Graduate of Distinction

The Graduate of Distinction program was initiated in 2001 in order to recognize VCS alumnus who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made significant contributions to society. These Victor Central School District alumni have achieved distinction through outstanding accomplishment or significant contribution within their school, family, career, community or personal life.

By sharing these accomplishments with the community, Victor Central School District's Graduates of Distinction serve as role models for current and future graduates.

Nomination Form

2018 Graduate of Distinction

Local Educator and Advocate Dr. Ralph N. Spezio, Class of 1965

On Thursday, May 10th at 7:15 pm at a special ceremony at the Board of Education’s regular monthly meeting, a well-respected local educator and leader in the fight against childhood lead poisoning, Dr. Ralph Spezio (VCS Class of 1965) will be recognized as Victor Central Schools’ 2018 Graduate of Distinction. The Graduates of Distinction program was initiated in 2002 as a way to recognize VCS alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made significant contributions to society.

Ralph Neil Spezio, Ed.D. served for 33 years in the Rochester City School District as teacher, curriculum specialist, vice principal, and principal. As principal of Enrico Fermi School No. 17, a large urban elementary school in the heart of Rochester’s “poverty crescent”, Dr. Spezio initiated wide-ranging partnerships and ground-breaking programs to improve the health and well being of students and the entire community. For example, in partnership with St. Mary’s Hospital, he raised $1.2 million in private money, and built the only school/community medical center of its kind in New York State. Building on this success, Dr. Spezio raised another $1 million and doubled the size of the health center to include a full-service dental facility operated by Strong’s Eastman Dental Center. This health/dental center is open to the entire community with a full sliding-scale system so no one is turned away. Because there was no pre-kindergarten program at School No. 17, Dr. Spezio formed a partnership with Kodak, and using Edison Tech students, built a facility that now houses a Montessori pre-school. This program was the first in Rochester to be located in a public school, and was the only public school at that time to have received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Spezio created an authentic neighborhood/community -school and with it, a vibrant Parent-Teacher Association was formed and sustained during his tenure as principal.

Dr. Spezio has received numerous awards for entrepreneurial leadership and community service, including citations from parent and community groups, professional associations, business associations, and local and state government leaders. While principal of School No.17, Dr. Spezio was a founding member of the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning in Monroe County, New York. The work of this coalition recently earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)  Environmental Justice Achievement Award and the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Ames-Amzalak Award for Nonprofit Excellence. Upon retiring as principal, Dr. Spezio served eight years as Senior Associate/Community Liaison in the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Community and Preventive Medicine. In May 2011, he received his doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Rochester, Warner School.

In 2013, Dr. Spezio was asked to come out of retirement to lead School 17 again as Principal in order to remove the State Priority School Status currently held by that school. He recently was awarded the EPA’s National Environmental Quality Award for his groundbreaking work to eliminate childhood lead poisoning.

VCS alumnae and former classmate, Anita Owens-Boulger, said she nominated Dr. Spezio for this esteemed award because his life has been filled with so many extraordinary achievements. “Ralph put himself through college to reach the level of doctorate in education. He was a demonstration teacher, curriculum specialist, vice principal and principal in one of the most challenged and highest poverty-stricken schools in the City of Rochester. I have known Ralph since grade school in the Victor Schools and can say that he has been consistent in his passion to help children to achieve a healthy and successful future. He is a powerful inspiration and a credit to all the values that the Victor Central School District holds dear.”

2017 ~ No One Selected

2016 ~ No One Selected

2015 Graduate of Distinction

Dr. Todd Pagano, Class of 1993

Dr. Todd Pagano, a 1993 graduate was named Victor Central Schools’ 2015 Graduate of Distinction. Following Victor Central Schools Pagano earned a B.A. from SUNY Oswego and a Ph.D. from Tufts University, both degrees in Chemistry. Dr. Pagano is currently an Associate Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Director of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf’s (NTID) Laboratory Science Technology (LST) program; a one-of-a-kind postsecondary chemical technology program for deaf and hard of-hearing students. During his young career at RIT/NTID he led the design and implementation of the LST program, set-up a state-of-the-art instrumentation laboratory, architected the new degree program and helped to place numerous deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals into careers in the chemical sciences.

Dr. Pagano is highly acclaimed for his work at home and abroad. In 2015, the Institute of International Education/Council for International Exchange of Scholars named him to the Fulbright Specialist roster. In 2014, he delivered the Silveira Distinguished Lecture in Chemistry at SUNY Oswego. In 2013, he received RIT’s Provost’s Excellence in Mentoring Award and the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from Tufts University’s graduate school. In 2012, he was named to the Rochester Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list and was named a United States Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for which New York’s Senators and Representatives commented on Dr. Pagano’s accomplishments on the floors of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. In 2011, Dr. Pagano was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and received the Dreyfus Foundation/ACS National Award: Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into the Chemical Sciences. Other honors bestowed on Dr. Pagano include RIT’s Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Environmental Protection Agency’s STAR Fellowship, the Institute on College Teaching Fellowship, the Dawan L. Albritton Faculty Humanitarian Award, the Delta Sigma Phi Faculty Humanitarian Award, NTID’s Faculty Research Scholar Award, and several other ACS recognitions, including the ChemLuminary Award, Salutes to Excellence Award and Stanley C. Israel Medal.

A balanced teacher-scholar, Dr. Pagano has worked on several chemical and pedagogical research projects and has co-authored more than 150 papers at regional, national and international symposia. In addition to publishing numerous book chapters, books and peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Pagano is working on novel research funded by the National Institute of Health related to the health impact of electronic cigarettes. Other accomplishments include cutting-edge research in fluorescence spectroscopy, intermolecular energy transfer, environmental climate change, access to safe drinking water, fruit biochemistry, and pedagogical approaches to teaching sciences. In addition, Dr. Pagano has served on several institutional, private, regional and federal grants.

Dr. Pagano is a highly sought after speaker on such topics as advanced applications of multidimensional fluorescence spectroscopy and teaching science. For his chemical education efforts, award citations have stated that he is “almost single-handedly blazing a path for underrepresented individuals in the field throughout the United States and beyond” and is commended for his “tireless dedication, immeasurable impact, and valued leadership in breaking down barriers and encouraging disadvantaged students
into careers in the chemical sciences.”

