Fairview School District
7460 Mccray Road
Fairview, PA 16415
The following Fairview alumni are featured in the 2008-2009 district calendar. Here you will find extended bios and pictures of these alumni. Click a name below to jump to that person's story.
Gary Corbin | David Utley, MD | Carol Elliott | CDR Kevin McGowan | Bob Ferrando
Sarah Jones, PhD | Josh Anon | Tony Hughes | Sarah Schuster Ericsson | Eric Naughton
Peter Burton | Siobhan Kobal | Mark Kessler | Peter Kraus | Jillian Halmi Behn, DO
Gary Corbin graduated from FHS as the 2008 Valedictorian with a 4.875 grade point average. In his years at Fairview, Gary Corbin was a great student, a talented athlete, and a leader.
Gary led the Fairview Tiger football team as a captain and quarterback. In his junior and senior years, Gary was named to the region’s 1st and 2nd teams for offense and defense. He also played basketball for the Tigers. Gary was a member of National Honor Society, JETS, Key Club, Varsity Club, and Spanish Club. He served as Class Treasurer.
Gary will attend the University of Pittsburgh Honors College on a full academic scholarship. He plans to study Physics and Neuro Engineering.
David S. Utley, M.D. was raised in Fairview PA and attended Garwood Middle School and Fairview High School (class of 1982). He married Kathy Boscher (also class of 1982) in 1992. They have four children and live in the San Francisco Bay area near Stanford University.
He received a BA with highest distinction from The Pennsylvania State University in 1986 and then deferred admission to medical school for 2 years to work as the Fairview HS swim coach, Kahkwa Club swim coach, and ultimately as a ski instructor in Stowe Vermont. During that time, he completed the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon in 1987.
David graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1992 and was accepted for his surgical training at Stanford University. He completed a general surgery internship, otolaryngology residency, and a facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship at Stanford, then was appointed as an assistant professor of surgery in 1998. He is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has an active California medical license.
Interested in medical device technology and both basic science and clinical research, he served as the Medical Director for Somnus Medical Technologies (a minimally invasive device for treating snoring and sleep apnea), then founded Curon Medical, Inc. (endoscopic devices for treating gastro esophageal reflux disease) where he served as chief medical officer. In 2003, Utley left Stanford to start BÂRRX Medical, Inc., which develops and markets endoscopic devices to treat early cancer of the digestive tract, specifically the esophagus. BÂRRX Medical now has 70 employees world-wide and the device has been used to treat more than 20,000 patients. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of several start-up device companies, and has recently founded a smoking cessation device company.
Over the course of his career, Utley has authored 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers and holds 41 U.S. patents with another 58 patents pending.
Carol Grunden Elliott graduated from Fairview High School in 1988. She continued her education at Allegheny College where she earned her BA in Communication Arts/Theatre and her elementary education certification. She began her teaching career as a substitute in the Erie City schools and the Warren County School District. Carol taught preschool at St. Stephen’s Nursery School for four years and then took the first grade position at Fairview Elementary School in 2004.
Mrs. Elliott is an avid reader and professes that her favorite part of her job is teaching students how to read. When students arrive to first grade most are reading only words and short sentences. Students develop so much in first grade and by the end of the year they are reading all kinds of books, even chapter books.
Mrs. Elliott is married to Ben Elliott and has two children who attend Fairview schools.
Commander Kevin M. McGowan is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania and a 1990 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he earned an engineering degree and his commission as an Ensign. After completing Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas; he earned his “Wings of Gold” and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1992.
Commander McGowan completed FRS training at Patrol Squadron THIRTY and joined Patrol Squadron ELEVEN in Brunswick, Maine in November 1993 for his first sea tour. During his tour with the “Pegasus” he served as the Ground Safety Officer, Public Affairs Officer, Pilot NATOPS Officer, and Safety/NATOPS Department Head and qualified as a Mission Commander, Instructor Pilot and NATOPS Evaluator. He completed counter-drug deployment to Puerto Rico/Panama/Honduras and a deployment to Sigonella, Sicily in support of combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He additionally led a detachment to Africa as part of Operation ASSURED RESPONSE over Liberia. At the completion of his tour in 1996, Patrol Squadron ELEVEN was decommissioned.
Commander McGowan’s next assignment was to Patrol Squadron THIRTY as an FRS Instructor Pilot. As part of the “Pro’s Nest,” he served as the Command Security Manager, Aircrew Division Officer, and the Quality Assurance Officer. He completed his instructor tour at the FRS as the lead FRS IUT Instructor Pilot and with the highest sortie completion rate on record.
