BROOKVILLE — The Brookville Area School District added a new element for alumni to the homecoming celebration this year with a Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Four new Brookville alumni were inducted at this year’s ceremony, and the two who were inducted last year returned for the formal ceremony. The 2018 inductees were Robert Himes III and the late Al “Bud” Lefevre. The 2019 inductees were James Calder, Kate Hynes, Tina Nabatchi, and Nathan Smith.
John Pozza gave a special thanks to Principal Ruthanne Barbazzeni, and teachers Kyle Grabigel, Jake Lewis and Kim Hubler. These teachers involved students in creative contributions to the ceremony by having the band play beforehand, designing personal awards for each recipient, and gathering the photos used for the ongoing slideshow of the inductees.
James Calder, Brookville graduate from 1980, was introduced by his sister, Amy Calder, class of ‘82, for his Hall of Fame award. Calder was the valedictorian of the 1980 class, and graduated summa cum laude from Penn State in 1984 with a BS in accounting. He has a very successful career as a chief financial officer. Calder is a member of Penn State’s Startup Leadership Network, a group which matches Penn State’s startups with industry-specific management talent, guidance, and expertise. He has also been recognized for his numerous gifts to the PSU libraries, and is an investor in the Nittany Lion Fund, a Penn State student-managed investment fund.
He also founded the Thomas W. Hetrick Memorial Scholarship Fund as a memorial to his late 1980s classmate and friend. This fund has been giving scholarships to BHS seniors since 1996.
“I’ve had the privilege of working on a lot of things, and in a lot of different places around this country and around the work in my business career, but I can tell you that nothing is more important to me than the work I’ve done for that scholarship fund,” Calder said.
Amy Calder also highlighted how dedicated James Calder is to family, mentioning that he had helped move her children into college dorm rooms eight times, including a 19th floor dorm. She also spoke on his dedication to visiting their ailing uncle in Washington D.C. every weekend for nine months. He also spent hours by his mother’s side in her final days.
Robert L. Himes, class of ’93, was introduced by his wife Carisa (Zupich) Himes, class of ’93, for the Hall of Fame. He was the valedictorian of the 2014 University of Maryland University College.
Himes is a Tactical Training Sergeant with the Mobile Training Unit attached to the Baltimore City Police Department’s SWAT Team. He is one of the most highly decorated police officers in the country, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards through this work.
“As you have read, Bob is a highly decorated officer, and I can tell you there are many more that Bob humbly stepped back from receiving so that another officer could receive that recognition,” Carisa Himes said.
Himes echoed this when he told a story he had heard from Ray Doolittle while lifeguarding with him. This story was about triathletes who were in competition with each other. When one would win, he would train the other to be able to beat him.
“Once you reach an achievement, reach down, help those people get up where you’re at, and then push them further,” Himes said.
Kate Hynes, class of ’05, was introduced by her father, Phil Hynes, president of Brookville Borough Council, for her Hall of Fame induction. Hynes graduated magna cum laude from Drexel University with a BS in business administration. She went on to receive her Juris Doctorate in 2013 from Dickinson School of Law at Penn State. She is currently an associate attorney at Stock and Leader Law Firm in York.
She was an NCAA Division 1 All American in diving at Drexel, and was ranked ninth in the country. She also won three state titles while at Brookville.
“Her dedication to the sport was truly amazing… she trained two to three hours a day almost every day of the week until she was out of college,” Phil Hynes said.
Hynes also commended his daughter for choosing Drexel over some of the schools who offered her scholarships, because of their academics rather than their athletic programs.
“When you’re working towards these things day in and day out, you don’t realize that someday somebody is going to stop you say ‘hey, you’ve done alright,’ so I want to thank you for that,” Kate Hynes said.
She thanked her parents for making sure she got to practice at Clarion University every day, and for emphasizing the importance of education to her. She said this was an important factor in her being able to continue into a rewarding career after her diving career ended.
The late Al Lefevre’s award was accepted by his widow, Bonnie and son Doug Lefevre. His son Scott Lefevre, from the class of ’83, presented the award. Al Lefevre coached more than 80 different teams during his time at Brookville. His greatest success was coaching the Raider football team during its golden era with a record of 70-51-5, and winning two Little 10 Conference titles. He also is credited with leading Brookville to a 23-game unbeaten streak from 1969-70.
“When you think of dad’s leadership and coaching style, it was all based on teamwork, and the best example of that was mom and dad. They were so much more than just a happily married couple they really were a team,” Scott Lefevre said.
His son, Scott Lefevre said this is the third Hall of Fame the family has gathered for since he passed away, but said this would have been the most important to him. He said the highlight for his dad would have been that it got his family together in Brookville one more time.
Tina Nabatchi, class of ’91 was introduced by retired Brookville school teacher Carole Briggs. Nabatchi received her BA in political science from American University in 1994, her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Vermont in 1999, and her Ph.D. in Public Affairs at Indiana University in Bloomington in 2007.
Since 2007 she has been an assistant, then associate professor of public administration and international affairs and a Tenth Decade Faculty Scholar at Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She received the 2016 North America and International Research Project of the Year Award from the International Association of Public Participation.
Briggs fondly recalled her time teaching Nabatchi, and shared some of her accomplishments from her time at Brookville with the audience.
“I’d rather not make tonight about me, because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the hard work of so many other people here in this community,” Nabatchi said.
She thanked the teachers she had at Brookville, who she said had immense patience with her, and her parents who she said never discouraged her for fighting for what she believed in.
Nathan Smith, class of ’97, was introduced by Rich Rhoades, sports editor of the Jeffersonian Democrat and class of ’87. Smith earned his BS in political science in 2001 at Allegheny College and his Masters in Business Administration in 2005. At Clarion University.
Smith has a successful career as an amateur golfer, with wins at 48 amateur tournaments. He is fifth on the all-time amateur win list. He is a six-time United States Golf Association champion. He has qualified to play in five major championships, including four times at The Masters, golf’s most prestigious tournament.
“I kind of knew at the time his golf career was far from over. I had no idea that 13 years later I got to cover him for the first of two times at The Masters,” Rhoades said.
Rhoades recalled the many times he covered Smith for the local newspapers during his golf career, crediting Smith with getting him to The Masters tournament. Rhoades mentioned being at the Walker Cup Tournament in 2009, when Smith hit an approach shot for 367 yards over water, for perfect placement on to the green.
“I was close enough to hear the captain of the U.S. Walker Cup team say ‘This is why he’s here,’ and that’s why he’s here tonight,” Rhoades said.
Smith said he was shocked and humbled when he got the call he was being inducted, and was honored to be with this year’s group, whom he recognized the names of.
“I think there’s a notion outside these walls that coming from a small school is a disadvantage. I would argue the exact opposite,” Smith said.
He said everybody is involved in something they are passionate about, it helps graduates leave with many skills. He thanked the coaches and players he had been with over the years, with special mention for Al Lefevre who had coached him as well. Smith said Lefevre helped to calm him at states his sophomore year.