Our first and only inductee this year is a graduate of Wilson Area High School’s class of 1986. In high school, she was named most valuable player of the track team for her participation and achievements in the long jump, triple jump and relays. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council. She was involved with the band for four years as a twirler and was a majorette in her senior year. She was Prom Queen, Homecoming Queen and volunteered with the Special Olympics. After graduation, she went on to continue her education at Shippensburg University where she lettered in Track and Field, graduated with honors and obtained a degree in Finance. In 1994, she obtained a masters degree in Business Administration from Lehigh University. Her educational experiences and degrees led her to successful management positions at Outer Circle Products, Crayola and Liz Claiborne. She took a career break and dedicated herself to raising her children but continued to give her time by volunteering as a CCD Instructor and serving on the Board of Directors at BeeSafe Children’s Programs. After her children were in school, she pursued her desire to become a teacher. She attended East Stroudsburg University while she was fighting a 4 year battle with breast cancer. She was able to complete her degree and earn a teaching certification in 2012 before passing away in January of 2013. She credits much of what she accomplished in her life to the experiences she had as a student at Wilson. Her appreciation and love of our district prompted a scholarship to be set up in her honor, which was awarded to a deserving member of this year’s graduating class.
Wilson Area High School - Class of 1963. In high school he participated in football and wrestling, as well as the Great Book Club and Model U.N. His high school yearbook states he enjoyed everything about high school and refers to him as somewhat of a class clown. After graduation, he went to Florida Southern College and obtained a degree in Business Administration, but before he could do much with his degree, in September of 1968 he was drafted and sent to Vietnam. His military service earned him the Vietnam Combat Medal and a Purple Heart. After serving our country in Vietnam, he went on to graduate from The University of Florida College of Law in 1973. He ran for public office in 1984 and was elected Florida State Attorney - a position he would hold for 28 years. Highlights of his career include starting a comprehensive victim's rights program that serves as a national model, founding a Children's Advocacy Center and a domestic violence shelter as well as having his office recognized as the Outstanding Local Prosecutor's Office in the country.
Wilson Area High School - Class of 1982. In high school he was a stand-out member of the football team, setting several league and school records - some of which still stand today. For the past 15 years, he has donated his time and resources to local high school football. He's been the District 11 writer and contributor for the Pennsylvania Football News since its inception in 1996 and has been providing stats to local TV and newspapers for all football teams in the area. He spent over 1,000 hours reviewing microfilm at local libraries to complete a comprehensive history of Wilson Football. He has been employed by JT Baker Chemical for 23 years and is currently the volunteer district 11 football statistician.
Wilson Area High School - Class of 1973. In High School, he was captain of the football team and was active in Track and Field, Band, Drama, Yearbook, National Honor Society, Chorus, Orchestra, and Freshman Wrestling. He was student council president in 9th grade and class president for grades 10 - 12. He graduated from Lafayette College in 1977. Over the years, he has spent countless hours volunteering as a football and basketball coach as well as serving on the Easton Area School Board for 10 years. He has also been active with the Wilson Area School District, serving as a founding member of the Partners in Education Foundation and serving as president of our district's Alumni Association.
Wilson Area High School - Class of 1978. While in high school, he played football and track, was president of student council his senior year, and was an active member of the Drama club all four years. Following his passion for the stage, he studied theater at DeSales University and started his career in the entertainment industry. Since then, he has become an acclaimed comic book writer and editor, as well as a writer, producer and director of both television shows and feature films. To date, he has produced six motion pictures, including his latest production, Window of Opportunity, a black comedy about corporate greed. During his career, he has worked with numerous celebrities including John Densmore (the legendary rock-and-roll drummer from The Doors) Quentin Tarantino and Sin City creator Frank Miller. He has won multiple gold and platinum Telly and Aurora awards for his documentary work in television. And in 2001, he won an Emmy Award for producing and directing a half-hour TV special for the IRS. Currently, he spends much of his time creating and developing projects at Black Hat Magic Productions; a motion picture development, production, and licensing company that he founded in 2010.
Wilson Area High School - Class of 1957. During high school, he was a member of the Track Team, Drama Club, Chorus, Basketball, Jr. Band and, he was co-captain of the FIRST Soccer Team Wilson ever had. He started his announcing career in 1966 for the International League's, Richmond Braves. He was named the state's "Sportscaster of the Year," twice, before making his debut for the Montreal Expos in 1969. During his 32 years announcing for the Expos, he saw Willie Mays' 3,000th hit, Nolan Ryan's record-setting strikeout and called 11 no-hitters including perfect games by Denis Martinez, Roy Halladay and David Cone. He called games on both ABC and NBC. In 2001, he began announcing for the Florida Marlins. On July 23, 2011, he received the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award during the induction ceremony in Cooperstown N.Y. This award is the highest honor an announcer can receive.
