|Explanation of Society, explanation of crosses
The Society of the Golden Cross was founded to honor those who, by the achievements of their lives, exemplify what it means to be truly “Nativity High School” at its best. The men and women who have been selected demonstrate the goals of the school: by solid academic, spiritual and physical formation, our students become better people because they can know God, know His love for them, and have the courage to love Him back through the choices of a lifetime.
The name “Golden Cross” is derived from the design of the face of the school. Each night, the cross is lit to remind the city of the presence of Christ in our lives. This cross has become part of the night sky of Pottsville, a navigation aid for those airships of mercy who drop from the sky to bring aid and relief to the injured, and to remind all of the power of truth that education and learning bring to our lives. Golden Cross Society members are those who take this beacon down from the building and make it part of their own lives on a daily basis.
The Golden Crosses that our new members receive today are quite special: they are the product of the creative drive of another of our alumni, Mr. Charles Sophy. Mr. Sophy designed these solid 10 carat gold crosses to reflect the pattern of light and windows that characterizes the front of our school building. This generous gift on the part of Mr. Sophy has enabled us to present truly a beautiful and genuine tribute to the members of our society. What makes them extra special is that they are truly something of Nativity High School; no one else has anything quite like this.
|Biography of 2013 Society of the Golden Cross members
The newest members of Nativity BVM High School's Golden Cross Society were inducted at the annual Century Club Benefit on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
photo (l to r): Dr. Augustine Moffitt; Mr. Tom Pavalko accepting for his father the late, Mr. George Pavalko; and Mr. William Kirwan
|Dr. Augustine E. Moffitt, Jr.
Vice President, Global Safety and Environmental Affairs (Retired)
A native of Minersville, PA, Dr. Moffitt is a 1963 graduate of Nativity BVM High School where he was senior class president and valedictorian.
He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry cum laude from LaSalle College and his M.S. and Sc.D. degrees from Harvard University.
He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.
Dr. Moffitt has more than 35 years experience in senior management positions in two different industry sectors.
Most recently, as Vice President, Global Safety and Environmental Affairs for Schering-Plough Corporation, a major pharmaceutical company, he was responsible for oversight and direction of the company's safety, environmental, and sustainability programs, and for developing and implementing appropriate strategies, plans, and management systems to reduce risk and ensure continuing compliance with applicable laws and regulations in more than thirty countries.
Dr. Moffitt also served as Secretary to Schering-Plough's Corporate Environmental and Safety Council, which had overall responsibility for review and approval of global policies and standards, and governance and oversight within the company.
He received the Schering-Plough Chairman's Award in October 2009 for his efforts in advancing a culture of safety and environmental excellence across the company's global operations.
He retired from Schering-Plough/Merck in 2011 after serving as a member of the companies' Merger Integration Team.
He is currently Managing Director of Sustainable Perspectives, Inc., a sustainability strategy and communications firm located in Allentown, PA.
Dr. Moffitt's consulting practice focuses on Culture Change, Corporate Strategy and Governance, Management Systems, and Communications.
Prior to joining Schering-Plough in 2002, he served as Executive Vice President-Administration and Chief EHS Officer for Bethlehem Steel Corporation, and was a member of the company's Executive Committee, reporting to the Chairman of the Board and CEO.
He had overall responsibility for Bethlehem's human resources, corporate business services, EHS and risk management, government affairs, and corporate communications functions, and was Chairman of Bethlehem's Corporate Safety, Health, and Environmental Council.
Significant accomplishments included a 15% corporate-wide reduction in administrative expense through more efficient and effective organizational designs and improved workforce productivity.
Under his leadership, Bethlehem became the first steelmaker to endorse the CERES Principles, a commitment to continuous improvement in and public accountability for EHS performance, and the first integrated steel company to achieve ISO 14001 certification.
While in the metals industry, he served as Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Affairs of the International Iron and Steel Institute and was named a member of Pennsylvania's 21st Century Environmental Commission by Governor Tom Ridge.