Dr. Pagano has consulted for the National Academy of Science, serves on the ACS Joint-Board Committee on Chemists with Disabilities and serves on the Executive Board for the Rochester Section of the ACS; where he was also recently elected Councilor of the section. Furthermore, Dr. Pagano is a reviewer for several journals in the field of chemistry and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Science Education for Students with
Disabilities.

Dr. Pagano’s nominator, VCS teacher, Amy Smith-Faczan, said Todd embraces the skills and qualities we want our VCS graduates to aspire to as they go on to college, qualities such as persevering through rigorous work, demonstrating leadership in his field and creating innovative solutions to real-world problems. “Todd takes being a ‘life-long learner’ to extreme levels. He is a truly dedicated and passionate person and continually strives for excellence,” she said.

2014 Graduates of Distinction

Edward Guinan, Class of 1947

Edward Guinan, Former Victor Town Supervisor and Ontario County Sheriff, Class of 1947

After graduating from VCS in 1947, Edward Guinan made his mark on the Victor community in countless ways, both personally and professionally.

From 1957 to 1967 and from 1970 to 1971, he served as the Victor Town Supervisor, the youngest person to fill that position at the time. Under his direction as Town Supervisor, Guinan was instrumental in the construction of Eastview Mall in Victor, a move that led to great economic growth in the area while maintaining the community’s small town ambience. As Town Supervisor, Guinan was also a guiding force in the creation of the Victor-Farmington Ambulance Corps and served as the US Postmaster in Victor from 1968 to 1970. 

From 1972 to 1977, Guinan was the Ontario County Sheriff. During his tenure, Guinan launched several initiatives to professionalize the Sheriff’s Office including hiring deputies with at least two years of college, securing grants to hire more police officers, standardizing department handguns to increase officer safety and establishing inmate behavior modification programs to hold inmates accountable for their actions and add to the safety of correction officers. Other accomplishments during Guinan’s time as Sheriff included the establishment of a Youth Officer position to handle juvenile cases, the creation of an interagency communication system for instant communication with all county and state emergency agencies, the development of a Welfare Fraud Investigator position which saved the county thousands of dollars, and the construction of a new firearms training range with a certified range officer to improve firearms handling and safety.

From 1978 to 1980, Guinan was appointed by the New York State Department of Commerce as an Ombudsman to handle problems reported by small business and industry when dealing with state government issues.

From 1980 to 1992, Guinan served on the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, first as an inspector to ensure legal wagering practices and later as the Regional Manager in charge of seventeen counties. 

Guinan’s civic and community contributions were many, especially during the 1960’s and 1970’s. During these years, he was an active member of the Victor Fire Department for 17 years, a member of the Victor-Farmington Rotary Club, a member of the Board of Directors for the Victor-Farmington Ambulance Corps, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the New York State Sheriff’s Association where he also acted as the Chairman of the Navigation Committee. His work did not end here. He was also a member of the National Sheriff’s Association, the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Association, the Criminal Justice Advisory Board of Finger Lakes Community College and the Director of the Canandaigua Safety Council. Other civic contributions included driving ambulance to help out at the Farmington Race Track, and chairing large fund drives for both the Ontario County Unit of the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. 

In retirement, Ed has helped many people, simply as a friend and concerned citizen through small but meaningful acts like helping elders in the community, visiting them in their homes, transporting them to doctor’s appointments, making deliveries and taking them out for an occasional meal. 

According to his nominator and daughter, Dianne Guinan (VCS Class of 1974 and 2004 Graduate of Distinction), “Ed Guinan is a humble man who would not see himself as a “distinguished graduate.” As I reflect back on his life, I cannot think of anyone more deserving and He has shaped Victor and the surrounding areas without a fancy degree, publications or inventions. It was devotion, sacrifice and love for Victor and all of its citizens that compelled him, a quiet man, into a life of public service. He has loved and been committed to this town as a public servant, community volunteer, friend, and concerned citizen for more than 80 years. What makes Ed outstanding in all of these roles is the very essence of who he is. He is a man of great integrity, who leads by example and does the right thing for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.”

Master Sergeant Matthew King, Class of 1970

Air Force Master Sergeant Matthew King (Retired), Class of 1970

Following graduation from VCS in 1970, the late Matthew King entered the Air Force in November 1970. His first assignment was to Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado, where he attended inventory management specialist school. He was then assigned to Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, and subsequently overseas to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ubon, Thailand. After returning from Thailand in 1974, he attended training to become a crewmember and loadmaster at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, and was assigned to the 62nd Tactical Airlift Squadron, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas on the Hercules C-130 aircraft. While there, he became an instructor loadmaster and began teaching in flight airdrop procedures to Air Force and foreign national students. 

In 1978, Matthew transferred as a Hercules HC-130 crewmember and was reassigned to the 71st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. While flying with the Rescue Squadron he performed numerous rescues and saved the lives of numerous downed civilian pilots throughout Alaska. In October 1980 the cruise ship Prinsendam caught fire at midnight in the Gulf of Alaska about 120 miles south of Yakutat. Matthew’s squadron was activated to provide aerospace rescue to the passengers of the ship. Matthew was instrumental in the air rescue of 524 people in the treacherous Gulf of Alaska and was awarded the Canadian Air Medal at a ceremony in Ottawa for his heroism. This rescue is considered one of the most successful large-scale peacetime sea rescues in history.

In 1983, Matthew transferred to the 1550th Flying Training Squadron, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. While stationed there he was involved with Operation “Urgent Fury” in Grenada. In 1985, he was selected by Military Airlift Command to act as the active-duty adviser for the 304th Aerospace Recovery and Rescue Squadron, Portland International Airport, Oregon, during the unit’s transition from helicopters to HC-130s. 

In 1987, Matthew was then assigned to the 55th Aerospace Recovery and Rescue Squadron, which later became the 9th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida. While with the 9th Special Operations group, he flew the MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft. In December 1989, Master Sergeant King and his squadron were secretly deployed from Florida to the Panama Canal Zone. Flying at night just feet off the Gulf of Mexico to avoid radar he performed inflight refueling of special-operations helicopters being secretly deployed from Florida to Panama. Matthew participated in several special operations combat missions in “Operation Just Cause” and was instrumental in the ouster of General Manuel Noriega from Panama.

