HALL OF HONOR
The Suffield Foundation for Excellent Schools (SFES) is pleased to announce its selections for the fourth Hall of Honor class. The Hall of Honor was established in 2003 primarily to recognize and celebrate Suffield High School graduates who have achieved noteworthy success in their chosen fields, but also to inspire and motivate current students. In addition, an “Excellence in Education” award is simultaneously given to a retired educator who has taught for at least 10 years in the Suffield Public Schools and has had a profound impact on students. An assembly will be held at SHS on Friday, May 27, 2016 to present the awards and give the recipients an opportunity to address the student body. A luncheon, which is open to the public, will be held after the ceremony at the Sunset Tavern at Suffield Country Club at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for the luncheon are $23 and can be purchased online using our order form or by contacting Johanne Presser at 860-668-5521 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations and payment for the luncheon must be made by May 20.
An ad hoc committee of community members and SFES Board members made the selections from the nominations received. Since the award is given only once every four years, the decision making process is difficult given the number of successful graduates, but the committee felt that these awardees have indeed hit a high mark in their respective careers.
Hall of Honor Class of 2016
Nancy Kappler – “Excellence in Education” recipient
Nancy is a graduate of UPenn with a MA in guidance from Westfield State. She began teaching 7th and 8th grade math in 1971. She was known for making math interesting and relevant, encouraging her students to achieve their greatest potential, and helping countless girls realize that math was not the sole domain of males. In 1994 as the school system began introducing computers into the classroom, Nancy was tapped to be the Technology Coordinator, and it is in this area that she helped transform the system from paper and pencils into the modern technological era. She believed that rather than treat technology as a stand alone subject, it should be integrated into the entire curriculum. At times seeming like a one man band, Nancy wrote grants, selected software, developed inservice workshops to train teachers and teach parents, selected and maintained hardware and troubleshot all the problems that arose with the establishment of the computer labs at all levels. She continued to update and train teachers in the system’s technology until her retirement after 29 years of service to the district.
George Drakeley III Drakeley was the Class of 1974 valedictorian, graduated from MIT with a BS in nuclear engineering and received an MS in physics from George Mason U. He began his career in 1978 as an officer aboard the USS Arkansas where he supervised 120 personnel and was responsible for 2 nuclear reactors. In 1985 George joined NAVSEA, the largest of the Navy’s 5 systems commands, whose objective is to build and support the Navy’s fleet of ships and its combat systems. He was responsible for all Ohio class submarine electrical systems and developed magnetic bearing and noise cancellation technologies which ensured the safety of Trident subs through the 21st century. In 1997 he joined the Virginia Class Program Office where he served as Deputy Program Manager and was responsible for the construction of 4 new subs and managing a $90B program. In 2008 a cost reduction initiative he led saved the 30 ship program over $4B. Continuing to assume more responsibilities, in 2010 George, as Director of Marine Engineering in the Senior Executive Service, was put in charge of hull mechanical and electrical systems on all ships and subs. In 2012 he was named Director of Submarine/Submersible Engineering where he was responsible for all submarines and submersibles, including the design of the Ohio class replacement submarine. In 2015 George was named Executive Director for Program Executive Officer Subs where he manages $8B a year to buy the Navy’s subs and submarine systems. Over his career he has received numerous awards including 2 Navy Superior Civilian Service Medals in 2008 and 2013 and a Navy Distinguished Service Medal in 2009.
