Havre de Grace High inducts four new members into Hall of Fame

The Aegis

Havre de Grace High School recently inducted four new members of its Hall of Fame during its 2017 induction ceremony.

The inductees are Mary Sampson, Class of 1961; Dr. Louis Silverstein, Class of 1963; Alex Spooner, Class of 1969; and Erick Stone, Class of 1982.

The Hall of Fame committee provided the following information about the inductees:

Mary Sampson

Sampson worked at Havre de Grace Elementary School for 27 years as an instructional assistant and Title I Family Liaison until her retirement in 2010. As family liaison, Sampson began a mentoring program for at-risk students and invited staff and community members to volunteer as mentors. She also started the “Read with Me Book Club,” where families read together as well as volunteers and staff. It expanded to include a breakfast and lunch program that continues today. Through the efforts of Sampson and sponsors, children were given books, materials and time with a parent or volunteer to enjoy the art of a good book.

Sampson also began the Christmas Joy Project to aid families that would not normally have a Christmas celebration the opportunity to enjoy opening gifts. This program, with the help of community sponsors, has allowed hundreds of children and families enjoy their Christmas by providing toys, food and clothing.

Through donations from staff and community, Sampson implemented the “Shop Till You Drop” program. This program invites families to “shop” for gently used clothing at no cost.

Sampson is devoted to the school and community by giving support to not only the children, but families as well. She has helped children stay healthy by connecting families with a variety of community resources.

She has continued her role of serving the community and the Lord by working within the community. She was a Bible school teacher, youth leader and mission leader for many years at First Baptist Church of Havre de Grace.

She has taken her service abroad on more than 25 mission trips in the summer to Moldova (former Soviet Union). She has taken 12 trips since 1996, staying more than four months over the past two years gathering blankets, clothing and other supplies to take with her to give to the less fortunate. While in Moldova, Sampson works at many orphanages for the disabled, visits with the elderly in numerous villages, leads classes in Bible study and cares for the sick and afflicted.

Sampson is also a leader in the Extreme Family Outreach program in Perrywood Gardens in Aberdeen and Somerset Manor in Havre de Grace. She goes into the communities and provides children with Bible lessons, fun and games. She continues to volunteer at Havre de Grace Elementary School and is still involved with many of the programs that she started. She also finds time to visit with the elderly at Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center and volunteers with other community activities.

Married and the mother of five children, all graduates of Havre de Grace High School, Sampson has taken the school motto “Enter To Learn; Leave To Serve” to heart in both her professional and personal careers.

Dr. Louis Silverstein

After high school, Silverstein served in the Army from 1966 to 1968 was a medic stationed in Korea. He continued to serve in the Army Reserves from 1968 until 1972.

Silverstein furthered his education at the University of Maryland where he earned a bachelor of arts in government and politics with high honors in 1971. He earned a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy at the University of Maryland in 1976 and his Doctor of Medicine in 1980 at the Chicago Medical School. In 1983, Silverstein returned to Havre de Grace to open his own general medical practice. For the past 34 years, Silverstein has faithfully, thoughtfully and compassionately served the citizens of Havre de Grace through his medical practice. A consummate professional and a discerning diagnostician and pharmacist, he provides superior medical care, advice and treatment to each of his patients.

In addition to his medical practice, Louis has also been a longstanding Havre de Grace businessman. His parents, Joseph and Gussie, opened Joseph’s Department Store on Washington Street in 1937. Along with his brothers, Emmanuel and Elias, Louis Silverstein spent many days and nights helping out in the family store. After the death of his father in 1981, his brother, Eli, took over the store and owned it until 2013 when he decided to retire. At that time, Louis stepped up to serve his community and honor his father’s legacy. He purchased the store and he and his wife, Christy, took over management of the family business. This past summer, Joseph’s Department Store celebrated 80 years of business in downtown Havre de Grace.

Silverstein also serves his community in other ways. He was a founding member and continues to serve as the vice president of the R. Madison Mitchell Endowment Trust. In addition, he is a member of the Harford County Medical Society, serving as president in 1995. Silverstein is also a member of Temple Ada Shalom. Clearly, Silverstein entered Havre de Grace High School with an insatiable desire to learn. He left Havre de Grace High School with a lifelong mission to serve.

Alex Spooner

Upon graduating from HHS, Spooner enrolled at Towson State University, where he earned a degree in social studies in 1974. He then began his teaching career in the fall of that year and continued teaching for the next 43 years at his alma mater. While teaching, Spooner attended classes at George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland and Morgan State University which led to receiving an Advanced Professional Certificate in education in 1982.

