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MTLHS Alumni Blog Transcript Requests Great Alumni Program

Mt. Lebanon High School
2013 GREAT ALUMNI AWARDS

The Great Alumni Award is a project of the Mt. Lebanon High School Student Council.  Administrators, faculty, students, and alumni serve on the selection committee. The recipients of the Great Alumni Award are selected based on exceptional work in at least one of the following areas: improvement in the lives of others, involvement in community service or achievement in a professional field.

The awardees were honored at a luncheon in the High School on September 27, 2013 and at the football game that evening.

Congratulations to the 2013 Great Alumni.

Dr. Jason Bacha, Class of 1998, is an example of how a person can be a leader and provide medical services to a community far removed from his Mt. Lebanon roots. Since 2011, he has worked for the Texas Children’s Hospital Global Health Service Corporation in Mbeya, Tanzania as a Pediatrician and currently as the Co-Clinical Director at the Mbeya Pediatric Clinic. Dr. Bacha provides direct clinical care to more than 2000 children who live with HIV/AIDS, TB or malnutrition. Also, he mentors and trains African medical personnel, helps to develop social programs for the local teenage population, and initiates HIV outreach programs for several Tanzanian communities. The work that Bacha and his team of medical professionals are performing in Mbeya is being used as a model for a “Center of Excellence” for the underserved and at risk populations in Tanzania as well as throughout East Africa.

During his undergraduate studies at The Penn State University, Dr. Bacha performed hundreds of hours of community service through the Alpha Phi Omega service organization. While attending the University of Michigan Medical School, he was a member of Med Buddies, Galens Medical Society, the Hope Clinic and the American Medical Student’s Association. When Dr. Bacha was completing his residency program at Stanford University, he participated in the Stanford Advocacy Track that developed neighborhood parks for children. He has also performed volunteer work in Haiti, Kenya and Malawi.

Recognition of Dr. Bacha’s achievement’s include the Schreyer Honor College Student Ambassador Award for exchange program work performed in Canberra, Australia, the Golden Key Senior Inductee of 2001 for undergraduate Community Service achievement, the Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award for Academic and Community Service Achievement, graduating with Highest Distinction from The Penn State University, Honors in Research from the University of Michigan medical School, the MCRit Program in Intensive Training Fellowship Award, the Honors Excellence in Research from the University of Michigan Medical School and the Outstanding Pediatric Resident Award from Stanford University Medical School.

In the words of Mr. and Mrs. Bacha, Jason’s parents, “Jason is dedicated to making the world a better place.” Dr. Bacha was recently married and he and his wife, Liane, have returned to Tanzania for an extended stay.

 

Kim L. Frock, Class of 1978, has developed a list of accomplishments in Corning, New York, that include being on the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame High School, being the Board President and an Honorary Lifetime Board Member of 171 Cedar Arts Center, being on the Board of Trustees of the Girls Scouts Seven Lakes Council and the Board Treasurer of the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes.    Kim holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Lehigh University, Summa Cum Laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  After working as a C.P.A. in Pittsburgh for three years, she earned a M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.  Ms. Frock then joined Corning Incorporated where she held a variety of positions including the Chief Financial Officer at Corning Asahi Video Products and Corning Consumer Products Company.  She served as Deputy Treasurer and Director of Financial Consulting at Corning Incorporated prior to leaving in 2003.

In 2003, Ms. Frock led a team that founded the Alternative School for Math and Science (ASMS) in Corning, New York.  She was motivated to develop this middle school serving students in grades 6 – 8 because she was concerned about the declining achievement levels of middle school and high school students in the Southern Tier of New York.  All students attending ASMS are provided with a comprehensive academic program with special emphasis given to math and science.  The school was recognized as an Intel School of Distinction Finalist in 2007, and 75% of its graduates are pursing STEM degrees in college.  Since its inception, Ms. Frock has served as the Administrative Head of School and Board Treasurer on a solely voluntary basis. 