Prior to joining Bethlehem, Dr. Moffitt served with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and U.S. Public Health Service as a senior toxicologist and environmental chemist.
He has authored a number of technical papers on environmental health, toxicology and chemistry and is a member of various professional organizations, including the National Safety Council, American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Society of Toxicology and Sigma Xi.
Dr. Moffitt is currently a member of Harvard University's School of Public Health Leadership Council and the Board of Trustees of Historic Bethlehem Partnership's Museums and Sites.
He previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lehigh Valley Health Network and Muhlenberg Hospital.
He also served on the Senior Advisory Council of the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) EHS Leadership Committee, and chaired the Pharmaceutical Safety Group in 2008 and 2009.
He served three terms as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Safety Council, where he most recently chaired the International Safety Council Board in 2010.
He is married to the former Joanne Klatko, a 1964 graduate of Nativity BVM High School and the Coatesville Hospital School of Nursing.
They are the parents of two adult children, and reside in Bethlehem, PA.
(Husband/Father/Educator/Coach; January 26, 1923-February 15, 1995)
In the words of Lou Holtz, "I can't believe God put us on this earth to be ordinary."
George Pavalko was anything, but ordinary.
He loved his country, his family and good friends, his religion, his students, Nativity, sports and Notre Dame Football--not necessarily, in that order!
When Notre Dame lost, the house was palled and begged to be draped in black!
When Penn State and Notre Dame played, Mag prayed for a tie!
(He would have cringed had he seen one of his grandchildren gleefully, dunk the gold-plated "Fighting Irish," mini-helmet, into the toilet)!
George Pavalko lived his life according to the principles and values espoused by Catholic Education. He "paid it forward," so to speak.
His kindnesses went largely unheralded or unnoticed.
They were simply, "matter of fact," to him.
When a fellow Villanova student needed a place to stay, George (who visited his new wife and baby on weekends) offered his dorm room.
In the early years of Nativity Sports, he routinely, welcomed a resolute fan (seemingly without resources), onto the team bus for Sunday, "Away," basketball games.
He was instrumental in finding foster families for several of his football players (admittedly, a little boost to the "W" column)!
His devotion and loyalty to his family were beyond measure.
George Pavalko was a good husband and father.
Not perfect, just solid.
His life mimicked those of the, "poets in the kitchen."
He was a great cook—took it, seriously!
With the ever-present dishtowel thrown casually, over his shoulder and a sink full of dirty dishes and pots, he managed to create some fine cuisine (his bean soup was legendary)!
He dispensed advice and world outlooks that reflected his experience: he would not send his sons to war—he would go—"I know what it's like."
If someone wanted to date his daughters, that someone ought to have a football or basketball, in tow!
He loved Mag and brought her red roses and baby's breath, when they just started dating.
He was proud of his children's athletic prowess, however, stressed education.
He rocked and walked and sang soothing lullabies to his grandchildren—he was "Pop- Pop."
Or, "Sam," to everyone else.
George became a loving memory, on February 15, 1995.
He is survived by his wife, Marguerite "Maggie," (Connelly) Pavalko; five (5) children: Susan, Nicki, David (Kris), Tom and Ben (Wendy); six (6) grandchildren—Trevor (Nicole), Matt (Amber), Samantha, Avery Hope, Hayley Jude and Tyler James; two (2) great-grandchildren: Connelly Jace and Addison Grace (on the way)!
While his family and the thousands of students whom he taught and coached, are his true legacy, his career/life accomplishments are impressive.
George was a 1941 graduate of Blythe Township High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball for four years.
He played football on the 1939 Blythe Township State Championship Team and was selected on the first All-State Football Team as a junior.
He repeated that feat, in his senior season.
His selection to the Pennsylvania All-State Football Team for two (2) consecutive years, at the guard position, is a State record.
Upon graduation, he enrolled in Fordham University (NYC), but left to enter the Marine Corps.
