691


The project entails a 625 Sq. Ft. brushed concrete area to the north of the main HS athletic complex ticket booth.  The entrance will be from inside the complex.  Dimensions are roughly 25ft X 25ft and will include a memorial centerpiece with Mike’s silhouette and one of his most memorable quotes surrounded by a 6 ft. high gray textured block wall.  It will include two benches and two flowering dwarf trees.  In the future the wall surrounding this memorial area will hold bronze plaques of inductees into the Northwestern Athletic Wall of Fame, which will be established.

The project broke ground this week with a section of fence removal and removal of asphalt.

Below are some details about the project.  We will keep all informed as the project evolves.

  • The committee wanted something to honor Mike that would be aesthetically pleasing and create a nice entrance to our HS athletic complex
  • Mike wanted something to honor others, as is his nature, with the incorporation of an athletic wall of fame
  • The Memorial will be constructed through tax exempt contributions with no financial cost to the district, due to current funding concerns
  • There will be some in-kind contributions from district, contractors, and individuals through time, effort, maintenance labor, donated materials
  • If Northwestern employees would prefer the district is willing to collect funds as well for the project and forward the funds to the Wayne County Community Foundation account.  Simple make contributions to the Northwestern Board of Education Office
  • Tress would be @ 8 ft. decorative flowering (dwarf cherry blossom or pear)
  • Future plans would be to honor other major athletic icons – bronze plates mounted on the wall
  • Wall will be a 5-sided geometric area

Other ways Northwestern is honoring “Burk”

  • An HSTW Annual Professional Development Scholarship created by NE Ohio High Schools that Work Professional Development Organization has been approved by our NE Ohio HSTW Board of Trustees
  • An annual Northwestern student scholarship is planned to be created by the family
  • Jeff Layton is nominating Mike Burkholder for the Northwestern Alumni & Friends Wall of Fame for next induction (2022)
  • An annual track invitational is being organized that will alternate between Orrville and Northwestern with other Wayne Cou. Schools with proceeds to go toward remaining costs for the two school projects and planned remainder to go towards a perpetual student scholarship
  • The district and family will be planning a dedication event once completed this summer
  • We anticipate spring 2021 initial Athletic Wall of Fame inductions (inductions are planned to be bi-annual and committee will be established for this).  The process as well as more information to come out this fall.
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7571 North Elyria Road, West Salem, OH 44287 | Phone: (419) 846-3151 | Fax: (419) 846-3361
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