quill heading


Ilion Notable Alumni

They don't call us the Golden Bombers for nothing...


Herkimer College Professor, Amy Getman was recognized with an Outstanding Educator award by The Genesis Group

Herkimer College Professor, Amy Getman was recognized with an Outstanding Educator award by The Genesis Group. See -

Amy joined the college in 2003 as a tutor and math instructor,and was promoted through the ranks to associate professor of accounting. Faculty Spotlight: Amy Getman, Assistant Professor of Accounting. (March 14, 2024)


Congratulations John David Kerr, IHS 1964, Veterans Hall of Fame 2023 nomination....

News from Mary Pat (Kerr) Smith's Facebook post - John David Kerr, U.S. Navy, Hospital Corpsman, Second Class, was nominated by Celine-Marie Pascal and Barbara Stahl to the Veterans Hall of Fame for 2023.

John served from 1966-1970. "John's former colleagues at the Canadaigua VA praised his compassion and dedication as a staff member and volunteer supporting veterans having touched many lives. Among his military honors, John received two Presidential Unit Citations."

Photo courtesy of Mary Pat Kerr Smith Facebook post
(added November 15, 2023)


Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone Receives Louisiana Book Award-Middle School Category Award

Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone's (IHS 1988) latest book, The First Rule of Climate Club, received the Louisiana Book Award-Middle School Category Award.

Carrie's novel can be ordered on-line at Amazon. (October 29, 2023)


Congratulations to Donna (Thibault) Flesher IHS 1997

Congratulations to Donna (Thibault) Flesher, IHS 1997. Donna is Vice President of Biomarkers at HI-Bio. She has deep industry experience leading precision medicine strategies from discovery through development and commercialization. Prior to joining HI-Bio, Donna was most recently the head of Oncology Clinical Biomarkers at Amgen, where she led a team accountable for the development and execution of biomarker strategies for a diverse portfolio of more than 25 therapeutic programs spanning both early and late-stage clinical development. Throughout her time at Amgen, Donna held numerous roles across discovery research, translational sciences, and clinical development. Before her time at Amgen, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biomarker discovery and human genetics in autoimmune disorders at Genentech. Donna received her PhD in Immunology from Stanford University. Donna went from Stanford to Genentech and then to Amgen rising to a top executive level. This year, she left Amgen to be on the ground floor of a new bioscience start-up that recently went public with 120 million in start-up funds. Very excited for her future. Donna is married, she and her husband have two children. Donna (Thibault Flesher, Ph.D. Vice President, Biomarker and Bioanalytical Sciences. (March 26, 2023).


Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone Nominated For Prestigious Award

Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone (IHS 1988) had her latest book, The First Rule of Climate Club, nominated for the prestigious Nutmeg Book Award. Students voted for their favorite books. Firestone's book, The First Rule of Climate Club, is in the Middle School (grades 7-8) Division. See the full story here: Firestone Nominated For Prestigious Award.

Carrie's novel can be ordered on-line at Amazon. (March 20, 2023)


Thomas Manion .....

Thomas Manion, New Hampshire, was honored by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper in their 2023 feature articles - "40 Under 40" list of business leaders. Tom's degrees include a B.S. in Biology from Saint Lawrence University and an M.P.A. in Health Policy and Management from New York University. He is the President and CEO of New London Hospital, in New London, New Hampshire. He is married and the father of four children. (February 25, 2023)

Ilion High School Class of 2004 - Thomas Manion
Image courtesy of New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.


Dr. Bridget Sweeney Honored .....

Dr. Bridget Sweeney, East Amherst, New York, was selected by Incisal Edge magazine for its 2022 "40 Under 40" list of dentist honorees.

Ilion High School Class of 2004 - Dr. Bridget Sweeney
Image courtesy of Incisal magazine.
Photography by Michael John Gentle and June Musto.

IG: @theivorydentalco
Age: 36
City: East Amherst, New York
Name of Practice: The Ivory Dental Co.
Education: DDS, State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
Why She Was Nominated: Founder of The Ivory Dental Co., Dr. Sweeney is also a clinical faculty and accredited member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics who travels around the country teaching health care professionals the ins and outs of Botox, dermal fillers, TMJ and orofacial pain treatment protocols. (She's also a Buffalo Bills fan and an expert in houseplant cultivation - she has more than 100 of them.)
Tool She Can't Live Without: "iTero 5D with NIRI technology. Having the capability to diagnose cavities through infrared technology before they even show up on X-ray has been career changing. I'm able to perform more-conservative dentistry, and patients are thrilled that their treatment doesn’t take as long."
Most Memorable Patient: "My first Hybridge [implant] patient. He was a recently retired gentleman who was traveling to all 50 state capitals with his wife and just wanted to be able to enjoy a steak on his trips. She surprised him by putting off a kitchen renovation so he could afford to fix his teeth first."
(December 30, 2022)

Ilion High School Class of 2004 - Dr. Bridget Sweeney - Amherst, NY

Dentist in East Amherst | The Ivory Dental Co.
Meet Dr. Bridget Sweeney. Dr. Bridget Sweeney founded The Ivory Dental Co. with the passion to create a one-of-a-kind dental experience for the people of East Amherst.


Finding Your Way - David Marley IHS 1984....

Finding Your Way - As shown on Amazon.com - At the heart of Dave Marley's book is a simple premise: Finding your way doesn't mean you always know where you're going. It's learning how to find your way back to what's important. FINDING YOUR WAY is a fascinating examination and eye-opening perspective on finding your path when you’re lost. Whatever your vocation or aspiration, Dave Marley’s unique insights into what it means to be successful will hit home. He reveals a delineation that puts success within your reach as his story encourages you to keep striving. Whether you desire to build a business, strengthen your children, or explore the world, you can achieve it by deciding what's important, finding a way, and avoiding excuses. The way we respond to life's experiences drives our actions, careers, relationships, happiness, and health – everything that matters in our lives. Self-doubt, shame, sadness, fear, or anger can too quickly steer us in the wrong direction. Here, Dave Marley shares his own unabridged search for Sanity, Sobriety, and Success. Finding Your Way is not about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts; it's about facing them courageously and then moving past them to bring your best self forward. Notable though his present success may be, Dave Marley's legacy will not be about his wealth. It will be his passion to show people that mistakes have the power to turn you into something better than you were before. (May 12, 2022)


Carleta Sterling Mixer-Cox Bequest....

Ilion High Class of 1926 - Carleta Sterling

On November 18, 2005, Carleta Sterling Mixer-Cox died at the age of 95. In her last will and testament, Carleta had nearly a $1 million bequest for the Ilion Free Public Library to be used for programming, improvements, and other benefits for patrons. As a result of this bequest, the director and staff of the Ilion Free Public Library held a reception on November 13, 2008 to posthumously honor Carleta Sterling Mixer-Cox for her generosity. (added December 20, 2021)


1965 Classmate Joseph Collea's New Book....

1965 Alumnus Joseph Collea - New York and the Lincoln Specials: The President’s Pre-Inaugural and Funeral Trains Cross New York

Joe Collea, IHS 1965, has just written a new book titled New York and the Lincoln Specials: The President’s Pre-Inaugural and Funeral Trains Cross New York.

Available from Amazon, Barnes & NobleMcFarland Publishing, the volume is based on Lincoln's two five-day excursions across the state—one in life and one in death—it is the story of how people, from all walks of life and locations in New York, joyously welcomed their president-elect in 1861 and mournfully marked his passing 1865.

This work is a continued manifestation of Joe's long interest American history, particularly the Civil War years, that was sparked by his parents and nurtured by teachers at West Hill Elementary and the Ilion Junior-Senior High.

Recently retired as principal from Hartford High School in Vermont, Joe now devotes his time to further research and writing. He is currently working on a book of collected stories about the history of Ilion. (October 27, 2018)


Hall of Fame 2018 Ilion High Inductees

The Central Valley Central School District will induct six Ilion and Mohawk alumni into the district’s Hall of Fame at a luncheon at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Francesca’s Banquet Hall in Ilion. The public is invited. Luncheon tickets are $25 each. Tickets are available at the Jarvis Middle School and CVA offices. (February 10, 2018)

In addition to recognizing honorees at the luncheon, the district will permanently display a plaque honoring each person on the Hall of Fame wall at Central Valley Academy.