Roger Franklin Hedden Class of 1978. Roger graduated from Columbia U. where he wrote for the humor magazine and was mentored in playwrighting by Samson Raphaelson, whose play about Al Jolson, “The Jazz Singer”, became the first talking picture. Roger’s first full length play “Been Taken” was produced by the Ensemble Studio Theatre(EST) and starred Helen Hunt and fellow SHS ’77 grad Rick Martino. It was later revived by W.H. Macy at the Atlantic Theater Company and starred Felicity Huffman. Among his one act plays produced in New York, four have been presented in the EST Marathon and four in the SummerShorts festival. His second full length play, “Bodies, Rest, and Motion” premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre. Roger later adapted and co-produced it for the big screen. He co-wrote and produced the MGM/UA film “Sleep With Me” and wrote and directed the Lions Gate release “Hi-Life”. These films featured actors including Bridget Fondam Phoebe Cates, Charles Durning, Daryl Hannah, Tim Roth, Eric Stoltz and Quentin Tarantino and were official selections in festivals including Cannes and Sundance. Since moving to Montana in 2000, he has directed plays at the University of Montana and for the Montana Repertory where he is the Playwright in Residence. He has also written “The Count” which premiered at the Florida Stage and “As Sure As You Live” which premiered at the Flight Theatre of Los Angeles. “Been Taken” and “Bodies, Rest, and Motion” are published by the Dramatist Play Service. Roger is a member of the Writers’ Guild of America and EST and was the recipient of an N.E.A. playwrighting fellowship. In 2012 he wrote an episode of “Criminal Minds”, and since then has split his time between Missoula and traveling the world.
Andrew Das Class of 1986. Andy graduated from UConn with a BA in history and economics. While in college he worked as an announcer for the campus radio station and had a part time job covering high school sports at the Hartford Courant. After graduation Andy was hired as the college sports reporter for the Idaho Falls Post Register before returning to Connecticut in 1992 as a reporter and editor at the Norwich Bulletin. At the Bulletin his work expanded to include minor league baseball, the New England Patriots, and the 1994 World Cup. Andy was hired as a page designer at The Journal News in White Plains NY where he was promoted to night sports editor and developed a freelance career covering the emerging professional soccer scene in the USA as well as international soccer. He joined the New York Times as a copy editor in 2006 and was added to the news team for the 2012 London Olympics. In 2013 Andy became an assistant sports editor responsible for directing the NY Times’ soccer and international sports reports. He directed the paper’s award winning coverage of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as a reporter and editor and contributed to their coverage of the FIFA corruption scandal.
Vanessa Harper Class of 1994. Vanessa graduated from Georgetown University where she double majored in International Business and Marketing and minored in Japanese. She also received a Master’s in Accounting from UConn in 2004 and a Master’s in International and Public Affairs from Columbia U. in 2010. Prior to becoming a diplomat, Vanessa worked in finance as an assistant controller and marketing specialist at Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors, a division of MassMutual, and as a Senior Financial Analyst at Citigroup Global Investments. She also worked with the Japanese Ministry of Education teaching English and developing curriculum for Japanese high schools. In 2010 Vanessa joined the U.S. Foreign Service Diplomatic Corps. Her first assignment was to Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, where, as Public Affairs Officer, she was responsible for media, cultural, and educational issues. There she worked with the foreign press and public to highlight U.S. policies and spearheaded projects to promote educational, professional, and cultural exchanges. In 2014 Vanessa was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. As Vice Consul she assists Venezuelans desiring to visit, study, or live in the United States as well as helping American citizens visiting or living in Venezuela. Vanessa speaks English and Spanish and understands French and Japanese.
Nathan Rusin Class of 1994. Nathan graduated with a BS in Management from the USAF Academy and an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College. His career as an intelligence officer spans the tactical and operational levels of war with experience in the Pacific, Central, Africa and European theaters of operation. He has served as a squadron intelligence officer, intelligence weapons and tactics officer, flight commander, and weapons school instructor, as well as the lead intelligence officer for the F22 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Program. Nate also served as the Director of Operations for the Joint Exploitation Squadron, Fort Bragg, NC where he led and coordinated multi-intelligence discipline collection, exploitation and policy efforts for special operations units as well as the intelligence community. Prior to his current position Nate served as the Deputy Chief, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division, 603rd Air Operations Center, Germany where he directed the analysis operations in support of European and Africa Commands and NATO. He is currently the Commander of the 19th Weapons Squadron at the USAF Weapons School, Las Vegas, NV where he leads a selectively manned unit in conducting advanced graduate-level intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance instruction to specially selected Air Force intelligence officers. Nate is a combat experienced award winner who has deployed to numerous overseas locations including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. He has directed intelligence operations for multiple contingencies including Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Inherent Resolve.
