Hall of Fame
Jeff Barna graduated PTHS class of 1979 and played varsity baseball for the Golden Panthers for all four years, earning all-conference honors his senior year. Among many of his less notable accomplishments, he was voted “best dressed” by his peers in ’79. Upon graduation, Jeff continued his education at The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. While at William & Mary, he continued his baseball “career” while earning his Liberal Arts degree (pre-law) in 1983. Of additional interest, Jeff’s mother Geralyn was an ardent advocate of public education and energetically served on the Pequannock Township Board of Education for many years.
Jeff currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Yokohama Corporation North America (“YCNA”) where he has led the company since his arrival in January 2017. Yokohama is a market leader (#7 global share) of manufacturing high value consumer and commercial tires for the replacement and OEM segments which are sold through a diverse network of automotive distributors, tire retailers and e-commerce entities.
As CEO, Jeff provides direct oversight of 2 US based manufacturing plants, 6 distribution centers, 3 geographic headquarters, 1 technical/R&D facility and 1,900+ employees. Since his arrival at Yokohama North America, the business has grown from approximately $900 million USD to $1.5 billion USD. In 2022, YTC became the #1 worldwide Yokohama Group entity in Net Sales and Operating Income and since the pandemic, market share has increased steadily with share gains in 9 consecutive quarters.
Prior to Yokohama, Jeff served in a variety of senior leadership roles for prolific automotive aftermarket companies such as Dana Corporation, Tenneco Inc. and Exide Technologies. Beyond the automotive sector he has managed a market leading temperature-controlled warehousing services company (Millard) and was the America’s president of an industrial cleaning equipment manufacturer (Nilfisk) from 2012 thru 2016.
Jeff is serving or has served in several board positions throughout his career. From 2012 to 2016 he served as President of the AACEM (American Association of Cleaning Equipment Manufacturers), while simultaneously serving on Nilfisk’s global board as the only non-Danish board member. He is currently serving in governance and marketing leadership roles of the USTMA (US Tire Manufacturers Association) board while leading global strategy as a Yokohama Senior Managing Officer.
Jeff is a highly sought-after public speaker (motivational and business leadership) and has conducted seminars at a number of business schools across the country including Pepperdine, University of California Irvine (UCI) and the William Mary Mason School of Business where he has served as executive in residence. Jeff currently resides in Laguna Beach, CA and is happily married to his wife of 39 years, Lora. A devoted family man, he enjoys any/all time spent with his 3 children (Andrew, Katie, Lizzy), daughter-in-law (Morgan) and 1 year old granddaughter (Eleanor Mae).
He maintains that Pequannock Township was a most magical place to spend his youth and credits much of his (modest) success to the academic and community foundations established in these formative years.
David Kohle, a life-long resident of Pequannock Township, is a graduate of the class of 1983. At PTHS, he held the position of class Vice President for four years, while also serving as a four-year member of the Principal’s Advisory Committee. He was a member of the football team his freshman year, but then traded in athletics for the work-study program, where his incredible work ethic took root and remains with him to this day. Dave was raised by his mom, who to this day has been his greatest inspiration. She taught him the importance of hard work, commitment and giving back to the community. After high school, Dave worked in the grocery/liquor retail business for 10 years. In 1993, he was employed by State Farm Insurance Company and is celebrating his 30th year with the company. He was hired as an estimator and was then promoted to Property Claim trainer, and to Claims Specialist-Auto-Reinspector, which is his current title.
Dave has been married to Angela (a retired PTHS Spanish teacher) for 33 years. They have 30-year-old twin sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Dave feels blessed to have been able to raise his sons in Pequannock Township. He was extremely involved in all of their activities growing up, from football, basketball, lacrosse, baseball, music, and theater. Still, nothing makes Dave happier than sharing experiences with his wife and two sons.
After his family, Dave’s greatest passion is giving back to the community, especially, but not exclusively, if it involves youth. When his sons were young, he coached Little League and PeeWee football, and then became the Commissioner of the Boys & Girls Club of Pequannock Youth Football program. In 2007, he became a member of the Golden Panther Football Club, and is still the Vice-President, twelve years after his sons have graduated.
In 2003, Dave began a 13- year commitment as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest NJ, where his main focus was running the annual Dinner Dance. In 2007, he was recognized as the Board Member of the Year, earning The Champion of Youth Award. Also in 2007, Dave earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award. From 2011-2013, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. For demonstrating exemplary support for the Boys & Girls Club programs and its members, he was awarded the very prestigious “Man and Youth Award” in 2017. Dave remains active with the BGCNWNJ, serving as a member of their Trustee Board.
In 2009, Dave was chosen as Pequannock Township Citizen of the Year. In 2012, he was elected to the Pequannock Township Council and is currently serving his third term. He has served as liaison to the Fair Housing Committee, First Aid Squad, Open Space Committee, and both Fire Departments. He has also served as a member of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, Township of Pequannock/Board of Education Joint Study Commission, the Pequannock Township Master Plan Committee, and Township Planning Board. He is currently serving his third term as Mayor of Pequannock Township.
Dave also serves on the Chilton Community Advisory Board and the Two Bridges Sewer Authority Board, of which he is chairman.
When asked why he is so committed to giving back to his community, Dave says, “Growing up, my brothers, sisters and I didn’t have much. I was very lucky to have special people in my life who looked out for me and who were mentors to me. Serving the community is my way of paying it forward.”