He spent eighteen (18) months serving in the South Pacific (Sixth Marine Division) during World War II.
He received two (2) Purple Hearts for his efforts in Guam and Okinawa (Battle of Sugar Hill) and was Honorably Discharged in 1945.
He subsequently, enrolled at Villanova University (Philadelphia) where he played football.
He received the team's Most Valuable Player Award in 1946.
Other noteworthy commendations include: Honorable Mention AP All-Eastern Team and All-America Team; AP State Team; All Pennsylvania Collegiate Eleven Team.
He was inducted into the Villanova University Varsity Club's Hall of Fame in 1990.
He began his teaching career in New Philadelphia and his coaching career at Pottsville Catholic.
He joined the faculty at Nativity BVM, when it opened in 1955.
He coached football for twelve (12) years, basketball and baseball for ten (10) years.
He served as Athletic Director for twenty-nine (29) years.
His teaching responsibilities cut across several disciplines.
After teaching/coaching for thirty-three years, he retired in 1988.
Continuing his tradition of loyalty and service to Nativity, he accepted a position as assistant coach of the girls' softball team.
An honorarium –established in his name—recognizes female athletes at annual Commencement ceremonies.
Mr. Pavalko (Mr. "P") was the last of the original faculty members at Nativity BVM.
Former students recalled his penchant for holding high expectations for all students and his overall demeanor.
"He had the solid stride of an athlete and he told it like it was—no gloss, just straight talk."
"When he spoke, his right hand and index finger spoke, as well, emphasizing what he was saying."
Beneath the presumed, "rough exterior," was a genuine concern for students. "He was always willing to help."
He was a member of a number of community organizations, including The Schuylkill County Coaches Association, the St. Clair Old Timers Baseball Association.
In 1988, the Schuylkill County Scholastic Athletic Association honored him for his years of service to high school athletics.
In 1990, he was inducted into the Tubby Allen-Chet Rogawicz Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame.
In 1993, the St. Clair Old Timers Baseball Association recognized his coaching expertise.
George was a member of Holy Family Church, New Philadelphia and affiliated with New Philadelphia Little League, for fifteen years.
In 2010, the Schuylkill County Football Coaches' Association selected him as a member of its inaugural class, posthumously. "NOT TOO SHABBY!"
|WILLIAM E. KIRWAN, ESQ., CPA
Mr. Kirwan is a 1977 graduate of Nativity B.V.M. High School, a 1981 graduate of Lehigh University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, and a 1985 graduate of the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Kirwan was an associate in the tax department of the Philadelphia Law Firm of Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman.
Returning to Schuylkill County in 1987, Mr. Kirwan became a partner in the firm of Messersmith, St. Clair, Patton & Maczees, P.C., Certified Public Accountants.
Currently, Mr. Kirwan is the owner of the successor firm of St. Clair & Associates, P.C., Certified Public Accountants, serving the tax, business, and financial planning needs of corporations and individuals.
Mr. Kirwan also practices law in the area of probate and estate administration as well as estate planning.
Mr. Kirwan serves on the Boards of Directors of the Eastern PA Scholarship Foundation and Nativity High School and is a member of the Bishop's Commission on Catholic Schools.
Mr. Kirwan is married to the former Elizabeth Bradley of Mahanoy Plane.
Their daughters, Melissa and Amy are both graduates of Nativity and their son, Brian, is a student at St. Joseph's Center for Special Learning.
|2012 Society of the Golden Cross members
The newest members of Nativity BVM High School's Golden Cross Society were inducted at the annual Century Club benefit on Saturday, April 14, 2012. Pictured (l. to r.) Bishop John O. Barres, Attorney Eric Liberman '94, W. Frederick Miller '60, Elizabeth "Betty" (Legutko) Miller '60, Angelo "Abe" Barone, Rev. Msgr. William E. Handges PCHS '54, Lynn A. Lechleitner Sabol '76, Principal, Jennifer Forney Daubert '91, Director of Development
|Biography of 2011 Society of the Golden Cross members
|Rev. Stephen L. Maco
Rev. Stephen L. Maco was born in Bethlehem, PA, on September 15, 1945. He is the son of the late Helen Nemsak Maco and John J. Maco, Sr., and has a married brother, John.