Trevor Timm Class of 2003. Trevor graduated from Northeastern U. in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science and received his J.D. from New York Law School in 2011. While in law school he worked as a researcher for James Goodale, Counsel for the NY Times, who was writing a book on the inside story of the Pentagon Papers. That ignited Trevor’s interest with transparency in government, citizen privacy, and freedom of the press. His tweets on these issues garnered the attention of the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world. EFF hired him and within 2 months he was testifying before the European Parliament in Brussels on tech companies selling surveillance equipment to dictators. After 3 years at EFF, Trevor left to start the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF), a nonprofit dedicated to helping support and defend public interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and lawbreaking in government. For his work in this area, he received the Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award in 2013. In 2014 he was selected as one of Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30”, a tally of the brightest stars under the age of 30 in the law and public policy category. In announcing the selection, Forbes referred to these people as “prodigies who are reinventing the world right now”. In 2016, he was selected as a TED fellow. Trevor also writes a twice weekly column on public issues for the Guardian.
Kristine Goulding Class of 2003. Kristine graduated from Bates College in 2007 with a BA in political science and French. She then spent a year in Tunisia on a Fulbright scholarship doing research on the patterns of political participation and development of female candidates. In 2010 she received a MSc with distinction in Development Studies in Political Science from Lund U. in Sweden. While at Lund she designed a website to connect practitioners of development with theoretical and practical information on a variety of topics. Kristine interned at both the US Agency for International Development in D.C. and the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research in Tunisia leading awareness workshops on gender quotas and participating in projects designed to strengthen women’s leadership and participation in politics and decision making in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. As a research analyst at the UN Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva, Switzerland, Kristine worked on projects designed to monitor, evaluate, and promote gender equity and political transformation in the Middle East. She has authored numerous scholarly articles on gender quotas, women’s political rights, and the role of women in post Arab Spring electoral politics. She is currently working for the World Health Organization to foster cooperation between countries and build or strengthen accountability structures in WHO’s 150 country offices to prevent the loss of life during disease outbreaks.
Hall of Honor Class of 2012
Chuck attended State Technical Institute CT and graduated from Tri-State College in 1957 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. As an electrical control engineer at Combustion Engineering (CE), he performed manual calculations (this would be done today by computer) to determine the response of the automatic protection system for a nuclear submarine reactor for various accident conditions. He became an expert in the nuclear power field, and was hired by electric Boat as test director on the first ballistic missile nuclear submarine George Washington. Returning to CE in the Naval Reactors Division, he became manager of the training program which oversaw the training of the majority of navy crews certified to operate nuclear subs. Promoted to General Manager, he reported directly to the CE president and to Admiral Rickover for the operating and training contracts. Chuck transferred to the commercial Nuclear Division of CE and worked on the Maine Yankee project and was project manager for Boston Edison, which had a contract to develop two new nuclear power plants. He left CE to become president of Electro Mechanics Inc (EM)which supplied CE with electronic control and protection systems for nuclear power plants. At the time he took over, EM was losing money on every CE contract. Chuck restructured the engineering and manufacturing processes and within a year, EM became profitable.
Chuck left EM to join Sensor Engineering which manufactured electrical and brake parts for the automotive after market. Once again Chuck changed the structure of the engineering, manufacturing, and sales departments and turned a company that had been losing money into a profitable enterprise, increasing Sensor’s market share in access control cards from less than 1% to over 24%.