Peter Miksza graduated from PTHS in 1994 and earned his undergraduate degree in music education from The College of New Jersey. He began his professional career as an instrumental music teacher at Pequannock Valley Middle School. After completing his masters and PhD degrees at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, he secured a position in higher education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Shortly after that, he was recruited back to his graduate alma mater, and assumed a position on the music education faculty of the IU Jacobs School of Music. Peter is currently at the rank of Professor, serving as the chair of the music education department as well as an affiliate faculty member of the IU Cognitive Science Program.
Peter’s primary research interest lies in the investigation of social- and cognitive-psychological dimensions of musical skill acquisition (e.g., practicing and self-regulation, expertise, motivation, musical expression, musical memory). He also conducts research on music teacher preparation and has done work with national data sets to address policy issues relevant to music education. Peter is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Research in Music Education. In total, he has published two scholarly books, a pedagogically oriented book for music teachers, and over 50 refereed articles and book chapters. In addition, he has presented his research at national and international conferences and symposia over 40 times and in locales as diverse as England, Scotland, Finland, Australia, and Japan.
When working with undergraduate students, his goal is to prepare prospective music teachers to be skilled, knowledgeable, and committed professionals who will be able to make a lasting, positive impact on children through music. When working with graduate students, his focus is upon mentoring experienced teachers and emerging scholars to develop a worldview from which they can consider professional issues with intellectual depth, breadth, and rigor. A substantial portion of Peter’s graduate teaching also includes supervising masters theses and doctoral dissertations. He is in demand as a guest lecturer, having been a guest lecturer at many prestigious institutions: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Education University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Western University (Canada), Northwestern University, the University of Florida, Temple University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, the University of Washington, Michigan State University, Arizona State University, the University of Maryland, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of South Florida, and the University of Northern Iowa.
David is a 1993 graduate of PTHS, where he received all-state honors, and was the Captain of both the soccer and baseball teams. He served in student government, and was selected for both the American Legion Boys State Program, as well as Presidential Classroom.
Following PTHS, Dave attended Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH, studying Criminal Justice. He also participated in Army ROTC at the University of New Hampshire.
Following graduation from Saint Anselm, Dave was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer. He was first posted in Germany, assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Germany, deploying to Kosovo in 1999. After returning to the United States, Dave earned a Masters of Arts in Business and Organizational Security Management, from Webster University, St. Louis, MO. He was then assigned to the 10th Mountain Division as a Company Commander, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2002.
After departing the Army, Dave completed his training with the United States Secret Service, becoming a Special Agent in 2005. He was first assigned to the Boston Field Office, conducting both criminal investigations, and protective operations. He was then assigned to the Presidential Protective Division, where he was assigned to both Presidents Obama and Trump, and traveled to over 35 countries. During his assignment in Washington, Dave graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.
He is currently the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service’s Congressional Affairs Program.
DJ Sackmann is a 2005 graduate of Pequannock Township High School. During his youth he played every sport available but found he excelled and loved the game of basketball. By the time he was a sophomore he became a one sport athlete. DJ was a gym rat spending any time he could on the court. He spent his springs playing AAU basketball with multiple teams but primarily with the NJ Knights based out of Montclair. DJ received multiple college scholarship offers and chose to attend the University of New Haven where he received a full ride for basketball. After college DJ worked for a local basketball training company and began his illustrious career.
Today, DJ Sackmann is an NBA/WNBA Skills Coach, Entrepreneur, and Influencer who is globally recognized as one of the leaders in basketball skill development. DJ has worked with over 15,000 basketball players over the last 12 years and has traveled the world running massive basketball training events. He has run events in the USA, Israel, Japan, China, Russia, Austria, Canada, Australia, Czech Republic and Turkey.
In 2018, DJ founded Hoopstudy, which is now one of the leading online Basketball E Learning companies in the world. DJ has been able to scale Hoopstudy to a Global reach with tens of thousands of customers across multiple countries. Hoopstudy provides players, trainers, and coaches an educational platform to help them succeed in their desired basketball field with in depth digital courses. There are over 3,500 video lessons inside of the program.
Hoopstudy also has a vertical called “Parenting Players” that provides educational resources for parents to help them navigate the basketball world with their children with a focus on maintaining a healthy relationship through sport.
DJ has also amassed over 2 million followers across social media and has worked with some of the top brands in the world such as; Adidas, GAP, NBA, Bleacher Report, EA Sports, NBA Live, Acura, McDonalds, Epson, Promix, Snickers, and Wells Fargo. He is extremely popular for his
influence not only in basketball but motivational speaking and education through sport. Hundreds of his videos have gone viral.
DJ is proud of the work he has done with Adidas Legacy. Adidas Legacy is a high school basketball platform built for underrepresented communities and designed to unite, empower, and inspire the next generation. He has also spent time with friend/client Patty Mills, current NBA player, in Australia helping build safe water supply to the indigenous people of the Torres Strait.
DJ is part owner of Basketball Coaching, an Israeli based company. He has traveled to Israel over 30 times building this business. One of the programs offers the opportunity for a group of players from Israel to come and visit the United States. While here, they enjoy seeing the sights along with receiving high level basketball training.
DJ is also a majority owner of The Basketball Training Association, BTA. The largest basketball training association in the world. The BTA is an association plus a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Application that allows basketball coaching and trainers to run their personal business with the BTA APP. It also aims to further the best interests of the game of basketball, through the stabilization and support of the basketball training industry, leaving egos at the door and truly making a difference in the development of players.
When they’re not on the road, DJ and his family currently live in Hoboken, NJ and spend their winter months in Florida.
