Ten to be inducted into Edgewood High Hall of Fame

Edgewood High School will induct 10 new members into its Hall of Fame during ceremonies in conjunction with the Class of 2014 graduation day May 29. The inductees will join the 26 who have been enshrined in the four-year-old program, a joint project of the school administration and the EHS Alumni Association.

The prospective HOF members will be officially inducted at an afternoon ceremony to be held in the EHS auditorium during which they will receive awards from the school, the Alumni Association and state and local elected officials. The new inductees in attendance will be feted during a dinner at the school and then take part in the processional of the EHS Class of 2014 commencement ceremony in the school gymnasium that evening.


The inductees include:

William P. "Doc" McShane (community support)


The late "Doc" McShane was a decorated World War II veteran and highly respected medical researcher at Edgewood Arsenal who volunteered for more than a decade as Edgewood High School's first athletic trainer. Mr. McShane provided primary care at games and practices and offered preventative services and followup care to athletes, freeing coaches to concentrate on game strategy. Mr. McShane, who died in 1977, is remembered by early generations of EHS students and staff as a dedicated presence, serving without pay. He was also commander of the local VFW and co-founder/first president of the Joppa/Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, as well as being an active member of the Edgewood Lions Club. Mr. McShane's two sons were both student-athletes at Edgewood High.

Robert W. "Bobby" Coomes Sr. (community support)

"Bobby" Coomes, 79, was the owner/operator of the White Star Restaurant in Edgewood from 1959 to 1990. His restaurant not only served as a meeting place for generations of EHS students/staff, but provided a place of employment for hundreds of local students, a site for EHS work study students to gain practical experience and a center for community activity. Coomes was a founding member of the Edgewood High School Business Association, taking part in fundraising efforts involved with significant improvements to the EHS facilities. He was also a lead sponsor of the Edgewood High Community Fair, held each spring for two decades, which raised funds for school projects. He is a longtime member of the Edgewood Lions Club, having lived in the community for his entire life. Coomes and his wife of 55 years, Rose, have two grown children and one grandchild.

Debora Gavin Merlock (community support)

Merlock, 54, has been involved with supporting Edgewood area schools for more than 17 years – eight of those directly with Edgewood High. A founding member and president of the Greater Excellence in Education Foundation (GEEF), she oversees the mentoring of students, sponsors Career Fests, administers a youth leadership academy and conducts fundraising efforts to help in the education of students and graduates. Merlock's organization aids students in developing individual goal plans, career-building skills and college awareness, as well as developing personal responsibility. In addition, GEEF annually honors Edgewood-area teachers for excellence in educating students. Merlock and her husband, Bill, are the parents of four current or former Edgewood High students.

Douglas R. Johnson (former staff)

Johnson, 67, spent all 30 years of his teaching career as a student-centered social studies educator at Edgewood High. At one time or another, he was intramural director, sponsor of proms, honor society adviser, Academic Team sponsor, Varsity Club adviser and social studies department chair. He is credited with being the "father" of geography instruction in the county, having written countywide curriculum for the ninth grade class and having developed six different geography courses at the school. His innovative instructional strategies were aimed at making learning fun. A graduate of Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Johnson earned two master's equivalency certificates. Following retirement in 1997, he moved to Arizona, where he continues his service to others as a fire emergency response captain. He was named to the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame in 2007.