The Honorees from Ilion High are:

Burton T. Seymour IHS Alumnus Distinguished Alumnus

Distinguished Alumnus – Humanitarian/Community Service Achievement

  • Attended Ilion Central School; Served US Marine Corp in the Pacific Islands during WWII
  • Deputy Fire Chief for Village of Ilion and local businessman
  • Recognized at the NYS Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Albany for perishing in fire at Ilion Central School in 1963 at the age of 42
  • Central Valley Academy Auditorium is named in his honor

Roland J. Yardley IHS 1973

Distinguished Alumnus – Professional/Career Achievement

  • Graduated Ilion Central School – 1973; Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management, University of New Mexico
  • Retired US Navy Commander with 24 years of service
  • Senior International Defense Researcher at Rand Corporation
  • Authored many publications on strategies of military operations

Donald J. Brien IHS 1987

Distinguished Alumnus – Professional/Career Achievement

  • Graduated Ilion Central School – 1987, United States Air Force Academy with Bachelor of Science Aeronautical Engineering
  • Retired Lieutenant Colonel United States Air Force – Deputy Commander 621 st Contingency Operations Support Group with 28 years of service
  • US Air Pilot participating in Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch, Secure Tomorrow, and Iraqi Freedom Operations
  • Received the following recognitions: Meritorious Service, Aerial Achievement, Air Force Commendation, Joint Service Achievement, and Air Force Achievement

Mohawk Inductees are:

Betty Couchman

Distinguished Educator/Coach

  • Mohawk Central School Coach for over 30 years – Girls Track, Volleyball, and Field Hockey
  • Conducted Fitness Classes at the YMCA
  • Received NYS Coaches Association Award for achieving over 300 wins in track
  • Provided guidance, support and a nurturing-way for all of her athletes

Douglas Grose MCS 1968

Distinguished Alumnus – Professional/Career Achievement

  • Graduated Mohawk Central School – 1968; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with PhD in Engineering
  • Spent 25 years working for IBM before helping develop the College Nanoscale Science & Engineering (CNSE) at University of Albany
  • Winner of Excelsior Award for Advanced Electronics

Steven M. Roginski MCS 1995

Distinguished Alumnus – Professional/Career Achievement

  • Graduated Mohawk Central School – 1995; Associate in Occupational Studies in Culinary Art from Culinary Institute of America
  • Awarded 2003 Best Young Chef in America
  • Winner of the Regional Competition for the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisserie; took fourth in the World Competition
  • Noted for Chef de Cuisine at Lure on Martha’s Vineyard and as a local Executive Corporate Chef

Support the Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame is self-sustaining; it receives no school district funding. Individuals and businesses are invited to help underwrite the event by contributing any amount or by sponsoring a table for $200. Contributors will be recognized at the induction and on the district website for their commitment to promote this proud local tradition.

To contribute or sponsor, please contact the CVA office at 315-895-7471.

The Hall of Fame committee, made up of school and community representative, selects Hall of Fame members from a list of people nominated by friends and family. Nomination requirements and forms are available on the district website www.cvalleycsd.org or from the district office.

The Hall of Fame honors graduates of Central Valley School District and the former Ilion and Mohawk districts for their accomplishments in school, community and career. Criteria for selection is listed in Article III of the Central Valley Hall of Fame Constitution.

Anyone can nominate an individual. Simply complete a nomination form:

Online via a fillable form,
Via a paper form (download), or
Via a paper form from the district office (mgriffith@cvalleycsd.org).


1988 Alumnus - Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone Writes Second Novel

Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone - The Unlikelies

IHS 1988 alumnus, Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone, now has a second book, "The Unlikelies". The novel is centered around the lives of teenagers, during an eventful summer, who deal with issues, such as cyberbullying. Her novel was featured in the The Times Telegram news story. "The plot revolves around Sadie, a rising high school senior, who steps in to rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral, according to Google Book Review. She suddenly finds internet fame, and is introduced to other 'hometown heroes' who form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs." (July 26, 2017)

The novel can be ordered on-line at the following links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | Indiebound.

Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone
Image courtesy of The Times Telegram news story


Mary Fitzer Morse IHS 1970, Faces of Manufacturing....

Mary Fitzer Morse, was featured in FuzeHub - Faces of Manufacturing in New York State. Mary is the owner of Kwik-Kut Manufacturing of Mohawk, New York which produces high-quality, Made-in-the-USA kitchen gadgets like the Tooth Edge Food Chopper. The article provides the history of the 80 year old company. In 1989, Mary bought the business from her father. Mary Morse was named a New York State Woman of Distinction in 2011. The honor is bestowed by the New York State Senate. (April 1, 2017)

Mary Fizer Morse IHS 1970 FuzeHub


Central Valley School District Hall of Fame....

The Central Valley School District Hall of Fame honors graduates of Central Valley School District and the former Ilion and Mohawk districts for their accomplishments in school, community and career. Criteria for selection is listed in Article III of the Central Valley Hall of Fame Constitution. Anyone can nominate individuals. Simply complete a nomination form:
Online via a fillable form
Via a paper form from the district office (mgriffith@cvalleycsd.org).

The first Hall of Fame luncheon was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Francesca’s Banquet Hall in Ilion. (March 12, 2017)

Class of 2017 Inductees were

Dr. James Anderson (Ilion 1936)

Distinguished Alumnus - Humanitarian/Community Service Achievement

  • University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
  • Conducted his dental practice in Ilion for over 30 years
  • Served as an Ilion BOE member, Chairman of HCCC Board, Board of the Cogar Foundation, Annunciation Church Parish Council and named to the Eriritus Board of Directors
  • World War II Veteran and a POW

Dr. James S. Anderson  2017 CVA Hall of Fame Plaque

Dr. James S. Anderson  2017 CVA Hall of Fame Inductee
Dr. James S. Anderson accepts his award

Dr. Anderson cited Charles Dickens novel, "A Christmas Carol", while accepting his award. He reminded us all of the importance of public education and the need to wipe out ignorance, especially in our own times.

"Dickens introduces these children in A Christmas Carol through the allegorical twins, Ignorance and Want. The Ghost of Christmas Present shows them, wretched and almost animal in appearance, to Scrooge with the warning: 'This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.'" - http://charlesdickenspage.com/carol.htm

Brian Angelichio (Ilion 1991)

Distinguished Alumnus - Athletic Achievement
Distinguished Alumnus - Professional/Career Achievement

  • St. Lawrence University - 1995, Ithaca College - 1997
  • Three Sport Athlete and All League Star in High School
  • Varsity Football and Baseball Athlete at St. Lawrence University
  • Division 3 Football Coach at Ithaca College and Brockport State
  • Division 1 Football Coach at University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers
  • NFL Coach for Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Green Bay

Charles "Boots" Day (Ilion 1965)

Distinguished Alumnus - Athletic Achievement

  • Three Sport Athlete in High School, Major League Baseball (1969-1974) for St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Montreal Expos
  • Baseball Scout, Instructor, and Minor League Manager for Detroit Tigers
  • 1993 Inductee into Greater Utica Sports Hall of Fame.

Rudyard Grayson Edick (Ilion 1997)

Distinguished Alumnus - Professional/Career Achievement

  • Syracuse University - 1987, Cornell University - 1997
  • Served 28 Years in the United State Air Force- Bio-Environmental Engineer
  • Senior Environmental Engineer for New York State
  • Received 19 distinguished service metals, awards and ribbons while serving in the Military

Richard C. Gerstenberg (Mohawk 1927)

School Supporter
Distinguished Alumnus - Professional/Career Acheivement

  • Graduate of Mohawk Central School - 1927, University of Michigan - 1931
  • 42 year career with General Motors Corporation
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors 1972- 1974
    Chief Executive Officer 1972-1974
  • Sole contributor to the Gerstenberg Scholarship for over 50 years. This annual scholarship was a $1,000 a year award for 4 years of college for a graduate of Mohawk Central School

Gregory B. Jarvis (Mohawk 1962)

Distinguished Alumnus- Professional/Career Achievement

  • Distinguished Alumnus - Professional/Career Achievement
  • Northeastern University - 1969, West Coast University
  • Payload Specialist on Space Shuttle "Challenger" which exploded on January 28, 1986
  • Recipient of Congressional Space Medal of Honor
  • Middle School is named in his honor

David M. Mills (Mohawk 1965)

Distinguished Alumnus - Athletic Achievement

  • Participated 4 years in High School Football, Wrestling and Baseball —earning Iroquois League All Star recognition - his football jersey #67 was retired and remains on display at the Middle School
  • Enlisted as a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps
  • Killed in action in Vietnam on December 15, 1966
  • Awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service and Vietnam Campaign Medals

Donald J. Taylor (Ilion 1947)

School Supporter
Distinguished Alumnus - Humanitarian/Community Service Achievement
Distinguished Educator - Coach

  • Served in the United States Army 1951-1956
  • 43 years dedicated to coaching CYO basketball at the Church of Annunciation Catholic School
  • Their current gymnasium bears his name
  • Lifelong supporter of Ilion High School Sports Programs


Timothy Seymour IHS 1980, 2016 Community Visionary winner....

Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc. (MVCAA) celebrated 50 years of helping people, changing lives and ending poverty in Oneida & Herkimer Counties. MVCAA announced the Community Champions for the 2016 anniversary year. The awards were presented at MVCAA’s 50th Anniversary Gala held May 13th at Hart's Hill Inn in Whitesboro. Mr. Bill Phillips was the Honorary Chair of the evening of celebration.

