A Knight of Distinguished Alumni

The Norwin Alumni and Friends Association will host A Knight of Distinguished Alumni on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at Stratigos Banquet Centre.  The event will feature a cash bar and full buffet dinner followed by the presentation of the inaugural class of distinguished alumni.  The inaugural class features 10 alumni who have had careers of distinction since their days at Norwin High School.  In addition, one Distinguished Friend of Norwin will be honored for service to Norwin schools and community.

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This inaugural class of Distinguished Alumni includes:

Sgt. Jeffrey Bouldin '74 

Sgt. Jeffrey Bouldin has served as a North Huntingdon police officer since 1979, after graduating in 1978 from Penn State University with a BS degree in law enforcement and correction.  In 1990, he was assigned to the detective division and was designated North Huntingdon Police sole Juvenile Officer.  In 1995, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.  In 2009, he became a certified instructor for the ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuation) program which helps instruct Norwin school personnel on appropriate actions during an emergency.  Sgt. Bouldin was trained and certified as a D.A.R.E. instructor in 1992. He taught D.A.R.E. classes throughout the Norwin School District from 1992 through 2007.  He was named 1995 Pennsylvania D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.  In 1996, he was awarded an Honory Life Membership from the Pennsylvania Congress of Parents and Teachers (PTA).  Sgt. Bouldin was elected to serve as President of the Pennsylvania D.A.R.E. Association in 1997 and served on their Executive Board for several years.  He has worked with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Drug Task Force for the past 20 years.  Sgt. Bouldin was awarded the Norwin Elks Citizen of the Year in 1998 and was recognized by theNorwin Star as its Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2001.  Sgt. Bouldin remains an active member of the Norwin community serving the Norwin School District Strategic Plan Steering Committee (1996-2001), PAL Adaptive Baseball Program (from its founding to present), and the Norwin Lions Reality Tour (2011-present).  Sgt. Bouldin is also the voice ofNorwin gitls' volleyball, girls' soccer, girls' basketball and boys' volleyball.  Sgt. Bouldin is married to Pamela since 1980 and they have two children, Sarah and Brad, and two granddaughters, Avianna (2) and Braelyn (1).

Ms. Dina D'Alessandro Denning '79

Ms. Dina D'Alessandro Denning felt to call to community service in 2010 and has since worked with two community service groups, Norwin Rotary Club and Norwin Lions Club, to bring assistance to students of Norwin School District who are struggling with weekend nutritional needs.  With the financial backing of local businesses, organizations and individuals, volunteer work of many people, and a strong relationship with a local grocer, many of Norwin's school children are being served with Kitty Sacks to sustain them through the weekend.  This project began in 2011 with the Norwin Lions Club.  Ms. Denning was able to convince the Lions to sponsor a new fund raising event, The Cubcake Wars.  Now in its fifth year, the Cubcake Wars puts home and professional bakers into competition to determine the best Cubcake baker in the region.  The event has outgrown two venues and this year partnered with Stratigo's Banquet Centre.  Earnings from this event are earmarked for the Kitty Sack Project and assures the project can be sustained for several years to come.  Ms. Denning believes no child should go hungry.  With her dedication and commitment and the continued support of the community, she is confident no Norwin child will.

Mr. John Duncan '79

Mr. John Duncan has served as President of Duncan Financial Group's Insurance Division for the past 15 years overseeing the company's unwavering delivery of the gold-level service its clients have come to expect.  Mr. Duncan is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his degree in Business Management.  He takes his civic responsibility seriously, a trait passed on by his father, who taught him the importance of supporting the community that supports his company.  John has long served as President of the Norwin Public Library Board of Trustees and serves on the Boards of the Norwin Chamber of Commerce where he co-chairs the annual Golf Outing, the Norwin Rotary Club and the Norwin School District Community Foundation.  Mr. Duncan is a member of the Lions Club and strongly supports Norwin's Student Athlete of the Week Program and Norwin's Relay for Life event.  Mr. Duncan and the Duncan Financial Group are also firmly committed to the events hosted by the Irwin Business and Professional Association, including such endeavors as the Irwin Jazz in the Streets, Ladies Night, Light-Up Night, Car Cruise and others.  Just as important to Mr. Duncan is his family, which includes his wife of 30 years, Donna, his son, Lance, daughter Megan, and their beloved rescue dog, River.  John is an avid golfer and enjoys a good game at the Madison Club.  He also likes to travel and visit his camp in Potter County.