Neal E. Boudette is a member of the PTHS Class of 1980 who played football, baseball, and hockey. He served as the editor of the school newspaper, the Panther Press, before going on to a career in journalism. Neal is a reporter for the New York Times, and the co-author, with Mike Eruzione, of the national best-seller The Making of a Miracle: The Untold Story of the Captain of the 1980 Gold-Medal Winning U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. Among the people Neal mentioned in his acknowledgements in the book are two PTHS teachers, Robert H. Mitchell and Robert Wozniak, who were instrumental during his time at the school.
After graduating from PTHS, Neal earned an undergraduate degree from Boston University, and a master’s in international relations from the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He served as a foreign correspondent in Germany for eight years, and spent 15 years at the Wall Street Journal, including five as the paper’s Detroit Bureau Chief, a post that led to frequent appearances on CNN, NPR, and other broadcast networks.
He lives in Michigan, and still has the same passion for hockey that he was known for in high school. For more than a decade he coached girls’ and boys’ hockey teams, and in recent years has become a regular contributor of feature stories about hockey for the New York Times and other publications. He has two daughters, Olivia and Clara, both of whom have developed a love of hockey of their own.
Joseph, a 1983 graduate of PTHS, is a lifelong resident of Pequannock and was a distinguished athlete during his years at Pequannock and beyond. He was captain of the football and baseball teams during his senior year (1983) and went on to play Division I baseball at Rutgers University (1983-87) where he earned All-American honors. He continued his passion for athletics as an assistant baseball coach at Rutgers, head baseball coach at Kean University, and a volunteer football coach at Pequannock Township High School. He has also coached for the Boys and Girls Club Football program in Pequannock since 2005, mentoring not only his own children but many other future Pequannock Panther players after his own children aged out of the program.
Joseph began his career with the Boys and Girls Club of America at the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne in 1992 and became CEO in 1996. His dedication to the mission of the Boys and Girls Club of America is evident as he was awarded the National Executive of the Year by the Boys & Girls Club of America in 2005 and the prestigious Masters and Mentors Award, the highest honor given out by the organization, in 2019.
He has proven his commitment to the success of the organization and its staff in all of the clubs under his management. Some initiatives of note include a building renovation in 1998 in Wayne, creation of a state-of-the-art tech center in 2001 as well as the merging of the Wayne and Pequannock clubs into what is now known as the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest New Jersey. Current plans for the state of the art renovation and upgrade of the Pequannock site are underway.
During his tenure, the BGCNWNJ has seen a significant increase in membership and now serves over 5000 children from surrounding communities with two stand alone buildings and six off-site locations. He has continued to expand programs and enrollment at the Pequannock club, including pre-school program, before and after care, summer camp, leadership development and has worked with the high school coaches to unite the programs to foster a positive relationship between the future and current Panthers.
Tom Mancinelli was the PTHS Class of 1999 Vice President. He was class valedictorian, and captain of the varsity football team and wrestling team. Upon graduation, Tom accepted an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where he majored in Political Science. While at the Naval Academy, Tom received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for leadership in public service. Tom graduated in the top two percent of his Naval Academy class in 2003 before accepting his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
While in the Marine Corps, Tom led a platoon of Marines during a seven month deployment to Iraq’s Al Anbar Province in 2005. During their time in theater, Tom’s unit delivered supplies to bases and camps throughout Iraq including Fallujah and Ramadi. Tom returned to Iraq as the executive officer of a company of 220 Marines for six months in 2007. During this second deployment, Tom’s unit resupplied units in the Euphrates River Valley of Iraq including cities such as Haditha, Al Qaim, and Rutbah. In 2008, Tom was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of captain and numerous awards.
In the summer of 2008, Tom moved to Washington, DC where he earned his master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. Tom received a Presidential Management Fellowship for service in the U.S. Department of State, where he worked on regional security and arms transfers in the Middle East and North Africa.
Tom currently serves as National Security Advisor for Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, where he leads the Senator’s work on the Foreign Relations Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds foreign assistance. Tom has helped Senator Coons craft legislation to create the new U.S. international development finance agency, address the root causes of terrorism, invest in strategic competition with China, increase electricity access in Africa, and oversee the Iran nuclear deal. Prior to assuming his current position in January 2015, from 2012 to 2014, Tom was the Chief of Staff in the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Earlier in his career, Tom also worked for former Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides, and in the National Security Division of the Office of Management and Budget. Tom is the recipient of numerous civilian and military awards including the 2016 Ike Skelton Award for Public Service Leadership. Tom is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a security fellow with the Truman National Security Project. He lives with his wife Sarah, his son George, and his daughter Ruth in Washington, DC.
Kim Pietro graduated PTHS in 1995. In high school, Kim played tennis, soccer, basketball and softball. She graduated with 11 varsity letters, the record for the most points scored in women’s basketball at the time and numerous softball accolades. Kim also played the trumpet in the jazz band, marching band, concert band and sang and played piano for the choir.
Kim continued her education on an athletic scholarship at The University of South Carolina, playing center field in the Division I Women’s College World Series in 1997 with a team record of 63-5. Kim remains in the top 10 of numerous record categories. She was named the 1999 South Eastern Conference Player of the Year, was a First-Team NFCA First Team All-American (1999), three- time NFCA All-Region and First-Team All-SEC (1997-1999). In addition, Kim was a CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-American (1999) and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All District (1998-1999). Upon graduation, Kim played professional softball with the Georgia Pride and in 2012 was named a South Eastern Conference Legend, representing the entire University of South Carolina Athletics Department.