Community Champions for the 2016
Timothy Seymour, Commissioner of Social Services, "Herkimer County, is the 2016 Community Visionary winner. Commissioner Seymour was selected for his dedication to helping low-income families throughout Herkimer County. He has worked to create a strong partnership with MVCAA, as well as other service organizations, to insure that the help families need is easily available. His leadership was instrumental in assisting numerous Herkimer County Residents during the floods of 2006 and 2013 who suffered the loss of their homes and property. He acted quickly and worked with MVCAA and families to insure that people got the immediate and long-term help that they needed. Commissioner Seymour has been one of the first to address homelessness in Herkimer County. We applaud his tenacity and compassion towards those who do not have this most basic necessity. His continued efforts will have an impact on those who are homeless throughout the County." (November 24, 2016)

IHS 1973 Bill Richards - Armory Stairs
Charles Walz and Bill Richards, IHS 1973
Photograph courtesy of The Evening Telegram

Bill Richards IHS 1973 - Steps up to Repair Stairs

IHS 1973, Bill Richards, received the go-ahead from the Ilion village board to work on the project to repair the Armory Hill Stairs. Bill was joined by volunteers for work sessions at the stairs. Richards said there has been some discussion among residents interested in setting up a fund to raise money for the restoration project. The Herkimer Times Telegram featured Ilion Alumnus, Bill Richard's plan to save the stairs. Bill recently volunteered his time and efforts to repair the two stone pillars at the entrance of Otsego and Richfield Streets.

Bill Richards and Charles Walz, of Walz Engineering, offered to donate their time to repair the stairs. The plans call for repairing one side of the stairway so it can be safely used again. The plan would also call for fencing off the other side because the stairs are completely dilapidated on one side. Walz estimated the cost of the concrete could range from $6,000 to $10,000. The board voted early in December 2015 to close the stairs for safety reasons. Village crews then installed barricades and fencing to discourage use of the stairs. A public hearing was held in February of 2016. The general consensus of those who attended the public session was that the village should repair or replace the stairway. Village officials received one initial quote, between $170,000 and $200,000, to replace the stairs.(November 12, 2016)

Image from Ilionfilmcompany

Mike Patrei IHS 1992 Founds Film Festival

IHS 1992 alumnus, Mike Patrei was one of the three founders of the film festival, UNSPOKEN. The festival is an annual human rights forum that combines film, art, and a conference into one festival. The festival is held annually, in Utica, NY in October. It is a multi-faceted forum which seeks not only to give a voice to human rights violations from around the globe, but also to offer practical solutions in order to shape a better tomorrow and give hope to the future.

This year marks the 6th Annual Festival in 2016. Past festival films are available in the UNSPOKEN Film Festival Archive.

Michael’s feature length documentary film, Ballou has been in both national and international film festivals, screened at the White House, and premiered on the BET Network. He is also the founder and puppeteer with The Guild of Thespian Puppets.

Mike Patrei lives in Ilion and shows his hometown support on his web site, Ilion Film Company. Michael also serves the region as a member of the Board of Directors for the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees. (Nov 8, 2016)


Donald Taylor 1947 - Headstone fund

GoFundMe Headstone Fund - Donald Taylor IHS 1947

Ilion Alumni raised funds, in one day, for the The Don Taylor Headstone Fund. Coach Donald J. Taylor was a lifelong resident of Ilion and a true Ilion Golden Bomber. He passed on May 19, 2012. He was laid to rest next to his parents in the Oak View Cemetery in Frankfort on May 26, 2012 and does not have a proper headstone. The campaign was begun by Chris Walsh and $3,415 of the $1,500 was raised in 24 hours.

Facebook post by Chris Wallace - "It has come to my attention that there is no headstone where Don Taylor is buried in Frankfort, next to his parents. There is a Memorial 800 Meter Run in his honor on Sunday, July 24 at Noon at the CVA track. Anyone who would be interested in attending the Run they will be taking donations to buy Mr. Taylor a headstone at the event. Or if you are unable to attend I would be more than willing to deliver donations myself. Mr. Taylor had a huge impact on a lot of our lives and it would be nice to give back. Let me know if you're interested."

Please join us for the Ilion Days "Don Taylor Memorial 800 Meter Run/Walk" on Sunday, July 24th at the CVA track in Ilion starting at 12:00pm. The Don Taylor Memorial Run (July 5, 2016)

Donald Taylor 1947 gravesite
Photograph courtesy of Dave Williams IHS 1970


The Loose Ends List  - Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone
Image bookcover from Amazon.com

Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone Writes Novel

IHS 1988 alumnus, Carrie (Lenarcic) Firestone, joins the list of Ilion graduate authors with her debut, young adult, novel "The Loose Ends List". Carrie's novel was released in June 2016. Her novel was featured in the Utica Observer Dispatch news story. "The story is about 17-year-old Maddie O'Neill Levine, whose grandmother is also her go-to confidante. According to the author's website, the grandmother has "booked the family on a secret death-with-dignity ship called the Wishwell, as the grandmother has terminal cancer and is determined to leave the world in her own way — and give her family an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process."

The novel can be ordered on-line at the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Google Play, Indiebound and Walmart.

Carrie graduated from William Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology. She earned a master’s degree from Columbia University Teacher's College. She is the daughter of retired HCCC professors Ray and Faye Lenarcic. Carrie lives with her husband, Michael, in Avon, Connecticut.

Carrie co-founded The Ilion Project in 2010. The group was started after she began with a grass-roots movement to collect information on illnesses and gather environmental data on potential pollution in the Village of Ilion. Carrie began investingaing contamination after her sister, Jennifer (Lenarcic) Snyder of New Hartford, was diagnosed in 2008 with a brain tumor. Carrie asked her IHS 1988 classmates if they had any health problems. The classmates started a website and began collecting data on illnesses among Ilion natives and current residents, calling the effort "The Ilion Project." Current information about the efforts can be found on The Ilion Project Facebook discussion group. (June 27, 2016)


Colonel John Neary Davis....

IHS Class of 1933 John Neary Davis
IHS Class of 1933 John Neary Davis

John Davis graduated from Ilion High School in 1933. He studied at Annapolis Training School to prepare for entrance to the West Point Military Academy. He attended, with other West Point cadets, the Inaugural Day parade for Franklin Roosevelt, in Washington DC, on January 20, 1937.

Major John Davis received a serious leg wound while leading his battalion to action in Sicily on August 2, 1943. He spent weeks in Army hospitals in North Africa and finally in Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The wound severed a nerve leading to the foot and Army doctors expected it would take a long time to heal. He was granted a 30-day leave to be with his parents, at their Old Forge Road home. He was awarded the Silver Star Citation and the Purple Heart medal for his actions during battle. He was accompanied from Fort Devens by his wife, the former Alberta Christie. His father-in-law was Colonel A. E. Christie who was a Japanese prisoner of war in Formosa.

Major John Davis Wounded in Battle

Lt. Col. John N. Davis Honored

Korean War - April 9, 1953

The Ilion Sentinel July 28, 1953

Lt. Col. John N. Davis - Medals

Lt. Col. John N. Davis received the Bronze Star in Africa and the Oak Leaf Cluster in Italy. After he was wounded during World War II, he returned to America and attended Ohio State University, where he received his master's degree in military psychology. He taught at West Point and graduated from the West Point command and staff school at Fort Leavenworth. In August of 1952, he left for Korea. Lt. Col. Davis received a second Oak Leaf Cluster for logistical work in Tageu, Korea in April 1953.

1959 Movie - Pork Chop Hill1959 Movie - Pork Chop Hill

The July 28, 1953 Ilion Sentinel reported that Lt. Col. John N. Davis received his third Oak Leaf Cluster. He was congratulated by Maj. Gen. Arthur G. Trudeau. Trudeau was commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. Col. Davis was also appointed acting chief of staff of the 7th Division.

Lt. Col. Davis was a Battalion commander in the battle of Pork Chop Hill during the Korean War. He lost most of his men fighting the Chinese. The battle was featured in a 1959 movie, Pork Chop Hill, starring Gregory Peck. The actor Barry Atwater portrayed Lt. Col. John Davis.

Colonel John Neary Davis, 70, 570-316 Village Place, Longwood, died Thursday December 11, 1986. Born in Bridgeport, Conn., he moved to Longwood from Stuart in 1985. He was retired from the Army, was a retired business professor and was a member of Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, Longwood. He was a member of the Academy of Management, the Institute of Management Science and the Association of the U.S. Army. Survivors: wife, Alberta; son, Cmdr. John Phillip, Virginia Beach, Va.; daughter, Patricia D. Pickett, Avondale, Pa.; sisters, Lydia Schaughnessy, Ilion, N.Y., Winifred Metter, Vero Beach; five grandchildren. Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, Forest City. (May 30, 2016)


Ilion Engineers – LinkedIn Networking Group....