Mr. Richard Earnest '60

Mr. Richard Earnest earned a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in 1964.  While at Annapolis, he played baseball and football and played in the national championship football game for Navy in 1964.  He became a decorated jet fighter pilot during the Vietnam conflict, flying over 300 combat missions.  While on active duty, Richard earned a Master's degree in Management.  Mr. Earnest's business career in technology over the past 40 years includes leading seven different public and private companies involved in computer software as President/CEO through the dramatic growth of technology over the past three decades and continues today in helping to build successful companies.  Mr. Earnest has served on 10 boards of directors of for-profit companies, served on audit and compensation committees for public and private corporations and remains involved in four non-profit boards concerned with community involvement and cultural understanding.  Mr. Earnest has served as a city council member and Mayor of Del Mar, California and continues his public involvement through mentoring and consulting new entrepreneurs as they begin their career journey.  Mr. Earnest shares, "The blessings of family in my life have given me the strength and direction to carry on.  Those blessings continue to this day.  There is no finer gift."

Dr. Victoria Holden '07

Dr. Victoria (T0ri) Holden earned her Bachelor of Science in Immunology and Infectious Disease from the Pennsylvania State University in December, 2010, where she performed research in the role of dietary Vitamin D in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  In July, 2011, she joined the Program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Michigan and began her doctoral thesis and earned her PhD in 2012 with Dr. Michael Bachman.  She defended her doctoral thesis and earned her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in March, 2016.  Her thesis work examined the effect of iron on lung infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacterium that is resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics.  Her work resulted in three scholarly publications, one of which was highlighted by her peers within the scientific community as well as the general media.  While at Michigan, she was elected as President of the Organization of Microbiology and Immunology Students and received a Young Investigators Award at the annual American Society for Microbiology Conference in 2014.  Currently, Dr. Holden is performing postdoctoral research at Dartmouth College, where she is studying bacterial lung infections that predominantly affect Cystic Fibrosis patients.  Dr. Holden aims to contribute her career as a research professor and hopes to contribute to the development of new antibacterial treatments.

Mr. Robert Perkins '72    

Mr. Robert Perkins has been a lifelong resident of the Norwin Community.  At an early age, his parents instilled in him the importance of being active in the community by volunteering and giving to those in need.  Mr. Perkins has been effective in taking the knowledge he gained through family and business experiences and sharing it with the community through his dedication to volunteer work.  His accomplishments range in numerous aspects of his life and he is humbled by each experience that has helped shape the person he has become.  Mr. Perkins became a member of the Irwin Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 18; from 1976 to 1998, he served as President.  Since 1996, Mr. Perkins has been President/CEO of PDS Industries, a Defense and Aerospace Precision Machining Company located within the Norwin area.  From 2000-2006, he served as a member of the Norwin Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, serving as Chamber Chairman for a year and Co-Chairman of the Norwin Community Picnic for four years.  Mr. Perkins is currently in his 18th year as a member of he Norwin School District Board of Education.  Throughout his time on the school board, Mr. Perkins has been an advocate in assuring all students are provided a high quality education.  He has been an integral part of the district-wide renovations and has served as Chief Negotiator for numerous Labor Agreement Negotiations.  In his free time, Mr. Perkins enjoys working in the yard, traveling and hunting.  Most importantly, he values spending time with his wife, Jan, and their children and grandchildren.