Shortly after “Operation Just Cause” Matthew again found himself being deployed overseas and was in the initial deployment of U.S. Forces to Saudi Arabia in August 1990 for Operation Desert Shield. Later during combat operations in Operation Desert Storm while flying with Air Force Special Operations he was instrumental in the initial air strike on Baghdad and was involved in combat missions throughout this entire campaign. Following Desert Storm he returned to Hurlburt Field, Florida and was assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command’s standardization and evaluation office. Matthew was qualified in the AC-130 Spectre gunship and became a loadmaster functional manager for the HC-130 and AC-130. He subsequently managed the loadmaster force in those weapon systems in three locations. 

Master Sergeant Matthew King retired from Air Force active duty in 1994 after 24 years of service. His numerous awards and decorations include the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with three oak-leaf clusters, the Air Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal with two oak-leaf clusters. During his flying career in the Air Force he accumulated more than 8,500 flying hours.

After retiring from the Air Force, Matthew continued to train special-operations aircrews as a civilian instructor employed by Lockheed Martin at Hurlburt Field, Florida, conducting ground training for AC-130H/U and MC-130E/H/P aircrews.

Matthew passed away on December 2, 2001 at the age of 49. He was so well known and beloved in the Air Force Special Operations community that upon hearing of his passing a flight of HC 130 Combat Talon aircraft flew the missing man formation in his honor over the skies of Iraq. King is survived by his wife, Nancy Baldwin King (VCS Class of 1970); two sons, Technical Sergeant Brendon King and Jason King; his mother, Harriett King, his sister Jenny King (VCS Class of 1964) and his brother, Tom King (VCS Class of 1967).

Brian D. Reh, Class of 1991

Brian D. Reh, President and CEO, Gorbel Inc., Class of 1991

Following graduation from VCS in 1991, Brian Reh received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College in 1995 and an MBA from Harvard University. Before returning home to Victor and Gorbel, Brian worked in a variety of industrial and manufacturing leadership roles at General Electric’s Power Systems and Aircraft Engine units. He spent time with GE in New York, California and Florence, Italy.

Brian currently serves as President and CEO of Gorbel Inc. in Fishers, NY. Gorbel was founded in 1977 and is a manufacturing company of overhead material handling equipment. Brian solely represents the second family generation at Gorbel. The company has facilities in New York, Alabama, Michigan and China. Under Brian’s leadership, Gorbel ranked number 3 on the Rochester Business Journal’s Top 100 list of growing companies in 2012 and number 30 in 2013. Brian was a finalist for the 2013 Rochester Small Business Council’s Business Person of the Year award. 

In 2012, Reh was the recipient of the prestigious Rochester Business Journal “40 Under 40” award because of his commitment to achieving professional success and making significant civic contributions to our community. 

According to his nominator and employee, Kerren Schwink, Brian is a true innovator, pioneering new frontiers. “Brian’s first task at Gorbel was to start a Business Development Team. That team is still led by Brian today. Gorbel’s mission statement, “To solve, to serve, to lead, to innovate and to smile, is a clear reflection of Reh himself”, Schwink said. In addition to new products, employees say Brian is always looking to create a better working environment for customers and employees alike, Schwink added. In 2013, he rolled out a homegrown online quotation tool configuration called CraneBrain® which allows customers to enter all design parameters of the product they need and get a quote. While Gorbel primarily serves industrial markets, in 2013, Reh was successful in diversifying the company into the Health Care Industry. In 2009, he investigated the patient handling market. Today, Gorbel is using its proprietary lifting motion control technology to help patients learn to walk again. By August, 2014, the units should be ready to be placed in health care facilities in the area. 

Reh’s leadership at Gorbel is seemingly unstoppable. Gorbel was recognized in the Top 100 as one of Rochester’s fastest growing privately-held businesses in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. 

In 2006, Brian’s successful expansion of Gorbel into the China market won the company the Rochester Business Association’s “International Business of the Year” award. In 2009, The New York State Small Business Development Corporation named Gorbel as “Exporter of the Year” and in 2012 The Victor Local Development Corporation honored Gorbel with the “Business Exporter of the Year.”  Gorbel’s products are so highly respected in the material handling industry that they have won the company ten different “Product of the Year” awards from “Plant Engineering” magazine over the past several years. 

One of Gorbel’s highest honors came in 2006 when the company, under Reh’s leadership, was awarded the Galanis award which honors successful family enterprises that care about their employees. Caring is something that comes naturally to Reh. “Brian is one of a kind. He is generous beyond words. He’s never too busy to help someone,” his nominator, Kerrin Schwink said. 

When he is not helping his employees, Reh is busy helping his peers. He has been an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Empire State Chapter since 2003. The YPO is a global network of 20,000 young executives who exemplify the value of peer networking and trusted mentors.

Other community leadership roles Reh is involved with is the Board of the ClaireBear Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to families taking care of sick children far from home. Each year, under Reh’s direction, Gorbel hosts a “Carnival of Caring,” a weeklong event that brings employees together over lunch to compete in fun games while raising money for a great cause.

Other causes that Reh and his company support are the United Way, the Victor Farmington Food Cupboard, the VSH Leadership Classes’ Snack-Pack and Global Competence Certificate Programs and the PENCIL Program (Public Education Needs Civil Involvement and Learning), a program that encourages city students to stay in school. Brian’s Gorbel is also a proud sponsor of Victor Schools FIRST Robotics Team. Teamwork is something Reh knows a lot about. Together, Brian and his wife, Gayle, are actively involved the pre-cana group for soon to be newlyweds at St. Patrick’s Church in Victor and his family also volunteers together to prepare and serve dinners at the Veteran’s Administration in Canandaigua and Cameron Street Ministries in downtown Rochester.

From running a successful company and supporting community service to running literal marathons (Reh ran in both the 2012 and 2013 Boston Marathons to support the Greater Boston Food Bank) Reh goes the distance in everything he does.