Ilion LinkedIn Networking Group


Timothy O’Connor, P.E. IHS 1966

Michael Baron, P.E. IHS 2002.

Spring of 2016 marked the launch of Ilion Engineers, a new networking group on LinkedIn for engineers and technologists from Ilion, NY. The group's purpose is to help members in professional career growth through networking and mentoring. Ilion Engineers also focuses on assisting and mentoring Central Valley Academy students interested in a career in engineering and technology. The group is structured to be accessible to students inquiring about careers, profession specific scholarships and college & university programs.

The group is open to engineers and technologists from Ilion, NY by request. Check out Ilion Engineers on LinkedIn Groups. (April 22, 2016)


Congratulations to Chrisopher McGrath IHS 1974 - Grand Marshal of the 2016 Utica St. Patrick's Day Parade ....

Christopher McGrath was installed Tuesday as the grand marshal of Saturday's Utica St.Patrick's Day Parade.

Posted by Observer-Dispatch on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chris McGrath was born and raised in Ilion. He attended Annunciation School and graduated from Ilion High School in 1974. Chris is a graduate of Herkimer County Community College and the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science. He has been a state-licensed funeral director since 1977. He and his wife, Debbie, own and operate Nunn & McGrath Funeral Directors, Myslinski Funeral Home and Surridge & Roberts Funeral Home in Utica. He is a member of the Tri-County Funeral Directors; William E. Burke Utica Council 189 Knights of Columbus; Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Justin F. Kelly Chapter; and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. You can watch the full 2 hour video coverage of the March 12, 2016 parade on the WKTV web site. The Times Telegram newspaper also carried the story with the headline "With shillelagh in hand, McGrath to lead upcoming local Irish events. Congratulations Chris! (March 13, 2016)


Remington 200th Anniversary....

To celebrate its 200th anniversary as the oldest American gunmaker, Remington is releasing four sets of limited addition rifles. (March 4, 2016)


1939 Alumnus James Morris....

IHS 1939 Alumnus, James Morris, was recently featured in a newspaper article by The Buffalo News on January 17, 2016.

This is a great story from a 95 year old Ilion World War II Veteran and well worth reading.

Veteran recalls going from 'bulletproof' job to dodging flak in a B-17 over Europe.

"After serving stateside instructing bombardiers, Jim Morris says, "I wanted a piece of the action," so he went on to 32 bombing missions in Europe."

Jim Morris is one of EIGHT Ilion Morris brothers. (January 31, 2016)

James Morris IHS 1939 Ilion
James Morris
IHS Class of 1939


Congratulations Bryan Fischer - New Attorney.....

Congratulations to Bryan Fischer, a new attorney! Byran is the son of Laurie (Devins) Fischer IHS 1976 and Dave Fischer IHS 1974. Bryan graduated cum laude from Syracuse University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Policy Studies and Political Science. Bryan earned his Juris Doctor degree at the University of Miami School of Law. Bryan recently passed the Florida Bar Exam. He is an Associate Attorney with Buckland & Dang, P.A. in Florida. (October 14, 2015)


Congratulations to Bassett Nurse Practitioner Sheilia (Wiernicki) Gahan IHS 1973 ....

Join us in congratulating Bassett Nurse Practitioner Sheila Gahan, winner of the 2015 American Association of Nurse...

Posted by Bassett Healthcare Network on Friday, June 12, 2015

Sheila (Wiernicki) Gahan, Ilion Alumnus IHS Class of 1973, was selected for this honor out of the thousands of nurse practitioners in New York state. Sheila has been a nurse practitioner for 28 years and was the first nurse practitioner in the Mohawk Valley. She works in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown and also sees patients in Cooperstown, Cobleskill, Oneonta and Herkimer. She is an adjunct faculty member, for the nurse practitioner program, at the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNY IT now SUNY Poly) and is an EKG technician instructor.
The newspaper article can also be seen The Oneonta Daily Star web site.
Congratulations Sheila! (June 23, 2015)


Nick Bonvino IHS 1972 named CEO of Greater Houston Healthconnect

Ilion Alumnus, Nick Bonvino 1972, is the new CEO of Greater Houston Healthconnect. The October 2014 announcement of his appointment stated, "Nick Bonvino is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 30 years in the information technology (IT) industry, applying IT-based products and services to enhance the financial, administrative, and clinical performance of healthcare organizations....He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont and was selected to attend specialized programs at Harvard Business School, Wharton School of Business, IBM Sales & Marketing Education, and EDS Strategic Value Selling."

Congratulations to Nick Bonvino! (April 5, 2015)

Nick Bonvino IHS 1972
Image courtesy of Greater Houston Healthconnect and www.bizjournals.com


SUNY-ESF Salutes Mr. Thomas Slocum

Alumni Director Emeritus, Justin Culkowki, featured 1963 Ilion alumnus, Thomas Slocum, in a cover story for the Winter 2015 edition of the 'SUNY-ESF Alumni News'. Thomas Slocum was the Director of Career and Counseling Services at SUNY ESF (College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry in Syracuse, NY). The insightful and lengthy article highlighted Tom's academic background and career. He majored in Biology in college at SUNY Brockport and while there, he was a Resident Advisor. He also attended SUNY Albany where he earned his master's degree in Higher Education Student Personnel Administration. Tom's first positions were with SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY New Paltz and finally at SUNY-ESF where he remained for 31 years. Tom's career at the college was so exemplary that he received the State University Chancellor Award for Excellence in Professional Service and was twice awarded with the student Special Recognition Award. The 2008 ESF yearbook was dedicated to Thomas Slocum. Many other of his career achievements were featured in the article. Since his retirement, Tom has been spending time with his four grandchildren, golfing, fishing, spending time in his woodworking shop and enjoying summers, with his family, at their Seventh Lake camp. In the article, Tom was asked to share some advice for students. One of his points was "Keep in touch with family, friends and the College. These all become very important to you after you leave ESF." Ilionites can keep in touch with Tom at toslocum@esf.edu. The original cover story is available to read, online, at Winter 2015 edition of the 'SUNY-ESF Alumni News'. Note - (Aileen Carney Sweeney's daughter, Erin Sweeney, and Ken and Nancy Long's daughter, Kelly Long, graduated from SUNY-ESF in 2012.) (February 23, 2015)


Wrestling Hall of Fame ....

Three Ilionites were inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame.. The Section III Wrestling Hall of Fame is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a member of Section III. This honor is earned by a lifetime of hard work and dedication to Section III Wrestling. Congratulations to all Section III Wrestling Hall-of-Famers.

Coach Arthur Coons

Physical Education Teacher, Mr. Arthur E. Coons was inducted in the Hall of Fame - 1986 Class. Mr Coons was a graduate of Springfield College, where he was twice the New England Heavyweight Wrestling Champion. He started his coaching career at Copenhagen High School in 1937. He joined the faculty of Ilion High School in 1939. During World War II, he served in the US Army. He was responsible for establishing the school's wrestling program in 1951. His wrestling coaching career spanned 40 years. He retired from the school district in 1977.


Physical Education Teacher, former Ilion Athletic Director, and IHS 1967 Alumnus Mr. Robert Turley was inducted in the Hall of Fame - 2001 Class. Bob Turley graduated from ilion High School in 1967 and attended Springfield College. While in college he participated in both football and wrestling. He graduated in 1971 and then joined the faculty of his high school alma mater. His coaching career spanned 29 year. He coached both football and wrestling. The Golden Bombers won almost 75 percent of their matches during the 22 years that Bob was their head wrestling coach. He led Ilion to one Class B championship, 12 league titles, and had two wrestlers achieve 100 wins in their career (Tim Hyer in 1978 and Jeffrey Noll in 1988). Seven Golden Bombers reached the Section III finals under his direction. Tim Hyer captured back-to-back Section III Championships. Mr. Turley finished with 208 career wins. (Jan. 4, 2015)

Coach Robert Turley

George 'Pee Wee' Jones Jr., IHS 1960 was inducted with the Class of 2005. While a student at Ilion High School, he captured three Section III Championships in 1958, 1959, and 1960. His record was 51-2. Mr. Jones has officiated at league, section and state levels in both football and wrestling since 1969. "'Pee Wee' has gained the respect and admiration of all who have come in contact with him."

Jon Treen IHS 2011 was selected Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 2010-11 Section III Division II Championships held February 12, 2011 at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Below are the Ilion Sectional III Champions. Source www.cnywrestling.com/iii/results/champions.php (January 4, 2015)

Wrestler Year Weight Place
George 'Pee Wee' Jones 1958 98  
John Noll 1958 148  
George 'Pee Wee' Jones 1959 106  
Floyd Rose 1959 178  
Brian Jones 1960 123  
George 'Pee Wee' Jones 1960 112  
Pete Keddell 1970 130 4
Tim Hyer 1977 167 6
Tim Hyer 1978 167  
Brad Darrow 1998 215 2
Jordan Burger 2002 160 6
Jordan Burger 2003 171 4
Laken Cook 2010 96 4
Jon Treen 2011 189 6
Laken Cook 2012 113  
Laken Cook 2013 126  


Dick Coupe Class of 1953....

