Mt. Lebanon High School
OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AWARDS 2007
CHIP DALESANDRO CLASS OF 1976
Chip Dalesandro has served the Mt. Lebanon Youth Football Association for over 20 years as president, coach, and spokesman. His dedication to the youth of the community is one of the key reasons why Mt. Lebanon has developed one of the most successful
in-house leagues in the country. A recipient of the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devil Club Distinguished Service Award, Mr. Dalesandro served as a Mt. Lebanon High School varsity football coach in 1983 (WPIAL Champions) and 1984. He also served as a varsity baseball coach in 1984 (Section Champions) and 1985. Chip is the president and coach of the Mt. Lebanon Youth Football Association and a long-time member of the Parents’ Athletic Council. Chip also belongs to the Mt. Lebanon Baseball and Basketball Associations and the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Department. He is a 1980 graduate of Slippery Rock University. For the past 23 years, Chip has been employed by Golden Triangle Construction Company where he is project superintendent.
“Chip Dalesandro has touched hundreds, if not thousands, of lives through his passion, commitment and dedication to the youth athletic programs of Mt. Lebanon. Not only does he provide instruction and life lessons, but he makes every single one of the individuals he meets feel like a member of his family. He builds life-long relationships with his players and their families – and this is more important to Chip than winning games. His relationships extend beyond the playing field and the tenure on his team. He has shown coaches the joy and satisfaction associated with working with children not only through teaching a game, but through teaching the related aspects of discipline, teamwork, and commitment. I share a sentiment with hundreds of Mt. Lebanon residents when I say that every child should be coached by Chip Dalesandro at least once – it is an experience of a lifetime.” (Mark Saghy)
COLONEL STUART A. HERRINGTON (Retired) CLASS OF 1960
Colonel Herrington graduated from Duquesne University, Cum Laude in 1964 with a BA in Political Science and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Military Intelligence Corps. Awarded a National Defense Education Act Fellowship, he studied International Relations at the University of Florida from 1964 - 1967, earning an MA in International Relations, and completing course and language requirements for his PhD. Colonel Herrington was called to active duty in the U.S. Army in 1967.
Between 1967 and 1998, Colonel Herrington served on active duty as a counterintelligence officer in the United States Army, with duties in Vietnam, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. He became a German and Vietnamese linguist after attending language schools and serving four years in Vietnam and eight years in Germany.
In April 1975, in Saigon, Vietnam with the mission of obtaining information about missing-in-action American service members, then-Captain Herrington was the last member of the United States mission to leave Vietnam in the face of the North Vietnamese final attack. He departed from the roof of the United States Embassy only after assisting 2500 American and Vietnamese citizens to board evacuation helicopters throughout the night of April 29-30.
In 1975, Herrington was assigned to open up a new Army ROTC program at the University of South Florida. In 1979, upon his departure, this new program won the “Warriors of the Pacific” trophy as the top Army ROTC program in the United States. Then-Major Herrington was awarded the Leo A. Codd Memorial Trophy as the Outstanding Army ROTC instructor in the United States.
From 1983 to 1994, Colonel Herrington commanded four sensitive counterintelligence and human intelligence units. During this period, his units tackled some of the most serious investigations of the Cold War, including the identification, prosecution, and resultant sentencing of some of the most damaging spies of the Cold War. He established and led Task Force Russia, POW/MIA, to investigate the fate of American missing-in-action personnel in the former Soviet Union, participated in Operation Just Cause (interrogation of Panamanian detainees-1989); and Operation Desert Storm (interrogation of Iraqi senior prisoners of war-1991). He became known as the Army’s subject matter expert on counterintelligence and the application of humane interrogation procedures that yielded positive results.
For his achievements as an intelligence officer in Vietnam, Germany, Russia, Panama, and the Middle East, Colonel Herrington received numerous decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, 5 Legions of Merit, 2 Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, and two awards of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. For counterespionage successes and for actions during Operation Desert Storm, he was twice awarded the CIA’s Agency Seal Medallion.