2013 Graduates of Distinction

Alan Hood, Class of 1982

Alan Hood, World Renowned Trumpet Player, Class of 1982

After graduating from Victor Senior High School in 1982, Alan Hood received his Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Kentucky in 1989. In 1992, he earned his Master’s degree in music from Northern Illinois University. Currently, Hood is working on his Doctoral degree in music at the University of Miami. From 1999 to present, Hood has been an Associate Professor of Trumpet at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. As a freelance trumpet player, Alan has played the world over with such notable musicians as Phil Collins, Ray Charles, Doc Severinsen, Wynton Marsalis and Natalie Cole. He divides his time between performing and teaching full time at the Lamont School of Music, where he directs the school’s ‘Lamont Jazz Ensemble’ and performs with Lamont’s artist-in-residence ensembles and various faculty groups. Hood is featured on over four-dozen recordings as a featured soloist or sideman. He also released two recordings of his own; the 2008 solo CD, Just a Little Taste and the 2010 co-led H2 Big Band CD, You’re It! Hood’s professional accomplishments do not end there. In 2004, he was the host of the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Denver and in 2006, the First Annual Rocky Mountain Trumpet Festival. He has also been the host of the prestigious Rafael Mendez Brass Institute at the University of Denver since 2007.

As a teaching musician, Hood enjoys working and performing with students from such places as the University of Minnesota, Western Michigan University, Indiana University, East Tennessee State University, Witchita State University, University of Northern Colorado and Nagoya University of the Arts in Japan. He has also served as a judge for the National Trumpet Competition, the International Trumpet Guild, the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Competition and many Colorado and national jazz festivals.

As a leading authority on the life and work of jazz legend, Clifford Brown, Alan has presented on the topic at many conferences, has written articles and been consulted by Jazz at the Lincoln Center’s Education Department for assistance with their new Brown exhibit that is now a part of the Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame. From 1996 to 1999 Hood was the Chief Researcher, Interviewer and Consultant for a published biography on jazz trumpet legend, Clifford Brown. Alan Hood’s friend and nominator, Michael Keefe a 1982 VSH graduate said he believes Alan’s induction into the Graduates of Distinction program will serve as an inspiration to current and future VCS students interested in pursuing a career in music performance and education. “Al has two great passions; music and teaching. He has found a way to combine the two into a career that has brought him great personal satisfaction and extensive professional recognition. He is a genuinely good guy who cares deeply about his art and the students whose own talents he helps to nurture and develop.”

Sharon Duffy, Class of 1975

Sharon Duffy, Colonel, United States Army, Class of 1975

Following graduation from VCS in 1975, Sharon Duffy received Bachelor’s Degrees in English and Sociology from St. Lawrence University in 1979, where she completed ROTC training. In 1981, she earned a Master’s of Education Degree in counseling from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and in 2000 she received a Master’s Degree in National Securities Studies from the United States Army War College. During her thirty year career in the US Army, Commander Duffy also graduated from Airborne training, a title which enabled her to parachute from airplanes. 

Colonel Sharon Duffy spent half of her military career overseas. In 2003, she commanded the 43rd Corps Support Group at Fort Carson, Colorado. While there, she deployed her unit to Iraq, one of the first units into Iraq where she established logistics operations in Baghdad. In 2006, Duffy served as Deputy Commander for the 3rd Corps Support Command (second in Command) stationed in Germany. During this time, she helped deploy the command to Iraq, the largest logistics command in the country of Iraq, with 55 bases, 20,000 soldiers and 5,000 civilians. In addition to Iraq, Duffy served in Sarajevo as the Corps Movement Officer. Stateside, Duffy was a Captain at Fort Lewis, Washington where she commanded the 513thTransportation Company in the 80th Ordnance Battalion. Other assignments included instructor and branch representative at West Point, intern at the Pentagon on the Joints Chief of Staff and Battalion Commander (Lieutenant Colonel) for the 142 Corps Support Battalion at Fort Polk, Lousiana, where her unit was instrumental to the success of all units that rotate through the elite training center at Fort Polk. Duffy’s military career culminated as the Deputy Commander for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany where she spent her final four years on active duty. During her career, Colonel Duffy earned many of the military’s highest honors including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for her service in Iraq, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.

According to her nominator, Diane Guinan, a 1974 VCS graduate, Sharon Duffy has that rare ability to command and interact in a way in which people can have fun in her presence and because of her presence, but continue to be earnest about their job and responsibilities.
“Sharon has served our country for 30 years and earned promotion to full Colonel in the Army. Sharon not only served our country, she did it with integrity, selfless leadership, style, perseverance, determination, courage and dedication. She loves to sing patriotic songs and encourages others to sing along with her. Sharon was described the following way in LinkedIn: 'A proven leader and logistics manager with 30 years of command and operations experience in diverse organizations, experienced in multiple aspects of operations, planning and logistics. A consistent track record of success solving complex problems while leading large, diverse, goal-orientated organizations challenged with time-sensitive missions and tasks requiring innovative solutions, often in austere and stressful environments, including war zones.’ I had multiple opportunities to visit Sharon over the past 30 years in various parts of the United States and abroad. All indications supported the LinkedIn description. When interacting with those around her, I always had the sense that Sharon was respected by all.”

2012 Graduates of Distinction

Dr. Robert William Glenrole Vail, Class of 1909

Dr. Robert William Glenroie Vail, Class of 1909
Born: 1890  Died: 1966

Following graduation from VCS in 1909, Dr. R. W. Glenroie Vail (Phi Beta Kappa) received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1914. From 1920 to 1921, Dr. Vail was a librarian at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, MN. From 1921 to 1928, he was a librarian at the Roosevelt Memorial Association. For the next two years, from 1928 to 1930 Vail was a general assistant at the New York Public Library. This position was followed by a nine year assignment (1930 to 1939) as a librarian at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. From 1939 to 1944 he worked as a New York State Librarian in Albany, New York. Dr. Vail’s career culminated as Director of the New York Historical Society, a position he held from 1944 to 1960. 

