• Be Inspired by Leaders at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Alumni Hall of Fame inductions May 9
    by Marie Leppert '44 and Michael Loberfeld '97 of the SPFHS Alumni Association
    On Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 7:00pm, SPFHS graduates, past and future, as well as community members, gathered in the Scotch Plains- Fanwood High School auditorium as thirteen alumni were inducted into the SPFHS Hall of Fame. The ceremony was emceed by former New Jersey Governor Donald DiFrancesco, himself a member of the SPFHS Hall of Fame. The evening provided a taste of the diversity of SPFHS Alumni who are leaders in almost every area of society imaginable, and who serve as wonderful role models for our young people.
    Pioneers and leaders in so many areas of NJ, the U.S., and the world came to life! Inductees were invited to speak and shower their wisdom, experience, calling, encouragement, and gratitude onto all in attendance.
    There were many common threads throughout the evening.  Some inductees spoke to the audience, while others had a representative speak on their behalf.  Of note, many thanked their favorite teachers (by name).  Many said they wouldn't be where they are today, if it wasn't for the supportive teachers and SPFHS community.  As perhaps the greatest testament to SPFHS, at least two or three of the inductees mentioned that they have children or grandchildren who either attended or currently attend Scotch Plains- Fanwood High School.
    The following SPFHS alumni were inducted May 9:
    --Barbara Adams Austin '57 (deceased):
    Note: graduation year corrected to 1957
    In her youth, she established the Fanwood Nature Preserve. Went on to become a professional artist, gardener, and writer.  Commissioned to do city murals, she produced extensive exhibitions, and presented all over the South as a Master Gardener. Presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who in 2018.
    --George Falkowski '78:
    Four-time Emmy Award-winner in professional sports and news TV. His career includes News 12 New Jersey and the Boston Red Sox and Bruins network.
    --Daniel Catullo III '90:
    Multiple Emmy Award-winning director and producer. He has worked with hundreds of major artists and celebrities, including Alicia Keys and Dave Matthews Band.
    --Peter Kuran '74:
    Began career on Star Wars at 19. Became animation supervisor on George Lucas' "The Empire Strikes Back". Owns VCE, a leader of visual imaging in motion pictures, working on over 300 films. Won an Academy Award for developing a process to restore color film.
    --Michael Richard Jackson '65:
    Pioneering medical innovator (now retired). Involved in the development of PureWick, an external catheter, saving many hundreds of thousands of patients the pain and suffering of urinary tract infections. PureWick continues improving lives worldwide.
    Special note: We apologize for our typo in an SPFHS Alumni Association press release sent to local media that listed Michael Richard Jackson's name incorrectly as "Michael Richard".  
    --Nate Jones 2000:
    NFL player for eight years, including in Super Bowl XLVI. Current NFL referee. College Academic All- American, Rhodes Scholar nominee.
    -Gene Schiller '50
    Scotch Plains- Fanwood Athletic director 1983-1999. Scotch Plains township Director of Recreation 1957-1966. Also played four sports and was class president while an SPFHS student. Coached football at SPFHS.
    --Hon. Zahid N. Quraishi '93:
    First Muslim- American article III judge in United States history. First Asian- American federal judge in New Jersey. U.S. Army combat veteran. Most importantly, proud father, and grateful son.
    --Richard Wetherald '54 (deceased):
    Forty-four years of service in Princeton, NJ as a research associate in the field of Greenhouse Warming.  Fought the White House's attempt to suppress his findings on Global Warming.  Honored as "Meteorologist Professional of 2007".
    --Erroll Southers '74:
    Internationally recognized expert on counter terrorism, public safety, homeland security, and infrastructure protection.  Director of the Safe Communities Institute and Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the University of Southern California.  Professor at USC Price School of Public Policy.
    note: a typo in our press release had incorrectly said that Erroll Southers is affiliated with "University of South Carolina", when it fact it is actually University of Southern California.
    --Mike Marino '81:
    Actor and comedian performing in major comedy clubs, and event centers in the world. He has hosted award ceremonies, and acted in commercials and soap operas. Inducted into the NJ Comedy Hall of Fame, and won the USO Bob Hope Comedy Award for his performances for the military.
    --Mauro Checchio '42 (deceased):
    A former Mayor of Scotch Plains. He served as Deputy of Commerce under Governor Cahill. As the first State Energy Czar, he helped organize the New Jersey Open Space Trust and the NJ Forestry Management Association Team. He was also instrumental in founding a Kean University campus in China.
    --Rich Feinberg '79:
    A long and dedicated career in the television industry including numerous sports Emmy awards. He has worked for ESPN, and elsewhere. He leads a team of award-winning producers, directors, videographers, editors, and graphic designers.

    All are invited to view information on all 48 members of the Hall of Fame here. You are also strongly encouraged to personally nominate SPFHS alumni who are not already in the Hall of Fame, for their future consideration. To do so, please visit the SPFHS Alumni Association's website: https://www.spfk12.org/alumni.