Though retired, in 2002-2003, Colonel Herrington was dispatched by the Department of the Army to visit Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Baghdad, Iraq, to evaluate interrogation operations and counterinsurgency programs. His reports warned the Army of serious deficiencies in Guantanamo and significant problems of misconduct/mismanagement in Abu Ghraib and other facilities in Iraq. His findings and recommendations are now regarded by national defense experts as “warnings not heeded.” In Iraq, several senior officers were ultimately relieved and disciplined as a result of failings pointed out by Colonel Herrington’s report.
Other significant achievements include:
1985 Inducted into the Duquesne University Century Club for Distinguished Alumni
1989 Honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, McAnulty College of Arts & Sciences, Duquesne University, and delivered commencement address to the College’s Class of 1989.
1995 Awarded the General Maxwell D. Taylor Chair of the Profession of Arms by the United States Army War College, for excellence in teaching as a faculty member, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA
2000 With his nomination supported by letters from Dr. Henry Kissinger and Peter Jennings, ABC, News, Colonel Herrington was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, by Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA and delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2000.
2005 Serving as Director, Global Security & Investigations, Callaway Golf Company, Colonel (retired) Herrington was named “Corporate Security Director of the year 2005” by “Access Control and Security Systems” magazine, which did a cover story on this honor in its September 2005 edition.
1980-present Published three successful non-fiction books and numerous op-ed pieces (“Wall Street Journal,” “San Diego Union-Tribune,” “Miami Herald,” “Harrisburg Patriot-News.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,” and various magazines and journals). Books include Silence Was A Weapon; The Vietnam War in the Villages; (Later re-released as Stalking the Vietcong; Inside Operation Phoenix); Peace with Honor? An American Reports on Vietnam: 1973-1975; and Traitors Among Us; Inside the Spy-Catcher’s World.
MARY LOIS TIFFANY, Ph.D (Deceased) CLASS OF 1934
All through her life, Dr. Mary Lois Tiffany was a role model, especially for young women interested in science and technology. After graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School in 1934, she continued her education at the University of Pittsburgh, earning an electrical engineering and physics degree in 1938. At the age of 21, she was the second woman to have graduated from the University of Pittsburgh’s engineering school and was considered by many to be a pioneer for women in the field of science. Dr. Tiffany was one of seven women in the nation to become a member of the American Association of Electrical Engineers.
She was often the only woman in classrooms and labs full of men. In a 1981 interview with Ann Arbor News reporter David Wahlberg, Dr. Tiffany disclosed how, as a young woman, she had read in the newspaper that only twelve men were smart enough to understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. It was the 1920s, not long after the famous theory was revealed. “I said to myself, I’m going to understand that (theory) and no one’s going to stop me!” She further recalled “Oh, the boys were always nice to me. I really haven’t done anything special – I just couldn’t stand not knowing how things work.” Science was a joy to Dr. Tiffany. After completing her studies at the University of Pittsburgh, she continued her education at the University of Michigan, receiving a Master’s degree in physics in 1946 and a doctorate in biophysics in 1971. Samuel Krimm, University of Michigan professor emeritus, published papers on protein molecules with Dr. Tiffany and served as her thesis advisor. He related to a journalist that it was not common at that time for women to be in that field and that Mary Lois was “very inquisitive and exuberant about the things she was learning.”
In the early 1940s, Dr. Tiffany continued her research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois. While attending a physics symposium at the University of Michigan, she met her husband, Dr. Lyle Tiffany. The couple married in 1942 and had five children. Her daughter, Kathryn Tiffany Larcher, recalls her mother’s passion for science as contagious. “My mother would explain the molecular structure of the feathers that abounded in the kitchen, shown in her x-ray diffraction photos…we didn’t necessarily understand the physics behind it, but …my friends all loved it.”