With a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and an MBA from Le Moyne College, Kim has spent over 20 years in the advancement field in higher education. As a fundraiser, she has raised millions of dollars for scholarships and capital campaign projects at numerous colleges and universities. Kim currently serves as the Vice President of the Crouse Health Foundation in Syracuse, NY, focusing on fundraising for the region’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Outside of the office, Kim has a love for worldwide travel and has hiked Mt. Rainier in Washington and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. She was a Syracuse 40 Below 40 Award recipient which sponsors 40 “ambitious, hard-working, civic minded individuals.” She participates actively in the community and trains beginner triathletes. Her hobbies include Ironman distance triathlons and spending time with her family and dogs. She is a dedicated daughter, sister and aunt.
Kara (Skaflestad) Frazier is a graduate of the PTHS Class of 2000. Kara was in student council all four years in various positions and competed in basketball and softball during her years at PTHS. Kara was also in choir, drama and was selected as a delegate for Girls State.
Upon graduation, Kara went to York College of Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing. Kara played rugby all four years and was nominated as “Rookie of the Year” her first year of college. In addition, she started the American Marketing Association chapter and co-founded Students in Free Enterprise, an organization teaching students how to build their own business.
After Kara’s summer internship at the corporate office of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Parsippany, Kara began her career in marketing and went on to work at internationally recognized advertising agencies such as Lowe Worldwide and Publicis Worldwide in Manhattan. At this time in her life, Kara was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 26. This did not stop her trajectory, as she was then handpicked to work at Bloomberg LP as one of the very first marketers for their multimedia business.
While working at Bloomberg, Kara founded her own 501(c) 3 non-profit, Fighting Pretty, with a mission to help women battling cancer feel strong and beautiful. Later, she moved to Portland, Oregon and is currently leading marketing for the Knight Cancer Institute of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), the #1 academic medical center in Oregon.
Fighting Pretty was founded in 2013 and since, has impacted over 17,000 women battling all types of cancer in all 50 U.S. states and 17 countries globally.
Kara has been recognized for her philanthropic efforts by her alma mater, York College, by being awarded as one of the Top 50 Spartans of 2020, has been interviewed on the Today Show with Hoda and Savannah with a full Fighting Pretty activation of volunteers (many from Pompton Plains!), featured in global advertising campaigns for Gap Body and Ulta Beauty, was chosen to ring the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange and has modeled in New York Fashion Week among other cancer survivors.
Kara continues to work full time at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and serves as Executive Director of Fighting Pretty. Kara also mentors the collegiate brand ambassador groups of Fighting Pretty at The Ohio State University and University of Missouri, and frequently speaks on entrepreneurial and cancer-related topics on podcasts and at inspirational speaking events.
Tim Burklow Sr. is a member of PTHS class of 1987 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 7, 2018. Tim was the PTHS Class of 1987 President, who also competed in football and wrestling for the Golden Panthers. In addition to athletics, Tim was selected to participate in the All-North Jersey Area Band as a percussionist / drummer. Upon graduation, he continued his studies at Rutgers University majoring in Economics. While at Rutgers, Tim served as his Class President and was the recipient of the Environmental and Business Economics Department Senior Award (Cook College 1991).
After a summer internship with the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), Tim began his professional career working with American Express Financial Advisors, Inc. As a leading producer among his peers, Tim was promoted to Director of New Advisor Development. Thereafter, Tim became a founding partner of Mindful Wealth Management in 1999.
Tim is a Past President of the Pequannock Valley Rotary Club. He also served on several boards of charitable foundations and educational / community service programs. Tim initiated the “It’s About Time” project, which included the installation of street clocks on the North and South ends of Newark-Pompton Turnpike in Pompton Plains and Pequannock. This effort was coordinated with the Pequannock Valley Rotary, Pequannock Chamber of Commerce, and Atlantic Stewardship Bank.
Currently, Tim is a mentor to student-athletes at Rutgers University and shares his experience with the Rutgers University Leadership Academy. Tim, and his wife Linda, were recently recognized as members of the President’s Council for their contribution to the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center on the Rutgers University campus.
Michael T. Cahill is a member of the PTHS Class of 1989 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 7, 2018. Cahill returned to Brooklyn Law School as President, Dean, and Professor of Law in July 2019. He was previously on its faculty from 2003–16, during which time he also served as associate dean for academic affairs (2010–13) and as vice dean (2013–15).
From 2016–19, Cahill was Co–Dean and Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School.
Cahill received a B.A. from Yale University and J.D. and M.P.P. degrees from the University of Michigan, graduating from the law school magna cum laude and serving as a note editor for the Michigan Law Review. After law school, he was a law clerk to Judge James B. Loken of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He was then involved as staff director and consultant, respectively, for major criminal-code reform projects in the states of Illinois and Kentucky.
Cahill’s scholarship focuses primarily on criminal law, though he has also written and taught courses about health law and policy. He has published numerous articles and three books, including a general one-volume treatise and a student “casebook” on criminal law, both co-authored with Paul Robinson.
Before joining the Brooklyn Law School faculty, Professor Cahill spent a year at Chicago–Kent College of Law as a visiting assistant professor of law.
He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Rosalyn Scaff, their son Rowan (born 2004), and their daughter Tessa (born 2006).
Colonel Tiaa E. Henderson is a member of the PTHS Class of 1992 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 7, 2018. Colonel Henderson is the Commander, Education Support Squadron, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. She is responsible for a diverse squadron of professionals who provide human and financial resource management, academic assessments, intellectual property management, plans and programs, and innovation and technology support for 32,000 students in Air University’s Officer Professional Military Education colleges and academic research centers.
