The Wall of Honor at Unionville High School is open and ready for business.During a ceremony at the high school last Thursday, the four first honorees of the new wall were officially added to the list of esteemed alumni who have so well defined themselves in their professional and personal lives.
The inductees included Olympic athlete Kate Barber, agriculturalist and business leader Charlie Brosius, educator Janet Dadds, and business leader and community benefactor Tom Musser.
At the ceremony last week, the four inductees were given the opportunity to reflect on their experiences at UHS and to share those experiences with the current crop of soon-to-be UHS graduates.
Barber, who graduated in 1994, took her skills to the Olympics in Beijing this summer, where she was captain of the field hockey team. Barber also has an accomplished list of successes in athletics, including three straight national championships with the North Carolina Tar Heels from 1995 to 1997.
Barber said that she couldn't think of a better cap to a stellar year than to be an inaugural inductee for the UHS Wall of Honor. She added that it was an honor to be listed alongside her fellow inductees, whom she said had exemplified themselves in their selected fields.
Her experiences at Unionville, Barber said, helped her to believe her goal of becoming a professional athlete was something within her reach, and the thanked the teachers and coaches who gave her that inspiration along the way.
"Thank you for believing in me," she said. "I clearly would not be standing here without your support."
Class of 1948 grad Charlie Brosius has a long association with the local community, having been state agricultural secretary and a West Marlborough Township supervisor. His family is best known, however, as the owners of Marlboro Mushrooms, continuing a tradition started by his great grandfather in 1902.
Brosius reflected on the fact that, in 1948, a high school diploma was held in high regard and was not something handed out to just anyone.
He added that much of what he needed to succeed in life came by way of his first grade teacher Mary Kinsey, who taught him - among many other things - some rudimentary math skills that he retains to this day.
"She taught me that one and one always make two," Brosius said. "And if you can remember that, the rest is pretty easy."
Unionville Elementary teacher Janet Dadds, of the class of 1968, has been teaching kids in Unionville for nearly 40 years. In that time, she said, she has discovered a few simple things that apply universally to children - and grown-ups - everywhere.
"Listen to the people that love you and you'll learn, and hopefully become a lifelong learner," Dadds said. "Stand straight and know when to bend. And try your best always to do the right thing, Even if that's a hard thing to do, your moral barometer will lead you on the right path."
Tom Musser, alumni of the class of 1952, is well known as the president/CEO of Tri-M, a local electronics solutions company that is recognized throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. When Musser and his brother started the company in 1964 - with a $300 personal investment - they took no pay the first three years as they worked together to get their new business off the ground.
In light of that partnership, Musser urged the audience to recognize the importance of working as a team to achieve their goals.
"Whatever success you do achieve, I found out you certainly never do it alone," Musser said. "Build that team upon the greatest talent you can find, respect it as much as you can and provide opportunity for them, and you will be successful in whatever endeavor you make as your life's work."
He added to always be thankful for your achievements, but to never be satisfied.
Superintendent Sharon Parker said she was in awe of the achievements the honorees have made, adding her hope that the day will come where each student at Unionville High School is recognized for their own contributions to the greater good.
"Yesterday's children faced challenges we will never know, and we will face ones that they could not have imagined," Parker said. "So stand proud and stand tall."
The Unionville High School Wall of Honor was created in the fall of 2008 as a way to recognize Unionville-Chadds Ford School District alumni for their lifetime achievements. Its inductees are chosen by committee on an annual basis, with new inductees to be added each year.