Dr. Colleen Shogan '93

Dr. Colleen Shogan is the Deputy Director of National and International Outreach at the Library of Congress and an Adjunct Professor of Government at Georgetown.  She was previously the Deputy Director at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress.  Prior to joining the Library, Dr. Shogan served as a policy staffer in the Senate.  She came to Capital Hill in 2005 through the American Political Science Association (APSA) Congressional Fellowship program.  Before working in Congress, Dr. Shogan was Assistant Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University.  She joined the George Mason faculty in 2002, after completing her PhD in Political Science at Yale University.  At Yale Dr. Shogan was a Graduate Fellow with the National Science Foundation.  She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree from Boston College, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Nu, and the Order of the Cross and Crown.  Her first book, entitled The Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents, was published in 2006 by Texas A & M University Press.  Dr. Shogan has also published research articles in numerous academic journals.  She was a Stennis Congressional Fellow for the 112th Congress and was the recipient of the Library of Congress's distinguished performance award in 2015.  Dr. Shogan previously served as the President of the National Capitol Area Political Science Association (NCAPSA) and is currently an elected member of the APSA Council, the governing body of the organization.  Dr. Shogan is also a mystery writer and has published two novels set in Washington, D.C.  She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their rescue mutt Conan.

Col. John Smith '87

Col. John D. Smith has served 26+ years in the United States Air Force.  He graduated the Air Force Academy with a BS in 1992 as the Outstanding Cadet in Legal Studies.  He was the top graduate of his Defense Information School class and served four years as a Public Affairs Officer.  In 1996, Col. Smith was selected for the Funded Legal Education Program and attended law school at Duquesne University.  While at Duquesne, he served as Magistrar of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society and Student Bar Association class representative.  Col. Smith was an editor and published author in his law school magazine, Juris, selected by the ABA as the best law school magazine in the country.  In 1999, Col. Smith graduated ranked 1st in his class and earned his Juris Doctorate degree Magna Cum Laude.  Col. Smith was the 2002 Air Combat Command Outstanding Judge Advocate of the Year.  He has served as a Center Staff Judge Advocate, twice as a Wing SJA, and Executive Officer.  In 2003, Col. Smith served as Director of Communications for the DoD Office of Military Commissions.  He was the primary DoD media spokesman on military commissions and legal aspects of the Global War on Terrorism.  In this role, Col. Smith conducted press conferences from the DoD briefing room and gave over 300 television, radio and print interviews.  He was authorized to speak on behalf of the President, DoD and the US Solicitor General.  Col. Smith has a daughter, Genevieve.

Dr. David Turnshek '73    

Dr. David Turnshek received his BS from Villanova University in 1977 and his PhD from the University of Arizona in 1981.  He was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh (1981-1984) and a tenure-stream Astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (1984-1988), where he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope as both a calibration scientist and an instrument scientist for the Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph, in addition to conducting independent research.  Dr. Turnshek joined tenure-stream faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 and is now Professor of Physics and Astronomy.  He served as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2006-2015 and has been Director of the Allegheny Observatory since 2008.  Dr. Turnshek has held visiting appointments at Cambridge University (England), the Carnegie Observatories (Pasadena), theInstitute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and the University of California at San Diego.  Dr. Turnshek is an internationally recognized researcher specializing in cosmology.  His research emphasis is on studies of gas forming galaxies and the phenomenon of quasars, which are at the centers of some galaxies and are one million to one billion solar mass black holes accreting matter, around which form brilliant light-emitting accretion disks.  Dr. Turnshek has conducted his research programs with large ground-based telescopes in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Chili and the Canary Islands, and with space telescopes like the Hubble.  Dr. Turnshek has authored or co-authored about 300 publications, which have received over 8200 citations.

