• Thirteenth Annual USC High School Halls of Fame

    Upper St. Clair School District
    Friday, October 19, 2012

    The purpose of the Halls of Fame is to identify and to honor those who have distinguished themselves in academics, the arts or athletics at the high school, crestcollegiate or professional level and who, in so doing, have contributed to the pride and prestige of Upper St. Clair High School.

    The Arts Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 are Kristi Olds Sogofsky and Glenn Ward.

    The Academics Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 are Amanda Stehura Dishong, Robin Williard McGovern, Daniel Spagnoli, Linda Zan Swartz, and Gavin Williams.
    The Athletic Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 are Scott Dillie, Conor Lee, and Catherine Talarico.  
    See below to read the brief bios and to enjoy some of the "digital memories" of that day!

    Listed below are brief bios about all of our inductees.

    The Arts Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 are Kristi Olds Sogofsky and Glenn Ward.
    Kristi Olds Sogofsky, Class of 1997, was a four year starter on the first USCHS girls’ lacrosse team. She was in Concert Band, in Pantherettes where she was a field captain as a senior, and in the musicals where she was a dance captain in her junior and senior years. As a member of the Campus News, Kristi was inspired to pursue a career in broadcasting. For both her academic achievements and her numerous activities, Kristi was elected to the National Honor Society. After graduation Kristi was accepted in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. There she had a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Psychology. During her college years, Kristi worked on the University Union, the campus TV station, as a reporter, anchor, and sports announcer. She also did news and sports updates on the NPR radio station. She was a member and then treasurer of the SU campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In just 3 ½ years, Kristi was awarded her BA magna cum laude. Since 2002 to the present, she has been a reporter and an anchor for News 12 Connecticut, one of the top television markets in the country. Kristi has reported on major stories including the state’s first execution in decades, the impeachment of the governor, and the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. She has won two Emmys for Religious Programming and two Emmys for Public/Current/Community Affairs Single Story. Kristi has also received six Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. She has also earned numerous awards from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Connecticut Press Club. She received the Aegis Award, the NECTA, the Telly Award, and the Aurora Award. Kristi lives in Easton, Connecticut with her husband Mark and their son Tyler and their two dogs. 
    Glenn Ward, Class of 1977, was a four year member of the Glee Club and the Audio-Visual Aides Club. Because he had such an interest in electronics, he eagerly learned how to use all of the equipment. Glenn spent his free mods delivering AV equipment all over the school and instructing faculty members on how to thread film on projectors or change bulbs on overheads. When the high school received the first video camera, Glenn mastered the use of it and could be seen moving the heavy-duty AV cart around the high school. Because of his skills and his willingness to help, he began filming athletes after school for instructional purposes. He was providing services during the day and often well into the evening. After high school Glenn attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and earned an Associate Degree for Specialized Technology for Photography & Multi Media. He also earned certification on the Stanton JIB and Steadycam systems. In 1984 Glenn returned to the community to serve as the cable TV community coordinator. His job was to reach out to the community and to help individuals produce programming for local consumption. Glenn spent a great deal of time teaching others how to use the equipment. He was committed to featuring the USC schools and taping and broadcasting a variety of school functions on USC Cable #7. Perhaps Glenn’s greatest contribution to the district was developing with Ed Callahan the school district’s USCHS Campus News. He set up the studio and trained the students how to use the equipment, how to anchor a newscast, and how to conduct an interview. Glenn Ward and Ed Callahan were awarded the Community Partnership Award from the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce in 1994. Another major contribution by Glenn was to form the school district’s own cable station: Cable #19. By working with the township’s cable company, and funding from the Community Foundation, and USCHS facilities, Channel #19 has become a vital part of the community.
    The Academic Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 are Amanda Stehura Dishong, Robin Williard McGovern, Daniel Spagnoli, Linda Zan Swartz, and Gavin Williams.