He attended St. Ursula's parochial school in Fountain Hill; after graduating from Allentown Central Catholic High School in 1963, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA, and began his studies for the priesthood. He received his B.A. in philosophy from St. Charles in 1969. After interrupting his studies to attend the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas, he returned to Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, PA, and received a Master of Divinity in Theology in 1975. At the same time, he was studying at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, and earned a Master of Education in Educational Administration in 1974.
Following his ordination to the priesthood by the late Bishop Joseph McShea in May of 1976, Fr. Maco was appointed as professor of Theology to Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville, PA, where he taught Theology courses in Church History, Ethics and Social Justice, and was in residence at St. Patrick's parish of Pottsville.
Fr. Maco was named to the position of Vice-Principal in June of 1980, and then was appointed Principal of Nativity BVM High school in June of 1982, and served in that capacity until June of 1991. In 1985, he inaugurated Nativity BVM High School's program of Volunteer Service to the Elderly which had realized over 10,000 hours of community service during its first five years.
During his fifteen years at Nativity BVM High School, Fr. Maco served as the school's Director of Athletics from 1976-1980. From 1977 through 1991, he was the varsity coach of the Nativity Golden Girls basketball team, compiling an overall record of 301 wins and 126 losses; during that time, the Golden Girls captured the PIAA Class "A" State Championship in 1978 and 1990, and were the PIAA Class "A" State Runner-Up in 1991. Added to these are District XI Class "A" Championships in 1978, 1980, and 1991, and the Schuylkill League Championship in 1978, with League Divisional Championships coming in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1991. His 1977-78 and 1978-79 teams together fashioned a 56 game win streak which stands as a Nativity school record.
During his 14 years of coaching on Lawton's Hill, Fr. Maco was selected as the Greater Pottsville Area Coach of the year in 1978; The Pottsville Republican's Coach of the Year in 1991. He was also selected to coach the Schuylkill League's South Girls' All-Star Team in 1978, 1981, 1987, and 1991, with his final Schuylkill County coaching appearance garnering a 64-61 Senior Charity Bowl victory.
In October of 1991, Fr. Maco was inducted into the Allen-Rogowicz Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
In June of 1991, following 15 years of service as priest-teacher, athletic director, girls' varsity basketball coach, vice-principal and principal of Nativity BVM High School, Fr. Maco was appointed Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education in the Diocese of Allentown. In assuming that position, he also served as a part-time teaching member on the faculty of Bethlehem Catholic High School. In June of 1994, Fr. Maco left the Office of Education and was appointed professor of Senior Theology and Director of Spiritual Activities at Bethlehem Catholic. He also coached girls' basketball at Bethlehem Catholic, during which time he received his 400th overall coaching victory.
In June of 2003, Fr. Maco was appointed and served as principal of Cardinal Brennan Jr/Sr. High School in Ashland, with residence at Annunciation BVM Parish in Shenandoah through June of 2004.
Due to family related health concerns, Fr. Maco requested and was transferred to the Lehigh Valley, serving as Parochial Vicar at St. Paul's Parish in Allentown from June of 2004 until June 2005, and at St. Jane Frances' Parish in Easton until June 2006.
In June 2006, Fr. Maco returned to the diocesan educational ministry and was assigned to Reading Central Catholic High School as Vice Principal for Spiritual Affairs and as professor of Senior Theology; he was in residence at Holy Guardian Angels Rectory in Reading, PA, through July 2008.
Since July of 2008 through the present, Fr. Maco has been assigned as the Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Parish in Allentown, PA; he serves as chaplain and coordinator for the Pro-Life committee, the St. Vincent DePaul Society, the Liturgical committee and St. Paul's Mission Outreach program.