In 1986 Chuck became President of CE Delas Weir Inc, a joint venture between CE and Delas Weir of France which made large steam condensers for electric utilities. Realizing that the company had made significant errors in costing a major project, Chuck took advantage of a customer requested delay to terminate the contract and save the company $7million in losses. He convinced the owners that there was not a viable market to support the joint venture and after completing existing contracts, the company shut down and Chuck went to CE’s Nuclear Outage Services Division as Director. Again restructuring, Chuck turned around a $36m operation which lost $10m in the previous year to one with a small profit of $1m on sales of $53 million.
Subsequently, Chuck became VP of Nuclear Fuel at CE when the Windsor plant was on the NRC watch list for manufacturing quality and safety issues. He implemented systems which ultimately produced several million dollars in cost reductions, reduced cycle time, and improved quality, safety, employee morale, and customer satisfaction for which he received the highest level Flame of Excellence award from CE.
When ABB bought CE in 1989 Chuck became President of Steam Generator, a joint venture of ABB-CE and Seimens of Germany to build replacement steam generators for Nuclear Utilities. In 1994 he transferred to ABB Traction to work on the upgrade and remanufacture of ten locomotives for Metro North and the Long Island Railroad. Prior to his arrival, the ten had been remanufactured but not acceptable to Metro North and the project manager was asked to leave the company. By restructuring the chain of command and reworking the locomotives, all were accepted within a year. Chuck was then promoted to VP of New Vehicles division at ABB Traction and ultimately to Executive VP of the Elmira operation of Adtranz which was a joint venture of ABB and Daimler-Benz from which he retired in 1997.
Chuck lives in Suffield with his wife Marianne Carney and has 6 children
Anthony J. (Toby) Moffett Jr., Class of 1962 – Congressman/Public Affairs Consultant
Toby graduated with an A.B. from Syracuse University in 1966 and an M.A. from Boston College in 1968. Co-founder of the CT Citizen’s Action Group, Toby’s early work with consumer protection and environmental legislation led to his election in 1975 to the House of Representatives from the 6th District where he served 4 consecutive terms. As a congressman, he chaired the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Subcommittee where he led national hearings on nuclear power plant safety and wrote and passed legislation requiring tougher evacuation standards and procedures for areas around the plants. He also led the first national investigation into drinking water contamination. He was elected “Best Member of Congress” by both the Consumer Federation of America and the National Youth Work Alliance. After serving in Congress, Toby worked as a news anchor, producer, investigative journalist, and syndicated columnist. He is chairman of The Moffett Group, a Washington based government relations/strategic consulting firm and oversees the firm’s representation of renewable energy developers, green technology companies and foreign governments as well as a diverse set of other both profit and nonprofit entities. He served on the Board of Friends of the Earth, as well as the Chairman’s Council at the Natural Resources Defense Council. During the late 1980’s, Toby led the national campaign to halt the approval of the MX missile. He has also served on the Wake Forest Univ. Board of Visitors, the National Cathedral School Parents Association, and the Board of Directors at Sasha Bruce Youthworks in D.C. Toby lives in Washington D.C. with his wife, Myra, and has 6 children.