Richard 'Dick' Coupe IHS 1953 published a book on June 26, 2013 that is titled - There is Always a Reason to Dance.

You can preview the book, for free, on Google Books.

Dick and his wife, Barbara, wrote the book to chronicle "...the ride of our lifetimes; we hope that you will enjoy it half as much as we have!" In the chapter named "Walked Three Miles in the Snow", Dick describes growing up in Ilion, NY and working with his father and brother in the National Auto Store in downtown Ilion. (note - Dick's brother, William Coupe, and Bill's wife, Peg Coupe, were the Godparents of Aileen Carney Sweeney. William Coupe died at the age of 56 in 1985.) (Added Jan 11, 2015)

By Barbara and Dick Coupe


Thomas Morris IHS 1964 Recognized for Public Service ....

Attorney Thomas A. Morris Jr. was recognized by the Grayslake Village Board for his 15 years of public service on the Plan Commission & Zoning Board of Appeals. He worked on rezoning 42 properties and granted numerous zoning ordinance variances. He is an attorney at the firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in December 1996. He was a trial attorney at the U.S. Army Contract Appeals Division in Virginia. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and various service ribbons. (Dec 29, 2014)


Griffith L. Green IHS 1986 - Clerked with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Griffith L. Green, is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin LLP. His practice has been divided between complex civil and criminal litigation and appellate litigation. He joined the firm following clerkships with Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court and Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He graduated with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he served on the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Griffith received his B.A., magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. You can find Griffith's biography at the Sidley Austin LLP site. (modified November 26, 2014)


2014 August

Carl Bleau Class of 1932
Carl Bleau celebrated 100th Birthday at Doty's Golf Course on August 16, 2014. The August 2014 Cover story was in honor of Carl and his remarkable family - The Bleaus of Ilion, NY.

2014 July

Dr. James S. Anderson '36
The July 2014 Cover story was in honor of Dr. James S. Anderson's unequaled service to his patients, church, country and community.

Other articles that featured distinguished alumni are being added to the Alumni Cover Stories page. (August 23, 2014)


CNN Money Magazine Features Classmate..

Larry DelGrego and his dad, Larry 'Babe' DelGrego were featured in the CNN Money Magazine Video How a fourth-generation gunsmith survives. Larry DelGrego and his family have been fixing and refurbishing Parker shotguns for four generations. (April 21, 2013)


IHS 1930 Alumnus Artist Celebrated at MWP - Edward 'Chris' Christiana....

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute celebrated the 100th birthday of IHS 1930 Alumnus, Edward 'Chris' Christiana, in August 2012. Edward Christiana was the first student from Ilion High School to receive and graduate with an Art Diploma from Ilion. He attended Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, graduating in 1933.

In May, 1941 he was inducted into the US Army. He was invited to join the Munson-Williams-Proctor School of Art faculty in 1943 and continued to teach there until 1982.

The Utica Observer Dispatch featured his work in a newspaper article in October 4, 2019 - Art exhibition and sale celebrates late local artist Edward Christiana.

The Utica Observer Dispatch featured his work in a newspaper article in May 2012 - Art show celebrates late local artist Christiana. Mr. Christiana died in 1992.

Fultonhistory.com Newspaper Archive References:
Utica Observer 1940
Utica Observer 1941


1941 Alumnus Jake Cooper....

Jacob Cooper Ilion
Jake Cooper

IHS 1941 Alumnus, Jake Cooper, was recently featured in a newspaper article by The Herkimer Evening Telegram. With permission of The Evening Telegram, the full story is now available on the alumni site. (Dec 2, 2012)
See Ilion native recalls fighter pilot experiences.


1960 Ed Conte - Rigid Digits.....

Ed Conte's Blog, Rigid Digits, contained 'CONTEmplations of a Novelist, Poet and Freelance Writer" from August 2010 until February 1, 2012. Ed was affected by myotonic muscular dystrophy. Ed passed away peacefully on March 8, 2012, surrounded by family and friends. (July 7, 2012)


1941 Alumnus Son - "Ride for Heroes" ....

Paul (Mac) McLaughlin's IHS '41 son, Dennis McLaughlin, rode for the Semper Fi fund. The cross-country fund-raiser began in June of 2012, starting in St Augustine, Florida, riding west across the southern US, and arrived in San Diego, California, two months later in August. This bicycle ride was done to raise awareness and funds for our country's wounded veterans; specifically for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. (May 30, 2012)


1965 Alumnus - Joseph D. Collea Jr. authors book....

Joe Collea member of the Class of 1965 and former IHS Principal, has authored his first book - "The First Vermont Cavalry in the Civil War, A History". See an interview with Joe Collea (Interview Date: March 29, 2010.) (May 2, 2010)


2003 Alumnus - Jerome Socolof Appears on TV Show Jeopardy....

Jerome Socolof is the 2003 valedictorian. He is the son of Kalman and Vicki Socolof. His appearance on the show airs locally Monday night, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m., on NBC. (Feb 22, 2009)


1992 Alumnus - Plans Film about Ilion, NY.....

1992 Alumnus - Michael Patrei is working on a documentary film about Ilion, NY. see www.ilionfilmcompany.com. "The history of Ilion, New York is A History of the United States of America. This documentary film takes a look at one small American town and how that town and its people have quietly yet potently moved through American history, from before the founding of this country to the present. It is not the dull and dry history learned from textbooks, it is the very real, very personal story of the people of Ilion, NY and how their lives are a reflection of this country as a whole."

If you or anyone you know has a story to tell about the history of Ilion please send email to: history@ilionfilmcompany.com

More information is available from The Evening Telegram.


1992 Alumni - Produce/Direct Documentary Film 'Ballou'.....

1992 Alumni - Michael Patrei and Casey Callister produced and directed, Ballou, a documentary film about the Ballou Senior High School Marching Band. The high school is situated in an impoverished section of Washington, DC. The band and film were featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in October 2007. It was also screened at The White House. The documentary is being shown at the Syracuse Center for the Performing Arts on May 3, 2008 at 2 pm. (April 30, 2008)


1972 Alumnus - Inspirational Teacher featured on CBS The Early Show.....

Ilion Alumnus, Karen Cranney '72, was cited as an inspirational teacher, on the CBS Early Show, Thursday November 30. Locally on Channel 5 - (7am - 9am) (November 30, 2006)


1971 Alumnus Sets Bail for University of Vermont Coed Murder Suspect.....

Class of 1971 Alumnus, Honorable M. Kathleen Manley, Caledonia Superior Court Presiding Judge, set bail at $150,000 in the arraignment of suspect, Brian L. Rooney, age 36, on sex charges. In the course of investigating the disappearance and murder of University of Vermont senior, Michelle Gardner-Quinn, investigators uncovered evidence implicating Rooney in several acts of sexual misconduct in Caledonia and Essex counties. Kathy graduated from Western New England College of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Vermont nine years ago, Kathy was a member of the law firm of Carter and Manley, in Ilion. She also served as Chief Assistant District Attorney in Herkimer County and Ilion village attorney. (Oct 20, 2006)


1971 Alumnus on CBS Evening News.....

Class of 1971 Alumnus, Stuart Strife, appeared on CBS Evening News on March 14, 2006 in a segment entitled, "Mixing Oil and Water." "As the Bush administration pushes for exploration of U.S. oil and natural gas reserves, one of the first frontiers is not far from treasured Florida beaches. Jim Acosta reports."
Stuart Strife is the Director of Exploration for the Anadarko Petroleum Company.
(May 19, 2006)


"Those Two So Young" 1981 Alumnus Book Published.....

"My book "Those Two So Young" has been picked up by a publishing company of Frederick Maryland, and it should be released within this year. The book follows the stages of grief that I experienced after the tragic deaths of my two small children, Rhiannon and Dustyn. I graduated from IHS in 1981 never even dreaming that I would have experienced what I have, let alone write a book about it and get it published. I'm a teacher-aide at IHS, manning the study hall classes mainly for the senior high students. I'm also an advisor for the Class of 2005's yearbook. I live here in Ilion with my husband Tom and my stepson Matt, along with our 3 cats, 1 dog and 2 guinea pigs, so I keep quite busy."

"I'm not going to be rich from the release of my book and that's fine. My main goal was to get it out to the public to let others experiencing a similar type of loss to know that they are not alone, and what they feel is all a normal part of grieving." Submitted by Julie Leonard Kehoe. (Feb 22, 2005)


"The Outstanding Design Industry CEO of the Year Award".....

