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District honors notable alumni


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Photo by Maggie Hines

Photo by Maggie Hines

BY HANNAH KAIL
Staff Writer

While dancing in the Baldwin High School musicals “The King and I” and “Oliver,” Michelle Rogan-Finnemore never imagined that her future career path would involve working as a geologist, international law specialist and Antarctic researcher.
“I am sure I was like every other student at BHS. I was just trying to fit in, get good grades and have fun,” Rogan-Finnemore said.
She and the other inductees into the first Distinguished Highlander Hall of Fame will be recognized at a gala that will be held May 2 at South Hills Country Club. The hall of fame recognizes Baldwin graduates who have achieved notable success after graduating from high school.
“I love what I do. And so, to receive an honor for something you love somehow seems disingenuous. But I completely admire the amount of thought and work that seems to be going into recognizing Baldwin-Whitehall educational achievements on the 75th anniversary,” Rogan-Finnemore, a 1981 grad, said.
“And if starting an Alumni Hall of Fame assists students in being the best they can be, then I am delighted to be even a small part of it.”
Rogan-Finnemore recalls participating in the school musicals, being a majorette and enjoying her science classes.
“My favorite class was called Earth and Space, taught by Mr. Marklewicz. I was already very fascinated with geology, but this course made me even more interested,” she said.
Another distinguished alumni, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) class of 1952, appreciates his time at Baldwin because of the positive groundwork provided by experiences such as serving as student body president, playing basketball and boxing, and learning how to play multiple instruments.
“This award is meaningful to me not because of any successes I have had since I left Baldwin High School, but for the transformative experiences that I had in those halls,” Hatch said in an emailed statement.
Dr. Shawn K. Kelly, class of 1992, appreciates the preparation that both the science and English courses as well as the teachers at Baldwin gave him for his future career as a biomedical engineer and research scientist at Carnegie-Mellon University.
“Several of the English teachers and science teachers were influential. In particular, in Chemistry I and AP physics, Mr. Spahr was challenging and inspirational,” Kelly said.
Although Kelly attended Baldwin more than 20 years ago, his high school pastimes seem similar to those of many current Baldwin students.
“I used to go watch football games on Friday nights with a group of friends, followed by desserts at Eat’n Park,” Kelly said.
Another of the honored inductees is a current Baldwin social studies teacher.
“I am very proud to be inducted into the first year of the Hall of Fame,” Ed Helbig, class of 1969, said. “To be included with such prominent, successful people is a complete honor.”
The other inductees are: Sgt. Alexander Bennett, class of 1960, former mayor of Baldwin Borough, police officer; Kathleen Nord DePuy, class of 1959, member of Whitehall borough council; Gregory M. Kraus, class of 1993, FBI special agent and former Navy SEAL; William M. Lambert, Class of 1976, president and CEO of MSA Safety Inc.; Paul McNulty, class of 1976, president of Grove City College; James F. Nowalk, class of 1970, mayor of Whitehall; and Dennis Yablonsky, Class of 1970, president and CEO, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

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The student news site of Baldwin High School
District honors notable alumni