BROCTON - Brocton Central School is proud of its alumni, many of whom are very accomplished. Each year the Brocton Central School Alumni Association chooses alumni to honor in its hall of fame. During homecoming week, the new inductees are introduced to the middle/high school students and speak to them.
This year's three inductees - Judith (Remington) Fingerhut, class of 1962; Richard Prince, class of 1964; and Jerome Skinner, class of 1970 - are accomplished in nursing, teaching/coaching, and law respectively. What their speeches had in common was the effort to encourage students from their alma mater not only to enjoy their time in high school but also to go out and succeed. Each speaker recalled their own school days in the district.
Fingerhut addressed the students directly. She explained that she came to Brocton in high school. She confessed her nervousness about being a new student. "How many of you have felt nervous?" she asked.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
The 2012 inductees to the Brocton Central School Alumni Association Hall of Fame get ready to speak to an assembly of Brocton middle and high school students. Pictured left to right are: Jerome Skinner, Judith (Remington) Fingerhut and Richard Prince.
A good number of hands shot up. Fingerhut then explained how once she joined activities, like cheerleading, things got better for her. She next asked if any students planned to become nurses. Some hands were raised.
"I'd especially like to encourage you," she said. She encouraged both males and females to consider the profession and explained that a nurse could work "full-time, part-time or overtime."
She detailed the many different kinds of jobs nurses can do from the familiar hospital nurse to a psychiatric nurse to a traveling nurse. She stressed that there opportunities to advance in the career through further education to become a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant.
Prince has lived in Brocton most of his life, starting kindergarten in the district in 1951. He graduated from SUNY Cortland and returned to teach physical education and coach at Brocton in 1971. About his selection to the hall of fame, he said, "What an honor!"
Still a coach at heart, he told the students that his best teams weren't necessarily the most talented, but rather those that worked the hardest. He urged each student to find something he/she wanted to do and was good at doing. "Not everybody should go to college," he said. He pointed out other avenues in life such as trade school.
Skinner spoke last. A lawyer, he urged the students to get the most out of their time at Brocton. He gave an overview of his career, including his work on the legal team for the families of Pan Am Flight 103, litigation that took him to Egypt, and his latest work with the Romanian Handicapped Ministries which he founded.
He described the difficulties of being handicapped in Romanian culture. For one thing, handicapped are isolated and don't even feel free to go outside their homes. He pointed to the strides his organization was making in creating communities for this people and opportunities to interact with each other.
The students listened politely and attentively and applauded all three speakers. On their behalf, principal Jason Delcamp thanked the speakers.
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