Colonel Henderson is a 1992 graduate of Pequannock Township High School and was commissioned in the Air Force in 1996 as a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. She completed her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA and a Graduate Certificate in Organizational Management from The George Washington University, Washington D.C. She has served in a variety of command, joint, and staff positions throughout her career in the Air Force. Her command tours include a Squadron Section, Military Personnel Flight, Force Support Squadron, and the Education Support Squadron. Col Henderson’s deployments include Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and SOUTHERN WATCH.
Prior to her current assignment, she was the Military Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Gayle Neufeld is a member of the PTHS Class of 1981 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 7, 2018. She attended William Paterson University earning a BS in Biology in 1992 and an MA in Biology in 1996. She moved to Alaska in 1997, where she spent nearly 20 years conducting field studies in remote locations. Between 2003 and 2010, Neufeld worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where managed numerous marine ecological research projects, some of which were part of the Census of Marine Life, a decade long research initiative consisting of 540 expeditions conducted by scientists from 80 countries.
Currently she works as a Research Analyst with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, where she most recently developed a methodology to incorporate western science with traditional ecological Native peoples to study the ecology of large migratory animal populations (caribou and moose), traditional and primary food sources. She also coordinated the development of a complicated data management system, including custom GIS tools designed to analyze over 20 million data records focused on determining the spawning locations and abundance of Chinook and Coho Salmon in the 19,000 square mile watershed for the Susitna River and the Yentna River drainages.
Katherine Groener Sturla is a member of the PTHS class of 1969 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 7, 2018. Kathy is a lifelong resident of Pequannock Township. She and her husband, Bob, have three sons who are also PTHS graduates.
On Sept. 22, 2004 Kathy’s youngest son, Jim, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, was badly wounded in Iraq. He was first flown to Germany for life saving care, and then, a week later, Jim was transferred to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland where the family was reunited. It was during this period of time that life changing episodes took place for the Sturla family.
The many months of surgeries and aftercare were very hard emotionally, physically, and financially for the Sturla family, at which time they learned of the Marines Semper Fi Fund. At the hospital the Sturla family (as well as other families) were handed a donation of money for “expenses they would incur during these serious times''. They were told that they were not expected to return the money, and that it was a gift to be used for their immediate needs.
Kathy and her daughter-in-law were so inspired by what the Semper Fi Fund was doing at the hospital that they soon began discussing ways they could raise money for military families in need. And that is when the “Family and Friends for Freedom Fund” was formed. The first beefsteak dinner was held in Jan., 2005, and this dinner/tricky-tray/50/50 and silent auction has continued yearly for the last 13 years with over 500 people attending each year. In addition, golf outings, benefit shows, poker runs, fire truck pulls, craft shows, car shows, Father’s Day pancake breakfasts, and more, have been used to raise funds to be distributed to military men and women, and their families, who are in need.
In the past 13 years the “Family and Friends for Freedom Fund” has raised, and distributed in excess of $l,500,000.00 to our wounded military and their families. It has also sponsored three service dogs for wounded vets. Over 550 families, from all branches of service, and throughout the USA, have been blessed with donations from the “Family and Friends for Freedom Fund”.
Katherine Groener Sturla is the backbone of the group and works tirelessly day after day to do all she can to help make the lives of our wounded military, and their families, somewhat better. She gives many hours of her time, WITHOUT ANY PAY, to all aspects of the organization: meeting with wounded military and their families, receiving heart wrenching phone calls, hospital visits, arranging for dinners, flights, hotel stays – whenever she can help a wounded hero.
“Family and Friends for Freedom” has been honored guests at the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC, they have been invited to the Pentagon several times, met with President Bush, attended homecomings at Picatinny Arsenal to welcome returning soldiers, and they were invited to the Family Memorial at Ground Zero. Kathy is a very selfless woman who continues to give, and give, and give, and it is truly an honor to have Kathy as part of the PTHS Hall of Fame.
