Meet our Hall of Honor Inductees

Who are the inductees of the Hall of Honor class of 2016?

  • Beatrice Card Kettlewood, class of 1947
  • David DeFeo, class of 1975
  • Wendy Larry, class of 1973
  • Leslie Pritchard, class of 1953
  • Robert Sinibaldi, class of 1975
  • James Smith, class of 1961

BEATRICE CARD KETTLEWOOD   CLASS OF 1947

Dr. Bea Card Kettlewood graduated from Butler High School in 1947 and received her BS in art education from Kean University, formerly Newark State Teachers College. Bea received both her Masters in art education and her Doctorate degree in creative arts from NYU.  She married James Kettlewood in 1952. Dr. Kettlewood began exhibiting her artwork in 1959 and has shown her art in 56 solo shows as well as in juried group shows or invitational shows in numerous states.   For 33 years, Bea was associated with New Milford New Jersey High School as an art educator and art department chairman. Dr. Kettlewood’s stained glass window designs grace such places as the First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains; Chapels at Morristown Memorial Hospital and Hackettstown Community Hospital; and the twenty-four stained glass windows for the Chapel at Chilton Memorial Hospital, Pompton Plains. Bea is quite active in the First Reformed Church in Pompton Plains, in her community of Pompton Plains, and the art community in general. Dr. Kettlewood has held offices in Delta Kappa Gamma Honor Society and the American Association of University Women. Her reputation as an artist, educator, and lecturer has led to her recognition in Who’s Who in American Art, Marquis Who’s Who; Cambridge Who’s Who; and Who’s Who Artist’s Gallery.

DAVID DEFEO   Class of 1975

David DeFeo, Butler High School Class of 1975, was one of the top students in his class and was selected to give the class commencement speech. Following Dave’s father’s death during freshman year, Dave discovered that he had a passion to succeed in all that he undertook; good grades in school, playing basketball and baseball; and working so that he could afford a college education.  Dave attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and graduated in 1979.  After fulfilling his military obligation, Dave’s first position was with Milliken and Company, an American textile company, where he became the youngest General Manager in the company’s history.  He received his MBA from Rutgers in 1986. In 2006, Dave joined the Worth Collection LTD as CEO and part owner.  This is a direct-to-consumer luxury women’s apparel business.  This unique company provides business opportunities for over 5,000 women in the United States to sell high end luxury apparel from their homes. Dave is proud of the “Every Woman Has Worth” program that he started.  His company donates $1.2 million dollars of clothing annually to charities that support women and children.  In 2004, Dave received the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award from his alma mater-the Merchant Marine Academy. Dave has recently established the Class of 1975 Scholarship for a BHS graduating senior who uses his or her talents, passions, and academic pursuits for the Common Good through deeds, not words and who is in need of financial support. Dave’s personal team is his family.  He married wife Nancy in 1982 and they have three sons-Kyle (and Megan), Randy, and Matthew.  Dave and Nancy live in Ridgewood, NJ.

WENDY LARRY   Class of 1973

Wendy Larry graduated from Butler High School in 1973. During her four years there, Wendy served as Class President in her Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior years.  In her Senior Year, she was elected President of the Student Council.  Among her other high school achievements, Wendy lettered in Softball, Field Hockey, and Basketball and was a member of the National Honor Society.  Wendy received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Old Dominion University.  Wendy served as Assistant Coach for Old Dominion University Lady Monarchs from 1980 to 1985.  In 1987, she assumed the position as Head Coach where she remained until her retirement in 2011.  Under her leadership, the Lady Monarchs set an NCAA record for 17 consecutive CAA Championships (1992-2008) and 20 NCAA Tournament appearances.  Her Head coaching record overall was 608 wins-234 losses.  In June 2012, Wendy became an Associate Commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference.  In 2014, Wendy was inducted into the Old Dominion University’s Hall of Fame.  Included among the Awards and Honors presented to Ms. Larry are Coach of the Year in 3 different Conferences (8 CAA Coach of the Year Selections); Selected Coach of the Year on a National Level by WBCA District 111, Sporting News, and RCA; U.S. Women’s Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year.

