From the Edgewood High School Alumni Association:
Edgewood High School will induct ten new members into its Hall of Fame during ceremonies to be held at the school in conjunction with the Class of 2014 commencement day on May 29th. Those to be inducted will join the 26 who have been enshrined in the four-year old program, a joint project of the school administration and the EHS Alumni Association.
“Those selected to the Hall of Fame provide our students, staff, and the community with positive role models – examples of the extraordinary people who have been associated with Edgewood High School during its almost 60 years of existence,” said Larissa L. Santos, EHS Principal. “This year’s group builds upon the legacy established by the first three years of inductees.
“I want to congratulate all those who were selected and look forward to many more of our outstanding alumni, former students, and community supporters joining the 36 who have been named so far,” added Ms. Santos.
“The EHS Alumni Association is delighted to be a partner with the school in the Hall of Fame program,” said Helen E. Morrison, member of the Class of 1961 and President of the EHS Alumni Association. “Those of us who saw the school open in 1954 and have witnessed its growth during the following six decades know the quality of individuals who have been part of the school throughout those years; and the Hall of Fame gives us a chance to show the greater community examples of those outstanding people.”
Those to be inducted were among dozens nominated by members of the community. The nominations were reviewed by a Hall of Fame committee composed of alumni, community representatives, current students, and representatives from the school administration. The committee forwarded recommendations to the Alumni Association Executive Committee and to the school administration which made the final selections.
The prospective HOF members will be officially inducted at an afternoon ceremony to be held in the EHS auditorium during which they will receive awards from the school, the Alumni Association, and state and local elected officials. The assembly will be attended by many of the existing Hall of Fame members, school system and government officials, Edgewood area principals, Alumni leaders, family members of the inductees, and other invited guests. The new inductees in attendance will be feted during a dinner at the school and then take part in the processional of the EHS Class of 2014 commencement ceremonies in the school gymnasium that evening. Sublimated plaques of the new inductees will join those already inducted which are displayed on the ‘Hall of Fame Wall’ in a central corridor of the school.
Those to be inducted include:
MR. WILLIAM P. ‘DOC’ MC SHANE – Community Support (1956-1966)
The late ‘Doc’ McShane was a highly respected U.S. Army Medical Researcher who served ten years as an officer in the U.S. Army including seeing combat in the South Pacific where he was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart. He became volunteer athletic trainer for the varsity football team at Edgewood High School from its beginnings in 1954 through 1966. Coaches were able to spend more time with football techniques and less time wrapping, taping and going to hospitals with injured players thanks to the contributions of Mr. McShane. Using his knowledge of the human body gained at his full-time job, ‘Doc’ provided preventative care, addressed injuries as they occurred, and gave follow-up care to injured players on his own time without pay. Mr. McShane forged partnerships between the school and community groups including Edgewood Arsenal, the local VFW, the American Legion, community fire companies, and the local Department of Parks and Recreation. He was also Commander of the VFW at Long Bar Harbor, and co-founder and first President of Joppa/Magnolia Fire Company; as well as having been a member of the Edgewood Lions Club. ‘Doc’ had a total commitment to Edgewood Junior/Senior High School and its community, those who were part of the young school said. He was an advocate for all students, teachers and everything dealing with education, they added. He was described by legendary Ram football coach ‘Bud’ Coakley, who invited him to be the team’s first trainer, as “a great man who knew what he was doing – our coaching staff just thought he was the greatest.” Both of ‘Doc’ and the late Vera McShane’s sons were student/athletes at Edgewood High and graduates of the school. The elder McShanes were married 37 years until Mr. McShane’s death in 1977. They have seven grandchildren.
MR. ROBERT W. ‘BOBBY’ COOMES, SR. – Community Support – (1959-1990)
Mr. Coomes, 79, faithfully served Edgewood High School and the Edgewood community both as a business owner and community volunteer for more than 30 years. As a lifelong resident of the community, he continues to volunteer in civic organizations in the Edgewood area. Mr. Coomes owned and operated the White Star Restaurant on Rt. 40 in Edgewood from 1959-1990. Not only was the ‘drive-in’ restaurant a meeting place for Edgewood High students, their families and friends, it served as a place of employment for hundreds of local students where they learned a variety of jobs incorporating the concepts of work ethic, service, and teamwork. Mr. Coomes was also a key participant in the school’s Cooperative Work Experience program where he provided training to students who went to school for a portion of their day and spent the remainder learning life/work skills at the restaurant. A member of the Edgewood High School Business Association, he participated in raising significant amounts of money to be contributed toward facility improvements at the school. He was also a lead sponsor of the Edgewood High School Fair, held each spring for many years as a way of raising funds for the school and bringing the community together at the school. At the same time, he sponsored Edgewood youth baseball programs and provided a venue for many gatherings of Edgewood High staff and the community. Mr. Coomes is a life member of the Edgewood Lions Club, the Harford County Restaurant Association, and the Rt. 40 Businessmen’s Association. During his time as White Star owner/operator, Mr. Coomes hosted senior citizen luncheons, Edgewood Area/APG events, and community wedding/anniversary/special event celebrations. He demonstrated compassion for students, providing a positive/hardworking environment in which many could gather in a comfortable atmosphere, always creating a welcoming atmosphere for employees and patrons. Mr. Coomes and his wife, Rose, have been married for 55 years. They have two children and one grandchild.
