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Edgewood High School's Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Three alumni, three former staff members and a community supporter will be added to the Edgewood High School Hall of Fame during an induction ceremony at the school June 1, when Edgewood High's Class of 2016 graduates.

The seven will bring to 48 the number of people who have been enshrined in the EHS Hall of Fame in the six years since the program was begun in 2011.

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Joining the Hall will be alumni Marshal Johnny L. Hughes (1963), Dr. David B. Lewis (1974) and BangTam Dang-Miller (1985); former staff members physical education teacher and coach Dolores R. Simmons (1954-1965), business education teacher and Academy of Finance coordinator Carolyn M. Kustanbauter (1984-1988 and 1998-2013) and physical education teacher, department chair, athletic director and coach Debbie Lynn Basler (1995-2015); and community supporter and former Harford County Board of Education member and president Mark M. Wolkow.

Jointly sponsored by the EHS Alumni Association and the school administration, the Hall of Fame has the dual purpose of recognizing the extraordinary accomplishments of those inducted while providing positive role models for current students, staff and the community.

"When members of the Alumni Association approached me six years ago about establishing a Hall of Fame, I was excited about the prospect of having a series of role models who could inspire our current students, staff and the community with examples of their extraordinary positive contributions and sterling lives," EHS Principal Larissa L. Santos said. "It goes without saying I have not been disappointed.

"This latest group of alumni, former staff members and a community supporter just add to the legacy of excellence embodied by the existing Hall of Fame members," she added.

Helen E. Morrison (Class of 1961), president of the EHS Alumni Association and a charter Hall of Fame Member, said her organization is proud to be playing a part in reminding the community of those who have done so much to enhance the reputation and success of the school.

"The Alumni Association is pleased to help recognize these great former classmates, teachers, administrators and the community who have supported the school for more than 60 years," Morrison said. "Those of us who have been privileged to be part of the school since it opened its doors in 1954 truly appreciate the contributions of these and so many more who have brought honor to Edgewood High School."

The seven to be inducted were chosen from among 37 nominees by a Hall of Fame Review Committee composed of Alumni, students, representatives from the school administration, a member of the community and the 2015 Hall of Fame inductees. Those nominees not selected but who received votes from the 12 who cast ballots – along with future nominees – will be eligible for enshrinement in succeeding years. Portrait/plaques of the seven new inductees will be added to the 41 that are displayed on a main hallway at Edgewood High.

Six of the 2016 Hall of Fame prospective members, along with a video acceptance from Mrs. Simmons, are expected to be honored during an induction ceremony in the school auditorium on the afternoon of Commencement Day. Five are due to take part in the processional and be on-stage guests during the Class of 2016 graduation exercises that evening in the EHS gymnasium. They will also be feted during a dinner preceding the commencement; and are expected to receive awards from county and state government officials as well as the school, the Alumni Association and others. The induction ceremony will be featured on local television throughout June by the Harford Cable Network (consult HCN for dates and times).

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2016 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Debbie Lynn Basler

Basler, 45, taught physical education at Edgewood High for 21 years, acting as department chair for five years and athletic director for 13; she was also as an interim administrator for a quarter. The Towson University magna cum laude and outstanding senior physical education graduate was named to that institution's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. At EHS, she coached girls volleyball, girls basketball, softball, girls lacrosse, cheerleading and cross country at various times during her career. She was named The Aegis Female Coach of the Year after leading her volleyball team to the school's first region title in 1996. In 2011, she was named District 7 Athletic Director of the Year; and, in 2007, the Greater Edgewood Educational Foundation honored her with its Everyday Heroes Award, recognizing her positive contributions to youth in Edgewood. Basler initiated an exerobics program at EHS, teaching students about fitness and assisted with the start of the Edgewood Elite program challenging students to raise and maintain their fitness levels. She was also an enthusiastic supporter of student life at the school, helping to organize a community fair, coordinating homecoming alumni events, overseeing Armed Forces appreciation events, sponsoring Edgewood Clean-Up Days, sponsoring "pink" events to raise money for breast cancer research and raising with the Hoopfest event, which brought together basketball talent from all 10 county schools to raise money for an Edgewood family facing significant medical bills. In addition, she began the 1Ram character education program, building pride among students and staff in the school; and was a moving force in the creation/execution of the EHS Hall of Fame program. In 2015, she was named Harford County Public Schools supervisor of high school physical education and athletics. Basler is married to Aaron Basler; they two children, Austin Brinkman, 13, and Mary Basler, 5.