A graduate of Wilson's Class of 1960. In high school he was member of the French Club, Junior Foreign Policy Club and Drama. He was the sports editor for the newspaper and participated in basketball and soccer. His high school yearbook predicts that Law School and a good future lie ahead for him. After high school, he went on to Pennsylvania State University followed by the Temple University School of Law. He has over 25 years of legal experience, he is certified as a Civil Trial Specialist and he is the founder of the Cohen Feeley Law Firm. He has also been very active in the business community. He was the founder and former chairman of the Board of Director's of Ambassador Bank. He has been very involved with numerous projects with the Wilson Area School District. He has provided scholarships to Wilson students for over 20 years. He and his family have formed a foundation to assist numerous charitable endeavors and annually awards scholarships to high school students. In the past 20 years, the foundation has awarded over 750 scholarships to graduating seniors.
A graduate of Wilson's Class of 1967. In high school he was a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Key Club. He lettered in football, baseball, and basketball and was named MVP of his football team in his senior year. His high school yearbook predicted he would go off to college, become an engineer and a millionaire. He went on to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and a Master's Degree from Drake. He did become very successful as President and CEO of Southland Industries in southern California. He joined the company in 1982 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Manager and helped to propel the company's sales growth to an average of more than $260 million in annual contract volume. He is responsible for the company's rise as an industry leader. In addition to his impressive employment, he is a lifetime member of the Wilson Area Alumni Association and he is the founder and contributor of the Wilson-Joan Nicole Fimiano Legacy Scholarship.
A graduate from Wilson in 1970 and Morehead State University in 1974. In high school he was the manager of the football team for 4 years and was president of his homeroom in his senior year. Immediately after graduating college, he returned to Wilson and has been with us ever since. To date, he has provided 37 years of service to the Wilson Area School District and community - and he's not finished yet. He has been a teacher in our district for 37 years and a coach for 36. He has been our Assistant Athletic Director for 20 years and served as head of recreation in Williams Township for 30 years where he is still leading the summer recreation program. He is regularly seen supporting our school and teams and truly exemplifies what it means to "bleed blue and gold." In his 30th year as head coach, he accomplished a rare milestone - 400 career wins. While we are proud of this accomplishment, we are more proud of what he teaches his students and athletes off the court. He has been a mentor to many teachers and students and has made a positive, lasting impact on many lives. He also works hard to "give back" to the school and community he loves. He has participated in Coaches for Cancer, raised money for Muscular Dystrophy and has distributed over $60,000 in scholarships for Wilson student athletes.
Class of 1951. He was active in the high school, participating in intramurals, Hi-Y, yearbook, basketball, and football. He served on the Prom Committee and held the positions of secretary and treasurer for his class. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1955. In 1997, he retired from the Dixie Cup division of the American Can Company with 40 years of service as a sales representative, director of distribution, and manager. In his high school yearbook, next to his picture, it reads, "Here's a fellow who always has a smile." This year there are a lot of people who are smiling, because for the first time ever, we broadcasted graduation live, thanks in a large part, to a substantial monetary contribution made by our next inductee, in memory of his mother, who is also a graduate of Wilson, class of 1932.
Class of 1972. Throughout all four years of high school, he was a member of the Honor Society and the football team. He was named MVP of the Wilson-Nazareth Football Classic. He also played baseball and track, as well as served his class as president in his sophomore year. He went on to Dartmouth College where he earned a degree in mathematics. In college, he was also a member of the Honor Society, played football and indoor track. He has had a successful career at Victaulic Corporation of America for over 35 years, where he currently is the Vice President of sales and marketing. He and his family have been major supporters of the school district for many years. He has been active in our Honor Society and our sports booster clubs. He was a charter member of the Wilson Area Partners in Education Foundation and is involved with the Alumni and Public Relations Committees.
Class of 1995. In high school, she competed in track and field hockey. She was involved in chorus, SADD, student council and yearbook. She was a peer helper, new student guide, a member of homecoming court, and qualified for district chorus. For all four years of high school, she participated in drama, and her yearbook states her plans were to attend a four year college and major in theater. I would say her efforts in that area have been quite successful. Since graduating from DeSales University in 1999, she had starring roles in several musicals including, "Cats," "Pokemon Live" and "Little Shop of Horrors." In 2006, she began playing the lead role in the Chicago production of "Wicked." The production closed in January of 2009, after becoming the most successful musical in Chicago history. In July of 2009, she made her Broadway debut, starring in "Wicked" until just a few months ago. She supports many charities and she returned to the high school for the second time this year to work with our drama club as they prepared for our musical.