Dr. Sharon Brown-Welty '69

Dr. Sharon Brown-Welty was appointed Dean of Cal State Bernardino's Palm Desert Campus in July, 2014 where she oversees the operations of a university campus.  In her capacity as Dean, she is responsible for the academic offerings, student life programs, community outreach and fund raising, general administration and operations of the campus.  Since her appointment as Dean, she has chaired theCVEP (Coachella Valley Economic Partnership) Committee on Education: College Access and Completion and also has chaired the Committee on Successful Transitions.  She serves on the HARC (Health Assessment and Research for Communities) Board and the C4C (Communities for Collaboration) Board as well as on several committees of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative.  Previous to her appointmentas Dean at CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, Dr. Brown-Welty served in a number of positions at Fresno State including Dean of Graduate Studies, Department Chair of Educational Research and Administration, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.  She designed the doctoral program and directed the first Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State and was on theearly Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) convening organization.  Prior to arriving at Fresno State, she served at Indiana University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Provost, the Interim AssociateProvost, and as the Assistant to the Vice President for Finance.  Dr. Brown-Welty has been published in a number of professional refereed educational journals and periodicals.  She is also the author of a number of book chapters on educational leadership and has served as an editor and reviewer of professional education publications.  She has also made many major presentations on educational leadership.  Recent awards include the Outstanding Educator and Inductee into the Rotary Education Hall of Fame in 2016, the 2016 Impact Awardby the SBEMP Law Firm in Palm Springs, and she has been selected the 2017 Education Leader by the Palm Springs Women's Leadership Forum.  She was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi in 2013 for significant contributions made toward the promotion of academic excellence at Fresno State.  Dr. Brown-Welty received a Top Ten Women of the Year in Fresno honor in 2009, the Richter Award for Leadership in 2008, the Leadership Fresno Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003, and the Provost Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring in 2003.  Dr. Brown-Welty has a bachelor's and master's degree in business administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an educational doctorate in higher education administration and policy studies from the University of Pittsburgh.  She is married to Dr. John Welty, President Emeritus, Fresno State and together they have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.

Mr. Donald Kattic,  Distinguished Friend of Norwin

Mr. Donald Kattic had been the Commander of VFW Post 781 for 20 years, taught U.S. History at Norwin High School for 35 years and continues to promote and recognize our military servicemen and women.  His decision to join the Marines launched a lifetime commitment and service, not just to his country at-large, but to his local community as well.  After completing boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., Mr. Kattic was sent to California and then to fight on the front lines in the Korean War.  Mr. Kattic Participated in operations against enemy forces in Central Korea from 1952 to 1953.  As a result, he earned the Korean Service Medal, the United Nation Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Occupational Service Medal.  After the conflict with Korea ended, Mr. Kattic joined the prestigious Marine Corps shooting team at Camp Lejeune, N.C.  Because of his experiences in Korea, Mr. Kattic found a desire to pursue a career teaching U.S. history to high school students.  Mr. Kattic earned his teaching degree from St. Francis University in Loretto, PA.   Since his retirement, Mr. Kattic recently retired as the Commander of the VFW Post 781 in Irwin/North Huntingdon and held that position for over 20 years.  As a veteran, Mr. Kattic makes every effort to support both active and returning troops.  In 2007, he worked to collect and donate more than 1000 soccer balls and 800 stuffed animals to the children of Iraq.  The collection was designed to give Iraqi children a moment of peace while in the midst of destruction.  Mr. Kattic also has been instrumental in the fundraising and restoration of the Veteran's Memorial in from of the North Huntingdon Township building, as well as the memorials on Main Street in Irwin and near the post office in Ardara.  He serves as the master of ceremonies for the area's Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades.  One of Mr. Kattic's dreams was to erect a memorial on the Norwin campus to honor military personned killed in combat since the district was formed in 1958.  He raised over $50,000 and was proud to host the Dedication Ceremony on November 14, 2015.

Reservations for A Knight of Distinguished Alumni

Reservations for the first annual Knight of Distinguished Alumni will open on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 and close at the end of the day on Thursday, May 4th.  Reservations may be made online by clicking here or by mail by downloading and following this form and sending it, along with a check for payment, to:

Norwin School District Community Foundation
C/O: Debbie Nabuda Kunkle 1419 8th Avenue, Irwin, PA 15642.

Be sure to include the name(s) of those you are registering on the memo line or in a separate note.  If you are part of a group (a table group will will seat 8-10 persons), list the group name of the memo line.  If you have questions regarding reservations, contact Debbie by email at djk721@verizon.net or by phone at 724-875-9980.