Colonel, (Retired), Wesley Rehorn, U.S. Army, Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces, was a three time letterman in football and baseball for the Pequannock Golden Panthers graduating in 1977. Enlisting in the Army he served in the 1st Infantry Division and as a Drill Sergeant before graduating from Oklahoma State University and accepting a commission as an Officer in the U. S. Army. COL Rehorn earned two Masters Degrees, one in International Strategy and the other in Military Affairs. Even more notable is the fact COL Rehorn served our country 32 years in Active Duty, primarily with the Army “Green Berets”, and with combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was one of the first people deployed to Uzbekistan to plan the invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11. In addition to serving as a Special Forces HALO "A" team leader in support of mission PROVIDE COMFORT, he was responsible for the planning and support of Special Forces Training HALO, HAHO, Special Operations Interdiction Courses (Sniper); and Basic and Advanced Demolitions, Close Quarters Combat, and SCUBA training. COL Rehorn served multiple tours and deployments throughout the world, and his son Steyer, an Airborne Ranger Captain, is following in his footsteps. Of his multiple commands COL Rehorn's last two were the Special Operations Command Joint Forces Command and the Joint Coordination Center at the Khyber Pass on the Pakistani and Afghan border. Starting as an Eagle Scout in high school, COL Rehorn has since earned numerous military awards including the Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Military Freefall Jumpmaster Parachute Badge with Instructor rating, Master Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Russian Freefall Wings, Soviet Freefall Wings, German Parachutist Badge and the Army Drill Sergeant Badge. His highest service medals include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. Perhaps most significant of all is COL Rehorn, his wife Charlene, daughter Leia and son Steyer have all sacrificed and done whatever needed to be done to support COL Rehorn so he could serve our country and protect our liberties and freedoms as United States Citizens. Wes’s PTHS History teacher and Football Coach, John Graf, feels the following quote fits the Colonel well:
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. “ - Edward Everett Hale
Dr. Owen Jones is a PTHS graduate with a truly remarkable list of accomplishments. A graduate of Amherst College and Yale Law School, Dr. Jones has skillfully bridged the academic fields of Law and Biology, being a professor in both disciplines at Vanderbilt University. He has been widely acclaimed in his field. Among his prestigious awards, Jones, who holds Vanderbilt’s New York Alumni Chancellor’s Chair in Law, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his “behavioral, evolutionary, and neuroscience research in law” and for “leadership of nationwide networks of legal scholars, judges and scientists.” For two decades his cutting edge work has used evolutionary biology, behavioral economics and neuro-imaging to learn more about how cognitive processes and the brain’s varied operations affect behaviors relevant to law and policy. At Vanderbilt University, Jones received the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award which annually honors one member of the Vanderbilt faculty for accomplishments that bridge multiple academic disciplines and yield significant new knowledge from research. His publications are legion with articles published in many prestigious scientific journals. In addition, Dr. Jones is the author of key chapters in texts and has lectured widely in his field. Co-author of the book Law and Neuroscience, Dr. Jones was an invited participant to the 2012 Working Group on Neuroscience and the Human Person hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Vatican City where his topic was “Seven Ways Neuroscience Aids Law.” His ongoing research is focused on Brain Imaging Research and Applications of Model Penal Code Mental States. His work has also appeared widely in national media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and National Public Radio.
Married to Lydia Jones, Founding President of InSage LLC, Dr. Jones has a daughter, Kelty Rayne Jones.
Dr. Jones was a student at PTHS while his mother, faculty member Rosalind Jones, taught in the English department. Asked to comment on their son’s stellar career, Rosalind and husband Dr. Don Jones compiled the following list: Student, Scholar, Scribe, Scientist, Speaker, Sky Diver, Sailor, Stargazer, Sportsman, Skier, Snowboarder, Scuba diver and, perhaps most importantly, Spouse and Son
Kimberlee Garris – Class of 1997
“Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true”
(Leon J. Suenes)
When Kimberlee Garris graduated PTHS in 1997 the specifics of her future were yet to be written but the path ahead was already set in motion by her outstanding academic record across all disciplines, high school gymnastics and her devotion to dance lessons and performances. What set her apart from others was - and still is – an ever present optimistic personality and an outstanding determination to make the most of her broad talents. Even a brief look at her accomplishments clearly demonstrates she has earned this recognition.
2001 Graduate Harvard University – Summa Cum Laude / Phi Beta Kappa
Concentration in Psychology
Cognitive Neurosience Certificate of Achievement
At-risk Children – NY House of Roses Volunteer Dance Company
Dance, English and Math teacher Zulu village KwaZulu, South Africa
Senior Swagger - Senior Citizen Hip-Hop Dance/Performances
Director of Entertainment Marketing for the New York/Brooklyn Nets 2006-2015
Creator of all Nets Entertainment Assets
Director of Nets Game Day and Other Team Events – U.S. and Abroad
Producer of Dance Performances and Workshops – Ages 6 to 86
Founder – Kimberlee Garris Productions 2009-Present
U.S. and International Entertainment Consultant
NBA Cares Program Volunteer
Special Olympics Volunteer
Co-Producer of 2 Musicals Headed for Broadway
At the conclusion of her 2006 NBA Nets interview for Director of Entertainment Marketing, Kim said “in my next career I’ll combine my degree in cognitive neuroscience with my passion for dance and experience in the entertainment industry.” As her future played out, that is the story her musical Half Time will tell as it chronicles the creation of an over age 60 dance team. Paying the price by making the most of all of her talents at each phase of her unique career clearly opened this door to Broadway – who knows what dream Kim can reach around the next corner.
George Budd graduated from Pequannock Township High School in 1961. During his time at PTHS, George was recognized as a New Jersey All-State player in football, basketball, and baseball. After high school, George attended Lehigh University where he lettered in both football and basketball. While attending Lehigh, George received a Bachelor of Science degree and graduated in 1965.
After receiving his degree, George joined the US Army and became a Green Beret. In addition, George attended Officers Candidate School and became a 1st Lieutenant in the US Army Special Forces. While serving in Vietnam, George was awarded the Silver Star for Valor as well as the Purple Heart.
After serving his country for 5 years, George went on to receive his MBA from Georgia State University. This led George to a position at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where he became Vice President and Manager of Electronic Programs. While working, George also assisted in the development of Direct Deposit for Social Security. George later received positions as Vice President at Treasurer Citizens and Southern Bank, Sovereign Bank and AmSouth Bank before becoming the Chief Financial Officer of Integrion Cooperation in 1996.
George retired after 21 years of service in the banking industry and now devotes his time to Community Service. George is the President of Willow Point Homeowners Association, a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission's Advisory Board, President of the Winston Condominium Association. In addition, George is an active member of the Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul Vestry, where he is a Senior Warden.
George has been married to his wife Barbara for 45 years. George and Barbara have two kids, Brad and Mindy in addition to 5 grandchildren.