BangTam Thi Dang-Miller

Dang-Miller, 49, came to the United States in 1975 as an 8-year-old with her five siblings, pregnant mother and her father, a lieutenant colonel in the South Vietnamese Army. The family was among the last to escape in the closing days of the fall of Saigon, coming to America unable to speak English and with only the clothes on their backs and a photo album. The children were enrolled in Edgewood-area schools, where BangTam and the others quickly became standout students. At EHS, she became an accomplished violinist, winning All-County/All State Orchestra honors, and managed the wrestling team, as well as earning honors as a student and becoming a teacher's aide. She received honors at Harford Community College, Towson University and McDaniel College, earning an master of science in education; and, subsequently, an administrators/supervisors certificate from Towson University. A career educator in the Harford County Public Schools, Dang-Miller served as the county's first recruitment and retention specialist and four years as assistant principal at neighboring Deerfield Elementary before being named last year as the county school system's coordinator of accountability, overseeing the HCPS testing program. She has been a consistent presenter at many HCPS and state education seminars/conferences and has authored several curriculum courses for teachers. She often serves the community as a volunteer Vietnamese interpreter/translator. Dang-Miller was Learning Center Coordinator for the Edgewood Boys & Girls Club and served a four-year term as a member of the Harford County Human Relations Commission. She has been a consistent volunteer for the Edgewood Community Council, the Edgewood/Joppatowne 4th of July Parade and was a volunteer instructor in the HCC/GED program. She was the 2015 recipient of the "Champion of Children" award presented by the Harford County Local Management Board. In addition, Dang-Miller, who co-managed a family-owned ice cream business, is co-owner of the new Wash-N-Fold Express Laundromat in Edgewood. The family businesses are longtime supporters of non-profit early literacy programs. Dang-Miller is married to Gary Miller and they have four children, Kristina and Kayla Rose and Ryan and Devan Miller.

Johnny L. Hughes

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Hughes, 71, was named as the 33rd U.S. Marshal for the District of Maryland in 2002 by then-President George W. Bush and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He continues in his 15th year in that position, one of the longest serving marshal's in Maryland history. The marshal's service is the federal government's primary agency for conducting fugitive investigations. For Hughes, it is the latest in a more than 50-year lifetime of service to his country, first as an active duty soldier, Army Reservist and National Guard member (1965-1972) and then with the Maryland State Police. Joining the police force in 1967, he rose to the rank of major, holding several command positions before retiring in 1996. While with the state police, he was chairman of the Legislative and Congressional Affairs for the National Troopers Coalition (1982-96); and served as Director of Government Relations for the National Troopers Coalition (1996-2002). Hughes received the U.S. Attorney General's Special Commendation Award (1993) and the National Law Enforcement Council Achievement Award (1992). He was subsequently appointed director of the National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Congressional Affairs and Public Information Office under the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Along the way, Hughes received an associate of arts from Harford Community College and a bachelor of science from the University of Maryland. His sons, David Hughes and Michael Hughes, became Maryland State Police troopers, both working in the area of drug interdiction. Hughes is a longtime member of Cokesbury United Methodist Church and is a Charlie Riley Community Scholarship Board member. He also works in the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation's Badges for Baseball program and is a major leader with Baltimore inner city ministries, speaking to various churches in the city, conducting evening worship services and working with Helping Up Mission Street People. Hailing from modest circumstances, Hughes worked after school and summers to help support his family, graduating from Edgewood High School in 1963 before beginning his career in the military and law enforcement. In addition to his sons, Hughes has a granddaughter, Emily Hughes.

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Carolyn M. Kustanbauter

Kustanbauter, 66, had two stints as a teacher at Edgewood High, serving a total of 19 years as business education teacher and first coordinator and teacher with the Academy of Finance (AOF) at the school. The signature AOF program is open to students who are interested either in entering the world of business/finance out of school or as a college prep program for students entering the business/finance professional field. To make the program work, "Ms. K" as she was known to her students and colleagues, had to find local businesses that would both allow students to "job shadow" and provide paid summer internships for students. More than 200 students took part in those programs during Ms. K's tenure at the school. In addition, largely due to her efforts and those of the AOF Business Advisory Board, the APG Federal Credit Union opened the county's only in-school branch run by students in the AOF. While at Edgewood High, Kustanbauter, at various times, sponsored or co-sponsored the Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society, was yearbook advisor and coached varsity softball. As a result of her close relationships with students, she was awarded the Claus Nobel Teacher of Distinction award, presented to teachers who have changed the lives of their student nominators. In addition, she received the Everyday Hero Award from the Greater Edgewood Education Foundation (GEEF). Kustanbauter is a longtime volunteer at the business and financial offices of Mountain Christian Church, where she has also been involved in the women's ministry leadership. For eight years, she volunteered on summer mission trips to her alma mater, Milligan (Tenn.) College to refurbish dorms and other areas on the campus. She also helped write curriculum in the summer, early in her career, helping to create and pilot a consumer education program used for many years by most county high schools. She put off retirement two years to help sustain the success of the AOF program and open the credit union. Since her retirement in 2013, she has returned to the school on a regular basis as a mentor to the new AOF coordinating teacher. Kustanbauter, an Athena Award finalist in 2013, annually volunteers her time to prepare tax returns for single parents and others in need.