In 1999, Commander McGowan reported aboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) as the Assistant Navigator (ANAV). During this tour he qualified as Officer of the Deck Underway and completed a full deployment to the Arabian Gulf. In 2001, he was recognized as the LANTFLT Shiphandler of the Year. Additionally, he became the first non-nuclear officer to qualify as Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW) aboard a Nimitz class CVN. At the completion of his tour he returned to VP-30 for refresher flight training prior to his Department Head tour.
In 2001, CDR McGowan reported to Patrol Squadron TWENTY SIX for his Department Head tour where he served as the Command Services Officer, CTG OPS Officer, Training Department Head, and Operations Officer. While assigned to the TRIDENTS, he deployed to Puerto Rico in support of the SOUTHCOM counter-drug mission and additionally served as the OIC in Keflavik, Iceland.
In November 2004, CDR McGowan reported to Commander Naval Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee to serve as the VP/VQ Air Combat Placement Officer in PERS 43. Following his tour at BUPERS, he reported to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island where he earned his Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies in 2006.
In March 2006, CDR McGowan was selected for initial aviation operational command. He reported to the RED LANCERS of Patrol Squadron TEN for duty as the Executive Officer in March 2007. On 27 June 2008, he became the 72nd Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron TEN.
CDR McGowan is married to Amber Neville of Annapolis, Maryland. They currently reside in the town of Phippsburg, Maine with their four children.
Bob Ferrando graduated from Fairview High School in 1974 and is rated among the finest running backs ever to play football in Erie County. Bob was the 1973 recipient of the Thom McAn Award which was presented annually to the outstanding student-athlete in the Erie area based on ability, sportsmanship, and leadership on the field and in the classroom.
Bob was named to the All-Erie County teams for football, wrestling, and track. In 1973, he won the ECL golden Helmet Player of the year Award and the ECL Most Valuable Player. He set the ECL season scoring record of 138 points, 20 touchdowns, in leading the Tigers to an undefeated (9-0) season. He ran for 1,409 total yards in 166 carries averaging 8.3 yards per carry. He was an All-State Honorable Mention and was selected to play in the 1973 Big 33 All-Star Game.
Bob was also a track standout at Fairview, earning All-County honors in 1973 and 1974 as a sprinter. In 1974, Bob placed third in the PIAA State track meet in the 880 relay and in 1973 he placed fifth at that meet in the 100 yard dash. He is the current record holder in the 100 yard dash with a time of 10 seconds flat. Bob won the District 10 Championship in the 200 yard dash and anchored the Tigers’ Championship D-10 880 yard relay team. He made All-County in three tack events including the 100 and 200 yard dashes and the 880 yard relay.
Sarah Edith Jones (Ph.D., Sociology, University of California – Santa Barbara), is survey researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Princeton, New Jersey where she designs and conducts research in health, education, and international development.
Sarah graduated from Fairview High School in 1992 and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she earned a BA with a double major in Spanish and Italian. While studying at Madison she met a professor in the sociology department who, recognizing her research and writing skills, encouraged her to attend graduate school and to pursue her PhD. After graduating from UW in 1996, Sarah spent some time in Spain and then enrolled at the University of California, Santa Barbara to earn her PhD in Sociology. For her doctoral research, Sarah relocated to Houston, Texas to conduct a year long study at the original KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), which has received national media attention for its success. Sarah is working with a publishing company now and hopes to release this research as a book in the near future.
Following her graduate studies, Sarah did a post-doc at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Gervitz Graduate School of Education where she taught graduate seminars and worked on research and publications in the areas of Sociology and Education. While in graduate school and during her post-doc Sarah was recruited to the American Institute for Research (AIR) in Washington DC to conduct evaluation research on national education initiatives. During her time at AIR, she conducted research evaluations in various parts of the country, including an evaluation of the GE Foundation’s program to develop College Bound Districts in five districts including the Erie City School District.
In addition to her time in the field, Sarah spent an equal amount of time writing research reports and briefs. One that she produced foe Knowledge Works Foundation (an Ohio-based philanthropic organization dedicated to improving public education) about a small school initiative will be included as a chapter in a book about High School Reform that is due out in September of 2008 by Urban Institute Press, as well as a number of topic briefs that will be released though the National High School Center (www.betterhighschools.org).
While working at AIR, Sarah held two adjunct teaching positions. In 2006 she taught an undergraduate course in the Sociology of Education at George Washington University, and in 2008 she was brought on as an adjunct faculty person at George Mason University to teach a graduate seminar in research methodologies. After three and half years at AIR, Sarah recently accepted a Survey Researcher position at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. in Princeton, NJ, where she will be conducting research and publishing in the areas of health policy, education, international development, welfare and labor.