MS. DEBORA GAVIN MERLOCK – Community Support (1997-Present)
Ms. Merlock, 54, is an active parent of four current or former Edgewood High students who has been involved in supporting Edgewood area schools for more than 17 years (eight of those years directly at Edgewood High). She is the founder and president of the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation (GEEF) which mentors students, sponsors Career Fests, sponsors a youth leadership academy, and raises funds to mentor EHS students and graduates. The Career Fest has for three years provided students and parents with information about career opportunities/interviewing skills. The SMILE Conference, Youth Leadership Academy, and LEAD for Tomorrow have served more than 300 students, providing them with the opportunity to create individual goal plans, career building skills, and college awareness. The efforts also teach personal responsibility. GEEF has raised more than $73,000 for EHS students to provide college scholarships and post-graduate mentorships through their college years. GEEF annually honors Edgewood-area teachers for excellence in educating students. Ms. Merlock and her husband, Bill, have four children – Eric, Bryan, and Amanda (all graduates of Edgewood High); and Sara, currently a junior at the school.
MR. DOUGLAS R. JOHNSON – Former Staff – Teacher/Department Chair/Advisor/Sponsor (1968-1998) —
Mr. Johnson, 67, spent his entire 30-year career as a student-centered Social Studies teacher at Edgewood High School. In addition, he was, at one time or another, intramural director, sponsor of junior/senior proms, Honor Society advisor, Academic Team sponsor, Varsity Club advisor, and Social Studies Department Chair. He is credited with being the ‘father’ of the Geography program in the Harford County Public Schools, helping to write the countywide curriculum for the ninth grade class and developing six different geography courses at EHS. Edgewood High’s Academic Team was county champs several years during the time he co-sponsored the group. Mr. Johnson teamed with officials on the Edgewood Area/APG to maximize curricular and co-curricular programs at the school. His innovative instructional techniques aimed at making learning fun in the classroom served as a model not only for EHS teachers but for Social Studies teachers around the county. In 2007, he was inducted into the HCPS Educator Hall of Fame. A graduate of Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Mr. Johnson earned two masters equivalency certificates. Following retirement and a move to Arizona, he has continued his service to others as a member of his community volunteer fire company where he is captain of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). He is a first responder and member of the Firewise Board. A longtime member of the Mountain Christian Church and adult choir participant while a Harford resident, he is a lay leader, bell choir member, and secretary of the trustees at the church in his present community.
MR. FOREST A. WIEST – Former Staff – Teacher/Coach/Department Chair/Athletic Director (1967-91); Assistant Principal (1991-93) –
Mr. Wiest, 68, served Edgewood High School for a total of 27 years before continuing his career in education as an assistant principal at North Harford High (1993-99) and Supervisor of High School Physical Education/Interscholastic Athletics for the Harford County Public Schools (1999-2006). He was head JV and assistant varsity football coach from 1967-‘78; and head varsity football coach from 1979-’87, compiling a 69-22 won-loss record including an undefeated season in 1982, the only unbeaten season in the almost 60-years football has been played at the school. He served concurrently as Physical Education Department Chair (1981-‘91) and Athletic Director (1984-’91). Mr. Wiest also coached JV basketball (1967-‘75) and was assistant varsity lacrosse coach (1980-’84). Having lived in the Edgewood area for 20 years, he worked in the community recreation program and with community groups to extend his influence beyond the school. His teams achieved extraordinary success, both on the field and in learning life lessons. As department chair and athletic director, he worked to change the focus from team sports to individual sports/activities (archery, golf, tennis, paddle ball, weight training, fishing, etc.) to include many more students who were not traditional athletes. He helped expand the number of interscholastic sports offered from eight to 15. A graduate of Wake Forest University, where he attended on a football scholarship, he earned his masters and 30 additional credits while at EHS. From 1984 until his retirement in 2006, he served on the board of the statewide group that oversees interscholastic sports in the state. While heading up the county’s interscholastic athletic program, Mr. Wiest was instrumental in the formation of the Upper Chesdapeake Bay Athletic Conference which linked Harford and Cecil counties into one of the state’s strongest leagues. He is a longtime member of the Al Cesky Scholarship Committee and is an active member of the Oak Grove Baptist Church. Mr. Wiest and his wife, Shirl, have three children and seven grandchildren.