James Chapdelaine, Class of 1972 – Musician/Producer
At age 2 Jim began his life long love of music when he got his first guitar. He never looked back. As a student in Suffield schools, he was always in a band. The rural landscape, rolling hills and open fields infused his musical style over a life in music and film. After attending Berklee College of Music, Jim took a year off to study with jazz great Pat Metheny and played gigs up to 6 nights a week in the Boston area. An excellent guitarist, he is endorsed by Gibson guitars, and has played with everyone from Duff McKagan (Guns and Roses) to Mike Love (Beach Boys). In addition to his musical performance talents, Jim has a national reputation as a highly prized producer and works out of a studio he built in West Hartford where he has mixed and produced projects for hundreds of artists including Phoebe Snow, Hassan Hakmun, the Allman Brothers, and his own band, the Feathermerchants, the latter of which received the Best Artist Award at the NY Intel Music Festival in 1998 and came in 4th out of 300 for Best Band. As a film and TV composer, Jim has been recognized with numerous Addy Awards and 12 Emmy Awards, including one for The Making of Amistad, a PBS documentary for which he wrote and produced the music. He has played guitar on, produced, mixed and mastered hundreds of recordings, and his work has garnered 2 Grammy nominations. He has worked with a diverse group of artists such as Chuck Leavell, Paula Cole and Delbert McClinton; and has mastered projects for artists such as KC Jones, Aztec Two Step, and Clarence Clemons with Bruce Springsteen Live at Asbury Park. His TV work includes many award-winning projects for The History Channel, Dateline NBC, and PBS. Recently, he has been advising on and mixing Infinity Hall Live, a national PBS concert series which has been picked up by close to 200 stations with an audience of 69 million households and for which he has again been nominated for Emmys. His work on Autism: Coming of Age just received the National Institute for Health Care management TV award. Jim presently plays in a local band, Shinolas and has been selected as an official judge of the Emmy awards. He has been on the adjunct faculty of the Hartt School of Music since 2002 and loves his work! Jim lives with his wife and daughter in West Hartford, CT.
Robbi Gorman D’Allessandro, Class of 1981 – Writer of Stage and Screen
Robbi graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. from Georgia State University in 1998 and received her M.S. in Personality and Social Psychology from Northeastern University in 2001. She also received her M.F.A. in Stage and Screenwriting from Lesley University in 2010. In 2011, Robbi won The Kennedy Center Paula Vogel National Playwrights Award for her full- length play Po Sui Mu Lam (Broken Prayer), a political look at the ravages of war in the Twentieth Century. Her short plays have been produced in Hollywood and Boston. Currently, her freelance writing projects include the adaptations of Twenty-Five Yards of War: the Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Men in WWII for television, and a series of children’s books for film entitled The Ship of Dreams. Robbi is the founder of the Artist’s Donor Initiative, a fledgling initiative that inspires artists of all kinds to donate blood, platelets, and bone marrow to those in need.
She is this year an Invited Observant to the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference and was a guest artist at the Kennedy Center’s Summer Writer’s Intensive in 2010. Her screen projects have been successful in several film festivals including the Atlanta International Film Festival where Embracing the Fall was a finalist in 2009, Last Call was a short film finalist at the Ashville International Film Festival in 2009, and Veiled was a Zoetrope Quarter Finalist in 2008.
Robbi’s professional affiliations include The Dramatist Guild of America, Massachusetts Production Coalition, American Theater for Higher Education, the Association of Writers and Writers Programs, and the New England Theatre Conference. She is also a founding member of the Proscenium Playwrights.
Robbi lives in Hingham, Massachusetts with her husband Jon, her daughter Olivia (10) and son John (9), and two stepdaughters, Laura (16) and Julia (18).
Ted W. Beneski, Class of 1974 – Financier/Philanthropist
Ted graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Amherst College in 1978 where he captained the varsity soccer team in 1977. After a training program at Bankers Trust in NY, he began a career in finance and worked as a commercial lending officer at both Bankers Trust and Shawmut Corporation. Placing in the 97th percentile on the GMAT, Ted received his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1985, and began working in the Boston office of Bain & Co., a leading strategy consulting firm with offices across the globe. He was first among his peers to be promoted to partner. He co-founded Bain’s Dallas office in 1990 and helped grow it into one of the largest, most profitable offices in the 26 office Bain system. In 1999 Ted was a founding principal of Carlyle Management Group, a private equity firm in Dallas with $80B of assets under management (AUM). He became the founder, CEO, and Managing Partner of Insight Equity, a private equity buyout firm in 2002. Insight focuses on middle market underperformers with transformational upside and manages $800M AUM. He is Chairman of the Board of 11 of the current 12 companies in the firm’s portfolio and the firms boasts a 74% rate of return over 10 years, placing it in the top decile.