Dr. David B. Lewis

Lewis, 60, has been the head women's soccer coach at Houghton (N.Y.) College for the past 25 years, compiling a 379-98-30 (.777) winning record that includes 16 conference championships and a national ranking in 18 seasons, including a #2 position in 2005. His teams have qualified for 16 national tournaments, including 13 years in a row. In addition, 84 of his players have achieved Academic All-American status. This past season, Lewis was named a National NSCAA Women's Soccer Coach of the Year, after having been a six-time region and nine-time conference Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the Houghton College Hall of Honor in 2013. The 1974 EHS graduate was an outstanding three-sport athlete and scholar at Edgewood High, where he was named Male Athlete of the Year after being two-time soccer team MVP, earning All County (first team) and All Metro (second team) honors as a senior. He was also an undefeated dual meet wrestler as a senior when he was county and bi-county champion as well as sectional runner-up and state qualifier. He was also a four-year standout on the track and field team and was a member of the National Honor Society. Lewis earned his bachelor of arts in religion/philosophy at the Kings College, where he was a collegiate All-American soccer player, playing two subsequent years of professional-level soccer. He earned a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, graduating with distinction. He served as associate pastor in Reading, Mass., and senior pastor in Franklinville, N.Y., before moving to Houghton College, where he is associate professor and former chaplain a well as the women's soccer coach. Lewis has coached soccer and wrestling for several high school teams and has conducted numerous community soccer camps and clinics. In addition, he has led sports ministry trips to Australia, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Brazil, England, Costa Rica and Russia, where he has worked with churches, schools, refugee communities, orphanages, missionaries and the soccer community. Lewis and his wife, Eileen, have two daughters, Rebekah and Bethany; and four grandchildren, Judah, Lily, Mallory and Lennon.

Dolores R. Van Gorder Simmons

Simmons, 95, was a true pioneer, not only at Edgewood High School, but for the recognition of girls as student-athletes in the region. The graduate of East Stroudsburg (Pa.) College who obtained her master's from Penn State University, came to Harford with her husband, who was lead chemist at Edgewood Arsenal, after having taught and coached at high schools and college in her native state. When Edgewood High opened in 1954, she was hired to be the first female physical education teacher, beginning her classes without a gymnasium, athletic fields, uniforms or equipment at the half-finished school. She and the players on her teams sold hot dogs at football games and held other fundraisers to buy cloth out of which she and mothers of those on her field hockey team made patterns and sewed the original uniforms worn by her team. The school system did not supply buses in those early days for girls athletic teams, so Simmons recruited parents to drive members of her team to away games. She organized a Leaders Club, composed of senior girls who acted as aides in her classes, many of whom later became teachers/coaches. Several of her teams won county championships, including the 1959-60 unbeaten basketball team, and the 7-0-1 1959 field hockey team – the first ever league titles by an Edgewood High team. Simmons incorporated dance into her physical education program, forming a co-curricular dance club which became so successful that six of her dancers were invited to perform at a University of Delaware major recital. Because of her extraordinary influence on students, the 1960 EHS yearbook was dedicated to her. When she left EHS to become part of the faculty at the new Edgewood Middle School in 1965, she was named as the county's first female physical education department chair. Many of her students and members of her teams say she combined high expectations with a genuine love and respect for her students. They say she taught them a girl could be both feminine and an athlete – an uncommon combination in the 1950s-'60s. She retired from teaching in 1976 and traveled with her husband to six continents, including a tour of the former Soviet Union; and now lives with her brother in Pennsylvania. Simmons was named to the Harford County Public School Educator Hall of Fame in 2004.

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Mark M. Wolkow

Wolkow, 59, is a continuing strong advocate for Edgewood area schools, having served as a leader in PTSA organizations at Abingdon Elementary, Edgewood Middle and Edgewood High schools for more than 15 years. He was president of the EHS PTSA from 2000-02, during which time he was instrumental in implementing the school's first after-prom party to ensure the safety of those juniors and seniors attending, and began the school's participation in the national PTA's Reflections program for the arts. Wolkow also initiated a PTSA newsletter and e-mail newsletter, increasing membership by almost three-fold, leading to recognition of the EHS parent group as the top PTA in Maryland for percentage of growth. Under Wolkow's leadership, in 2001, the Edgewood High PTSA received the county's Signature Award, the highest recognition for a local PTA. He also served on the EHS Board of the Academy of Finance. Wolkow was a founding board member of the Greater Edgewood Education Foundation, which provided support programs for students and parents and materials and recognition for teachers in the Edgewood area. In 2011, the foundation expanded to serve students, parents and teachers countywide and is known as the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation (GEEF). Wolkow serves as past board chair of the foundation. In 2005, he was appointed by the county executive to the Edgewood Roundtable, a group that sought ways to improve the quality of life in the Edgewood area. He has held various leadership roles in the Harford County Council of PTAs. In 2002, he was appointed to be the Edgewood representative on the board of education of Harford County, serving three years as president during his nine years on the board. He was a leading force in advocating for the new Deerfield Elementary and Edgewood High school buildings. Wolkow also held leadership roles with a variety of community organizations, including the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), Temple Adas Shalom/Harford Jewish Center and the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, and was instrumental in the School-to-Work (School-to-Careers) efforts of the Susquehanna Private Industry Council and Maryland State Department of Education. Wolkow is employed as the director of academic outreach for the National Security Agency, working with school systems, colleges and universities advocating for greater STEM, cyber and world language skills. Wolkow and his wife, Patricia, have two daughters, Karen Wolkow and Diana Wolkow-White.

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