DR. PATRICIA A. (DAVIS) ABBOTT – Alumni (1974)
Dr. Abbott, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, was an outstanding athlete at EHS, playing four sports in each of her high school years – field hockey, basketball, gymnastics and track & field (then a non-lettering sport). She was also a member of the 1974 Homecoming Court, took part in student government, and was a student aide. She received her nursing degree from Harford Community College (1977), her BSN from the University of Maryland (1989), her MSN from the University of Maryland (1992), her MS (Operations Analysis) from UMBC (1996), her Ph.D. in Operations Analysis from UMBC (1999); and has done post-doctoral work at the Johns Hopkins University in Data Analytics & Visualization. Dr. Abbott, a resident and active parent and community/church leader in Harford until 2012, has traveled extensively around the world, focusing on community health efforts for the poor and disconnected. At the University of Michigan, her efforts are concentrated on electronic communications for low-resource and vulnerable populations with a primary emphasis on non-communicable diseases and digital education. Her most recent project was to obtain funding to provide telecommunications infrastructure for a nursing school in Leogane, Haiti, the epicenter of a devastating 2010 earthquake, allowing the nursing school there to share video classrooms with the University of Michigan School of Nursing. The project has now been extended to New Delhi, India. Dr. Abbott is also a faculty member of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She is a member of the Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section at the U.S. National Institutes of Health; and is the founding director of the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM). During her time in Harford, she raised her three daughters and was involved at their schools as well as having taken part in many community health projects. Dr. Abbott was Lector at her church in Abingdon for 15 years. In addition to her three grown daughters, she has a step-granddaughter who is three.
DR. TIMOTHY A. RAINEY – Alumni (Class of 1975) –
Dr. Rainey, 56, was an accomplished student/athlete at Edgewood High, serving on the yearbook staff and taking part as a member of the EHS cross country and track and field teams. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and subsequently earned three master’s degrees before achieving his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in African History. He has distinguished himself during a more than 30-year continuing professional career in the fields of academia, diplomacy and military operations. Currently, as Program Director for the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program in the Bureau of African Affairs for the U.S. Department of State, he oversees more than 300 people supporting peacekeeping training programs in 25 African countries. Dr. Rainey spent 27+years as an officer in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Colonel. Among his assignments was command of a classified NATO ammunition site related to three nuclear weapons systems. At various times, he was Senior Military Liaison Officer to the African Union in Ethiopia; Military Advisor to the Bureau of African Affairs in the State Dept.; Dean of Faculty and Academics at the National War College; and Chief, International History Division and Academy Professor at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point). In addition, in 2002, he was deployed with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Among other prestigious positions, after leaving the military, Dr. Rainey was Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morgan State. Dr. Rainey has written extensively on the “Buffalo Soldiers” and has received many honors including ‘Worldwide Who’s Who’ (2013); Dept. of State Meritorious Honor (2007); Defense Superior Service Medal (2007); Morgan State University ROTC Hall of Fame (2005); Regional Finalist, White House Fellowship Program (1994); Ralph Bunche Fellowship (1990-92); and many others. He has served since 2009 as a Commissioner for the State of Maryland War Memorial Commission. Dr. Rainey has two grown children.