 

Richard Lackner, Class of 1974, has developed an award winning football program at Carnegie Mellon University over the past thirty five years.  During this period of time, Coach Lackner has been elected to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, has been recognized as the UAA coach of the Year after five different football seasons, and named the 2006 All-South Region Coach of the Year by D3football.com.    Currently, Lackner’s lifetime record as a Carnegie Mellon head football coach is 181-90-2 (.667 winning percentage), ranking as the University’s all-time winningest coach.  His 181 wins also rank him third in all of NCAA Division III among active head coaches.  Lackner’s ties to Carnegie Mellon football date back much further than his head coaching tenure; he was an assistant coach from 1979-85 and was a standout linebacker for the Tartans from 1975-78. From the time he first stepped onto Carnegie Mellon’s campus as a freshman, Lackner was a part of 35 consecutive non-losing seasons (1975-2009), 14 conference championships, six NCAA playoff appearances, three Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Bowls with two championships and a 263-108-4 (.707) record from 1975-2012.

On November 5, 2011, Lackner coached Carnegie Mellon to the 500th win in program history.  The milestone win marked many that Lackner has been a part including the team’s 300th and 400th victories that happened in 1982 and 1996, respectively. Throughout his time at Carnegie Mellon, Lackner has played with or coached 44 Academic All-Americans, ranking tops in Division III and seventh in all of collegiate football.  Lackner himself earned Academic All-American honors in both 1976 and 1978.

He demonstrates his commitment to working closely with hundreds of young men by maintaining an “open door” policy with his players.  Mr. Lackner offers guidance to the players as they develop their football and academic skills and he helps them to make the transition from college student to being gainfully employed.  As written by a former player, “The morals, work ethic and mindfulness instilled by Rich have driven hundreds of Carnegie Mellon alumni to great personal and professional success.”

Richard Lackner has a long history of service to the greater Pittsburgh community.  He along with his team has volunteered throughout the Pittsburgh region.  Each year the team participates in the campus-wide community service day 1000Plus.  The program brings together students, faculty, staff and alumni to volunteer at multiple sites throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. He has also coached Little League baseball and softball teams in the Mt. Lebanon community.
In the words of one of his nominators, “Coach Lackner wants nothing more that for his players to be successful and to live ethical, honorable lives.  He emphasizes living with strong values, honesty, commitment and making good choices on and off the football field and throughout one’s life.”   
 

 

Preston V. McMurry, Jr., Class of 1955, was a record setting, first-string  All-WPIAL fullback. He set a single game rushing record gaining 309 yards in 18 carries, the longest of which was a record setting 99 yards against a previously undefeated Penn Township squad. He scored a Lebo record 5 touchdowns that night and a total of 19 in a nine game season; “sparking the Blue Devil offense throughout the season”, according to the Mt. Lebanon News.  In a little known, perhaps forgotten aside, the 1954 Blue Devils were the first Mounties to wear the horned helmets and Preston scored the first touchdown doing so.

Ohio State noticed. Pres accepted the University’s full-ride scholarship offer and played four years, 1955-59, for the legendary Hall of Fame coach Woody Hayes, for whom he was a running back in a three-yards- in-cloud-of dust offense. The Buckeye’s won the 1957 National Championship in the Rose Bowl beating Oregon 10-7.
Pres graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Social Work, but has remained actively involved as a guest lecturer, donor, and fundraiser, was the first chair of the Deans advisory board, and is a member of the President’s Club. In perpetuity, the College of Social Work’s foyer features The Preston V. McMurry, Jr. Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award interactive showcase.

McMurry founded McMurry, Inc., which at his retirement, was the 12th largest privately owned advertising/marketing firm in the nation with offices in Phoenix, Washington D.C. and New York City, serving banking, insurance, healthcare and travel interests including a hand full of Fortune 500 firms. Preston’s firm won more than 1400 awards for creative excellence. He is however most proud that McMurry, Inc. was recognized as one of the ten best places to work in the United States nine years in a row by the Best Place to Work Institute in San Francisco, Ca.

For his work in combating child abuse and domestic violence, Preston was named the 2002 Greater Arizona AFP Philanthropist of the year. The following year, 2003, the OSU Alumni Association named him the recipient of it coveted Citizenship Award. And, recently he was honored as the 2013 Lipsey Outstanding Philanthropist honoree. Preston founded Theresa’s Fund August, 1992, a charitable effort that has since donated and helped raise more than $49 million for causes related to preventing family violence, which views, “with crystal clarity” as his  “purpose in life”.
    