Father Maco is humbled and deeply honored to be a recipient of Nativity's Gold Cross award. For all of his years in the priesthood, he has always cherished his fifteen years spent on the Hill and continues to have an abiding affection for the people of Schuylkill County, and especially for the young men and women who have worn the Green & Gold. For Father Maco, he was most fortunate to come away with so many wonderful and precious memories.
|Joseph P. Troy
Attorney Joseph P. Troy was born in Pottsville, the son of the late Gordon V. and Jean R. Troy, former office secretary at Nativity School. He grew up on Greenwood Hill on the east side of Pottsville and attended St. Patrick's grade school, which, at the time, also housed Pottsville Catholic High School until Nativity B.V.M. high school opened in 1955.
Mr. Troy is a 1966 honors graduate of Nativity. While at Nativity he lettered in basketball, football, and golf. In his senior year he was a member of the Nativity Forensics Team which captured the Allentown Diocese Team Championship. Mr. Troy won the individual Diocesan Championship in original oratory.
Bishop Joseph McShea designated Mr. Troy as a "Bishop's Scholar" and awarded him a full scholarship to the then new diocesan college, Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, which is now De Sales University, in Center Valley, PA. In 1970 he was a member of the second graduating class from Allentown College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics, magna cum laude. While at Allentown College, Mr. Troy was a charter member of the Student Government Association and was elected president of the student body in 1969. He helped organize the founding of the campus newspaper "The Minstrel" and was named editor in chief in 1968. He was captain of the Allentown College golf team in his junior and senior years.
He has remained loyal and close to his college alma mater. He was elected president of the Allentown College Alumni association and is a past recipient of the Allentown College Distinguished Alumni Service Award. He continues to serve as a member of the De Sales University President's Council.
In 1973 Mr. Troy received his Juris Doctor degree from the Villanova School of Law. That same year he passed the Pennsylvania Bar and was admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He was later admitted to practice in the Eastern District and Middle District Federal Courts of Pennsylvania, as well as the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the US Tax Court.
He began his legal career as an associate in the law offices of Abe H. Frumkin in Pottsville, while serving as a judicial law clerk for Judge John Walesky in the Schuylkill County Court of Common Please. He later became a judicial law clerk for Judge G. Harold Watkins, President Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In January 1976 he was a founding partner in the Law Firm of Rubright, Domalakes, Troy & Miller.
Professionally, Attorney Troy is a member of the Schuylkill Count and the Pennsylvania Bar Associations. He is a former president of the Schuylkill County Bar Association and is now serving as the Chairman of the Domestic Relations Rules Committee. He is also a member of the St. Thomas More Society of the Allentown Diocese.
During his legal career, Attorney Troy has represented numerous civic and community focused organizations. He is a life member of the Rainbow Hose Company in Schuylkill Haven.
He is a former chairman of the Board of Directors of Schuylkill County Child Development, and served for 9-years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Good Samaritan Regional Medical center where he chaired the Professional Affairs Committee. He is now Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Seton Manor Nursing Home where he is Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee. He is the 2010 recipient of Nativity's Distinguished Alumni Award.
Attorney Troy is married to the former Jacqueline Maley, who is a 1968 graduate of Nativity. They are the parents of four sons: Patrick, Timothy, Daniel and Gregory, each of whom is a Nativity graduate. Attorney and Mrs. Troy reside in Schuylkill Haven and are members of St. Ambrose Parish.
Attorney Troy has kept Nativity as an integral part of his life. He remains active with Nativity's Green Wave Association, which is an important resource for the football and track programs at Nativity. Attorney Troy is an ardent and generous supporter of Nativity HS and has never forgotten his roots. He bleeds green and gold and exemplifies all the ideals of the Golden Cross Award.