Dr. Vail’s professional career was filled with impressive achievements beyond the workplace. From 1944 to 1945 he was president of the Bibliographical Society of America. From 1947 to 1949 he was an Associate Instructor of History at Columbia University. An author of numerous books and articles, including Gold Fever, the Voice of the Old Frontier, Vail also assembled a 24-volume Memorial Edition of the Works of Theodore Roosevelt and edited the 1929 edition of Sabin’s Dictionary of books on American History.

According to his nominator, Lewis Fisher (2009 Graduate of Distinction recipient); few Victor graduates have records approaching the distinction of the work of Dr. R. W. Glenroie Vail. 

“In addition to being a notable scholar and prolific writer he seems to have maintained an entertaining disposition and remained always aware of his roots. Glenroie Vail kept a careful watch for material related to Victor as he pursued his work on the state and national level. He assembled a collection of reference material on Victor which he donated to the Victor Historical Society upon his retirement in New York in 1960. This included an organized file of significant articles he had clipped from the Victor Herald over a period of 50 years. This material proved essential to me in rounding out a full profile of Victor’s history as I wrote: The History of a Town in 1996. He could be portrayed as one representing the several thousand graduates who have left Victor without leaving a local trace, but who never forgot where they came from.”

Laurence E. Keefe, Sr., Class of 1932

Laurence E. Keefe, Sr., Class of 1932
Born: 1915  Died: 1989

Prior to his graduating from VCS in 1932, Laurence E. Keefe Sr. attended VCS School District #8. In 1936, he graduated from Catholic University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. From 1936 to 1937 and 1941 to 1942, Keefe attended graduate school at Catholic University. He continued his graduate work in Education in 1938 at the University of Rochester. In 1953, Keefe received his Masters of Science degree from the School of Social Work from Fordham University. In the midst of his education, Keefe served in WWII from 1942 to 1945. While there, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Keefe’s post-war and graduate achievements were numerous. From 1947 to 1953 he was a staff social worker at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Canandaigua, New York. 

From 1953 to 1973 he was a staff social worker at the Veterans Administration Mental Hygiene Clinic in Rochester, New York. From 1956 to 1965, Keefe was a member of the Field Work Faculty, School of Social Work at the University of Buffalo. Keefe’s impressive social work continued from 1973 to 1978. During this time, he was the Chief of the Day Treatment Center at the Veterans Administration in Rochester, New York.  Other professional achievements include being a member of the National Association of Social Workers and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Laurence Keefe, Sr.’s civic and community involvement is equally impressive.  From 1950 to 1955 he was on the Board of Directors for the Ontario County Chapter of the American Red Cross. In 1955, he was a charter member and first secretary of the Ontario County Mental Health Board.  From 1955 to 1965, Keefe was the Chief Social Worker at the Ontario County Mental Health Clinic in Canandaigua, New York.  From 1960 to 1970, Keefe was a member of the Victor Central Schools Board of Education. In 1970, he was President of the Board of Education.  From 1965 to 1970, Keefe was a member and treasurer for the Board of Directors at the Genesee Valley School Board Institute. Keefe’s church, St. Patrick’s in Victor, New York, was a big part of his life. From 1948 to 1963 he served as a trustee for St. Patrick’s.

Keefe’s nominator, Mary Ellen Keefe McGee said Laurence E. Keefe, Sr. gave back in so many ways.

“Larry was proud of his high school Alma Mater and devoted 10 years serving on the Board of Education so the children of Victor could attend a school that was considered one of the best academically in the Rochester area. Larry was also very interested in the history of the community, and contributed to the historical record via a column in the Victor Herald. The column, entitled, “The Good Old Days and Later On” ran from January 1980 until his death in September 1983. During this time he mentored other columnists in the area. Larry purchased and preserved the one-room school that he attended before high school. Known as District #8, it sits on the corner of Gillis Road and Victor Egypt Road and was used as his residence for many years.

Dr. Amy Gillis, Class of 1992

Dr. Amy Gillis, Class of 1992

Following graduation from Victor High School in 1992 where she was class Valedictorian, Dr. Amy Gillis attended Cornell University on a full scholarship from Eastman Kodak Co. 

In 1996, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude; Degree Master from the College of Engineering at Cornell. Upon graduation from Cornell, Dr. Gillis was awarded the Merrill Presidential Scholar. As such, she was invited to recognize a high school teacher who most inspired her and a $4,000 scholarship was made available in that teacher’s name, to a student from the Victor area who attended Cornell. In 2003, Dr. Gillis graduated from the Harvard Medical School, Cum Laude, with Honors.  

Dr. Gillis’ post-graduate achievements include the roles of Manufacturing and Product Engineer at Eastman Kodak Co. from 1994 to 1996, Research Engineer at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY from 1996 to 1999, Computer Assistant at Harvard Medical School from 1998 to 2001, a Consulting Engineer for the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, NY from 1999 to 2001, Teaching Assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2001, Research Assistant at the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy in Boston, MA  from 2002 to 2003, and Research Assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA from 1999 to 2003. From 2003 to 2004, Dr. Gillis was a medical intern at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. From 2006 to 2007, she was Chief Resident of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, CA. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Gillis was a Resident Physician in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco, CA. From 2008 to present she has been a physician for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in South San Francisco, CA. Dr. Gillis was involved in every facet of the opening of this state-of-the-art cancer treatment center.

From 2010 to present, Dr. Amy Gillis has been an important voice in the cancer world. She is a member of The Second Opinion Participant, a group that provides free second opinions to cancer patients. She has also been involved in numerous cancer speaking engagements around the U.S and other countries. In addition, she has planned and held many conferences in her area of medical specialization. 

According to her nominator, Cheryl Krall, Dr. Amy Gillis, Radiation Oncologist has “made her mark.”

“Apparently, Amy wrote a paper in Mr. Ferguson’s English class, describing how she wanted to become a truck driver when she grew up! Well, she had quite a change of plans over the course of time. Amy Gillis is now a Radiation Oncologist and Chief of the department at a hospital in South San Francisco. Amy Gillis is worthy of the Graduate of Distinction honor because she is an excellent role model of success for Victor students. Amy is self-motivated, and has a steadfast progression in her career due to continuous hard work. Amy’s life-long dedication to her work is admirable. Generally speaking, she makes a positive difference in the lives of her patients, is gracious to her co-workers and a credit to her profession. Somehow, Amy manages to do it all, while balancing work and family.”

