Seven inducted into Pine Valley School District Wall of Fame

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, the seventh Pine Valley Central School District Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held at the Pine Valley Central Jr./Sr. High School Library at 11 a.m. This year’s inductees were Michelle (Colvin) Foster (Class of 1982), Roy Luksch (Class of 1968), Donald Mansfield (Class of 1961) and Melvin Swanson (Class of 1962). The purpose of this program is to honor graduates from Pine Valley Central School, living or deceased, who have distinguished themselves in a specific field of endeavor, in civic affairs, in humanitarian affairs, or in activities which merit special recognition.

Michelle (Colvin) Foster, Class of 1982: Michelle has worked at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida since 2006, serving as the East Campus Dean of Academic Affairs since 2012 (and East Title V Grant Principal Investigator since 2015), East Campus Assistant Provost from 2006 to 2012 and East Campus Interim Dean of Social Sciences & Physical Education from 2010 to 2011.

She worked at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Florida from 2000 to 2006 as the Director of Enrollment Services from 2002 to 2006 and Director of Recruitment and Advising from 2000 to 2002. From 1993 to 2000 she worked at Jamestown Community College serving as the Coordinator of Recruitment from 1998 to 2000, Senior Admissions Counselor from 1993 to 1998 and Admissions Counselor from 1989 to 1993.

Outside of the education field she worked as a television hostess/producer with paragon Cable (Channel 8) in Jamestown from 1987 to 1989 and was the Evening News Producer for James Broadcasting (WJTN-WWSE) in Jamestown from 1986-1989. In her current role, Michelle provides leadership and support to the Campus President in developing campus vision and strategic direction, working collaboratively in connecting divisional and campus plans to develop and implement strategic direction for academic affairs and college-wide planning efforts.

Roy Luksch, Class of 1968: Roy has devoted his life and distinguished himself as an educator and coach of multiple sports for the past 50 years. As a math and science teacher and counselor, he has worked with all age levels from kindergarten to college. He has co-authored curriculum materials for NASA (“Exploring Meteorite Mysteries”) and the Houston Space Center (“Cosmic Classroom”).

He developed and implemented an astronomy program at Alvin High School in Texas. He became certified to handle moon rock for school demonstrations. He has made significant contributions to the field of astronomy education and attributes his love of astronomy to his elementary teacher, Mr. Danker.

Donald Mansfield, Class of 1961: Donald was recognized for his presence in the classroom and on the baseball field and basketball court where he earned the respect of those who learned the rules of chemistry and sportsmanship from him. After graduating from Grove City College, Don was an electrical engineer at IBM until he began teaching chemistry and physics at Westfield Academy & Central School.

He coached Westfield’s baseball team for 11 years prior to retirement and served as a volunteer assistant for the baseball team for another 18 years after retirement. His overall coaching experience inspired many generations from Little League, Senior Little League and junior varsity baseball to varsity baseball.

He was a girls’ and boys’ basketball referee for 12 years and a devoted softball competitor for 25 years. He has contributed his time and talents as a 4-H leader and tutor and has served as an executive officer of the Maple Producers Association. Several golf leagues have benefited from his service as an officer as well. Now retired from the classroom, he focuses much of his time on his farm operation raising beef cattle and Christmas trees and producing maple syrup.

Melvin Swanson, Class of 1962: Melvin attended Houghton College majoring in chemistry and earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Buffalo. After being affiliated with other research facilities, he was co-founder of Surmodics, a medical research lab in Minnesota, retiring from there in 2000. He has spent most of his adult life in medical research and development and has been awarded numerous patents including one in which he developed and perfected an anti-rejection substance which coats the wire leads of the implanted pacemaker in humans.

Another patent was a virus inactivating coating for the treatment of medical fabric to inactivate viruses on contact used to protect health care workers from AIDS and HIV viruses. He has also been involved in apiary research for parasitic varroa mites to help eliminate the extinction of honey bees and has been awarded patents in this area as well. Melvin has served in several capacities in his church and has been involved in a jail ministry since 1983, mentoring ex-offenders and high-risk youth.

He has made several mission trips to Jamaica, Mexico, Bangladesh and Romania. He can best be described as a quiet, generous, humble man who has never sought praise or recognition. Due to a previous commitment (a mentoring/fishing trip) his sisters, Ruth Heath and Lois Fleischmann, accepted his plaque on his behalf.

These four join past inductees: Randy Allnatt, Thomas Allnatt, Bill Bergey, Bruce Bergey, Robert Brown, Tim Brown, Cindy Burkhardt, Rhodella (Ennis) Brown, Albert “Ab” Butcher, Ronald Chase, Hugh Duckwall, Betty (Hodges) Earle, Brenda (Young) Hendricks, R. Jason Henry, Chuck Howard, Janet (Farley) Kirkton, Jeanne (Kendall) Matteson, Helen Merrill, Normal Merrill, Brenton Mosher, Herbert Nobles, Tim Nobles, Harold “Bus” Ray, Sylvia (Bergey) Reynolds, Genevieve (Earle Moffit) Rowland, James Sauberan, Albert “Willie” Shldon, Craig Skurcenski, Kyle Sticek, Karen Strickland, Anne Sharon Howe Sweeting and Larry Waite.

Michele Lindquist served as emcee. A buffet-style brunch prepared by The Mustard Seed was held in their honor. Plaques were presented to each recipient commemorating their induction.

Check out the Wall of Fame page on the Pine Valley website for additional pictures from the induction ceremony at pval.org. When you are in the Jr./Sr. High School, please be sure to view the Wall of Fame located to the left of the new gym entrance (outside wall of the band room). There you will see plaques displayed for each recipient that include their name, date of graduation and year of induction along with their picture.

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