Bartholomay, who personally did not attend Centennial schools, raised his family in the district and is credited with constant support and collaboration during his tenure as mayor. According to a district press release, “Bartholomay is honored for his belief in strong schools and their positive impact on the community, for his compassion for students and support of education, for this enthusiasm, volunteerism, and contributions to Centennial.” Bartholomay is a founding member of the Centennial Area Education Foundation , and he often speaks to students and groups in the schools.
He gave shout-outs to many friends, family, and supporters he had invited to the luncheon and induction ceremony, including his wife and son, a Centennial graduate. He also talked about the Centennial community, saying, “I could serve and make a real difference. I can use the lessons I’ve learned from the tremendous people in my life to help build a community that loves and supports kids and lifts up our kids.”
The family of Quinlan accepted his induction on his behalf, five months after his death following a long illness. He taught at the school from 1978 until 2016. The schools were able to officially induct him shortly before his death in May, to coincide with the opening of the spring play, “Becoming Memories.” Quinlan was a fine arts coach and a director of theater even beyond his retirement, and according to the district, Quinlan directed 39 musicals, 41 one-act plays, and coached section champs and state winners in speech and drama including the first champion from Centennial in any Minnesota State High School League activity. The school is listed in the Minnesota State High School League state record book for the most state finalists in one year: six in 1997 and five in 2000 and 2001. Quinlan was the announcer of Centennial football and basketball games for over 20 years and served on numerous school and district committees as well as at the national level. He is the recipient of an outstanding employee of the year award, coach of the year awards, Speech and Debate Association Fifth Diamond Key in 2014, and was the first inductee into the Minnesota Thespian Hall of Fame in 2019.
He was able to accept the induction while seated in a wheelchair on stage in May, and at last week’s luncheon, his family was once again presented with his plaque. A memorial video played and then his former colleage, retired English teacher Nancy Bledsoe, offered the acceptance speech Quinlan himself penned.
“Gratitude is currency we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy,” read Bledsoe, in a quote from Fred de Witt Van Amburgh. “I feel there is no bank or reserve that can hold all of the thanks and gratitude I am feeling and this is a great opportunity to spend so much of it.”
The Centennial Hall of Fame is officially housed in the commons area just adjacent to the front lobby of Centennial High School.