Forest A. Wiest (former staff)

Wiest, 68, served at Edgewood High for 27 years as a physical education teacher, coach, department chair, athletic director and, eventually, assistant principal. He continued his career as assistant principal at North Harford High and as supervisor of High School Physical Education/Interscholastic Athletics for seven years. As head varsity football coach from 1979 to 1987, his teams compiled a combined 69-22 record, including the only undefeated football team in the 60-year history of the school in 1982. As department chair, he oversaw the addition of many life skill activities. During his time as the county's top athletic leader, he helped form the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference (UCBAC). He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he attended on a football scholarship, and he earned his master's and 30 additional credits. Active in his church, Wiest and his wife, Shirl, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Patricia A. (Davis) Abbott (Class of 1974)

Abbott is associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, where she is focused on community health efforts for the poor and disconnected, providing electronic communications for low-resource and vulnerable populations. Abbott is also a faculty member of the American University in Beirut, Lebanon; and is a member of the Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In addition, she is the founding director of the Global Alliance for Nursing and Midwifery (GANM). As a student at Edgewood, she was a four-sport athlete and student government leader. She earned her bachelor's and two master's degrees before obtaining her Ph.D. in operations analysis from UMBC. A resident of Harford until 2012, she took part in many community health projects and was lector at her church. She has three grown daughters and shares a granddaughter with her husband, Chuck Friedman.

Dr. Timothy A. Rainey (Class of 1975)


Rainey, 56, has distinguished himself in an ongoing more than 30-year career in the fields of academia, diplomacy and military operations. He spent 27 years as an officer in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of colonel, serving in a variety of positions, including professor at the U.S. Military Academy. He was deployed with the 10th Mountain Division in Afghanistan. Later, Rainey was Associate Provost/Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morgan State University. He is program director for the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program in the Bureau of African Affairs for the U.S. Department of State, overseeing more than 300 people supporting peacekeeping training programs in 25 African countries. Rainey received his bachelor's degree and three master's, before earning his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University. He has two grown children.

Dale A. Midkiff (Class of 1977)

Midkiff, 54, has appeared in more than 55 motion pictures and TV series during a highly successful 30-year acting career. His credits include leading roles opposite such Hollywood icons as Sandra Bullock, Katherine Hiegel and Fred Gwynn. Midkiff's roles have run the gamut from a wife beater in "A Cry for Help," to the good old boy cop in 'Vigilante Cop," to the heroic time-traveler in "Time Trax," and the amiable ladies' man in "The Magnificent Seven." He has also had lead roles in "Elvis and Me," "Pet Semetary" and "Love Potion Number 9." He was also the patriarch in the Hallmark TV "Love Comes Softly" series. At Edgewood High, Midkiff played soccer but found his passion as a drama student his senior year. He moved on to Salisbury State University before "paying his dues" in New York City en route to being discovered as an actor. Midkiff and his wife of 24 years, Joan, have three children; and is involved in faith-based causes.


Maj. Gen. Warren E. Phipps Jr. (Class of 1978)

Gen. Phipps, 53, commands the First Army Division West, stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas, an organization that mobilizes and trains Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers for deployment to combat zones worldwide. His 32-year military career includes active deployment as a helicopter pilot, logging more than 2,000 flight hours in combat zones; as well as a leadership position with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. He has been an instructor/assistant professor and rugby coach at West Point. At Edgewood High, Gen. Phipps was two-year co-captain of the varsity soccer team, member of the track and field team and American Legion Boy's State representative; president of his senior class and National Honor Society member. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, where he played soccer and rugby and earned a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He and his wife of 31 years, Sylvia, have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

James Born (Class of 1982)

Born, 50, was captain of the EHS swim team for four years. When he graduated, he held 10 of the 11 county swim event, two of which he still holds. He was also an award winning musician, taking part in the jazz, concert and marching bands; and was a member of the National Honor Society and the American Legion Boy's State. At Kenyon College (Ohio), he captained the school's swim team to a national Division III championship; and was USA national swim medal winner at the Pan American Games (Japan) and World Championships (Spain). In all, he established 17 NCAA Division III swim records. Born is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), has been a volunteer for his local church and in his children's elementary school; has worked with Habitat for Humanity and coached community swim and soccer teams. He and his wife of 20 years, Veronica, have two children.

For more information on the Edgewood High School Hall of Fame program or to learn how to nominate a prospective member, email dmorrison2008@comcast.net.

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