    Amanda Stehura Dishong, Class of 1999, was an outstanding student and active participant at USC. Because she was an outstanding yearbook editor, she was elected into the Quill and Scroll Journalism Honorary. She was also a member of Color Guard and the Spanish Club. Because she was 16th in a class of 311, Mandy was elected to the National Honor Society. Despite this heavy schedule, she worked 25 hours a week as a secretary at Our Lady of Grace Rectory. Mandy attended Ohio University and majored in pre-physical therapy and psychology. In 2003 she was awarded a SouthPaw Enterprise Scholarship and the PSI Chi Award. Because she was accepted early to the graduate program, she earned her BA magna cum laude and her first year of post-graduate work concurrently. Mandy was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the Golden Key Award. She earned her PhD. in Physical Therapy summa cum laude in 2005. As a part of her graduate study, Mandy conducted clinicals in Pittsburgh, Colorado Springs, and Cleveland. Upon her graduation she began work as a Doctor of Physical Therapy at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Mandy specializes in physical therapy implications for cardiac patients in heart failure and/or with mechanical assist devices. She lives in Lyndhurst, Ohio, with her husband Adam Dishong and their seven month old son Aiden.
    Robin Williard McGovern, Class of 1997, had a strong interest in various forms of performing and she earned positions of leadership. She was a majorette for four years and captain as a senior. She was in the orchestra and was president as a senior. Robin was also in the fall plays and the musicals for which she was the student producer as a senior. In 2001 Robin earned a BA in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she specialized in drugs of abuse and physiological psychology. Robin was invited to join a psychology department honors program. As an undergraduate research assistant, she wrote her honors thesis, “Conditioned Place Preference for Self-Administered Cocaine.” Robin worked for two years as an admissions therapist at the Greenbriar Treatment Center in Washington, PA. In 2007 she earned her PhD. from the Department of Neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Robin focused on behavioral pharmacology, drug-drug interactions, and the neurobiology of addiction. Robin returned to USCHS to guest lecture the health classes on “Dangers of Alcohol Use in High School Students.” She became a Quality Assurance Coordinator for several studies at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, CT. In the five years since she earned her degree, Robin has participated in many studies and published many abstracts. She was on the adjunct faculty of the University of Connecticut at Waterbury and Hartford. In 2011 Robin became an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neurosciences at Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA where she serves as the Neuroscieence Program Coordinator. For the research and teaching that she has done, Robin has earned a variety of honors and awards: the Research Society on Alcoholism Junior Investigator Award, the Institutional Research and Career Development Award, and the Westminster Faculty Development Conference Travel Award. Currently Robin lives with her husband Andy McGovern in Cranberry, PA.
    Daniel B. Spagnoli, Class of 1970, came to Upper St. Clair from the state of California at the beginning of his sophomore year. For the next three years, he played varsity football and varsity baseball. As a senior he also served as a student council representative. Dan earned a football. scholarship to West Virginia Wesleyan College where he played and earned a BS degree in 1974. He then went to the West Virginia School of Medicine where he first received his MS in 1977 and then his PhD in 1980. After serving a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dan was awarded a West Virginia Board of Regents Academic Scholarship. He enrolled in the West Virginia School of Dentistry and earned his DDS in 1983. In 1985 Dan was awarded the Quintessence Award for Dental Research. He continued his research for the next four years at Louisiana State University studying and performing Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. As a result of these twenty years of concentrated study, Dr. Spagnoli has become one of the leading maxillofacial surgeons in the world. Since 1989 he has been a senior partner of University Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has edited a textbook, written numerous articles for journals, and led various research studies. Based on the knowledge that he has gained, Dan has delivered over 200 national and international lectures for oral and maxillofacial conferences. His secret in being able to accomplish this incredible feat is the fact that he is an accomplished airplane pilot, which enables him to travel easily to the various conferences and then return to his wife Dawn and children in Denver, North Carolina. Currently Dan is doing research on the application of tissue engineering for maxillofacial reconstruction. This August Dr. Spagnoli was named the Chairman of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Department at the Louisiana State University Health Science Center.