Sharon Struzinsky Modesto is a 1980 graduate of Nativity BVM High School. She attended St. Mary's Roman Catholic grade school, graduating in 1976. While a student at Nativity, Sharon was involved in many activities. In 1984, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in special education from Marywood College. Sharon received her Master's Degree in Learning Disabilities from Bloomsburg University in 1988. From 1984 through 1988, Sharon was employed as a learning support teacher through the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit at Williams Valley Jr./Sr. High School. She held the same position from 1993 to 2003 at Pottsville Area Middle School. In 2007, Sharon returned to DHH Lengel Middle School in Pottsville, where she remains a Learning Support Teacher for grades 7 and 8.
Sharon is very active in the community where she has volunteered at St. Patrick's soup kitchen, Meals on Wheels and Nativity's School store.
Sharon is married to John Modesto and resides in Pottsville, PA. They are the parents of John and Christian Modesto, both Nativity graduates, and Victoria Modesto, a second grade student at All Saints Catholic School. Sharon is a staunch supporter of Catholic education. She continues to volunteer her precious time, energy and resources to Nativity BVM High School in many capacities even though her sons have already graduated from the school. Sharon considers Nativity home. She is proud of her Nativity background and we are equally proud to have her installed as the latest member of Nativity's Golden Cross Society.
|Biography of 2010 Society of the Golden Cross members
Pictured (l to r): Mr. George Repella, 50 year faculty member of Nativity BVM; Carol Boyer, Nativity faculty; Lynn Sabol, Principal Nativity BVM, Bonnie Norton, accepting for her late husband, Mr. J. William Norton; Rita Gemmell, accepting for her late husband, Mr. Jack Gemmell; Denise Dee; Jennifer Daubert, Nativity Development Director; George Halcovage.
The event was held at Jack Rich's Antique Car Museum in Frackville, PA on May 8, 2010.
Pictured (l to r): Bonnie Norton, accepting for her late husband, Mr. J. William Norton; Rita Gemmell, accepting for her late husband, Mr. Jack Gemmell; Denise Dee; George Halcovage.
George graduated from Nativity BVM High School with the Class of ’75. He went on to Villanova University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and then retuned home to work over the last 30 years side by side with his family and pursue a career in the world of business and finance. He has been President of the Minersville based Morgan & Halcovage Insurance Agency for the past 11 years and has carved out a very successful career in a highly competitive profession.
George graduated from Nativity more than three decades ago, but in some sense never really left. Through the years he has maintained close ties with his Alma Mater, displayed an uncommon loyalty to Nativity, and served the Catholic school on Lawtons Hill in numerous capacities and many meaningful ways. He has been a member of the Alumni Association since 1993, he has worked many years on the Annual School Fund campaign, and he was an eight year member of the Nativity High School Advisory Board under prior administrations. He expanded his commitment to, and support for, Catholic education by serving on Executive Boards for St. Joseph’s Special Learning Center, where he chaired a $700,000 campaign to build the present school, the Catholic Social Agency, and served six years on the Diocese of Allentown Board of Education.
The strong faith, Christian values, and Catholic foundation nurtured and promoted at Nativity High School have been put into practice and action in many ways in George’s personal, social, and professional lives; and they are clear and apparent to all who know him. He is a member and presently Grand Knight of Schuylkill Council 431 of the Knights of Columbus, a proud member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and a 25 year member of the Men of Malvern. He has been actively involved in Saint Patrick’s Church, where he has served as a Cantor, Choir Member, Eucharistic Minister, Church Council and Finance committee member. His passion for music and his gifted voice has graced Church services and ceremonies, as well as special community events, for years. His musical talents are well known, appreciated, and sought after throughout the Anthracite Region and beyond – and he readily and frequently shares them.