Ted sits on the Trinity (TX) University Board of Trustees and is founder and chair of the Ted and Laurie Beneski Foundation which supports charitable causes around the world and includes, among others, a $1.6M turf field at Suffield High School and $15M to Amherst College for a new earth science building and museum of natural history. He and his wife Laurie have 3 children and live in Colleyville, TX.
James Remington, Class of 1992, Lieutenant Commander U.S. Navy LCDR
Jim graduated from Norwich University in 1997 with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Communications. He received an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from National Intelligence University in 2005 and an M.A. in National Security & Strategic Studies from U.S. Naval War College in 2009. Jim began his career as a desk officer at the Rendon Group in D.C. where he managed a media team deployed to Kosovo in support of a US Government strategic information campaign supporting the Joint Staff and US/European Command. Since then he has served in a variety of intelligence and security positions from the strategic to tactical levels of military and government. At the strategic level he has served at the Joint Staff and National Security Agency, and tactically with a Joint Special Operations Command Task Force in Bosnia, Destroyer Squadron FIFTY in the Mid-East, and RONALD REAGAN Carrier Strike Group in the Pacific and Middle East. Over his career he has supported U.S. missions in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, and worldwide in the Global War on Terror. Recently during the Arab Spring and Japan’s nuclear crisis, Jim served as Assistant Deputy Director for Intelligence for the Joint Staff, supervising a team which provided round-the-clock intelligence support to Pentagon leaders. Presently, as Sr. Editor for the Joint Staff Intelligence Directorate’s Presentations Division, Jim is responsible for providing daily briefings and critical analysis of daily events to the Secretary of Defense and Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as senior policy makers throughout the federal government worldwide including the White House, National Security Council, and the U.S. Intelligence community.
Jim lives with his wife, Jennifer, in McLean, VA.
Mary Anne Kelly Zak – “Excellence in Education” Recipient
Mary Anne graduated from Saint Joseph College in Maryland in 1950 with a B. A. in English and French and a certificate in education. In September 1950 she began teaching English and French in Suffield’s jr.- sr. high school, now McAlister Intermediate School. In 1952 she married colleague Amiel Zak and in 1953 retired for 18 years to be at home with their 4 children. In 1971, Mary Anne received an M.A. in English Literature at Saint Joseph College, West Hartford. She returned to teaching that same year at Suffield High School, in the building that is now Suffield Middle School. She taught English language skills from basic through advanced levels in grades 9- 12. She served as adjunct professor at UConn while teaching Suffield High School’s advanced writing classes in cooperation with the university. Mary Anne was held in the highest esteem by not only her students but also her colleagues. She retired in 1991 but remained active in the community, lending her writing and speaking expertise to her church and the Suffield Observer, among other worthwhile organizations.
Hall of Honor Class of 2008
George Greenleaf – “Excellence in Education” Recipient
Greenleaf graduated from Trinity College in 1939 with a B.S. In Math and Physics and received a Masters in Education there in 1953. He began teaching Math and History in Suffield in 1940 but his career was interrupted in 1941 when he was drafted. Attending Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and served proudly and with distinction, earning a Bronze Star and 8 campaign stars in the European Theater of Operations. Returning stateside he attended the U.S. Army Command General Staff College where he graduated at the top of his class and received the Pershing Medallion. In 1946 he returned to Suffield High School where, over the course of the next 37years, he taught math, physics and history. He served as chair of the Math and Science Departments and taught the first computer course at SHS. Additionally, Greenleaf began the guidance department and coached the golf team. In 1953 he participated in the Fulbright exchange program and spent a year teaching in Tauranga College in New Zealand. He was chosen to attend the Mathematics International Conference in England (1972), Germany (1976), the USA (1980) and Australia (1984). His impact on students is evident in the reverence with which they refer to him. Greenleaf exemplifies the best of the best that education has to offer.