2011 Graduate of Distinction

 

Dr. David L. Ramsay, Class of 1961

Following graduation from VCS in 1961, Dr. Ramsay earned an A.B. in English (with honors) from Indiana University in 1965. In 1969, he received a Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University Medical School.

Dr. Ramsay’s postdoctoral training includes an internship at George Washington University from 1969 to 1970, a residency in Dermatology at New York University from 1970 to 1973 and in 1973 was also awarded an NIH fellowship which resulted in a masters degree in education from the University of Illinois. From 1972 to 1975 he also served as a Commander in the U.S. Navy and in 1975, he was the recipient of the Naval Achievement award.

Before becoming a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at New York University (NYU) in 2003, a post he still holds today, Dr. Ramsay’s professional journey in the field of dermatology field has spanned a variety of prestigious academic appointments. He was an Associate Faculty Member in the Department of English at Indiana University from 1965 to 1969, the First Director of Dermatology Residency Training at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland from 1973 to 1975 and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University from 1974 to 1975. At NYU, he served as Assistant Professor of Dermatology from 1975 to 1978, Associate Professor of Clinical Dermatology from 1978-1995 and Professor of Dermatology from 1995 to 2003.

In addition to serving on major committees at both Georgetown University, New York University Medical Center and New York University, Dr. Ramsay has been an active member of numerous offices and committee assignments in professional societies ranging from the American Academy of Dermatology to the Association of Professors of Dermatology, the American Dermatologic Association, The Victor C. Hackney and Arthur L. Norins Society and the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. He has been on the Editorial Board of the American Family Physician, the official journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians since 1994.

Outside of the medical field, Dr. Ramsay has been actively involved with the Brooklyn Academy of Music since 1983 as a member of its Producer’s Council, Collaborate Arts Council and Board of Trustees. From 2002 to 2010 he served as Chairman of the Committee on Education of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 2002 to present he has been Co-Chairperson of the Visual Arts Committee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Dr. Ramsay’s résumé of impressive accomplishments does not end here. In 1994 he received the American Academy of Dermatology’s Award for Excellence in Education for Advances in Dermatology. In 2000, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Teaching from Dermatology Residents in the Ronald O. Perlman Department of Dermatology at New York University. From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Ramsay was named Castle and Connolly’s New York’s Top Doctors, America’s Top Doctors, New York Magazine’s Top Doctors and America’s Top Doctors for Cancer. From 2002 to present he has been recognized in Who’s Who in America and from 2006 to present Dr. Ramsay has been recognized in Who’s Who in the World.

2010 Graduates of Distinction

Dr. ReneƩ (Phelps) Valach, Class of 1984

Dr. Reneé (Phelps) Valach, Class of 1984

Following graduation from VCS in 1984, at which she was the class salutatorian, Reneé Valach earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1988 and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Penn State University College of Medicine in 1992. Dr. Valach completed her Residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Penn State University/ Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1996. From 1996 to 1997, she was the Pediatric Chief Resident and Instructor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Valach’s post graduate achievements are long and varied. Before becoming a Missionary Physician in Gabon, Africa, she was a physician at Westmoreland Primary Health Center and on staff of Westmoreland Regional Hospital in Greensburg, Pennsylvania from 1997-2000. In 2001, Dr. Valach opened her own practice, Carolinia Adult and Pediatric Medicine in Goldsboro, North Carolina, offering primary care for the entire family as both a Board Certified Internist and Pediatrician. During this period, she was on the medical staff at Wayne Memorial Hospital where she served on and was chairperson of various hospital committees including the Institutional Review Board and Ethics Committee. In 2005, she served as President of the Wayne County Medical Society.

In preparation for her to care for the people in Africa, Dr. Valach attended the Centre d’Enseignement de Francais in Albertville, France, from September, 2006 to June, 2007 to learn French, which is spoken in Gabon. Ability to communicate in French was also important prior to her study at The Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium from September, 2007 to February 2008. This is one of the oldest tropical medicine training institutions. 

Starting in July 2007, Reneé Valach has been a missionary physician at Bongolo Hospital in Gabon. In addition to practicing internal and pediatrics, she is also the Administrative Director of the HIV/AIDS treatment center. At Bongolo Hospital, Dr. Valach’s practice of medicine is challenging, often working with limited resources including medications, labs and medical tests. The majority of patients have diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria which are often associated with poverty.
 

Dr. Gregory D. Goodno, Class of 1988

Dr. Gregory D. Goodno, Class of 1988

Following graduation from VCS in 1988, Gregory D. Goodno earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Dartmouth College in 1992 and a Masters degree in Physics from the University of Rochester in 1994. In 1999, Mr. Goodno was awarded his Doctorate in Physics from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Goodno’s post graduate achievements in high power laser technology are internationally recognized. From 1992 to 1999, he was a Research Assistant for the University of Rochester where his accomplishments ranged from inventing a process for holographic encoding, to designing solid-state lasers. In 1999, he joined Northrop Grumman (formerly TRW) in Redondo Beach, California, where he worked as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Scientist, Staff Engineer and Senior Staff Engineer before becoming a Senior Scientist in 2010. 

As a Senior Scientist for Northrop Grumman, Dr. Goodno is a Principal Investigator for research and development on high power fiber lasers. In this capacity, Goodno develops novel technologies for beam combining and fiber laser power scaling, acts as the technical lead for proposals, white papers, journal articles and presentations, acts as a technical mentor for colleagues and staff and participates in numerous volunteer activities in the laser technical community. 

Dr. Goodno’s professional activities are a clear reflection of his success in the laser technology field. From 1995 to present, he has provided more than 40 contributions to technical literature. He has also acted as a peer reviewer for technical journals, chaired numerous sessions at technical conferences, taught classes, and served on various technical committees. From 2008 to present, he has been co-editor of the High Power Laser Handbook and in 2010 he became Program Chair at the Advanced Solid State Photonics Conference. 