MR. DALE A. MIDKIFF – Alumni (1977)
Mr. Midkiff, 54, is an internationally known film star who has appeared in more than 55 motion pictures or TV series. His credits include playing Jock Ewing in ‘Dallas: The Early Years’ (1986); Elvis Presley in the made-for-TV movie ‘Elvis and Me’ (1988); Louis Creed in ‘Pet Semitary’ opposite Fred Gwynn (1989); and ‘Love Potion Number 9’ opposite Sandra Bullock (1992). In addition, he had the role as patriarch (Clark Davis) in the Hallmark ‘Love Comes Softly’ TV series (‘Loves Come Softly’ – 2003; ‘Love’s Enduring Promise’ – 2004; ‘Love’s Long Journey’ – 2005; ‘Love’s Abiding Joy’ – 2006; ‘Love’s Unending Legacy’ – 2007; and ‘Love’s Unfolding Dream’ – 2007). His roles have run the gamut from a wife beater in ‘A Cry for Help,’ to the ‘good ol’ boy’ cop in ‘Vigilante Cop,’ to the heroic time-traveler in ‘Time Trax,’ to the amiable ladies’ man in ‘The Magnificent Seven.’ Mr. Midkiff, who played varsity soccer while a student at Edgewood High, was bitten by the acting bug when he “filled his schedule” by taking a drama class with Mr. George Greene. He landed the starring role in the 1977 senior play and continued his pursuit of acting as a career as a Communications Arts major at Salisbury State University. After college, he headed for New York where he worked several odd jobs (including as a quick change assistant for showgirls at the Rainbow Grill in Rockefeller Center), before getting his big break and beginning an almost three decade career in Hollywood. Mr. Midkiff and his wife of 24 years, Joan, have three children – Cole, 22, Eliza Rose, 18, and Ava Marie, 15.
MAJ. GEN. WARREN E. PHIPPS, JR. – Alumni (Class of 1978)
Maj. Gen. (Two Star) Phipps, 53, became Commanding General of the First Army Division West, stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas, in January, 2013. The Division West mobilizes and trains Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers for deployment to combat zones worldwide. He had previously served as Deputy Director for Regional Operations of the Joint Staff in the Pentagon. A Distinguished General Engineering graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1982 (Phi Kappa Phi NHS, Dean’s List), he played intercollegiate soccer and was a member of the Army Rugby Club. Gen. Phipps earned a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the Naval Postgraduate School. His 32-year military career has been marked by increasingly significant commands; and includes active combat deployment as a helicopter pilot in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where he logged more than 2,000 flight hours in combat zones. Gen. Phipps has commanded the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade in Ft. Campbell, KY, as well as having held leadership roles of U.S. troops in Germany and at Ft. Bragg, NC. He was an instructor/assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at West Point for two years where he was also Men’s Rugby Coach. As a student at EHS, he was a member of the National Honor Society, President of the Senior Class, two-year co-captain of the varsity soccer team (where he was All County for two years), member of the track and field team, and American Legion Boy’s State representative. Gen. Phipps and his wife, Sylvia, have been married for 31 years and have two grown sons and two grandchildren.
MR. JAMES BORN – Alumni (Class of 1982) –
Mr. Born, 50, was captain of the Edgewood High School swim team for four years. At one time, he held Harford County Public School records in all boys events (except the back stroke) from the 50-yard freestyle to the 500-yard individual medley – a total of ten events; and 32 years later continues to hold the all-time record in two of those events. In addition, while at EHS, he was a member of the Jazz/Concert/Marching bands and was the Louis Armstrong Award winner. Mr. Born was a member of the National Honor Society and was American Legion Boys State representative for Maryland, as well as being elected Prom King. He earned a BA in Biological Sciences at Kenyon College (Ohio); and an MS in Network Security from Capitol College. While at Kenyon, Mr. Born was captain of the team that won a National Division III championship; and was USA national swim medal winner at the Pan American Games (Japan); and World Championships (Spain). He was also on the European Tour and training camps in Hawaii and Colorado Springs. In all, he established 17 NCAA Division III swim records. Mr. Born is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP); has published a security whitepaper for Cisco Systems, Inc.; and published basic science research papers at Cornell and the University of Miami medical schools. He has been a volunteer for his local church, his children’s elementary school, Habitat for Humanity, and has coached his community swim and soccer teams. Mr. Born and his wife, Veronica, have been married for 20 years and have two children.
Current members of the EHS Hall of Fame include: Class of 2011 – Anthony J. Meoli, Carol L. Barker, Howard K. McComas III, Helen E. Morrison, Allan S. Ingalls, Richard B. Porterfield, Dudley L. Bradley, Charles W. Bradley, Sharon L. Fries-Britt, Earl J. Lightcap, Jr., Lambert E. Coakley, Charles P. Marzen, Paul M. Metzger, Carl D. Roberts, and Robert C. Williams; Class of 2012 – George H. Harmeyer, Geoffrey A. Glover, Nadine Haas Wellington, Mary Porterfield Johnson, and M. Scott Elliott; and Class of 2013 – James R. Murdza, Stephen R. Williams, John C. Bowman, Bonnie L. Morkosky Haden, Rosellen Goodrich Richardson, and Patricia Procell Wilkins.
For more information on the EHS HOF program or to learn how to nominate a prospective member, email firstname.lastname@example.org.