During his 43 years, Spooner taught more than 10 different history classes, including AP world history, geography, contemporary issues, American government, world history, U.S. history, AP European history, ancient world history, modern world history and Russian history. He was a curriculum writer and editor for courses taught in grades six to 11. Spooner served as the social studies department chairman and in 1997 was the acting social studies supervisor for Harford County. He received the Middle States Council Social Studies Distinguished Service Award. In addition Spooner was the chairman of the School Improvement Team, a member of the Eligibility Committee, a facilitator for numerous staff development meetings and the 2016 recipient of the HHS Golden Apple Award.

Spooner’s legacy reached beyond the classroom walls. Throughout his career he coached six varsity sports including boys’ basketball, boys’ soccer, girls’ softball, golf, tennis and cross country. As a varsity head coach, Alex won four regional championships in basketball and one in soccer. In 1988, he was the Baltimore Evening Sun Coach of the Year for basketball. He was the coach for two state finalist appearances and also two state championship appearances with the cross country team. Spooner was also the head coach for the junior varsity baseball and boys’ soccer teams and an assistant coach for the track, baseball and junior varsity football teams. Besides coaching many sports, Spooner was the coordinator of the Philosophy Club and coach for the Mock Trial Team for many years.

The accomplishments of Spooner speak for themselves with his amazing record of dedication to his school and his community. He is a role model for our school’s motto; “Enter To Learn; Leave To Serve.” His love of teaching, his immense knowledge and his endless kindness will have a lasting impact the lives of the thousands of students he has taught and coached.

Erick C. Stone

A significant factor in Stone’s high school career is that at age 17 between 10th and 11th grades, he enlisted in the Army Reserve and went to basic training during the summer months. He returned for 11th grade. Following 11th grade, he went to his Advanced Individual Training (radio operator) and Parachutist-Airborne School before returning to HHS for his senior year. After graduation, Stone became a civilian police cadet and then police officer with a local municipal agency.

Wanting to serve his nation further, however, in 1984, Stone enlisted in the Marine Corps as a military police officer, subsequently attaining the rank of sergeant. During this time, Stone earned several military decorations and served in the first Gulf War as a marine. In 1991, he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and continued his civilian law enforcement career by serving as a patrol officer in several capacities with the City of Philadelphia Police and then the City of Aberdeen Police until 1996.

During his civilian law enforcement career, Stone performed diverse assignments from high-risk patrol in urban metropolitan areas, Special Operations (SWAT vommander), Police Academy Commander to teaching youth about the dangers of drug abuse as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Police Officer for five years within the Harford County Public Schools. During this DARE assignment, he served as a mentor, friend and guide to several hundred school age children who sought or requested advice or direction to deal with issues they faced.

Concurrently in 1991, he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve and volunteered to perform flight duties as a C-130 and C-5 Tactical Aircraft Loadmaster, performing more than 4,000 hours of flight duty and participating in numerous military contingency operations around the globe, both in wartime combat and in peacekeeping functions as a reservist, most notably in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bosnia. In 2013, he retired from the USAFR as a senior master sergeant, Tactical Aircraft Loadmaster, effectively serving the military in both an active duty or reserve capacity for 32 years.

In 1996, Stone was promoted as a police lieutenant, subsequently being promoted to police captain and began his duties as the commander of the U.S. Department of Defense-Police Academy. From 1996 to 2006, he successfully researched, developed and implemented the only nationally CALEA accredited police academy within the entire federal government. Stone supervised and managed the national law enforcement accreditation program and the agency special operations team daily activities for more than 75 police officers in basic and advanced law enforcement duties. He has received several prominent leadership and management awards for his exemplary ability to manage several critical programs in law enforcement having a national impact. He became the subject matter expert in law enforcement training and accreditation affairs for the entire U.S. Department of Defense.

In 2010, Stone was promoted to police commander with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he trained and mentored newly employed federal agents and police officers at FLETC who were posted throughout the entire United States, in essential tasks and expectations of a professional law enforcement officer. After retiring in 2016 from federal law enforcement employment with the Department of Homeland Security as a police commander, Stone accepted a position with the Baltimore County Public Schools, Kenwood High School, instructing the Air Force Junior ROTC programs to at risk students in leadership and aerospace sciences.

During his off-duty periods, Stone has volunteered as the assistant coach for the Havre de Grace Warriors boys’ recreational football and lacrosse teams. He also served as an assistant coach for the HHS junior varsity football team. In addition, he performed volunteer YMCA swim meet official duties in the Harford/Cecil County area. Finally, Stone is a Master Mason with the Masonic Lodge, which is a widely recognized community service organization.

Stone attended Ashford University graduating with a bachelor of science in social and criminal justice (Magna Cum Laude) and then a master’s in education Summa Cum Laude. He now serves as an associate adjunct professor at Ashford University in its homeland security and criminal justice curriculum. Although he was an average high school student with very humble and modest beginnings and background, Stone has risen above all his challenges to become a role model for aspiring students and peers to emulate our school’s motto: “Enter To Learn; Leave To Serve.”

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