From 2000 to present, Dr. Goodno has been the recipient of numerous program, patent and technical awards at Northrop Grumman. In 2005, he received the Northrop Grumman Chairman’s Award for Excellence, the company’s highest honor, and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Northrop Grumman Space Technology Award for Innovation.
 

2009 Graduates of Distinction

David, E. Corbit, Class of 1959

David E. Corbit, Class of 1959

Following his graduation from VCS, David Corbit earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Hamilton College in 1963 and the Doctor of Medicine degree from the University Of Rochester School Of Medicine in 1967.  Dr. Corbit completed a rotating medical internship at the Medical College of Virginia in 1968 and went on to serve as a General Medical Officer in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1970. In 1973 he completed his residency in Ophthalmology at Indiana University Medical Center and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Since 1974 Dr. Corbit has been a partner at New Hampshire Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Manchester, NH.

Over the years, Dr. Corbit has touched thousands of lives both in and outside his professional practice. Beginning in 1991 he and his partners served as principal investigators for the clinical studies in laser vision correction. He has continued a large practice of general ophthalmology with emphases in cataract surgery and glaucoma management. For many years, Dr. Corbit has served on the New Hampshire Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation and is currently chairman of its Physician Advisory Committee. He was instrumental in the development of the Lions Eye Clinic in Manchester, NH, which provides free eye care to financially disadvantaged people around the state. He also conducts a monthly free clinic at a local shelter facility.

Dr. Corbit is a recipient of the Lions Clubs’ prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, given to a person who represents humanitarian qualities such as generosity, compassion and concern for the less fortunate. In a similar vein, he was honored by the Pastoral Counseling Center in Manchester in 2007 with their Good Samaritan Award in the realm of Medicine and Healing.

Dr. Corbit enjoys singing and occasionally traveling with the Manchester Choral Society and has enjoyed hiking and skiing in the mountains of New Hampshire. He is married to Judy Morris Corbit (VCS, Class of 1960), and they have three children and two grandchildren.

William F. Kocker, Class of 1966

William F. Kocher, Class of 1966

Following his graduation from VCS, William F. Kocher attended Indiana University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree with distinction in 1970.  In 1973, he graduated from Cornell University Law School with his Juris Doctorate. For the past 35 years, Mr. Kocher has had his own private law practice in Victor. 

Mr. Kocher’s list of professional achievements is long and varied. He was the Assistant District Attorney for Ontario County from 1974 to 1991. From 1978 to 2006, he was the Victor Village attorney. From 1991 to 2006, Kocher was also the Victor Town Justice.  Kocher is also the acting city judge for the city of Geneva, New York. Among Kocher’s list of other accomplishments include his appointment by former New York State Governor George Pataki to Ontario County Court in 2006. In 2006, Kocher was also elected to a ten-year term on the Ontario Country Court. He has been the Acting Supreme Court Judge for Ontario County since 2006. From 2006 to present, Judge Kocher has been assigned to the Development of Integrated Domestic Violence Court. He was also appointed by the Honorable Judith Kaye (former Chief Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals) to the New York State Judicial Commission on Interbranch Relations, a nine judge commission whose members were selected from full time judges across New York State. Through the years, Judge Kocher has also been an avid instructor at various training sessions for the New York State Magistrates Association. 

Judge Kocher’s personal contributions are equally impressive. He has been an active participant in Victor Community Baseball for many years. He is involved in the Ontario County Historical Society. While Kocher is well known for his professional resume and community service, he is also widely known as the man who has always been available to the people of Victor, working behind the scenes, without notice or expectation of reward. 

Judge Kocher is married to Mary Burns Kocher (VCS, Class of 1967). They have two daughters, Cassie and Molly, both VCS graduates.

2008 Graduate of Distinction

Lewis Fisher, Class of 1959

When Lewis F. Fisher graduated from Victor Central High School in 1959 the quote he chose to be printed beside his photo read: “Who costs to write a line, must sweat.” It seems that Mr. Fisher has lived these words well.

After graduating from Victor Schools, Mr. Fisher received a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College and a master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He was a captain in the U.S. Air Force, serving in Izmir, Turkey and Wiesbaden, Germany.

After working as a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, he left in 1971 to establish The North San Antonio Times, which grew into a group of ten suburban weekly newspapers that he published for 21 years. He was elected president of Suburban Newspapers of America for 1988–89. His Maverick Publishing Company has published more than 30 general interest books on San Antonio and Texas, ranging from San Antonio place names and great motorcycle rides to a guide to Texas wines. He has received numerous local, regional, state and national citations for newspaper editorials and column writing plus the Texas Society of Architects John G. Flowers Award and the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library Arts and Letters Award.

Fisher is the author of nine books about San Antonio, among them Saving San Antonio: The Precarious Preservation of a Heritage, San Antonio: Outpost of Empires, The Spanish Missions of San Antonio, and River Walk: The Epic Story of San Antonio’s River, which in 2007 received the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Regional Book from, The Independent Book Publishers Association.

He is also the author of Victor: The History of a Town, written in 1996 and reviewed in New York History Magazine as “an eminently readable and authoritative history of the town, a balanced study.” 

Mr. Fisher was formally recognized at a special Graduates of Distinction breakfast ceremony on Sunday, June 29, 2008.

2007 Graduate of Distinction

Judy Weigert Bossuat, Class of 1971

Judy Weigert Bossuat, Class of 1971

Judy Weigert Bossuat graduated from Victor Senior High School in 1971 and currently lives in Oregon.  In 1975, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Potsdam State University.  She went on to graduate from the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan after studying the Suzuki Method for over a year with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1978.  From 1978 to 1994, Ms. Weigert Bossuat created and co-directed the Ecole de Musique Suzuki de Lyon in France.  She then worked as a public school music teacher and a professor at the University of the Pacific and California State University (Sacramento) until 2005. During that time, she received the eminence teaching credential from the Commission on Teaching Credentialing.  Ms. Weigert Bossuat is currently an instructor of string pedagogy and director of the community music institute at the University of Oregon. 