    Linda Zan Swartz, Class of 1980, was a member of the National Honor Society, attended the Governor’s School for the Arts, and was a National Merit Commended Student. She attended Bucknell University and studied psychology. Linda was named to Phi Beta Kappa and was graduated magna cum laude in 1984. She went on to earn her JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1987. Currently Linda is a partner and Chair of the Tax Department at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in New York. The World Tax 2012 International Review Directory singled out Tax Department Chair Linda Swartz as a leading individual in the US and international tax markets. Linda focuses her practice to structuring complex global mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, joint ventures, and restructurings, and on foreign tax planning strategies. Among her numerous clients have been Proctor & Gamble, Pfizer, CBS, and TimeWarner. Linda represented the United States Treasury Department in restructuring CIT, and she was counsel to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto-Industry, advising on the bankruptcy filings of General Motors and Chrysler. As a tax consultant she has written articles, has delivered speeches, and has authored chapters for textbooks on a broad range of topics concerning corporate, partnership, and real estate tax issues. Linda has served on and chaired several committees for the New York State Bar Association Tax Section. Because of her success, Linda has been recognized by numerous national and international groups as a leading New York City Tax Lawyer, as a leading US Tax Advisor, and as a leader in US and International Tax Law. She also has been listed as one of the Top 29 Women Lawyers in New York City, as one of New York City’s Top Women Attorneys, and as one of Best Lawyers. Linda and her partner live in Hoboken, New Jersey with their six year old son, Michael. They are involved in their church and local charitable organizations such as Meals on Wheels, the Hoboken Shelter, and the Hoboken Jubilee Center. Linda also actively supports organizations that promote civil rights, gay rights, and children’s needs.
    Gavin Williams, Class of 1996, was active in both athletic and academic fields. He was a member of the golf and the volleyball teams. As a charter member of the Campus News Broadcasting Club, Gavin served as the Sports Anchor. He was also a member of student council all four years and an executive officer as a senior. Because of his exceptional academic record and his numerous activities, he was selected for National Honor Society. Gavin went to Wake Forest University where he finished third in his class of almost 1000. He was selected for numerous honor societies and was awarded merit scholarships from the National Academic Honor Society and from the Golden Key National Honor Society. Gavin was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. During his collegiate years, Gavin continued to hold leadership positions and earn awards in class government and Greek leadership programs. As a senior he led the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive which raised $45,000 and the Volunteer Service Corps Homerun Project. After pursuing his interest in sports by working for ESPN, Gavin returned to Pittsburgh to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and earned his JD in 2005. Gavin became a senior associate with Thorp Reed & Armstrong, LLP where he works in the field of Financial Institutions and Real Estate Practice Group. He is an active member of the Association for Corporate Growth {ACG} and in the Developing Leaders Program in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties {NAIOP}. Since returning to Pittsburgh, Gavin has become involved in USC community sports programs. He currently serves as an USCHS assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach and as the head basketball coach for the USCAA Traveling Basketball Team for 7th and 8th graders. Gavin is also the soccer broadcaster for USCHS Varsity Boys’ Soccer. Because of his interest in the academic and athletic excellence in the Upper St. Clair Community, Gavin created and personally funds an annual Pride of the Panthers Scholarship for a deserving USCHS scholar/athlete.
    The Athletic Hall of Fame inductees for 2012 are Scott Dillie, Conor Lee, and Catherine Talarico.
    Scott Dillie, Class of 2005, excelled in two sports at USCHS. As a mid-fielder in soccer, Scott was on the Panther teams that won two consecutive PIAA State Championships in 2003 and 2004. He assisted on game winning goals in both championship games. The 2004 team was undefeated (27-0) as they captured the WPIAL and State Championships and were given a #1 National Ranking by the NCSAA. In 2004 Scott was a National Soccer Coaches Association All-American as well as All-State, All-WPIAL, and All-Region. He was named by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review to the All WPIAL Teams and the 2004 Boys’ Soccer Player of 2004. He was the Almanac’s 2004 Most Valuable Soccer Player. As a member of the boys’ basketball team, Scott helped the team to a 2005 WPIAL Championship with a 27-3 record. Even though he was usually defending the opponent’s leading player, Scott averaged 9.6 points and 3 assists. In addition to his athletic prowess, Scott had a strong academic record and was elected to the National Honor Society. After graduation Scott went to Virginia Tech where he played varsity soccer for four years. During his career he scored 10 goals and 23 total points. He participated in the 2007 NCAA Soccer Final Cup, i.e. the College Cup. In 2008 he was the team captain. Scott was a three-time ACC All-Academic Team recipient and a three-time ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District III Award recipient. Since he earned his degree, Scott has worked as a Financial Representative at Northwest Mutual in Washington, DC. 