Ed Leonard is a lifelong resident of Pequannock Township and a 1966 graduate of Pequannock Township High School. One year after graduating from PTHS Ed enlisted in the US Army where he became an instructor at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Eventually he was transferred to Vietnam and was stationed in DaNang as part of their 1st Logistical Command. Ed received an Army Commendation Medal. Upon his return Ed was made the Administrative NCO for the Conventional Weapons Division at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Today Ed is an active member of the Vietnam Veterans Association and the American Legion Post 242 of Pompton Plains. He was also honored as “Officer of the Year” by American Legion Post 450.
After leaving the service Ed became a Patrolman on the Pequannock Township Police Force, and for 30 years dedicated himself to the people of this township as he rose from Patrolman to Captain. During his tenure in the police department Ed founded the NJ “Cops and Jocks” where students were allowed to see police officers as partners and supporters in sports, as well as their lives in and out of school. He is a life member of the Police Honor Legion, and was involved in the formation of the Citizen Police Academy which brought an understanding of law enforcement procedures and responsibilities to the township citizens. Ed also assisted in the establishment of a Citizen Response Team, in conjunction with the Jersey Battered Women’s Service, of civilian volunteer service to assist victims of domestic violence with safety options and court procedures.
In 2004 Ed was honored by being named “Citizen of the Year” by the Pequannock Township Council. He is a member of the NY, NJ Trails Conference working hard to build, maintain and establish safe hiking trails in these states, and supervises the care of the trails at Mountainside Park. He is also an active member of the “Wilderness Volunteers” who work with the US Forest Service to build, repair and rout hiking trails in our National Forests.
Ed Leonard’s face is well known to the students, parents, and faculty of PTHS. For over 20 years he has voluntarily photographed every sport activity the school systems offers, and has given away about 50,000 pictures for parents and students to to enjoy. He also established the PTHS Photography Club and shares his knowledge and talents with the students.
Ed attributes his success in life to the dedication, understanding, patience, inspiration, and love of his parents. He has been married for many years to his wife, Sue (graduate of PTHS), and they have two grown sons who have also graduated from his alma mater.
Class of 1989
Induction to Hall of Fame: October 23, 2009
Wendy was the Band President and Varsity Captain at PTHS from 1988-1989. She tutored students at PTHS in math, history, and science. Wendy Graduated Princeton University in 1993 with an elementary education degree and completed her senior thesis on Japanese Social. She taught as a Fourth grade teacher in Princeton Public Schools from 1994-2003. Her family moved to Oklahoma in 2003 when her first child was born. Wendy accomplished 30 hours of training overseas through the Dallas Theological Seminary. She studied Mandarin for 3 years in Tianjin, China. In 2007, she and her Husband Kenneth moved to China to live and raise their five children. She has been contributing to the Chinese Community through mentoring and teaching ever since.
Edward W. Rogers
Class of 1960
Induction to Hall of Fame: October 23, 2009
Ed Rogers was part of the first graduating class of PTHS in 1960. He lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He was Captain of the baseball team while receiving recognition as most valuable player, all conference, all area, and all state. He graduated from Tusculum College in 1965 where he also lettered in baseball. As a teacher and coach at PTHS from 1965 to 2004, he guided student athletes to many proud accomplishments. He was named Coach of the Year in the area, county and state. He was inducted into the NJSCA Hall of Fame in 1999. He most recently served as a volunteer coach in the baseball program and helped guide the team to a sectional championship and second state championship in 2009.
Assistant Football Coach Head Baseball Coach
5 Conference Championships Won 433 Games
2 State Championships 1st State Championship-1988
3 Conference Championships
4 Sectional Championships
Dr. Kevin Brothers
Class of 1979
Induction to Hall of Fame: October 23, 2009
For more than 25 years, Dr. Brothers has delivered science-based, behavior-analytic educational services in both public and private schools to toddlers, children, adolescents, and adults with autism. Dr. Brothers earned a doctorate in Developmental and Child Psychology from the University of Kansas and has served as the school's Executive Director since its inception in 1999. Previous positions include those held at the Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI), Bancroft, the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC), Lawrence Kansas Public School District, and as educational consultant to school districts and families.
Dr. Brothers' articles have been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. He co-authored the chapter, The Baer Necessities: Observation, Measurement, and Analysis, published in "A Small Matter of Proof: The Legacy of Donald M. Baer" in 2003.
Class of 1972
Induction to Hall of Fame: October 23, 2009
A proud member of the PTHS graduating class of 1972, Ken has been married to his wife Nancy for 34 years. He has 3 beautiful daughters, Alyssa, Jacqueline, and Whitney. Ken helped build the tire park at Pompton Plains School. He assisted in the Pequannock Recreational wrestling program when it first began. He was a member of the mayor's Ad-Hoc committee for the location of the library in town. He is a member of the First Reformed Church where he has served as a Deacon and on many committees. Ken was a Chilton Memorial Hospital Foundation Board Trustee for 3 years and Vice president of the Major Gift Committee. He served as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at Boiling Springs Savings bank for over 11 years. He is currently Co-owner and Vice President of Passaic County Welders in Wayne. He also is a Vice President and General Manager of Tomqvist Co. Div. of Grimbilas Enterprises.
