CHAUTAUQUA – Faculty, staff and community members of the Sherman Central School district spent an evening recognizing the greatness of those who have been affiliated with the district at some point during their lifetimes.
On Friday, Sherman hosted its fourth annual Wall of Fame induction ceremony at Chautauqua Golf Club, where five individuals with ties to the district were honored for their accomplishments both within and outside the district.
According to Kaine Kelly, superintendent, Sherman’s Wall of Fame was established in the 2008-09 school year as the brainchild of Bill Wiggers, a former Board of Education member. He said the award is given to those who have had some affiliation with Sherman, either as a student or through education, who have either contributed to the education of Sherman Central School students or taken their Sherman Central School education out into the world and made it a better place.
“For the first four years, it’s been (given to) primarily those people who have taken their Sherman education out and done something great in the world,” Kelly said. “And it has been a great representation of those who have had an impact in one way or another.”
This year’s ceremony offered recognition to five award recipients, four of whom were present and one who was awarded posthumously.
The awards were presented to: Fred Hamilton, a 1980 Sherman graduate who has run the district’s game clock for more than 30 years; John Pulinski, a 1982 Sherman graduate who went on to a more than 30-year career of combined service in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Aviation; Genevieve Matteson Larson, who passed away in 1990 but was a teacher at Sherman from 1932-62 and was also the founder of the French Creek Yorkers; Lester Post, who attended Sherman as a high school student and later served in a number of capacities at Lockheed Missile Division; and Harry Waite, a 1953 Sherman graduate who has been active in the Sherman community and served on Sherman’s Board of Education from 1972-80.
As the awards were presented, some of the recipients made brief statements expressing gratitude for their nominations.
“I appreciate your attendance here for the presenting of the Wall of Fame awards, it is very encouraging for the recipients,” Post said. “I want to say a thank you to my friends and relatives who are here. The Lord has blessed me. I am grateful to the staff of Sherman Central School for all the work they put into making this program a success. I hope that it will be an inspiration to the present and future students of Sherman Central School.”
Waite accepted his award humbly, saying that he is but a drop in the ocean of kindness exuded by others he feels are more qualified than he to receive the award.
“I truly don’t feel like I deserve this,” Waite said. “As I look around the community, what I’ve done for others pales in comparison to what others have done. I hope to one day see of all of their names on the Sherman Wall of Fame, as well.”
“I think (being nominated) is very nice, and it was a big surprise to me,” said Pulinksi, who now lives with his family in Niagara Falls, Canada. “You don’t look for or expect things like this, but it’s very nice to be here. Especially coming from a little town and not living in a little town anymore makes it a little nicer to come back.”
Accepting Larson’s award on behalf of her family was John Patterson, mayor of Sherman.
Kelly said the Wall of Fame is entirely overseen by the Board of Education, which accepts nomination and application forms on a continuous basis. He said nominations are held in an electronic database indefinitely, and considered for induction annually, with the intention that each nominee will ultimately receive a Wall of Fame award of their own.