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Four inducted into Havre de Grace High Hall of Fame

Inducted into the Havre de Grace High School Hall of Fame Thursday wrere, from left, Dr. Clayton Stansbury, Victor Petrosino, lma Sherwood, representing her brother the late Dr. Thomas Jordan, and Gladys Williams.
Inducted into the Havre de Grace High School Hall of Fame Thursday wrere, from left, Dr. Clayton Stansbury, Victor Petrosino, lma Sherwood, representing her brother the late Dr. Thomas Jordan, and Gladys Williams. (Bobby Parker for The Aegis, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Four people were inducted into the Havre de Grace High School Hall of Fame Thursday morning, two who graduated from Havre de Grace High and two who graduated from Havre de Grace Colored School during segregation.

Inducted were the late Dr. Thomas Jordan, a former chief of surgery at Harford Memorial Hospital; Clayton C. Stansbury, a long-time professor and administrator at Morgan State University; Victor R. Petrosino, a retired Harford County Public Schools teacher who also a Catholic deacon and is regarded as the "chaplain-on-call" for the county's two hospitals; and Gladys I. Williams, a pioneering African-American educator in the county school system who, at 95, continues to volunteer with community organizations including the Martha's Meal charity in Aberdeen.

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Dr. Thomas Jordan

Upon graduating in 1976, Dr. Jordan was accepted by each of the U.S. Service Academies, but decided to enroll at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He graduated cum laude with a degree in biology and then attended medical school at the University of Maryland. He became a doctor in 1984. Dr. Jordan completed his medical training with residencies at Duke and Georgetown universities. He returned to Harford County to practice as an ear, nose and throat doctor and immediately established himself as a community leader by serving as chief of surgery at Harford Memorial Hospital and as president and treasurer of the Harford County Medical Society.

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In addition to being a talented physician and surgeon, Dr. Jordan also gained recognition as a humanitarian, performing numerous acts of kindness at his workplace, church and in his community. He was known to perform free procedures when his patients could not afford further care and he went out of his way to provide guidance and leadership to young people. At his church, Stepney Faith Center, he provided food and clothing to families with children.

Dr. Jordan loved and cared for his wife and children, his mother, his brothers and sisters and their children. He has been characterized as someone who was selfless, was a cheerleader for his roots and who made a difference in the lives of many people. He died in January 2013 at age 54.

Dr. Clayton C. Stansbury

After securing his high school degree in 1951 from the Havre de Grace Colored High School, Stansbury graduated cum laude from Morgan State College in 1955 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. While attending Morgan State, he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Stansbury continued and earned a master's degree in general psychology from Howard University and a doctorate in social psychology and mental health from the University of Maryland.

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In 1967, he began serving on the faculty-staff at Morgan State University, where he remained for 30 years in a number of capacities which included career counselor, assistant dean of freshmen, director of the lower division, professor and department chairman of psychology, vice president of student affairs, chief marshal for commencement exercises and director of the honors program, where he established four National Honor Society chapters: Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Sigma Lambda and Pi Gamma Mu.

In addition, Stansbury has made contributions in his community for which he has received numerous awards and citations. He has been an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity; president of Delta Lambda Chapter of Baltimore; college chapter advisor at Morgan State; member and chairman of numerous advisory boards and committees; active member of Epworth United Methodist Church; and an active member of the Morgan State University Alumni Association.

Stansbury is the first African-American to hold an elected office in the Maryland Psychological Association. His awards have included the 1987 Alumnus of the Year; the Phoenix Award as the MSU Administrator of the Year; a trophy and title as "Mr. Morgan State University" at the 1982 commencement; Professor Emeritus of Psychology; and MSU Hall of Fame in 2005.

Victor R. Petrosino

Upon graduating high school in 1958, Petrosino earned a bachelor's degree in history from Towson University, a master's in history from Ohio State University and then a master's degree in education from Towson. He then taught in Harford County Public Schools for 33 years, serving at Bel Air, North Harford and C. Milton Wright high schools. Petrosino was named Harford County Teacher of the Year for the 1993-94 school year. He retired in 1999.

During his career as a teacher, Petrosino studied for six years at St. Mary's Seminary. Since completing that training, he has been serving as a deacon in the St. Margaret-St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Bel Air for 15 years. In his role with the church, he teaches Confraternity of Christian Doctrine – commonly referred to as CCD – for kindergarten and first-grade students at St. Margaret's Catholic School and for Catholic kindergarten and first grade children who are not part of the religious school system.

In addition, he has expanded his voluntary deacon role in the larger community. He has been a "chaplain-on-call" for both Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace and Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and also served in a similar chaplain's capacity at the old Fallston Hospital. Petrosino also makes visits and provides religious services to nursing homes and assisted living facilities and he helps officiate at funerals whenever asked. Petrosino's motto is: "Preach, teach and reach at a minute's notice."

Gladys I. Williams

After her graduation in 1935 from the Havre de Grace Colored High School, Williams attended Bowie Normal School, where she earned a bachelor of science. Because African Americans were not allowed to attend the University of Maryland, the state of Maryland paid for her transportation to travel to New York University on weekends and during the summer so she could earn her master's degree.

In 1943, she was hired to teach at the one-room Hosanna School in Darlington, the first school for African-Americans in Harford County. From Hosanna School, she moved to Chapel Elementary School in Mount Calvary and then to Bel Air High School, where she taught Core to junior high school students.

When Central Consolidated School opened in 1950, she was hired to continue as a Core teacher. After a few years, Williams began working with slow learners in what was the beginning of a form of special education. In 1963, a year before total desegregation in Harford County, she was the only African American teacher sent to work at Deerfield Elementary School. After a year, she was transferred to Edgewood Middle School, where she spent 10 years as a special education teacher and eight years as a counselor before retiring in 1983.

In 1989, Williams traveled to Tanzania and for six weeks volunteered in education for the non-profit group AHEAD (Adventures in Health Education Agricultural Development).

She has contributed in many areas in the communities in which she has lived. She has been a lifelong member of Union United Methodist Church; president of United Methodist Women; chairperson of Program Resources; church school teacher; director of vacation Bible school; district chairperson of nominating committee United Methodist Women and she assists with Martha's Meals at Grove Presbyterian Church.

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Williams also is a life member of Evening Star Chapter Order of Eastern Star, where she has served three terms as matron, grand lecturer for Maryland; district deputy for District 7 and grand trustee in the West.

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Other volunteer activities include president and vice president of the Havre de Grace Chapter of the Association of Retired Persons; organizer of the first black Girl Scout troop in Harford County, serving as its leader for 10 years; member of the Inter-racial and Interdenominational Dialogue of Harford County, where she was a co-tester in opening restaurants, housing and inter-racial and interdenominational Bible School; 50-year member of the local and state Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; and an alternate delegate to The Hague on the celebration of its 50th anniversary.

Williams also is a member of several civic organizations, including the Food and Nutrition Committee; Black Youth in Action; Les Charmantes; life member of NAACP; AARP (president for five years); Bowie State Alumni and the Freya Club.

At 95, Williams continues to work with Martha's Meals at Grove Presbyterian Church; Les Charmantes; Bowie State Alumni Chapter; Union United Methodist Church; and she still takes a turn at the chalkboard as a volunteer at the Historic Hosanna Community House Inc.

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