George Halcovage is integrally involved with the community, concerned with improving the quality of life for all, and determined to make the area where we live a better place. His community service has been continuous, extensive, significant, and exemplary. It has touched virtually every facet of the community (business and industry, economic development, education, tourism, urban renewal, protective services, and health care), and every segment of the population (including our youth, the aged, the sick, and the needy). Think of an important organization or a cause that matters and George is likely to have been part of it or touched it in some way – the Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturer’s Association, SEDCO, Schuylkill County VISION, the American Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels, the Council for the Arts, the CYO and YMCA, and youth sports programs are just some of his numerous affiliations.
George is an articulate, influential voice who is recognized as a key leader in the community. His judgment is valued and respected. He does not merely join organizations – he commits to and becomes part of them. His experience and leadership skills often make him the ideal choice to Chair a project or serve as an officer of an important organization. His significant accomplishments, professional life, community involvement, and meritorious service have touched the lives of numerous people and made him a recognizable public figure. He exemplifies the ideals and spirit of Nativity BVM High School, a school with a long history and a proud legacy.
George and his wife Barbara celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this past Fall. They are the parents of five children (all of whom are part of the Nativity Family and successes in their own right) and four grandchildren. The Family values they embrace and demonstrate are reflected in the meaning and purpose of The Golden Cross Award.
Denise Dee is a 1985 graduate of Nativity BVM High School. She graduated in 1989 from St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing degree. Furthermore, she is a 1993 graduate of St. Bonaventure with a Masters Degree in Education with a concentration in Counseling Psychology. Denise’s siblings are also graduates of Nativity BVM.
Denise is currently employed by The Epiphany School in Manhattan. She teaches 6th grade grammar, is the school’s guidance counselor, and the high school liaison between the families of The Epiphany School and the numerous high schools their students attend in New York City. She also coaches high school basketball at Friend’s Seminary in New York City.
Denise has exemplified the ideals of the Golden Cross Society in numerous ways. Like Dr. Hashin, a classmate of Denise’s who was inducted into the Golden Cross Society last year, she is an ardent and generous supporter of Nativity High School. The efforts of both her and her family continue to make so many programs we offer at Nativity possible. Denise has used her God given talents to make our world a much better place in which to live.
Denise started the Cover Me With Love program six years ago. Cover Me With Love collects hand made blankets as well as new clothing for children in need throughout North America. This organization has donated over 600 blankets and many other clothing items to hospitals, shelters, individual families and organizations that help children who are less fortunate than others. Nativity High School is intricately involved with the Cover Me With Love program and Denise has worked hand in hand with Nativity to make our students more aware of the needs of others and the importance of community service.
Denise is also involved with an organization called People to People, working as a lead facilitator on educational trips for students who have been identified as potential leaders of tomorrow. These trips have been within the United States as well as in Europe. Additionally, Denise has coached basketball teams that have represented the United States in Australia, New Zealand, and Holland.
|John "Jack" William Gemmell, Sr.
The late John "Jack" William Gemmell, Sr. is survived by his wife of 47 years, Rita C. Brown Gemmell, who is a professional staff member of Nativity BVM High School since 1977, and his 6 children and 11 grandchildren.
Jack had twin sons, Jack Jr. and Jim Gemmell who were 1981 graduates of Nativity BVM High School,; daughter, Colleen E. Kline, a 1983 graduate of Nativity BVM,; son, Shawn G. Gemmell, a 1987 graduate of Nativity BVM,; daughter, Kelly Ann Snyder, a 1990 graduate of Nativity BVM,; and daughter, Maureen Yoachim, a 1991 graduate of Nativity BVM. Jack also had seven brothers and seven sisters all of whom were graduates of Nativity BVM.
Jack received an honorable discharge from the United States Army. He attended Ford School of Business, Penn State University and Pittsburgh University. He has a diploma from the International Correspondence School in Business Administration. He was a certified purchasing manager and served on various purchasing councils.
His eleven grandchildren were the love and inspiration of his life. He enjoyed every moment that he had with them and spoke of them constantly among his friends and colleagues. He was proud of his Irish heritage and was known for his “wearin’ of the green” on St. Patrick’s Day. He was known for his humor as well as his Irish tenor voice.
