Tube City Almanac

September 02, 2009

Seven Tapped for High School's Hall of Fame

Category: Events, News || By

Seven alumni --- including a marine biologist, a former pro football player and several educators --- are the newest inductees to the McKeesport High School Hall of Fame.

The 22nd group of honorees will be feted at a dinner Sept. 26 at Stratigos Banquet Center, North Huntingdon Township, says Karen Kost, spokeswoman for The Consortium for Public Education, based in the city, which maintains the hall of fame.

Members of the "Class of 2009" include:

  • Robert J. Hofman ('55), who retired in 2000 after 25 years as scientific program director of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission. A charter member of the Society of Marine Mammalogy, Hofman is a U.S. Navy vet. While at the MMC, Hofman helped negotiate several international treaties protecting dolphins, whales and other marine life, including the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on Environmental Protection.

  • Phyllis R. Gerber ('59), a longtime volunteer who helped establish several community theater companies in the Mon Valley, including ones in Clairton and Elizabeth. A graduate of Westmoreland County Community College and Seton Hill University, she currently teaches theater to teen-agers in Westmoreland County and continues to assist others with amateur dramatic productions.

  • James (Jim) P. Beirne ('64), a standout football player for McKeesport who became an Academic All-American at Purdue University, where he received a medal of honor and a varsity award. After graduation, Beirne played for the Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers, then Beirne founded his own company, Jim Beirne Custom Homes, which marks its 25th anniversary this year.

  • James R. Brewster ('66), mayor of McKeesport since 2004 and former vice president of operations for Mellon Bank. A graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, Brewster's other community service has included stints on the city Recreation Board and as a city councilman. He also has been chairman of the McKeesport Housing Authority board of directors for more than 20 years.

  • W. Lee (Win) MacKewiz ('76), founder of Bear Eye Center in Bear, Del., and former director of Omni Eye Services in Rhode Island. MacKewiz overcame childhood adversities to graduate from Ohio State and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, where he received the E.F. Wildermuth Award as the in-state student with the highest grade point average. MacKewiz's practice includes a focus on glaucoma, eye trauma and pediatric care.

  • Lisa M. Burns ('89), associate professor of media studies at Quinnipiac University whose research focuses on media history and political communications, with special attention to TV, radio and press coverage of presidents, first ladies, sports and media criticism. A "die-hard hockey fan," Burns also counsels professional athletes who are transitioning into successful careers after their sports days are over.

  • Karrie A. Kalich ('90), associate professor of health sciences at Keene State College in New Hampshire. A graduate of Penn State, Keene State and Tufts University, Kalich has researched ways that processed foods lead to problems such as obesity and diabetes. A 2003 recipient of an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Kalich has also conducted health seminars in the Keene, N.H., area to teach residents how to eat healthier.

The banquet begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremony.

Tickets are $40 and must be reserved by Sept. 18, Kost says. Call (412) 678-9215 or visit the consortium's website and download the order form.*

Full biographies of all inductees are also available online, Kost says.

* Correction appended Sept. 14 --- phone number changed at source's request.

Your Comments are Welcome!

Jason, you did not mention…and neither did the official write up…that Karrie and her sister Kelly were also the namesakes for K & K Miniature Golf in Rainbow Shopping Center.
Dan - September 03, 2009


I didn’t know that!

That alone qualifies her for the hall of fame!

Thanks for the note. :-)

Webmaster - September 03, 2009

Now that I have a daughter, I miss K&K soooo much. That place was great.
Adam - September 06, 2009

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