Mr. Timothy O'Connor - Ilion NY
Timothy W. O'Connor
Image courtesy of RobsonWoese Inc.

PSMJ's 1st Annual Design Industry Outstanding CEO of the Year Award winners has been selected. The 2004 award recipient for the "Outstanding Design Industry CEO of the Year Award" was presented to Timothy W. O'Connor, P.E. (IHS '66), President & CEO of RobsonWoese Inc. Unlike any other award in the A/E/C industry, the award�s purpose is to identify and provide recognition for outstanding leadership and achievement by a Chief Executive Officer of a design industry firm.

When hearing he was a recipient of the award, Tim said, "It is an honor for me to accept the CEO of the Year award from the prestigious organization of PSMJ. Accountability is the number one responsibility of a leader. At RobsonWoese accountability has no exceptions. In a team effort, we must never be satisfied, understanding we can always do a better job. This philosophy strengthens us individually, in our corporation, and most importantly, in the communities we live in."

Review selection criteria included: Vision and Leadership; Corporate Performance; Global Competitiveness; Innovative Business Achievements; Strategic Quality Planning; Human Resource Management; Quality Results; Information and Analysis; Innovation and Ongoing Improvement; and Social Responsibility.

For nearly 30 years, PSMJ Resources, Inc. has offered publications, educational programs, in-house training and consulting services to A/E/C professionals worldwide. (October 1, 2004)

Blacklisted Actress and Teacher Dies....

Former Ilionite, Phoebe Brand Carnovsky age 96, an actress and distinguished acting teacher who was a founding member of the Group Theater, died on July 3, 2004 in Manhattan. Her obituary appeared in The New York Times. Ms. Brand grew up in Ilion, NY, where her father was chief mechanical engineer for Remington typewriters. Phoebe Brand, as she was known professionally, joined Lee Strasberg and others in 1931 to form the Group Theater, a radical company that dealt with social issues confronting the United States during the Depression. She was married to the Shakespearean actor Morris Carnovsky, who died in 1992.

In 1952, Elia Kazan, director of the Marlon Brando file "On The Waterfront", a former member of the Group Theater, named them as Communists in the McCarthy hearings before the House Un-American Activities committee. As a result, they were blacklisted. Phoebe Brand made her film debut in 1994, at the age of 86, playing Marina in Louis Malle's "Vanya on 42nd Street." Ms. Brand continued to teach acting technique until the end of her life.(July 17, 2004)

The Villager Article - "Spirit of the Group Theater evoked - A conversation with its last living member"



John Peterson was recognized, by his community of Glen Eliyn Ill, for his rescue of a 15-year-old neighbor. On August 13, 2002, during a rainstorm, 15-year-old neighbor Vicky Bedlek attempted to remove a bale of hay which was blocking a large drainage tube in the road. Water was overflowing the ditch and flooding the Bedleck's driveway. John Peterson arrived at home and began assisting Miss Bedlek.The two were able to remove the blockage, however, moments later Bedleck slipped and struck her head on a pitchfork that she had been using. Both of her legs went into the drainage tube and the strong suction, caused by the strong storm waters, began to pull her whole body inside. John grabbed her arms, preventing her from being sucked into the drainage tube completely. John's wife heard his calls for help, came, and braced him as he held on to the girl. When the rain subsided, they were able to pull Bedlek from the tube. She only suffered minor scrapes and buises. John needed eight stitches on a finger that was injured while removing the bale of hay. (September 28, 2002)


Sole Surviving 1924 Class Member Celebrates 95th Birthday....

Florence Porter Pelletier, of Valley Health Services, Herkimer and Fifth Ave, Ilion, celebrated her 95th birthday on August 2, 2002, in Ilion with family and friends. She was born August 2, 1907, on Grove St, Ilion, the daughter of George B. and Catharine Anna Porter. She graduated from Ilion High School, in 1924, and then graduated from the Utica School of Commerce. In 1934, she married Joseph Pelletier in Ilion, and they had two daughters, Doreen and Elaine, and a son, Joseph. Her husband died in 1986. She was a longtime employee of the Walker Agency in Ilion, In the 1940s, she and neighbor, Mary Connick, opened The Trading Post on Fifth Avenue and ran that well-known establishment for 40 years. She enjoys crocheting, listening to 'talking books' and visiting with friends. She has 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. (August 10, 2002)


Donna Thibault '97 Awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship

Donna Thibault '97, a May 2001 Rochester Institute of Technology, Biotechnology graduate is now in the first year of a Ph.D. program in Immunology at Stanford University. Donna was selected to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. This is the most prestigious fellowship awarded new graduate students in doctoral programs. (May 14, 2002)


Barbara Van Arsdale Terzioski '78 Wins Award

Barbara Van Arsdale Terzioski '78 , was selected as NY State Entrepreneur of the Year. Barb was selected by Governor George Pataki, NY State Labor Board and the NY State Regency Committee. This award was won by her, both regionally and statewide. Barbara was also selected by Oneida County Executive as one of the Great Women of Oneida County. Barbara is the founder of Youth Empowerment Project. She has been recognized statewide as a crusader in keeping children from ending up in the juvenile court system or other placements. Barbara is an inspirational speaker and travels extensively instructing teachers, parents and professionals about programs to help the behaviorally challenged. (May 5, 2002)


Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Ilion native and honorary Golden Bomber [Notre Dame Grad] Joseph Seymour was appointed Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Mr. Seymour, who has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, was nominated for the Port Authority position by New York Governor George E. Pataki. He will succeed outgoing Executive Director Neil Levin, who was lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center. (modified February 15, 2002)


World Trade Center - Gund Bear Project

Ilion Police Officer Brian Lamica '77, with his wife Nora, volunteered on a project to assist the children of victims of the World Trade Center disaster. Brian and Nora Lamica solicited donations, both locally and nationally, and were able to purchase and deliver 242 Gund-brand teddy bears. Assisted by students from Ilion's Remington Elementary School, they raised enough funds to donate 26 Gund bears (one each from the Remington School classrooms) to the children of victims of the World Trade Center disaster. Remington students and staff raised $441.74 to send the 26 bears to the unfortunate children affected by this tragedy. One-hundred forty-six bears were donated on October 30, 2001: 20 to children of NYPD - one for each child who lost a parent, 55 to children of Port Authority Police - one for each child who lost a parent and 71 to children of FDNY employees. An additional 96 bears were delivered to New York City on December 12, 2001. Others who contributed with the project include Herkimer BOCES Career Tech Center students and Trico Elementary School in Campbell Hill, Illinois. (January 27, 2002)

Shown in photo (above) are Brian & Nora Lamica,
firefighter Egan and Andrew Lamica.
This photo was taken in front of a memorial to the fallen firefighters,
located in front of the station. Firefighter Egan's brother was
a member of Engine 4 Ladder 15, and is still missing.
Photo courtesy of the Lamica Family


Maneen approved as new legislature chairman

Anthony Maneen '64, (Dist. 4-Ilion), was nominated and unanimously approved by The Herkimer County Legislature to the position of chairperson of the legislature. Maneen, a resident of Ilion, was appointed to the legislature in 1994 and sought the position of chairperson two years ago. A part-time pharmacist, Maneen and his wife Jean Keddell Maneen, have three sons. As chairperson, he is planning on trying to attract jobs to the area and wants to focus on both the "Pumpkin Patch" and the old drive-in theater in Schuyler for development. Also at the same meeting, Leonard Hendrix '61, R-Ilion, was nominated and approved as the vice-chairman of the legislature. (January 9, 2002)


Sidley Austin Brown & Wood Law Firm

Mr. Griffith L. Green, Valedictorian Class of 1986, is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. His practice has been divided between complex civil and criminal litigation and appellate litigation. Mr. Green joined the firm following clerkships with Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court and Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He graduated with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School. He served on the school's Law Review. He was also elected to the Order of the Coif. Mr. Green received his B.A., magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. You can find Mr. Green's biography at the Sidley Austin Brown & Wood site. (December 14, 2001)


Communities 2000 Outreach Coordinator .....

