2016 Inductees

  • JAMES (JIMMY) CATALANO (HONORED POSTHUMOUSLY)

    James (Jimmy) Catalano was a 1974 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  He is best known as the owner of Edgerton Floral Company that he began in 1985 and successfully ran for 26 years.  He recently had joined his business with Kittleberger Florist and Gifts, where he continued to serve as the wedding and event coordinator.  Jimmy’s contributions went further than his business contributions.  He served as Secretary to Park Avenue Merchants’ Association for several years in helping to support other merchants along Park Ave and also successfully run the East End Festival.  Jimmy helped to organize community events, bringing the Rochester Police Dept. and City Council members together, and helping to beautify the Park Ave. neighborhood.  He also was instrumental in rescuing greyhound dogs by volunteering his time to set up adoptions and working to make sure these dogs had safe homes.  Jimmy lost his battle to cancer in May 2016 but his legacy continues to live on in the Rochester community and through the memories he helped create with his beautiful floral arrangements. He lived with his partner of 25 years, Bruce Trombley. He stated his great memories of teachers and students at Gates Chili carried him into a successful career.  He is a prime example of the Spartan Way and advised students to “get involved, work hard, and make social connections in order to help guide their career path in life.”

     

    DEBRA CROWDER

    Debra Ann Crowder is a 1984 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  She is presently employed as an Attorney-Partner at Badain and Crowder in Rochester, NY, and a Co-Owner and Attorney-Mediator at Resolve Attorney Mediators of Rochester.  She received her BA Degree in Political Science in 1988 from the State University of NY at Buffalo, her Masters in 1989 from St. John Fisher College, and her Juris Doctor Degree in 1992 from CUNY Law School at Queens College.  Debra was NYS Bar admitted in 1993,  worked in the Federal District Court for the Western District, and also worked in the US Bankruptcy Court.  She became a seasoned negotiator and litigator of Domestic Relations Law, Family Law and Domestic Violence Law in Family and County Courts and Supreme Courts. She has served as an Attorney for Children, where she frequently represents children in custody proceedings and abuse and neglect situations.  She has also been an adjunct Professor at Bryant and Stratton teaching classes in legal assistant programs, and has lectured on various domestic violence programs. Debra has been on the Board of Directors for Alternatives of Battered Women, Domestic Violence Consortium, and provides Pro Bono legal services for Victims of Domestic Violence and Children of Abuse, and has provided discounts in legal service to police officers, veterans, and firefighters.  She believes her years at Gates Chili were second to none, and always felt a sense of family and support from the teachers and staff who taught valuable lessons of working hard, being respectful, and being true to yourself.  She is proud to say she is a Gates Chili graduate of 1984 and came from a community of strength, support, and pride.  She advises students to “never forget where you came from, give back at any chance you can, and be grateful for all you have.”

     

     

    SARA DOELL

    Sara Doell is a 1996 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  She presently is employed by Seton Hall as the Head Women’s Golf Coach in South Orange, NY.  While at GC, Sara played on the Boys’ Varsity Golf Team (1992-1996) as a 5 year starter.  She was also a member of the 1996 Division Championship team and the only 4th or 5th female golfer from the Rochester area to receive a Division I Golf Scholarship in the 1990s. Sara graduated from Penn State University with a  BA in Communications and Media Studies in 2000.  She was captain of the Womens’ Golf Team and holds the record for lowest 54-hole score (215) for Penn State.  She was also awarded the Women’s Golf Academic and Athletic Achievement Award.  She has helped in creating and managing the Division I Women’s Golf Program in accordance with NCAA, Big East, and Seton Hall rules.  She has also been instrumental in helping the team become 2014, 2015, and 2016 Big East champions, achieve nine team titles, five individual champions, eight Big East All-Conference Selections, four Big East Championship All-Team Members and 13 Academic All-Scholar Athletes. Sara was honored as the 2014 and 2015 Big East Coach of the Year, 2015 Northeast LPGA Section Coach of the Year, and 2015 LPGA National Coach of the Year. She was also a Women’s Rochester District Amateur Champion in 1997 and 2000, a NYS Women’s Amateur Champion in 1998, and a Class A member of the LPGA from 2003 to present. Sara lives in Brooklyn with her wife, Cat.  Sara states she loved her years at GCHS, ranging from her academic experience to her athletic experience and beyond.  She believes the teachers, coaches and administrators have helped her become the person she is today. She advises Gates Chili students to “treat yourself and others with kindness, strive to be the best version of yourself daily, and think about what legacy you want to leave.”