Mr. McMurry believes, “The true measure of success is not how much a man earns, but rather how much he gives others”.    

 

 Bill Roth, Class of 1983, was “the Voice” of Mt. Lebanon High School’s football and basketball teams during his senior year of high school.  This experience led him to establish his professional broadcasting career as “the Voice” of the Virginia Tech Hokies.  For the past twenty-six years, Mr. Roth has been known throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond for his signature broadcast opening: "From the blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the hills of Tennessee, the Virginia Tech Hokies are on the air!” 

He is the lead play-by-play announcer of Virginia Tech football and basketball radio broadcasts, serves as the host of a weekly radio shows featuring the head basketball and football coaches and hosts Virginia Tech Sports Today, the Sunday morning television magazine show that airs on television stations and cable networks throughout the mid-Atlantic and southeast. From Sugar Bowls, to Orange Bowls, to NCAA Tournament games, he has been behind the microphone for some of the greatest moments in Virginia Tech sports history.

Bill has been honored as Virginia's Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association 10 times, and was inducted into the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Sports Hall of Fame in April of 2013.  In addition to his television and radio duties at Virginia Tech, Roth writes a column, The Kroger Roth Report which appears in Tech’s official monthly sports magazine and on the internet.

Mr. Roth’s service to his community includes the "Bill Roth's United Way Kid's Day," where disadvantaged youth from throughout the Commonwealth are invited to a men's basketball game where they get VIP treatment with tickets to the game, T-shirts, dinner, milkshakes, gift-bags, and a post-game autograph session with players. Mr. Roth has organized and sponsored this event for the past 11 years.  He is a member of the United Way Board of Directors and has supported the Blacksburg Relay for Life fundraiser.  Roth has also worked in concert with Virginia Tech Police to develop unique emergency training modules for Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and visitors. The modules promote campus safety, awareness, and self-preparedness.

Roth graduated from Syracuse University in 1987 with a degree in broadcast journalism. While at Syracuse, Roth was awarded the distinguished Robert Costas Scholarship in 1986.  “Bill was born to be in the booth calling a game, and few do it better” stated Mike Tirico, the play-by-play voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football and a classmate of Roth’s at Syracuse University.  During the off-seasons, Roth has worked for ESPN in a variety of roles, including calling play-by-play of NCAA lacrosse, baseball, basketball, kick boxing, and field hockey. Bill also spent four seasons in professional baseball as a play-by-play broadcaster for the Triple-A Richmond Braves from 1993-96.

All of Mr. Roth’s nominators mentioned how he is always available to mentor Mt. Lebanon School District students who are interested in a career in broadcast journalism.  “He still promotes Mt. Lebanon High School as the best high school around” stated Bruce Rudoy. 

 

Eric Schmude, Class of 1978, has a long history of service to his family, friends and community.  Since 2003, Mr. Schmude has work tirelessly on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation, Autism Speaks, Virginia Repertory Theater Company, and the Tourette Syndrome Association.  In 2008 he was named by the Arthritis Foundation as the National Volunteer of the Year and has served as Board Chair of the Foundation.  Throughout his high school years, Schmude was inseparable from his friends, D.R. Papalia and Eric Posey, as they played football together and forged a friendship that lasted until the untimely deaths of Mr. Papalia and Mr. Posey. Since 2009, in recognition of his friendship with Mr. Papalia, Schmude has locally organized with classmate Rick Stetzer the annual D. R. Papalia Children’s’ College Education Fund golf tournament.  This event is strongly supported by Mt. Lebanon High School alumni.  Mr. Schmude is a Lafayette College graduate and earned his MBA at the University of Pittsburgh.  His career at Pitney Bowes began in 2000 and includes earning recognition for outstanding contributions to the Pitney Bowes Vision of “One Company” on four different occasions during the past thirteen years.  Mr. Schmude and his wife Michele reside in Mechanicsville, Virginia with their two children, Christian and Erica.

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