Major Tony K. Verenna is a graduate of the Wilson Area High School Class of 1992. In high school, he competed in football, wrestling, baseball, and track. He finished his high school wrestling career with 109 wins.Â He was recognized as All Area in football and wrestling. In addition to his athletic accomplishments, he served as Student Council President, was a member of the National Honor Society, and served as president of his class. After high school he went on to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He earned a bachelor's degree in System Engineering and holds master's degrees in Management and Leadership from Webster University, and Defense Analysis from the Naval Post Graduate School. He serves in the Aviation Branch of the U.S. Army. He has flown over 800 hours in support of the global war on terrorism. He served as company commander in Camp Humphrey's Korea, and in 2007 he was promoted to Major.
Nicholas Kurilko is a graduate of the Wilson class of 1964. He was a three-sport athlete in high school, lettering in Football, Basketball, and Track. After high school, he went on to the Military Academy at West Point where he played four years of football for the Black Knights. NFL Coach Bill Parcels recalls the best punting performance he has ever seen was in 1966 when this individual punted three inside the five-yard line and booted another 73 yards from his own goal line. He is a self-employed businessman who has given back many times to the school and community.
Lou Pektor graduated from Wilson in 1968. In high school he was the class treasurer for two years. He participated in Wrestling and Soccer. After graduating from Wilson, he went on to Moravian College where he earned a degree in business and continued on to Lehigh University where he received his Masters of Business Administration Degree. Throughout his career, he spent time on Wall Street and dabbling in real estate endeavors until 1988 when he founded Ashley Development Corporation. He has given back to the community and the school consistently over the years. He has received numerous awards and recognitions over his career for his accomplishments in the business and real estate industry.
Burton Seiple was the president of the WAHS class of 1934. From Wilson Area High School he went to JT Baker Chemical Company where he advanced from a laborer to a research chemist lab supervisor. He organized the Baker Federal Credit Union and served as its president for over 30 years. He was a member of the Wilson Area School Board, PTA, church group and AARP, serving as a president of all four organizations. He was an Air Raid Warden and member of his church choir. He raised seven children - all proud Wilson graduates.
Class of 1949. In high school, he participated in football, track, and basketball. His high school yearbook credits him for charming many an audience with his piano and accordion playing and predicts music will be his career. It is easy to see, 58 years later, that this prediction was accurate. His talents were not only used as a career, but to raise money for families in need and to comfort the sick. From 1952 - 1954 he served for the United States Marine Corps, and played in the Marine Corps Band. His indoctrination is even more appropriate this year because in high school, he was co-captain of the only other Wilson Football team to go undefeated.
Wilson class of 1957. He attended Bloomsburg State College, Temple University, and Lehigh University He served in the National Guard for eight years, and after graduation he returned to the Wilson Area School District where he served in numerous capacities for nearly 38 years. He taught sixth grade for the district for 13 years - with some of these years also serving as building principal. For the next 25 years, he held the positions of assistant middle school principal, and building principal at five different district elementary schools with many of these positions held at the same time.
Class of 1955. He too was a co-captain of his high school football team where he played for four years. In high school, he also participated on the basketball and baseball teams, was a member of stage crew, and served as his class vice president. After graduating, he made Wilson his home, serving the community for most of his life. He served on Wilson Borough Council for 24 years where he served as president for 20 of those years, Wilson Lions, and the Varsity W Club. He was the first vice president of the Mayor's Association in the State of PA. He, deservingly, was named,Man of the Year, by three different organizations. He has served the Borough of Wilson as Mayor for many years.
Valedictorian of the Wilson Area High School graduating class of 1967. Although his high school achievements are many, perhaps the most memorable is the winning touchdown he scored during the Wilson/Nazareth Thanksgiving Day football game in 1966. He graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974 and was named the Outstanding Surgical Student. He went on to become a chief cardiac surgeon working at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He started his own private practice in 1983. He served on many boards and published numerous surgical articles.
Wilson class of 1964. In high school he was an outstanding wrestler, maintaining an undefeated regular season record during his senior year. Additionally he participated in other sports and clubs during his high school career too numerous to mention. He served as a member of the school board for 12 years serving as the treasurer for part of his reign. He was greatly involved in the planning and building of our current high school. He was a member of the Wilson Borough Elementary School PTA and was involved with the YMCA, Rec Board, PIAA, Boy Scouts, and the Band Boosters. His relentless support of activities in every area was extremely powerful. His commitment to program growth, particularly in the area of technology, was outstanding. He is the type of individual who, through personal effort, dedication, and sacrifice becomes the foundation for a community.