James Garnsey IHS 1949, Ilion, has been appointed as Communities 2000 outreach coordinator at Herkimer County Community College. Jim will be available to bring the Communities 2000 strategic planning and visioning process to interested communities. Communities 2000 began at HCCC in 1992 as an effort to encourage local citizens to participate actively in public life. The key elements of Communities 2000 are a grassroots foundation among a community's residents, broad based participation, and a community visioning/planning effort that is strategic in nature. The college provides a neutral setting where communication is encouraged, everyone has an opportunity to participate, and the underlying rule is to be respectful of others and be open to new ideas. Jim Garnsey brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of Herkimer County communities to Communities 2000. He is a lifelong resident of Herkimer County and served as mayor of Ilion for 10 years. He has been active in community leadership through his service on the HCCC board of trustees, the Herkimer County ARC board of directors, the Village of Ilion Housing Authority, Mid-York Library board of directors and the HCCC Foundation board. Communities 2000 is funded through a grant provided by the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. (July 21, 2001)


Staley/Robesonï firm

Mr. Harry Staley, Class of 1947, an attorney, is the Founder and Chairman of Staley/Robeson firm, a national leader in not-for-profit fund-raising counsel. "In a distinguished career exceeding 30 years, Mr. Staley has earned a reputation as one of the nation's leading fund-raising consultants. Institutions and organizations across the nonprofit spectrum in the United States and in Europe have benefited from his advice and counsel. Widely recognized as one of the profession's leading problem solvers, Mr. Staley led the development of the S/R CLASS Program and the firm's Annual Giving Seminar." (June 10, 2001)


Superintendent Terry Brewer

Mr. Terry Brewer is Superintendent of Schools of the East Greenbush Central School District. Five thousand pupils are enrolled in the seven schools in the district. Five neighborhood schools serve the K-5 population. Howard L. Goff Middle School serves students in grades 6, 7, and 8. Columbia High School serves approximately 1,400 students in grade 9-12. (March 24, 2001)


Sister Colleen Moran!....

Colleen Moran Schultz is not really a nun, she just played one in the recent musical production of Nuncrackers. Colleen starred as Sr. Mary Hubert in "Nuncrackers." She lives in Ilion with her husband, Bob, and her son, Ryan. (January 12, 2001)


Dean Warren Angell IHS '25

The former dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts at Oklahoma Baptist University, Dean Warren Angell IHS 1925 was featured in an article in the Baptist Messenger. "At 92 years of age, Dean Warren Angell still has that infectious smile, sense of humor, jubilant walk and warmth that puts people at ease the moment he enters a room." (Modified Aug 21, 2001)


1979 Grad Battles Homelessness in Savannah....

Craig Cashman IHS '79 is the Executive Director of the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless. Craig was featured in a Savannah Morning News article. (Modified Jan 12, 2001)


1941 Grad's Web Site Selected OD Homepage of the Week ....

Congratulations to Paul T. McLaughlin '41 on being selected for The Observer Dispatch Home Page of the Week. Paul's The Village of Ilion, Town of German Flats, Herkimer County, NY site was recently featured. (August 14, 2000)


1975 Alumnus promoted to Vice-President of Operations ....

Ed Scram, a member of the Class of 1975, son of Edward and Marilyn Hiller Scram '49, has been promoted to the position of vice president - operations at Weirton Steel Corporation in West Virginia. The company had nets sales of $1.1 billion in 1999 and employs approximately 4,3000. Ed began his career at Weirton Steele in 1981 as a ceramic engineer. Ed earned a bachelor's degree in ceramic engineering from Alfred University in 1980. This September, he will graduate from the University of Pittsburgh's Executive MBA program. In 1997, Ed received the Citizen of the Year award from the West Virginia Northern Community College's Friends of the College in the industry division. He was named president, in 1998, of the Eastern States Blast Furnace and Coke Ovens Association, for which he served as a member of the board of directors for eight years. Ed and his wife, Jeannette, live in Hickory, PA with their two daughters. (July 23, 2000)


2000 Graduate Selected one of The Observer Dispatch Teen All-Stars ....

Rebecaa Goldin, a member of the Class of 2000, daughter of Diane and Tom Goldin '71, was selected as an outstanding youth in the newspaper's annual Teen All Star feature. Becky tutors fifth graders at Remington Elementary School. She is president of Honor Society, Student Council, and Key Club. Her other school activities include varsity volleyball, basketball, soccer and parade band. She will attend Elmira Collage with career plans to eventually teach English. (June 5, 2000)


1989 Grad First Internet Grad at HCCC ....

Jodi Crim, a member of the Class of 1989, completed her general studies Associate's Degree entirely through Herkimer County Community College's Internet Academy. She stared her degree in the fall of 1998. William Pelz, Internet Academy Coordinator, said that Jodi did well on the internet because she does well at independent learning and is "... a very strong student, a bright student, and we're very proud of her." Currently, 596 students are taking one or more courses with HCCC over the internet, including 367 full-time students. Jodi intends to continue her education, by working toward a teaching degree, possibly at Utica College. (May 30, 2000)


1970 Grad's Web Site Selected OD Homepage of the Week ....

Congratulations to Dave Williams '70 on being selected for The Observer Dispatch Home Page of the Week. Dave's Official Web Site for the Mohawk Valley Hershey Track & Field Youth Program was selected the week of May 8, 2000. (May 12, 2000)


1973 Grad Appears in Time Magazine ....

Marla Short Wood, a member of the Class of 1973, appears in the May 1, 2000 edition of Time Magazine in a photograph featuring the original staff members of Microsoft. Also appearing in the photo with Marla is Bill Gates - estimated worth $62 billion. The photograph was taken in 1978 and the article provides the estimated worth of each of the founding staff members. Marla was a bookkeeper at Microsoft and her husband, Steve Wood, was a programmer. According to the article, Marla has an estimated worth of $15 million. Her husband now operates a telecommunications company and Marla volunteers. They reside in Issaquah, WA. (April 27, 2000)


Dr. William R. Miles BOCES Superntendent....

Dr. William R. Miles Class of 1965 was recently featured in an article in Oneonta's "The Daily Star". Dr. Miles has served as district superintendent of the Otsego-Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services for the past nine years. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Colgate University. Dr. Miles earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin. (March 16, 2000)


HCCC Hall of Fame Inductee - Daniel Burling....

Congratulations to Daniel J. Burling - Class of 1965 who was inducted into the Herkimer County Community College Alumni Association Hall of Fame on March 11, 2000. He is the first HCCC alumnus elected to state office. Daniel was elected to the 147th Assembly seat. He received 62 percent of the vote. His district includes parts or all of Genesee, Wyoming, Livingston, Allegheny, Cattaragus and Erie counties. After graduating from Ilion, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and earned several decorations and awards. He later graduated from HCCC and then attended the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1980 and became a state-registered pharmacist. He is president and owner of Burling Drug, Inc. Daniel Burling is married to the former Jean Dunckel of Ilion. They have a daughter, Mary, a son, David and two grandchildren. (modified March 10, 2000)


Brownrigg places third ....

Jason Brownrigg, a member of the Class of 1995, teamed with a fellow New York Institute of Technology Architecture student to take third-place honors in the sixth annual, Fourth-Year Design Competition among students from the college's School of Architecture and Design. The competition was sponsored by noted architect Michael Harris Spector. This year's contest focused on the village of Freeport, Long Island. Twenty-one teams or students presented their ideas of a 21st century Freeport, in the year 2020. (February 18, 2000)


1981 Alumnus founder of New York Performance Works ....

Ilion alumnus Andrew 'Jay' McTiernan '81, age 36, established New York Performance Works about four years ago. Performance Works is a theater and film production company in New York City. Scripts are presented as stage plays prior to being moved onto film. Jay produces three plays a year at a cost of around $100,000. Recently, he finished works shopping a production with actors Matthew Broderick and Rosy Perez. Prior to his production career, Jay attended East Carolina University, and in 1990, he moved to New York City to work as a Wall Street trader. Jay's recent show is "Imperfect Love". He is currently producing a film with Forrest Murray (Spitfire Grill/Bob Roberts). (modified March 14, 2000


1969 Alumnus Named Counselor of the Year....

Ilion alumnus Mary Erin O'Connor Blair '69 has been named Counselor of the Year for the State Division of Veterans Affairs - Northeastern division. She provides benefits counseling and advocacy on behalf of veterans and their families in Oneida and Herkimer Counties. Mary Erin served 11 years on active duty in the Navy and 15 years in the Naval Reserves. She joined the Division of Veterans Affairs in 1994. (October 28, 1999)


1940 Alumnus Travels the World....

Ilion alumnus George Orick - IHS '40 spent fifteen years of his career working for network television (one of them at NBC News, 14 at ABC Network News) as a writer/editor/producer. His adventures included a trip to the South Pole with Hugh Downs for 20/20. He is compiling his life story in a memoir, with the working title On The Outside Looking Out. (October 23, 1999)


Notable 1952 Alumnus....

Ilion alumnus William H. Young - IHS '52 was nominated in 1989, by President Bush, to be an Assistant Secretary of Energy (Nuclear Energy). (October 23, 1999)


Class of '66 Member Receives Ernest F. Trad Award ....

John Wainwright '66, of Ilion, received the state Department of Conservation's highest employee award, the 15th annual Ernest F. Trad Award. John was recognized for his hard work and breadth of experience. He is a supervising pesticide control inspector in the Division of Solid and Hazardous Materials. He works at the DEC headquarters in Colonie but his responsibilities take him throughout the state. (August 11, 1999)


Class of '46 Member Honored for 40 Years of Service ....

