Diploma of Distinction Award Ceremony

Honoring Joan Puzder GanimIHS Class of 1965
Monday, June 12 7:00pm, Media Center – High School

The Independence High School Alumni Association welcomes you to attend the 2023 Alumni of Distinction Award Ceremony on Monday, June 12th at 7:00pm in the Independence High School Media Center (old library room). This is an open public event – all are welcome to attend.

The Alumni Association is proud to announce that the 2023 Alumni of Distinction Award will be presented to Joan Puzder Ganim, IHS Class of 1965.
Joan is recognized for her dynasty of Gymnastics excellence, her pioneering vision, her selfless dedication and her unparalleled success in gymnastic education, training, coaching, and mentoring.

Remember that during Joan’s high school years, there were no varsity sports programs for girls. Joan was the premier pioneer leader in bringing excellence to women’s as well as men’s high school gymnastics varsity sports.

Recognizing that developing and achieving gymnastics excellence must start long before high school years, 48 years ago, Joan and her husband, Ron Ganim, envisioned and personally funded the creation of Gym World, providing an opportunity for kids – girls and boys alike – “as soon as they can walk” through highschoolers, to develop and refine their personal athletic, health, fitness, and gymnastic skills, abilities and confidence.

In 1984, recognizing public school limits, Joan and Ron (Gymnastics World) accepted coaching contracts from North Royalton and Brecksville High Schools. They agreed to provide the floorspace, equipment, trainers, and leadership for both schools’ high school gymnastics’ programs. These services are still being provided to this day.

Perhaps even more so than the incredible records set, and competitions won, Joan provided a welcoming environment of care, belonging, purpose, commitment, hard work, and teamwork.

We are ever so proud to recognize Joan who has perhaps the most State Championship winning record with 20 consecutive State Championships (23 total) for any public school in the State of Ohio.

But more than a winning record are the thousands of young children who matured into confident adults with lifelong skills, confidence, and appreciation for hard work and exacting standards.

Please join us to recognize Joan