Graduate of Wilson class of 1954. While in high school he achieved numerous accomplishments and represented the school in various sports including football and track. In addition to his involvement in athletics he was also an active participant in such activities as the Usher Club, Prom Committee, Hi-Y Club, Yearbook, and he was vice-president of his senior class. After graduating from college, he returned to Wilson to teach physical education in our elementary schools which he did for 41 years until his retirement in 1999. Still today it is not uncommon to see him cheering on Wilson students at sporting events, supporting Wilson students through his involvement with the Rotary Club, or supporting Wilson students by presenting scholarships on behalf of the Class of 1954.
Wilson Area High School graduate, class of 1928. While in high school he received nine varsity letters as an athlete and was captain of the football team in his senior year. After graduating from East Stroudsburg State College in 1933 he returned to Wilson where he taught Health and Physical Education for 26 years. In addition to teaching at Wilson, he was head football coach for 12 years, assistant football coach for three years, JV boys' basketball coach for 20 years, and head track coach for 26 years. In 1959 he received the distinguished teacher award from the Rotary Club and in 1961 the high school gym was named in his memory.
Wilson Area High School graduate, class of 1985. While in high school she participated in field hockey, where she was named Colonial League First Team All-Star; track, where she set numerous school and district records including the District XI javelin record, which still stands today; and basketball, where she became the first female in the history of Wilson High School to score 1000 points. In addition to her many athletic accomplishments, she also excelled academically, was a member of the National Honor Society, and president of her graduating class. She is an executive with the Proctor and Gamble Company in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Wilson Area High School graduate, class of 1964. He had a very successful high school career in athletics, lettering in football, basketball, and baseball. His athletic career continued into college where he was named Blue Mountain League Top Pitcher in 1967 and Moravian College Scholar Athlete in 1968. He returned to Wilson after college to teach English, which he did for 27 years. In addition to teaching he served as department chairperson, club advisor, boys' basketball coach, assistant football coach, and even as an assistant principal for one year. He is retired from teaching but still visits the high school regularly to cover athletic competitions in his present position as Director of Media Services for RCN.
Graduate of Wilson Area High School and Temple University. His senior year of high school he was appropriately voted "Most Musical" by the members of his class.Â He went on to become a member of the world famous Philadelphia Orchestra and is rated as one of the finest trumpet players in the nation.
A member of the graduating class of 1953. In high school he participated in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He listed chemistry as his favorite subject in high school and went on to major in chemical engineering and had a very successful career at Air Products that spanned 28 years. He served in the military as a 2nd Lieutenant with NASA and is now the President of his own business.
Graduate of the class of 1982, had a very successful high school career in athletics, lettering in four sports and setting many league and school records. He continues to be a major supporter of the high school athletic program providing scholarships and supporting school organizations through financial contributions.
1962 graduate of Wilson and a graduate of East Stroudsburg University. In high school he excelled in football, track, and wrestling. His senior yearbook claimed no one could compete with him in wrestling and track. He went on to North Carolina State University where he has been coaching for 25 years. Under his leadership three of his athletes went on to win national championships. He was recognized as National Coach of the Year and is listed in the East Stroudsburg University Hall of Fame.
Graduated from Wilson Area High School Class of 1949 and set Wilson records in track for high jump and graduated from Penn State University where he also set records and qualified to try out for the Olympics in Europe. He taught history and physical education at Phillipsburg High School for 35 years where he was also known as the Voice of P'burg for many years of announcing home football games. He passed away in 1999 but the contributions he made in life and his memory will not be forgotten.
Wilson Area High School graduate from the Class of 1956 and a former Wilson Area School District employee for 31 years.
Wilson Area High School graduate from the Class of 1945 and veteran of the United States Navy.
Wilson Area High School graduate of the Class of 1945, president of his senior class, and 57 years after his graduation he continues to work with the school photographing special events and activities.
1956 graduate of Wilson Area High School, taught and coached at Phillipsburg High School for 32 years and was listed in the Express-Times as being one of the top 100 Sports People of the Century.
1949 Graduate of Wilson Area High School and President of his senior class, and is a former president of the Varsity "W."
Graduated from Wilson Area High School in 1963 and from the U.S. Navel Academy in 1968. He is presently retired from the U.S. Navy with 20 years of service and he is an alumnus of the Children's Home of Easton.