Jack Gemmell was a lifelong member of the New Minersville Hose Company and a member of the American Legion. Jack was a past president of the Minersville Little League and a coach of Mackeysburg Little League teams. He received an award from the Minersville Area School District for his active community service. Jack was an active member and officer of numerous church and community activities as well as an active member of the Holy Name Society in which he held many offices. He received the Holy Name Medallion Circle Award in 1972. He was a Eucharistic Minister, Usher, Cantor, Lector and a council member at the former St. Vincent de Paul Church as well as an active member and former president of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School Board.
It is Jack’s tireless efforts, many times behind the scenes, for so many Nativity organizations that make him so special to the Nativity community. Jack began helping with ticket collection at Nativity BVM football games, stepping in for his father, while his brothers played. For over 25 years, he continuously worked the booth selling the tickets. He actually did not see his three sons play football until the gate closed.
Each year, he took a week’s vacation to set up, take down, and make many trips to Reading, for prizes and locally for the summer festival. Working with vendors, he was able to get donations and special discounts for the school.
Jack became a Century Club committee member in 1977 – although he actually helped sell tickets for some committee members that he was associated with through the Holy Name Society before then. The year the dinner had an Olympics theme, he had a truck of cones delivered from Reading for the women to make centerpieces.
Jack worked CYO tournaments and solicited donations so that a profit could be made for the Green and Gold Club. Jack was involved in getting the awards for the science fair competition. He did much work behind the scenes in the form of materials and donations when called upon by the administration.
Jack was always willing to help in any way that he could. One year at the Mummer’s Parade, Jack was quickly called upon to help get water for the students and walk with them due to the uncontrolled crowd. Jack received several awards for his unwavering support of Nativity from the school and the PIAA. His never-ending support of and dedication to Nativity BVM High School defines the Golden Cross Award.
|J. William "Bill" Norton
The late J. William "Bill" Norton was a lifelong resident of Pottsville. He was a graduate of Millersville University, Bloomsburg University, and the University of Scranton. He was a member of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church. During his tenure as a member of the Nativity BVM family, he was the Vice-Principal and social studies teacher. He coached basketball, wrestling, cross country, archery, football, track, baseball and weight lifting. He also served as chair of the social studies department, was selected several years for “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers,” was advisor of the chess club, a crisis intervention specialist, student assistance team coordinator and disciplinarian. He was also the founder of Nativity’s FAD and D.A.R.E. programs and a D.A.R.E. Bear recipient.
Bill also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Alvernia College, wrote for the Reading Eagle and was employed by the Pottsville Broadcasting Company in the news and sports departments and as host of “Goal Line.” He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, two daughters and sons-in-law, Sharon, NBVM Class of 1986 and Ken Rossi, Kim, NBVM Class of 1991 and Bill Kimber, and six grandchildren, Kenny and Tyler Rossi, who played for Nativity’s Junior High Football and Basketball programs this past year, Joseph Rossi; Sadie, Timmy and Joshua Kimber.
Bill truly exemplified the ideals of the Golden Cross Society throughout his life. Bill Norton was "a man for all seasons," from mid-August through the end of each October Bill could be found on the football field as line coach of the Hilltopper Eleven. From November 1st through late February, he was "the man" – head coach of the boy’s varsity basketball team. From March through the end of summer, Bill’s voice saturated the local air waves with his commentaries on the start of baseball – especially the Phillies. In his spare time, Bill managed the JFK swimming pool. He was the quintessential trivia buff. Always asking – What was the name of the motion picture in which John Wayne starred as a priest? Who wrote the Book of Love? Where did Robin Roberts attend high school? …and so it goes! Now, I have a question for everyone present tonight. Is there any doubt that Bill Norton truly was a man for all seasons?
Jennifer Daubert email@example.com Nativity BVM High School One Lawtons Hill Pottsville, PA 17901 United States of America Phone: 570-622-8110 Fax: 570-622-0454