Distinguished Alumni Awards
Since 2012, the alumni committee has presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to outstanding WAHS alumni. The award honors our notable alumni who have been outstanding in their professional accomplishments and have made significant achievements benefiting their local and/or global communities. Our Distinguished Alumni are recognized annually by their peers during a special ceremony during Homecoming week. The award recipients are nominated by alumni and selected by the education foundation's alumni committee.The following award categories have been established to recognize up to four individuals:
- Outstanding Recent Alumni Award: Given to an alumnus who has graduated 10 years ago or less. It recognizes outstanding service and accomplishments of an exceptional alumnus. Area of service may include professional, personal and civic.
- Distinguished Alumni Service Award: Given to an alumnus who has provided outstanding service to his/her profession and/or community.
The 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented during Homecoming week on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. The 2017 recipients will be installed on the forthcoming Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame at WAHS this fall, where, for the first time, they will join previous awardees during a special ceremony on Oct. 4. More information TBA.The Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame is being funded by the alumni committee. The committee is working to raise $3,500 to support the cost. To make a tax-deductible contribution, checks can be made payable to the WASD Education Foundation and mailed to 2780 West Fourth St., Williamsport, PA, 17701. Online donations also are accepted by clicking here.
- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award: Given to an alumnus who has modeled and employed a focus on achievement within his/her profession.
- Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award: Given to an alumnus who has provided extraordinary service for the benefit of others.
Recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards are, from below left, Samuel E. Belle '52, William Stroup '46, and Dr. Frederic Sanford '58. Read the full press release of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards here.
2015The late State Trooper Jonathan "Jon" Smith, a 1986 graduate of WAHS, was posthumously awarded the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award.Smith's wife, Tammy, and his two teenage daughters, Allison and Mickayla, accepted the award on his behalf during a pre-game ceremony at the high school's Homecoming game at STA Stadium on Oct. 23, 2015.Smith died at his home in Red Lion, Pa., on June 12, 2015, of pancreatic cancer.Declared a hero by those who knew him, worked with him and by those he saved, Smith was a U.S. Army veteran of Desert Storm and Desert Shield, was awarded the Soldier of the Year in 2009 upon his return from Iraq, and also served in the National Guard during Iraqi Freedom.In addition, he earned three significant awards from the Pennsylvania State Police during his 13-year employment with the department.Most recently, he was awarded the Blooming Grove Service Award in recognition for his contribution to the successful investigation, manhunt and capture of Eric Matthew Frein in the Pocono Mountain Region in 2014. In 2012, he was awarded the Hurricane Sandy Operation Award his "service and dedication" and contributions of "maintaining security and safety of the residents" of New Jersey during the Hurricane Sandy response.Click here to read the full article.
2014Marvin H. and Jean R. Staiman, both 1945 graduates, were presented the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award for their extensive involvement and longtime support of the community throughout their lifetime.The two were honored during the district's regular school board meeting on Oct. 21, 2014, at the District Service Center, 2780 West Fourth St.The Distinguished Alumni Award was created in 2012 to honor outstanding and significant achievements made by graduates of WAHS."It is our privilege to honor Marvin and Jean Staiman for the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of their tireless efforts for the betterment and advancement of our community and beyond," said Susan Swank-Caschera, president of the WASD Alumni Association."We're proud of the recognition and appreciate the opportunities the Williamsport school district offered us to further our education and life in general," said Mr. Staiman on behalf of he and his wife.Led by their strong faith and belief in civic duty, together, the two have been leaving their mark on the community for more than six decades.Deeply involved with organizations to benefit the community and its citizens, the Staimans have helped influence signature movements and decisions that have created Williamsport as it is known today — all of which cross the touchstones of their lives: their Jewish faith, family, and the business, civic and public service communities.From fundraising events and affiliations with a number of boards and committees, the two have lent their time and effort to leave a significant impact on the community.Click here to read the full story.2013Dr. Samuel B. Hoff, a 1975 graduate of Williamsport Area High School and now a Delaware State University professor, returned to the campus he credits for laying the foundation for the success and achievements he's garnered in his professional life to claim the second Distinguished Alumni Award.The Williamsport Area School District Alumni Association presented him with the award during a brief ceremony before the Homecoming game at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 18 at Millionaire Stadium.The Distinguished Alumni Award was created to honor outstanding and significant achievements made by graduates of WAHS.Humbled by the selection, Hoff expressed his appreciation and affinity for his hometown — in particular, the high school that he believes prepared him well for life beyond high school."It's truly an all-American city," he said of Williamsport. "(The high school) prepares students for life in more ways than one. I have my parents to thank for choosing Williamsport to reside. I truly think it was a positive feature in my life."Further, it's an award that he believes is a reflection of the inspiration he draws from his family — especially his parents, who instilled the importance of leading an active civic life.
Frank Girardi, a native of Williamsport and 1957 Williamsport Area High School graduate, has paved a career in athletics and, in the process, has risen to legendary status for his successes.
Girardi, a longtime head football coach for the Lycoming College Warriors of 36 years (1972-2007), has garnered prestigious attention over the span of his career. He's been inducted into four hall of fames and earned awards from a number of organizations, including his most recent acceptance of a lifetime achievement award at the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation's annual banquet in March.
He returned to where it all began to claim the first Distinguished Alumni Award to his growing accolades, presented by the WASD Alumni Association. He was honored with a plaque during a brief ceremony before the Homecoming football game at on Oct. 5 at Millionaire Stadium.
"This is a great honor for me to be chosen for this first award — not only for me, but for my family," Girardi said. "Williamsport has always been a special place to me, and I am certainly very appreciative of this very prestigious award."
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