LESLIE J. PRITCHARD   Class of 1953

This award is being presented posthumously to Leslie J. Pritchard, who graduated with honors from Butler High School in 1953.  Les received an appointment to West Point Military Academy and following his graduation, Les transferred to the Air Force.  Because there was no Air Force Academy at that time, , the Air Force received its officers as transfers from the US Military Academy.  Les now entered the arena of Jet Fighter Aircraft.  The Air Force was in the process of transferring from propeller-driven aircraft to jet-driven aircraft: i.e. the B 36 “Peacemaker” to the B-47 “Stratojet” and the new B-52 “Stratofortress.” Les was a pioneer in piloting these aircrafts. In the F-86D “SabreJet,”he was a successful Interceptor pilot in Air Defense, one of the major command roles in the Air Force.  He continued his career with an assignment to Europe to face the Warsaw Pact air forces during the Cold War. During his 23-year military career, he flew two tours in Vietnam accumulating over 250 combat sorties and 390 combat hours in the F-4 Phantom.  Among the citations presented to Les were seven Air Medals and The Distinguished Flying Cross.  After Vietnam, then Major Pritchard graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and was assigned as a fighter test pilot. Lt. Col. Leslie Pritchard, USAF (ret. /deceased) is remembered for his significant military and leadership accomplishments.  Following his death, Leslie J. Pritchard was buried in Arlington National Cemetery On march 21, 2011.

ROBERT SINIBALDI   Class of 1975

Dr. Robert Sinibaldi graduated from Butler High School in 1975. For close to 35 years, Bob has been an outstanding educator with the Pinellas County School system in Florida.  He has established numerous programs to assist students and adults with disabilities so that these individuals “fit in’ with the mainstream non-disabled community and at the same time provide a platform for the non-disabled community to interact with the disabled in a positive and inclusive way.  In his capacity as an adapted physical education teacher, Dr. Sinibaldi has been recognized as Teacher of the Year 20 times over four decades, from the 1980s to the present.  In 2011, he became the first and only physical education teacher in the State of Florida to be selected as the National PE Teacher of the Year. Bob has published over 50 professional journal articles, received over half a million dollars in grant money and gave over 75 presentations at county, state, district and national conferences. In 2015, he was honored by the Governor of the State of Florida with the Governor’s Shine Award for his lifetime commitment to teaching students with disabilities and his work in the area of teacher preparation for the next generation of exceptional education teachers.

JAMES SMITH   Class of 1961

James “Jimmy” Smith graduated from Butler High School in 1961.  He had a strong interest in sports, active in baseball and track, but especially football. Jim played football throughout his four years and was co-captain in his senior year.  Jim attended Montclair State College where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. In 1967, Jim achieved the status of Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School and Army Ranger School.  He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.  In 1968, Jim served his country in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) with the rank of First Lieutenant.  His assignments included commanding an air assault platoon in Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion/ 8th Brigade and later as one of the 2nd Battalion Staff Officers.  Included among Jim’s military awards are the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge and the Ranger Tab.  Jim’s career as an educator, administrator, and superintendent spanned the years of 1969 to 2005.  In Butler High School, Jim taught Industrial Arts, coached wrestling and freshman football, served in the Guidance Office and then as the BHS Vice Principal for seven years.  In 1983, Jim became the Principal of Richard Butler School, a position he held for 15 years.  Jim’s promotion to Superintendent of Butler Schools came in 1998.  He retired from that office in 2005.  In 1988, Jim received the National Distinguished Principal Award in Washington, DC. Jim possessed the essential traits of a successful school leader; vision, trustworthiness, credibility, visibility, a sense of humor, and kindness.  Jim married Joann ByDook, (BHS 1963 graduate) in 1972.  They have two children, Michael and Erin.  They are the proud grandparents of Marcus and Josephine.

Who are the inaugural Hall of Honor inductees?

  • David Brooks, class of 1984
  • Scott Spellmon, class of 1982
  • Carol Weaver McCracken, class of 1964
  • Marge Giles, class of 1957
  • John Fredericks, class of 1953
  • James J. Biemer, class of 1950
  • Robert B. Nicholson, class of 1945
  • Gerald Crean, class of 1939

DAVID BROOKS    Class of 1984

David Brooks, Butler High School Class of 1984, graduated from Boston University of the Arts with a Master’s Degree in Scenic and Costume Design.  David is a strong advocate for the arts and praises the importance that art and theater played in his life in Butler High School.   He has worked with legendary directors On-and Off-Broadway.  Most of his professional career has been in television.  He worked with the Conan O’Brien Show and then joined the ABC daytime drama, “One Life to Live,” where he remained for 15 years.  During that time, Mr. Brooks was nominated 7 times for the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design” and received that award three times. He is currently the Assistant Costume Designer on the CBS drama series “The Good Wife.”