Class of 1994
Induction to Hall of Fame: October 23, 2009
Jennifer is a proud graduate of the PTHS class of 1994. She entered into the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1998. She was a member of both the 529th and 560th Police companies while stationed in Germany from 1998-2001. Jennifer prepared the 794 soldier 720th Police Battalion in Iraq from 2002-2003. She planned and executed over 200 combat operations in three months. Jennifer became Commander of the 401 st Military Police Academy in 2003. She led 182 officers/soldiers during combat in Operation Iraq Freedom I and III. Jennifer was awarded the Bronze Star Medal of Achievement. She became the Rear Detachment Commander of the 720th Military Police Battalion in Texas in 2005. She completed her Masters of Business Administration at the Yale School of Management in 2008. She is currently an Instructor of Economics at the United States Military Academy in West Point.
Class of 1989
Induction to Hall of Fame: June 11, 2008
Susan is the daughter of Jim and Elaine Misner. She enjoys playing with the German Shepard-Rottweiller mix, Bailey Bootsey Wilcox, she rehabilitated. Susan shared her philosophy of life saying: "Everyday, I challenge myself to not yield in the face of what scares me." She is a very accomplished actor/ choreographer.
Susan played Liz ("Pop") in the film version of "Chicago" ( directed by Rob Marshall) for which she received a Screen Actors Guild Award. Other film credits include "The Hoax" opposite Richard Gere & Alfred Molina, "Walking On The Sky" (Best Supporting Actress Award, New York International Independent Film Festival), "Something's Gotta Give" opposite Jack Nicholson, "The Forgotten" opposite Julianne Moore, "Alchemy", "Pipe Dream", Woody Allen's "Everyone Says I Love You" "If I Didn't Care" "Two Weeks" "Mentor" (Tribeca Film Festival) and soon to be released: "Tanner Hall", "Cayman Went", "Stick it In Detroit", "Gigantic" and "Eavesdrop." Television includes "New Amsterdam", guest leads on all three "Law & Order" shows, "The Bronx Is Burning", "The Kill Point", "C.S.I.", "C.S.I. Miami", "Conviction", "Ed", "Sex and the City", "Soul Man" and recurring roles on "Rescue Me", "Gossip Girl", "Without A Trace", "Jonny Zero", "Starved", "Vanished" and "Night Stalker." In addition to numerous regional theater credits, Susan is the veteran of four Broadway musicals: "Guys And Dolls", "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying", "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" and "Dream."
SSgt. James M. Sturla
Class of 1997
Induction to Hall of Fame: June 11, 2008
Originally from New Jersey, SSgt Sturla was born on March 15, 1979 in Pompton Plains. His Marine Corps career began on August 5, 1997 at MCRD, Parris Island, SC. He reported to Marine Corps Detachment Fort Knox, KY after boot camp and was assigned as a MlAl tank crewman. After completing the required training, he reported to 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC for duty. During that time he deployed on two Marine Expeditionary Units, one with 1st Battalion 6th Marines in support of Kosovo Operations and the other with 1st Battalion 8th Marines. In July 2001, Sgt Sturla attended Marine Corps Security Force Battalion. Upon completion of school, he was assigned as a Cadre Instructor in Santa Rita, Guam where he trained the Navy and Marines in close combat/self defense, anti-terrorism, and weapons familiarization. In September 2003 Sgt Sturla was assigned back to
2nd Tank Battalion. On March 1, 2004 he was promoted to his current rank. On August 15, 2004 he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. September 2004 SSgt Sturla was awarded the Purple Heart due to combat operations in Husaybah, Iraq and was transferred to Bethesda, MD. SSgt Sturla was hospitalized in Bethesda for 7 weeks where he underwent 26 operations. In June 2005 SSgt Sturla help organize what is now called the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Camp Lejeune, NC. After a year and a half of physical and occupational therapy, SSgt Sturla was back to full duty and deployed to Iraq on September 18, 2006 to April 2007 with Charlie Company 2nd Tank Battalion. On October 10, 2007 SSgt Sturla reported to Marine Corps Embassy Security Group. He graduated from MSG school in December 2007 and was assigned as the Detachment Commander in Jakarta, Indonesia where he is in charge of the protection of U.S. personnel and classified material. He is married to the former Alison Jane Intindola and they have two children, Jordan and Haley.
PERSONAL AWARDS: Purple Heart Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (3)
Class of 1963
Induction to Hall of Fame: June 11, 2008
A graduate of William Paterson University, Carole began her Field Hockey coaching career in 1968. She was named "Coach of the Year" and reached her 500th win in 2006. By 2007 her record was 526-148-88. Coach Schoen's philosophy is athletes first ...winning second. "Coaching winners to play the game of life is what it's all about. I have a love for kids and a love for the sport."
Class of 1987
Induction to Hall of Fame: June 11, 2008
A graduate of Yale University, Rob is an Associate Professor of Political Science, Ethics in Society and Education at Stanford University. Author of Bridging Liberalism and Multicultural in American Education and co-author of Democracy at Risk. He has received fellowships from the Spencer Foundation, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He is also the recipient of several teaching awards, including the Walter J. Gores A ward, Stanford's highest award for teaching. He is the cofounder of the Hope House Scholars Program, a liberal arts course taught by Stanford faculty at Hope House, a residential substance abuse facility for women in Redwood City, CA. He is the creator and director of the Stanford Summer Philosophy Discovery Institute. He was also a sixth grade teacher at Rusk Elementary School in Houston, Texas.
Class of 1978
Induction to Hall of Fame: June 11, 2008
A graduate of Hamilton College, Peter sold his first short story to The New Yorker in 1983. He received a special citation by the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Book of Fiction. His novel The City of Your Final Destination was made into a major motion picture. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You was selected by Publishers Weekly magazine as one the best books of 2007. Peter was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation. He taught writing at Oberlin College, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Yale University.