    Conor Lee, Class of 2003, was one of those rare athletes who excelled in two sports during the same season. In soccer he was a four year letterman, an All Conference player for three years, an All WPIAL player for three years, and All State player for one year. The Panthers were the WPIAL Champions in 2000 and the runners up in 2002. He helped the team to three playoff berths and two conference titles. In football Conor was also a four year letterman as the starting placekicker for four years and a starting free safety as a senior. The Panthers were Conference Champions in 2001 and 2002. Conor was an All Conference Kicker for four years, an All State Kicker for one, and a participant in the East West All Star Game. Academically Conor was exceptional. He was elected to the National Honor Society and was graduated with a 3.8 GPA. As a walk on at the University of Pittsburgh, he was a varsity letter winner for three years as he broke or tied 7 Pitt records. He was third in career points behind Carson Long (PK) and Tony Dorsett. He made the All Big East Academic Team for three years, and he was the Big East Special Teams Player of the Week three times during his career. In 2008 Conor was named team captain by his peers. He was chosen for the All Big East First Team and the NCAA Academic All American Team. Conor was named the 2008 Big East Football Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was also awarded the most prestigious Pitt Blue-Gold Award presented to the senior who represents the student-athlete ideals of academic scholarship, athletic achievement, leadership, and citizenship. Conor was graduated magna cum laude and earned a BS in Business Administration and Economics. He continued at Pitt’s Katz Business School and earned an MBA in Marketing and Strategy. During his tenure at Pitt, Conor was actively involved with Athletes in Action, a group of Christian athletes, and in the Pitt LifeSkills Program. Currently Conor works for PNC Financial Services in the Corporate Banking Group. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Katie and their daughter Addison.
    Catherine Talarico, Class of 1993, was an exceptional musician, student, as well as an athlete at USCHS. She played violin in the USCHS Orchestra and became the Concert Mistress. Katie played with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra for three years. Because of her academic excellence, she was elected to the National Honor Society. In athletics Katie ran cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track and as a senior she captained all three teams. As an underclassman Katie set many school records and was selected and attended the US Track and Field Olympic Development Camp in Colorado Springs in 1992. She is the all-time USCHS record holder for the mile (5.01). As a result of her mile time, Katie ranked 15th in the nation. Despite suffering from mononucleosis during her senior year, Katie was the Almanac/Advertiser Athlete of the Year and the USCHS Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Katie attended Princeton University where she was on 8 different All Ivy teams and two All East teams in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track. She ultimately served as captain of all three Princeton teams. She was named the 1996 Princeton University Cross Country’s Rosengarten Award Winner (MVP) and the 1997 Track and Field’s Nancy Kramer Award Winner (MVP). The Princetonian Newspaper twice named Katie as Athlete of the Week. As a senior Katie was a Princeton record holder in the Distance Medley Relay and an All American 3000 Meters in Outdoor Track (8th in the nation). After graduation she attended Duquesne University where she served as the Cross Country and Track & Field Graduate Assistant Coach. Katie earned a Master’s Degree in Education. As a teacher in Greenville, North Carolina, Katie developed the gifted curriculum for the 4th and 5th grades in the Pitts County School District. She also taught kindergarten at the Liberty School in Shadyside. Currently she lives in Mt. Lebanon with her husband Jose Del Toro and their daughters Rosemary and Catalina.
Last Modified on December 16, 2013