THE HONORABLE GERALD B. TJOFLAT CLASS OF 1947
The Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat is a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Virginia and began law school at the University of Cincinnati Law School. His studies were interrupted by military duty when he served for two years in the U.S. Army as a special agent of the Counter-intelligence Corps. Thereafter, he completed his law degree at Duke University. After earning his law degree in 1957, Judge Tjoflat began his legal career in private practice in Jacksonville, Florida. He was appointed to the Circuit Court for the Fourth Judicial District of Florida in 1968 and to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in 1970. In 1975, Judge Tjoflat was nominated by President Gerald Ford to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U. S. Senate confirmed him just seventeen days later. In 1981, following the division of the Fifth Circuit, he moved to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals where he served as Chief Judge from 1989-1996 and remains in active service.
Judge Tjoflat was one of two sitting federal appellate judges who testified in December 1998 before the House Judiciary Committee on the topic “The Consequences of Perjury and Related Crimes” in connection with possible impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.
Judge Tjoflat has indicated that he enjoys golf, fishing, writing opinions and teaching. “I get great joy interacting with my elbow law clerks. Each August, when the new law clerks come aboard, is like the fall semester of law school. They have a new professor and I have a bunch of new kids” (From How Appealing, posted by Howard J. Bashman) One of his classmates recalls Judge Tjoflat as “a good athlete, scholar who is best known for his sense of humor.” (Jerry Scherer).
MRS. BARBARA H. VEAZEY CLASS OF 1950
Barbara Veazey has worked with and served residents of all ages – from the very young to the elderly and all those in between. No request or concern has been too much for her to pursue and solve. Barb has lived in and served the Mt. Lebanon community all her life while raising five Mt. Lebanon graduates. She has taken an active part in numerous community activities, boards, and committees. She has shared her kindness and expertise with many friends and acquaintances and was responsible for several very successful 4th of July celebrations while a member of the Mt. Lebanon Civic League.
Barbara’s service to others includes the following organizations: Wish Grantor for the Make a Wish Foundation; Volunteer Usher, Benedum and Byham Theaters; Girl Scout Leader and Older Adult Outdoor Camping Director; Advisory Board Member, Pittsburgh National Bank Continuing Education Department; Chairman, Joint Parks and Recreation Commission of Mt. Lebanon; Member, Drug & Alcohol Intervention Network; Member, Citizens Advisory Committee; Youth Outreach Worker Project; Member and Observer, League of Women Voters; Executive Board Mt. Lebanon PTAs for 18 years; Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Use of Surplus School Space; Speaker for Community Programs Available for Seniors; Chairperson, Membership Mt. Lebanon Civic League.
As a Registered Nurse, Barb has been involved in medical community service projects including the PA Department of Education Advisory Council, Nutrition Education and Training; member Health Curriculum Evaluation for the Mt. Lebanon School District; volunteer for Christmas Seal League; member Chronic Organic Brain Syndrome Society; volunteer speaker for the American Cancer Society; and volunteer for the C. M. Howard State Tuberculosis Hospital.
MONICA L. VERNINO (Deceased) CLASS OF 1973
Monica was an inspiration to many people that she knew and met, especially the hundreds of Mt. Lebanon High School students she spoke with each semester in
Ms. Harriot Prinz’s psychology classes. Monica suffered a neurological infection that left her in a coma for six months. Because of this experience, she spent over 20 years relating to others how people should view and treat disabled persons. Her cheerfulness, positive attitude, perseverance and indelible spirit affected all who came in contact with her. She explained comas and brain damage and provided great insight to students and their families. She often helped parents who had children in comas.
Monica received thousands of letters from students she helped and spoke with until her death in November 2006 of ovarian cancer. Even when she was no longer able to provide lectures for students, they still asked about her. Students always left her classes with requests that she return soon. The students affectionately referred to her as “Aunt Mon.” Monica’s gift was the affect she had on the many lives she touched and encouraged throughout her life. “She over came so much adversity in her 51 years of life and up to the end of her life, she was still concerned about everyone around her and was the big sister that everyone knew, respected and loved.” (Dr. Richard Vernino)