Lawrence 'Pete' Doty '46, owner of Doty's Golf Course, was recently honored by the YMCA of the Mohawk Valley. A special recognition award was presented to Mr. Doty, for his 40 years of volunteer service to the YMCA and community, as a member of the YMCA Board of Directors. During his tenure, Mr. Doty's hard work, dedication, and leadership, in program development and fund raising, led to the completion of numerous facility improvements. (August 3, 1999)


Class of '67 Alumnus Receives Award ....

Donald E. Sterling Jr. '67, past commandant of the Department of New York Marine Corps League, received the Chapel of Four Chaplains Humanitarian award, at the recent state convention. The Legion of Honor award is a public recognition of persons who have rendered selfless service to others. Mr. Sterling is a life member of the Marine Corps League, Military Order of Devil Dogs, and Amvets Post 777. He is a member of the Mohawk American Legion and a recipient of the Loyalty Day Award. He has chaired and organized many Memorial Day parades, ceremonies and dedications, as well as the Desert Storm welcome home committee and parade. He has taught with the post office for five years and spoken to students about service and safety. He participated in many fund-raising efforts. The Chapel of the Four Chaplains award has been presented to presidents, cabinet officers, Congressional members and foreign heads of state. (July 30, 1999)


Class of '89 Alumnus works with Nashville Celebs ....

Michael Sklarz '89, has lived in Nashville, TN, for the last four years. Mike recently graduated from college, with a BA degree in the Recording Industry/Music Business. He has worked with Trisha Yearwood, The Mavericks, Alan Jackson, Michael Peterson, Brooks & Dunn, and Junior Brown. He is now working in a publishing company, within the industry. Mike also works on publicity for Brad Hawkins. Brad has the lead role in a CBS Mini-Series called Shake, Rattle, & Roll (An American Love Story). (July 7, 1999)


Hall of Fame Inductee....

Point Pleasant Beach Public Education Foundation, New Jersey, inducted Ilion alumnus Arthur Whitcomb to their Hall of Fame. "Mr. Whitcomb served as Principal of the Point Pleasant Beach High School from August 1950 until June 1965. He presided over a period of growth and led the way in the enhancement of the School's academic reputation." (April 29, 1999)


Accomplished 1931 Alumnus....

Another notable alumnus is featured in a University's library collection - Dr. John L. Brown - IHS '31. Dr. Brown worked for the U.S. government in a number of capacities. His career also included an accomplished academic tenure. Dr. Brown's papers are housed in the Georgetown University: Lauinger Library. (April 29, 1999)


Notable 1924 Alumnus....

Discover more about prominent alumnus Marion Clayton Link - IHS '24. She contributed to scholarly and scientific study, writing archaeological research reports for National Geographic and Smithsonian Institution expeditions and publishing numerous articles.

From 1931 until the birth of her first son in 1938, Marion helped her husband, Edwin A. Link, researcher and inventor; develop Link Aviation, Inc.. One of Link's best-known inventions is the Link Trainer. By using the Trainer in ground school, training flights, during World War II, millions of gallons of fuel were saved. Over 10,000 "Blue Box" Aviation Trainers were procured by the US Government during the war and over 500,000 aviators were trained. (April 15, 1999)


Ilion Senior Performs in Carnegie Hall

IHS 1999 Senior, Justin Smithson, was selected as the only Herkimer County resident to sing with the 1999 All-Eastern Chorus in New York City, March 7, 1999. He plays guitar, cello, viola, piano and dulcimer and sings in several choirs, and the local band "Showtime". Vicki and Todd Smithson, Justin's parents, have provided him with plenty of support in his musical endeavors. Justin earned a grade of 100, in last year's NY State School Music Association Festival for singing solo. (March 17, 1999)


1984 Graduate Contributes to Book entitled "Managing Fixed Income Portfolios,"

News from Jeffrey Slater '84...

"I recently authored a chapter that appears in a couple financial textbooks that are used by undergraduate and graduate business students, and bond market professionals. The Books are entitled: "Managing Fixed Income Portfolios," edited by Frank Fabozzi, 1997 and "Selected Chapters in Bond Portfolio Management," edited by Frank Fabozzi, 1997. The title of the chapter, which is the same in each book, is "Managing Municipal Bond Portfolios," and explains the basics of the municipal bond market. Frank asked me to write the chapter a year ago, and I accepted his generous offer of five copies of each book in return for my work. As I now evaluate the sweetheart deal I got, I'm beginning to think that Frank should be passing out the business advice, while I should work on my negotiating skills."

"Anyway, the books are required reading for those with chronic insomnia. Check out Amazon.com for info on how you can get your own copy of this 20th century masterpiece. Frank would really appreciate it." (March 3, 1998)


1973 Graduate receives the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross Medal

IHS 1973 Graduate, Roland "Rolly" Yardley, was presented the highest honor bestowed upon a veteran by the State of New York, the "New York State Conspicuous Service Cross Medal" January 28, 1998. Lt. Commander Yardley received the medal for his meritorious service while serving aboard the USS Reid (FFG-30) in the Persian Gulf. Rolly now resides, with his family, in Fairfax Station, Virgina. (March 3, 1998)


1941 Graduate edits book on serving in WWII as a P-47 fighter pilot

Class of 1941 graduate, Col. Jacob L. Cooper USAF, Ret. has edited a book of his serving as a P-47 fighter pilot in WW II in the ETO. The book, in its second printing, is entitled "The 493rd Fighter Squadron in World War II". Copies of the book are in the Ilion Library, the Ilion High School Library, and the Frank Basloe Library in Herkimer. The book is published by Southern Heritage Press, P.O. Box 10937, St Petersburg, Florida 33733 (Submitted by Joe Bates - February 23, 1998)


1969 Graduate receives the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross Medal

IHS 1969 Graduate, Arthur "Ozzie" Sterling, was presented the highest honor bestowed upon a veteran by the State of New York, the "New York State Conspicuous Service Cross Medal". Assemblyman Marc Butler presented the honor to Ozzie, on Friday January 30, 1998. The State Legislature sanctioned the award in 1920, to reflect the state's pride and appreciation in the patriotic and heroic service of its citizens. Arthur "Ozzie" Sterling served with the U.S. Marine Corps from August 1969 to 1971. He was stationed with the First Battalion Fifth Marine Division. Ozzie's other awards include the Combat Action Ribbon for his combat service in Vietnam. Ozzie accepted the award in the presence of his wife Mary Bechard Sterling, Class of '75, and their three children. (February 1, 1998)


1971 Graduate Named to Vermont's Superior Court

Governor Howard Dean appointed attorney Kathy Manley, to serve on Vermont's Superior Court. She recently served, for the past five years, as a family court magistrate and acting district judge. Kathy graduated from Western New England College of Law in Springfield, Mass. Prior to moving to Vermont nine years ago, Kathy was a member of the law firm of Carter and Manley, in Ilion. She also served as Chief Assistant District Attorney in Herkimer County and Ilion village attorney. Congratulations are due and we send best wishes to Kathy on her new appointment. (January 9, 1998)


1996 Graduate Receives Travel/Tourism Award

Congratulations to Amy Williams, of the IHS Class of 1996, on being awarded the $1,500 Southern California Chapter/Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays Scholarship, to pursue studies in the travel and tourism field. Forty scholarships a year are awarded to students pursuing careers in the travel profession. Amy is a junior at Niagara University, studying hotel/restaurant management. (January 7, 1998)


Induction into Hall of Fame

Colonel Jerry W. Angell, Ilion High Class of 1952 was honored by Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Colonel Angell was a four-year letter winner in both football and lacrosse from 1952-1956. Angell was the first interior lineman elected to the hall. Angell was also captain of the 1951 undefeated (9-0) Ilion football team and was an all-state honorable mention.

Attending the induction ceremony with Angell, were his brother Dave and wife Karrol, Bill and Audrey (Pearson) Hendrix, Sherli Jones and Chuck Earl along with presenter Barney Brooks. All were Ilion graduates in the early 1950s.

Col. Angell flew 265 combat missions, as a fighter pilot, for the Air Force. Before retiring from the Air Force in 1982, Col. Angell earned the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with one oak leaf cluster, the Purple Heart and 14 air medals. He also taught high school in California for seven years. Col. Angell currently resides, in Redlands, California.


90 Years of Magnificent Music

90th Birthday Celebration
May 16 - 18, 1997
Oklahoma Baptist University Honors
Dean WARREN M. ANGELL - IHS Class of '25

"Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 13, 1907, Warren Angell graduated from Ilion, N.Y., High School, and received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano and composition from Syracuse University, in Syracuse, N.Y. He served as Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 1956, the board of trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University named the college the "Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts". He won wide acclaim as a choral director and was in demand in 16 states for festivals and clinics. He perfected choral techniques in the OBU Bison Glee Club, which won national prominence, making 7 commercial records, appeared in 1965 on the Great Choirs of America Voice of Christmas Series over NBC and other television and radio programs."


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