Over the years, Ms. Weigert Bossuat has received several prestigious awards and recognitions.  In 2006, she was named Marquis Who’s Who of American Educators, and Marquis Who’s Who of American Women in 2004, 2005, and 2006.  She is an honorary life member of the European Suzuki Association as well as the Federation Nationale Mathode Suzuki en France.  She received the Medal of Honor from the National Assembly of France for Exceptional Contributions to Education.  Ms. Weigert Bossuat was also given the Medal of the City for Marseille, France; Duluth, Minnesota; and Lyon, France. In 1999, the Ithaca College Suzuki Institute honored her with a 25-year Exceptional Service Award. 

Susan R. Harris, Ph.D., Class of 1965

Susan R. Harris, Ph.D., Class of 1965

Susan R. Harris, Ph.D. graduated from Victor Senior High School in 1965 and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She received her Bachelors of Science in Physical Therapy from Russell Sage College (Albany Medical College) in 1969 and went on to receive her Masters in Special Education in 1977 from the University of Washington. In 1980, Dr. Harris received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Washington and in 1999, was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of Indianapolis. 

In 1980, Dr. Harris served as an instructor for the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington and in 1981 she became an assistant professor for the department, a position she held until 1983. From 1984 to 1987, she worked as a research assistant professor for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. For the next two years, she served as an associate professor of physical therapy and affiliate associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She became a registered physical therapist in Wisconsin, Washington State and British Columbia. Dr. Harris is currently an adjunct associate professor for the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. In 2003, she became the Scientific Editor of Physiotherapy Canada.

In 1996, Dr. Harris developed the Harris Infant Neuromotor Test that detects developmental delays in infants.  She has also raised awareness of health care providers and needs of patients and their families through her writing for Physiotherapy Canada. 

Over the years, Dr. Harris has received several prestigious awards and recognitions.  Among these are the Enid Grahm Memorial Lecture Award in 2006, the Don W. Wortley Lectureship in Physical Therapy Award in 2005, and the Silver Quill Award in 2003.      

Dr. Harris received a professional achievement award from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in 2004. She also received a faculty citation community service award in 2002.  Dr. Harris is a two-time breast cancer survivor and developed the first Canadian Dragon Boat Team for breast cancer survivors. 
 

2006 ~ No One Selected

2005 Graduate of Distinction

Rev. John W. Gouldrick, C.M.

Rev. Gouldrick was a 1959 graduate of Victor High School. He went on to receive a B.A. from the Mary Immaculate Seminary and a B.B.A. from Niagara University. He also received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from Mary Immaculate Seminary. Rev. Gouldrick also received a Doctor of Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America. 

He was a Vicar for Priests, at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine, a professor and vice president of Niagara University, Rector/President of the Mary Immaculate Seminary, and served as Executive Director of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Rev. Gouldrick was also the director for the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal, treasurer for the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, National and International Retreat Leader and a teacher at St. John's Preparatory School in Brooklyn, NY.

Rev. Gouldrick was named a trustee at St. John's University in Jamaica, NY as well as a trustee at Marillac Northeast Charitable Trust, and a trustee for the National Association for Treasurers of Religious Institutes. He served as vice president of the Conference of Regional Treasurers, elected delegate at the Congregation of the Mission General Assembly in Rome in 1986 and is an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science at St. John's University. 

2004 Graduate of Distinction

Diane M. Guinan, Class of 1974

Ms. Guinan graduated from Victor Central Schools in 1974. She received a B.S. in Physical Education from SUNY Cortland, an M.S. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

She has served as an academic advisor at Purdue University since 2001, as well as Full Spectrum Consulting and Personality Resources International. Previously she worked at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, as an Assistant Professor at UNC Greensboro, a teaching and research graduate assistant at UNC Greensboro, the Assistant Director of Athletics at Washington College, the U.S. Field Hockey Olympic Development Program, graduate assistant/visiting lecturer at UNC Chapel Hill and taught Physical Education (k-12).

In 1974 Ms. Guinan received the Congressman's Medal of Merit. In 1978 she received SUNY Cortland's Bessie Park Award. She was also named Outstanding Young Woman of America, UNC Greensboro Pearl Berlin Writing Award and UNC Greensboro's Susan Stout Research Award.

Ms. Guinan donates her time at the White Rock Lake Clean-Up, Indiana Canine and Adolescent Assistance Network, TESA (Teaching and Encouraging Senior Activity) and the Healthy Living Program. 

2003 Graduate of Distinction

Olin Bought, Class of 1925

Olin Bought, Class of 1925

Mr. Olin Boughton (1909-1986) was a member of the VCS class of 1925. He studied Mechanical Engineering at what is now known as Rochester Institute of Technology. During his career he worked for Bausch and Lomb, American Optical Company and Reichart Optical Company where he was instrumental in research and development for student microscopes and electron microscopes. His daughter, Gail Boughton Leary, will be accepting his award. 

James Exton, Class of 1975

James Exton, Class of 1975

Mr. James Exton is a member of the VCS class of 1975. He studied business administration at Rochester Institute of Technology. Currently he is a Vice-President and Investment Officer for Canandaigua National Bank. Mr. Exton is very involved in the Victor-Farmington community through his association with Victor Dollars for Scholars, Ontario Bankers Association, and Farmington-Victor Kiwanis.

2002 Graduate of Distinction

William "Bill" Turner, Class of 1945

On June 23, 2002 Victor’s first inductee to the Graduate of Distinction program was honored. The 2002 inductee Mr. William “Bill” J. Turner was the Valedictorian of Victor’s class of 1945. Mr. Turner has a Ph.D. in Physics and attended Villanova University and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Mr. Turner’s career includes physics work at the Naval Research Laboratory and the National Bureau of Standards in Washington. He joined IBM in 1956 and continued there in various capacities until 1989. Contributions to his community include being a member of the Bedford Central Schools’ Curriculum Council and Board of Education. More recently, Mr. Turner has served as a lector and Eucharistic minister at St. Martin of Tours in New Hope, Pennsylvania, which is where he and his wife Marilyn reside today. Festivities in Mr. Turner’s honor included a breakfast reception followed by a presentation during the VCS class of 2002 commencement ceremony. The Graduate of Distinction program was initiated in order to recognize VCS alumnus who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made significant contributions to society.