SCOTT SPELLMON    Class of 1982                                                                          

Brigadier General Scott Spellmon graduated from Butler High School in 1982 where he excelled in academics and sports.  He was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and has served his country for 27 years. He is currently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. His assignments and staff positions have taken Scott within the United States and Germany.  His operational deployments include Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm- Kuwait and Iraq; Operation Iraqi Freedom-Iraq; and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. Scott sustained serious left leg injuries in 2005 when his convoy was attacked in Baquba, Iran.  Spellmon’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), and the Combat Action Badge.

CAROL WEAVER McCRACKEN    Class of 1964                                                                        

This award is presented posthumously to The Honorable Carol W. McCracken who died in May, 1999 at the age of 52. Carol graduated from Butler High School in 1964 and Rutgers University’s Douglass College in 1968.  She worked as a probation officer in Passaic County before graduating from Seton Hall Law School in 1979. Ms. McCracken went into private practice in the 1980’s, but gave that up when she was appointed as a Superior Court Judge in Paterson in 1995 by Governor Christie Whitman.  In 1982, Carol was elected as Butler’s first female councilwoman. Her civic activities included being a trustee of Lakeland State Bank, and a parishioner and Eucharist Minister at St. Anthony’s R.C. Church. She was also involved in scouting and youth sports.

MARGE GILES    CLASS OF 1957

Marge Giles graduated from Butler High School in 1957 and received her college degree in Physical Education from Radford College in Virginia.  In 1964, Ms. Giles returned to New Jersey to a teaching position at Butler High School. She taught physical education for 22 years and served as a school counselor for 18 years.  She earned her Master’s Degree and completed certifications in Supervision, Student Personnel Services, and Principalship. During her 40-year career, Marge coached girls basketball, softball, field hockey, gymnastics, and advised the varsity cheerleading team.  Marge retired in 2004.  At the 100th Graduation of Butler High School in 2006 Marge was honored when the BHS gym was renamed the Margaret E. Giles Gymnasium.

JOHN FREDERICKS    Class of 1954                                                                

John Fredericks, a graduate of the Class of 1954, was involved in a host of activities at Butler High School.  In 1957, he reorganized Frederick’s Fuel and Heating Service, which had its roots in a family business that began as a general store in 1878. He was one of the co-founders of Lakeland Bank that opened its first branch in 1969. Mr. Fredericks retired from his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. and Lakeland Bank in 2011. John has generously established scholarships for local high school students. Butler High School has had recipients of this scholarship every year since its inception.

JAMES J. BIEMER     Class of 1950                                                                                   

James J. Biemer, M.D., graduated from Butler High School in 1950. He was accepted into Temple Medical School after only three years of undergraduate work at Villanova. Following his graduation with an MD in 1956, Dr. Biemer joined the Navy and served as attending Pathologist at various Naval Hospitals during his 10-year career.  He served as Chief of Pathology at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida starting in 1969.  Of his accomplishments, he is most proud of having founded the St. Joseph’s Hospital Ethics Committee, which put that hospital at the forefront of an emerging area of study: Bioethics/Genetics.

ROBERT B. NICHOLSON     Class of 1945       

Robert B. Nicholson graduated from Butler High School in 1945. Following his time in the Navy, he returned to New Jersey.  In 1954, he entered the family business, Eastern Propane Corporation, which was established in 1938.  Mr. Nicholson serves as Chairman of the Board for Eastern Propane, one of the largest privately-owned propane marketers in the country.  Bob was also one of the co-founders of the Lakeland State Bank in 1969 and served as the Chairman of the Board for the Bank. He has been a member of the Lions Club for more than 30 years and was founder and first President of the Sparta Lions Club. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have established a Veterans’ memorial on the grounds of Sussex County Community College and have provided scholarships to the students.

GERALD CREAN    Class of 1939       

This award is presented posthumously to Gerald Crean, who graduated from Butler High School in 1939. Active in athletics, he played football, basketball, and baseball at BHS.  His military service in the Army began in 1942 and during the war years, Mr. Crean displayed extraordinary courage, especially following the sinking of the transport ship “Leopoldville” in 1944. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Combat Infantry Badge.  Jerry joined the maintenance staff of the Butler school system in 1961 and continued until 1996.  He also became an assistant football coach at BHS. He is well known for the values he instilled in his players.  The Gerald Crean Award is presented at the Senior Athletes Award Breakfast in his honor. Mr. Crean retired on January 31, 1997 and passed away on March 20, 1998.