A master chef and a retired Army major have been named Kutztown High School outstanding alumni for 2021, the Kutztown School District Education Foundation announced.
The foundation board of directors recently chose Chef Erik Oberholtzer, Class of 1986, and the late Maj. David W. Saul, Class of 1956, for the honor.
Oberholtzer will deliver the commencement address at Kutztown High School on June 3.
Co-founder of Tender Greens, a California-based fast casual restaurant chain, Oberholtzer is a member of Rodale Institute’s board of directors.
After graduating from Temple University, he earned a degree in culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.
After working in some of the finest restaurants in the world, he co-founded Tender Greens in 2006. He now chairs the chain, which has 30 locations across the country.
Oberholtzer founded the Sustainable Life Project, a paid internship program in culinary job training at Tender Greens for at-risk former foster youth. He also partnered with the Crop Trust on “The Spice of Life Project” to reintroduce forgotten foods and heirloom seeds back into the food system.
Saul, who is being honored posthumously, dropped out of Penn State University after his father died in 1958 and joined the Army. He served for 20 years in both active and reserve forces.
A Vietnam veteran and Bronze Star recipient, he served with the Special Forces and the 101st Airborne Division. He was also awarded the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in February 2020.
At its annual meeting, the foundation elected its officers for 2021.
They are: Benjamin W. Haas, president; Steve Fenstermacher, vice president; Andrew Brett, secretary; and Michele Zimmerman, treasurer. Katherine Metrick, retired Kutztown superintendent of schools, is executive director.
In its 20th year, the foundation has raised $1.1 million for scholarships and other educational pursuits at Kutztown.