By JEN CARDINES
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Southington High School Wall of Honor, a collection of notable persons that was started by Bob Brown.
Brown taught at the high school for 41 years before retiring last year, and now serves on the Board of Education. He has an immense passion for education and has high hopes for the future of the Wall.
Each year, nominees are selected to receive a place on the Wall of Honor following a free public ceremony where they are recognized for one of the following categories: lifetime achievement, community service, major career accomplishments, and humanitarian work.
Once inducted, their picture and a plaque are added to the wall located outside of the auditorium at Southington High School.
Over the past decade, a variety of people with intriguing credentials have received this honor, and no matter where they are or what they are doing, they all have one thing in common – they all were graduates from the Southington school system. Brown wants to increase the publicity of this annual event and add to the ceremony.
He proposed a banquet dinner for the recipients, widespread social media outreach, banners around the school and local businesses, and a mobile wall. He notes the importance of celebrating good news and good people in a time when the press is often filled with unfortunate stories.
This year, six individuals with widespread backgrounds are being recognized and added to the wall.
William Beard (Class of 1966) and Clement Dupuis (Class of 1967) are two men who lost their lives serving our country in the Vietnam War.
Kathy Hopko (Class of 1978) is a longtime high ranking attorney at United Technologies Corporation, where she serves as Vice President and Managing Attorney for Sikorsky.
Philip Thibodeau (Class of 1989) is a classics professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY where he has published multiple books and articles throughout his career.
Dr. Alexandra Smith (Class of 1999), a pediatric doctor with three offices in the Boston-area hospitals is noted for her superior humanitarian work.
Andrew Gutauskas (Class of 2000) is a highly successful, world-class musician and saxophone player who has been involved with Disney productions.
The ceremony will be held on Monday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m., at Southington High School. The ceremony will be held at the Wall of Honor, outside of the auditorium.
Brown said that nominations for future classes are always welcome. Applications can be found online on the high school website, printed in the school office, or written and verbal recommendations can be made personally to Bob Brown.