ELMHURST – Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 recognized six alumni as "Dukes of Distinction" in its York Distinguished Alumni Program this year.
The program, launched in fall 2013, honors alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant accomplishments and service to society, according to the district.
A panel of judges made up of York Community High School alumni selected the following alumni this year: Dr. Judith Bond Johnson, class of 1955; Lt. David Bosse, class of 1980; Blake Byrne, class of 1953; Brig. Gen. Thomas Fisher, class of 1986; Linda French, class of 1982; and Mary McEnerney Woolley, class of 1964.
A recognition ceremony took place Nov. 2 at York. To learn more about the awards program, visit
Read more about the selected alumni below.
Dr. Judith Bond Johnson
Graduation year: 1955
Current residence: Minneapolis, Minn.
Nominator: Dr. Barbara Lund
Distinction: Bond Johnson's company, HealthQuest, serves individuals, companies and hospitals whose interest is chronic illness. Her thesis, the I Can Cope cancer patient education course, was adopted by American and international hospitals. She was appointed as a Fulbright Scholar in 2010. She is editor of the Asian Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing and presents on living with chronic illness and patient education.
Lt. David Bosse
Graduation year: 1980
Career: Retired firefighter lieutenant and paramedic now teaching CPR and first aid and teaching life skills to individuals with disabilities
Current residence: Bean Station, Tenn.
Nominator: Crystal Scott
Distinction: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Bosse worked 24-hour shifts and spent his off-hours clearing debris. He received the United States Armed Forces' Humanitarian Service Medal and the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System medal for those efforts. He also assisted the New York Fire Department after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Bartlett Fire Department awarded him the Medal of Merit for his actions at a fire where a woman was trapped.
Graduation year: 1953
Career: Television broadcasting
Current residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
Nominator: Sally Mills
Distinction: Byrne founded The Skylark Foundation, which is committed to the protection of LGBTQ rights, social justice and diversity. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award at Duke University, an honor reserved for just 33 alumni to date. An art collector, Byrne is a lifetime trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the founding chair of the Nasher Museum. He was honored with a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an honor given for making a significant contribution to the arts in France.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Fisher
Graduation year: 1986
Career: Military, currently land component commander
Current residence: Park City, Utah
Nominator: Michael Fisher
Distinction: Fisher served in the Michigan Army National Guard and Utah Army National Guard. He was promoted to brigadier general in 2016, and he is currently the land component commander. Fisher was deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2005 and graduated from the U.S. Army War College with a master's degree in strategic studies.
Graduation year: 1982
Career: Badminton athlete and immigration lawyer
Current residence: Naples, Fla.
Nominator: Mary Lin Nicholson
Distinction: French is a 12-time U.S. National Badminton champion. She won the Illinois State Badminton Singles title in 1979, 1981 and 1982. She was selected to join the U.S. Olympic badminton team in 1992 and 1996. As a York Community High School student, she led the badminton team to a second-place finish in the team state finals in 1981 and 1982 as captain. As an immigration lawyer, French represents athletes, businesses and individuals, and she does pro-bono work for asylum seekers and victims of violence.
Mary McEnerney Woolley
Graduation year: 1964
Career: Medical research, currently the president/CEO of nonprofit Research! America
Current Residence: Washington D.C.
Nominator: Val Stewart
Distinction: An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, McEnerney Woolley serves on the Board of Higher Education and the Workforce of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a founding member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. She has a 30-year publication history on science advocacy and research-related topics.