Above: 2018 Wall of Honor inductees, from left, Diane MacDonald, Matt Plain, John Chandler, Bernice Pescosolido, and Guy Asadorian.
Five individuals have been selected for the East Greenwich High School’s Wall of Honor for 2020. They will be inducted in a ceremony next April in the East Greenwich High Auditorium. The exact date will be announced in January, as it is dependent on the high school’s schedule for the second half of the year. Traditionally it has been either the Wednesday of the week before or, the week after Spring Break.
Selected for the 2020 class are: childrens’ book author Susan Stevens Crummel of Fort Worth, Texas; her sister, Janet Stevens, a book illustrator, from Boulder, Colo.; Dr. Francis Pescosolido of Narragansett, a psychiatrist; Phil Garvey, a former East Greenwich athlete, then coach, and a major in the US Marine Corps; and, Dennis Lynch of Narragansett, a former CEO of NYCE Payments and current chairman of Cardtronics, a global leader in ATM services.
It is hoped the advance notice gives recipients time to make plans for the ceremony and invite friends and family to come and share the night and the honor with them. The ceremony lasts roughly an hour and a half and is followed by a reception in the school cafeteria. The event is free to all and meant to celebrate the achievements of graduates of a small town high school.
The East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor was started in 2008 and so far 68 people have been enshrined. Among those are a governor, a first lady, outstanding athletes, a NASA director, outstanding coaches, TV personalities, a Navy admiral, prominent people from the world of business, a 9/11 hero and many people who have contributed to the town, the state and the nation.
The Wall of Honor is not a Hall of Fame. People are chosen for the value of their achievements since leaving East Greenwich High School, and who will serve as a model and inspiration to current students at EGHS.
For further information and details, or if you would like to nominate someone to the Wall, contact Bob Houghtaling (230-2246), Chris Cobain (398-1562), or Bruce Mastracchio (885-3160).
Each year I take notice of the East Greenwich “Wall of Honor” selectees and though I don’t question their qualifications for being selected, and for those I know who are selected certainly deserve the recognition, I wonder what the process is for their consideration and selection?
In my opinion, the problem with these selectees is that for every selection made for this honor, there are thousands more considered who may never make the cut.
I grew up in town and attended local schools with neighbors, classmates and peers who have gone on to accomplish great things in their lives but have always done so under the public radar screen. How do these locals get considered for such a noteworthy honor?
Again, in my opinion, the residents who should be considered, for example, are the town workers who have spent their career plowing out our streets all night long, during the winter, for many decades, so we could get to work in the morning. How about consideration for the local oil man who left his family and the Pats game on countless cold winter Sundays to fill up the widows’ oil tank when she didn’t realize it was empty?
I drove to work everyday in Rhode Island for 40 years thanks to the local East Greenwich mechanic who faithfully maintained my vehicles without any fanfare or recognition. I personally know the local cemetery manager who spends all year managing and maintaining the cemetery in a professional manner, always with a smile, so I can happily visit my family’s plot. Are these folks, too, being considered for “The Wall of Honor?”
Is there consideration for recognition for a former East Greenwich neighbor who attended private schools but went on to have a successful career as an Army Airborne Ranger, fighting our wars and retiring after 30 years with more career success and medals than I can count? How do you find and recognize the local military member, police officer or firefighter who may have given up their life defending and protecting our nation and citizens? How do you hear about the local student who has gone on to have a successful musical career, even performing once at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville?
I could go on and on with examples of these folks who have had successful careers but are probably never considered. They were my neighbors, classmates and peers. Hopefully the consideration and selection process by those making these decisions is all encompassing for all deserving former and current residents.