Robert C. Jones, Class of 1959 – Rear Admiral
Bob attended the University of North Carolina on a naval scholarship and graduated in 1963 with a B.S. Degree and Naval Officer commission. He began a 30 year career serving both at sea and ashore in a variety of increasingly responsible positions. Highlights of his career include duty on six ships including one as a commanding officer of a destroyer, positions on Department of Defense, Navy and Fleet staffs, advisor to the Vietnamese Navy during that conflict, and Commanding Officer of Naval Station Subic Bay, Philippines, the largest overseas U.S. Naval station at the time. Bob twice attended Naval War College and held an Assistant Professorship at Cornell University. Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1989, he became Assistant Vice Chief of Naval Operations and then Commandant of the Washington Naval District. Bob was chosen to be the Navy Escort at Clinton’s first Inaugurations. Upon his retirement, he served for 9 years as Borough Manager in Pottsdam, Pennsylvania.
James Glownia, Class of 1972 – Ultrafast Laser Researcher
James graduated Magna Cum Laude from Clark University with a B.A. in Chemistry. He subsequently received and M.S. (1978), a M. Phil (1979) and a PhD (1980) in Chemical Physics from Yale University. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, he worked in the Applied Photochemistry and Photophysics Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico. For 20 years he was a research staff member of the Physical Sciences Department in the IBM Research Division, where he received two IBM patent plateau awards. He rejoined LANL in 2002 where his research focused on experimental atomic, molecular and optical physics. He was chosen Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program Manager and Deputy Center Leader at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies where he leads the formulation, implementation and direction of the research with respect to LANL’s science and technology objectives and its relevance to the LANL mission and national security. He has authored more than 100 peer reviewed publications, has 14 patents, and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1993.
Jeff Folmsbee, Class of 1975 – TV & Film Executive Producer
Jeff got his start at age 13 when he received a Super 8 movie camera for Christmas. He made student films at SHS, attended Simon’s Rock Early College and graduated in 1979 from Wesleyan University with a B.A. with High Honors in Film. Moving to New York City, he progressed from production assistant to executive producer, working at such places as Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, and PBS’s American Playhouse. After freelancing for 15 years, Jeff landed at PBS where he produced over 150 documentary programs on the arts and culture. For 6 years he executive produced the first hour of The Tony Awards which format he co-created. His work has been recognized with 39 Emmy Awards, and 19 Cine Golden Eagle (non-theatrical film and video) awards. In addition, each of the three series he created (EGG, City Arts, and City Life) has been honored with the Peabody Award, the most prestigious award in the television industry.
Holly Fitch, Class of 1980 – Associate Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
Holly graduated Cum Laude from Duke University in 1984 with a B.S. in Biology and Psychology, earned both an MS in 1988 and a PhD in 1990 in Biobehavioral Science from UConn. She held a post doctoral position at Rutger’s Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience and returned to a faculty position at UConn in 1997, after a year off for the birth of her second set of twins. As an Assistant Research and then Associate Research Professor (tenure track), Holly has received over $3 million in grant support from the National Institute of Health, the March of Dimes, and other smaller private organizations, to study early brain injuries and resultant learning disabilities, as well as brain injuries associated with prematurity and low birth weight. She has trained graduate students, taught seminars and written over 60 papers and chapters that have been published in peer reviewed journals such as “Brain Research.”
Greg Butler, Class of 1989 – Visual Effects Supervisor
Greg graduated with a B.A. from Hampshire College and began work as a camera engineering intern on the film “Jurassic Park”. He continued to hone his craft working in a variety of positions such as digital coordinator, computer graphics technical assistant, and assisted to the visual effects producer in such movies as “Forrest Gump”, the Flintstones,” and “The Mash”. He was lead technical director in 1997 for the film “Starship Troopers” and in 1999 for “My Favorite Martian”. He moved to New Zealand to work at Weta Digital on the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy where was Computer Graphics Supervisor for the creature “Gollum”. He also served as a preproduction supervisor for “King Kong”. In the film, “Amazing Grace” he transformed the Gloucester docks into London’s East India Quay of the early 18thcentury. Enjoying success as a visual effects supervisor for films with a worldwide distribution, Greg recently completed “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and is presently working on “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”.