     

    MARK P. HARRIS

    Mark Harris is a 1994 graduate of Gates Chili High School. He is presently employed by the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman First Class, Senior Medical Dept. Rep.  He also works at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center as a Hospital Chaplain in Pennsylvania.  Mark joined the Navy after graduating from GC and became a Navy hospital corpsman in 1995.  He served two Navy hospital emergency depts. in Groton, CT, and Naples, Italy, where he assisted in the emergency medical care within the ER and headed the EMS response of the base.  Honorably discharged in 2000, he became the medical assisting program director at RETS Tech Center in Ohio.  He also re-enlisted in the Navy in 2003 to serve his country in the Second Gulf War.  Presently, serving in Wilkes –Barre, PA, he is the command leading petty officer and the unit’s medical dept. head.  He is also the command’s sexual assault victim advocate, suicide prevention coordinator, and equal opportunity officer.  Mark is also an ordained and licensed hospital chaplain.  He holds a Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Theological Studies and a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University and Theological Seminary.  In his years of military service, he has been awarded six Navy Achievement medals and four military outstanding volunteer services medals, several good conduct medals , was the 2015 Sailor of the Year at Navy Operational Support Center Avoca, and the Regional Great Lakes Reserve Component Command Senior Sailor of the Quarter. He has over 4000 hours of volunteerism and community service. Mark is also a registered Boy Scouts of America leader since 2013. Currently, he is living in Pennsylvania with his wife, Jennifer, and four children. He remembers his time at GC very fondly and believes many of his teachers have inspired him to find his voice in life.  He states that his time at GC was highlighted by his involvement in chorus and the music program, especially retired music teacher Dean Ekberg.  He believes the hard work and dedication needed to be successful in the performing arts helped create a work ethic that has helped him succeed.  He also draws a great amount of inspiration from his former classmates who continue to amaze him. Mark suggest students “find something they can attach themselves to that is healthy and rewarding and take it and own it, and keep moving forward and focus on being the best person you can because success will follow you along the way.”

     

    PAULINE D. HAWKINS (GALOVSKI)

    Pauline (Galovski) Hawkins is a 1982 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  She received her BA from Canisius College in English Education in 1986 and her MA from SUNY Brockport in English.  She is presently employed by Great Bay Community College as an Adjunct English teacher in Portsmouth, NH.  She also taught for 11 years in Colorado from 2003-2014.  She initiated the student run newspaper there and was its adviser.  Pauline began writing a blog (paulinehawkins.com)  in 2012 that discusses her desire to improve and reform education as well as her experiences with her son’s cancer battle.  She has developed a following for her views on education reform and has appeared on many talk shows such as “America’s Newsroom with Martha MacCallum”.  She published a book in April 2015 called Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a Cookie Cutter Educational System and hit #3 on the Amazon Hot New Release List.  She believes her years at GC gave her an incredible foundation for higher education and developed her desire to become a teacher herself.   She attributes her success to two very influential retired teachers, Mrs. Martha MacAdam (English) and Mr. Ronald Poness (Social Studies) who inspired her to reach out beyond the content of the classroom. Her advice to students is that “they have the power to forge their own path by believing in themselves.  She believes teachers are investing their time in students and help make students feel they are worth every second of that time and effort.”

     

    ERIC MEZZOPRETE

    Eric is a 1983 graduate of Gates Chili High School.  He graduated from SUNY Brockport with a BS in Business Administration and Marketing in 1987.  He graduated from the police academy in 1996 and presently is employed as an investigator at Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Rochester, NY.  As a Criminal Investigator, Eric has been assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit, specializing in all disciplines of fraud, forgery, counterfeit, money laundering and asset forfeiture.  He has also worked on Road Patrol duties assigned to the B-Zone Substation where he worked as a Crime Scene Technician, on Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction, fire investigations and mounted patrol.  He graduated from the NYS Academy of Fire Science in 2006 SCUBA Team member.  Eric received the Monroe County Office of Sheriff Meritorious Conduct Medal in 2006, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services Certificate of Exceptional Valor in 2006, Rochester Clearing House Securities Committee Distinguished Service Award in 2011, National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Medal recipient in 2012 and numerous letters of recognition.  Eric also belongs to the Rochester Clearinghouse Securities Committee and Buffalo Financial and Electronics Crime Task Force.  He has volunteered his time as a Coach and Assistant Coach with Penfield Little League and Youth Basketball and Penfield Cross Country concessions.  Eric believes students need to get involved in extracurricular and volunteer activities to become a well-rounded individual. He advises students to “learn to listen and effectively communicate with people and don’t be afraid to make mistakes because you are able to learn from them.”