Laura Halzack, Class of 1999 – Professional Dancer
Laura trained, as a high school student, in the School of the Hartford Ballet’s pre-professional program and upon graduation attended the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2003 with a B.A. in History from the University of New Hampshire. Laura furthered her dance studies at the Hartt School, University of Hartford, and at the Taylor School in New York City from2004 to 2006. In 2006 she was chosen from over 300 applicants for the one opening in the world-renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company and Syren Modern Dance. In 2007, she was nominated for the Princess Grace Award, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the field of dance, and is a two time recipient of American Dance Awards Young Choreographer of the Year Award.
Hall of Honor Class of 2003
Mark Sullivan, Class of 1985 – Professional Singer
A baritone member of the Grammy Award winning acapella group “Chanticleer”, Mark graduated from the Hartt School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in opera performance. He has appeared in the opera companies of Sarasota, Chautaqua, Central City, and Glimmerglass, and has served as an adjunct professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.Michael Zak, Class of 1971 – Venture Capitalist
An accomplished entrepreneur and investor in high tech business ventures, Michael graduated with a B.S. from Cornell in 1975 and served as an officer in the US Marine Corps. He received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1981 and spent more than 20 years in Boston’s high tech community. As a partner in the firm of Charles River Ventures, he was awarded the Venture Capitalist of the Year Award in 2002 by the Massachusetts Telecommunications Council. Michael is a philanthropist active in civic, land conservation, and religious efforts in his community and Suffield.
Richard Trude Williams, Class of 1969
An expert in the fate and toxicology of manmade chemicals in the environment, Richard graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in microbiology from the University of New Hampshire, and earned an M.A. in biology from Washington University and a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Minnesota. His life long interest in the natural world led to a career that began at Harvard Medical School and continued with research in the scientific application of knowledge at Pfizer Global Research and Development. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and a book, and his accomplishments include the development of technologies used to remediate contaminated waste sites, the facilitation of sustainable “green” chemistry, and the chairing of international groups of scientists to address challenging environmental issues.
W. Bruce Lincoln, Class of 1956 – Russia Historian
A leading authority on Russia and a gifted writer, Bruce graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of William and Mary, and earned a PhD in Russian history at the University of Chicago. He taught at Northern Illinois University, where he held the title of Distinguished Research Professor of History. He also held appointments as Research Fellow at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, Senior Fellow at the Institutes of History in Moscow and Leningrad, Fulbright Research Fellow, and John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. He was widely recognized for his ability to write history that is both authoritative and vivid. Bruce authored twelve books on Russia and its past.
Norman Edwards, Class of 1956
A member of Phi Sigma Delta, Norman received a B.S. from UConn where he captained the soccer team. He served his country in the Air National Guard and was the first Afro-American Vice President of Phoenix Insurance Corp. He was the founder and chair of the Connecticut Savings and Loan Association and a member of the Life Officers Mgmt. Assoc., and the Assoc. of Internal Management. He chaired the Tolland Board of Selectmen and was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Greater Hartford Jaycees.
Robert J. Cecchini – “Excellence in Education” Recipient
Bob came to Suffield in 1963 and taught physical education K-12. He was Director of Health and PE from 1965 to 1971, and Athletic Director from 1969-1985. He was named Assistant principal in 1971 and interim Principal in the late ‘70’s, and became Principal from 1987-1990. The yearbook was dedicated to him six times, and in 1991, the class dedicated its class rings to him. The faculty established a scholarship in his name when Bob retired in 1990.