Josh Anon graduated from Fairview in 1999, and to this day he continues to build upon foundations created at FHS. With a strong grasp of computer programming basics from Mr. Double and eraser hockey (as well as some math) from Mr. Amendola, Josh was well-prepared for college. He graduated magna cum laude in 2003 from Northwestern University with a degree in Computer Science from the McCormick School of Engineering (or, as Josh likes to say, in 2003, Northwestern decided he was full of BS about computer science and gave him a paper to prove it). With an interest in filmmaking that started his senior year at FHS, Josh also ventured outside of the engineering building and took advantage of Northwestern's School of Communication by taking a number of animation classes.
Although it can be tough to find a job that combines your different interests, Josh was fortunate enough to spend his summer 2002 as an intern at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California in the Studio Tools Research and Development group. In April 2003, he returned to Pixar again as an intern in Studio Tools and was then hired full-time. At Pixar, he's been able to span the divide between technical and creative. In addition to working as a Graphics Software Engineer in Studio Tools for Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, Josh was a Render Optimization Engineer on Cars, a Layout Artist (effectively a cinematographer) on Ratatouille, and a Crowds Simulation Artist on WALL-E.
Josh has been been able to span the technical and creative divide outside of work, too, with the digital photography boom. He has been shooting seriously since he was 13, and with the switch from film to pixels, he has been able to successfully join his software skills with his photography skills. In 2002, Josh wrote a piece of software called Lightbox, which was the first professional photo management tool for Mac OS X. Since then, he has co-authored with his mother, Ellen, a book called Aperture Exposed, about Apple's Aperture software and is co-authoring the next edition of Photoshop for Nature Photographers. In the author's note section of Aperture Exposed, Josh even remembered to say "thank you" to Mrs. Skerlong, asserting that she probably thought hell would freeze before he wrote a book.
Currently, Josh is working as a Layout Artist on Pixar's next movie, Up. Outside of work, he's using his knowledge of animation tools to develop a program for the iPhone called FlipBook, which appropriately enough lets you draw flipbooks. When not working or photographing, Josh can often be found cycling through the hills of the San Francisco bay area, playing his violin, or intentionally (and sometimes unintentionally) hurling himself through the air upside down while kiteboarding.
Tony Hughes graduated from Fairview High School in 1976. During his time at Fairview, Tony was selected to the National Honor Society and participated in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. He was fortunate to be part of four Erie County League (ECL) championships for the Tigers: three in Football, one in Baseball and played in All-Star games in Football and Baseball. As a senior, he was selected as class clown.
After graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics, Tony became employed as an adjunct math instructor at Palm Beach Community College before accepting an engineering position at Raytheon Company in Bedford, Massachusetts. He began his career as a Software/Systems Engineer working on the Radar Portion of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile interceptor system.
Tony re-located to Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona and began work on a land based ballistic missile interceptor, the Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV). He accepted a position on the sea based ballistic missile interceptor Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) and is currently the Kinetic Warhead Lead for the SM-3 Block IA 6-Degrees-of-Freedom (6DOF) Simulation. The SM-3 6DOF simulation is a detailed flight performance simulation with Monte Carlo and Nominal run capabilities to predict statistical performance of the SM-3. Basic duties include writing the system software, algorithms, models (hardware, truth, and environment), and analyzing the data for system performance predictions.
In January of 2008, Tony was fortunate to be part of a small team of engineers who were asked to modify the SM-3 system to intercept a satellite in a decaying orbit. The dead satellite was carrying a full tank of hydrazine that would disperse a deadly cloud of toxic vapor when it crashed to earth. The team was given a very short time line to accomplish this task. This presented a big challenge to the group, since satellite velocities are much greater than ballistic missiles, and the SM-3 system is designed to avoid satellites. In 2007, the team had successfully intercepted 6 live-fire ballistic missiles in flight tests, so the aggressive pace of the previous year had essentially prepared them for this special project. The team worked long hours daily until they could predict in a simulation that they could successfully intercept it. When the team presented their analysis, showing a very high degree of confidence in mission success, the Navy gave the go ahead for the mission. On February 20th the team successfully intercepted the dead satellite before it could re-enter the earth’s atmosphere.
What is most memorable for me was being a member on a team of unselfish people. It’s amazing to see what can be accomplished when no one is seeking the credit. I believe that any team can have disrupting personalities to some degree, but this group knew the consequences of failure and the time sensitivity of the mission. It was truly a joy to work with such an unselfish, committed group of people. I’m very fortunate to have been a part of many such teams. My experiences at Fairview High School with parents, teachers, coaches, learning how to work together with others in both athletics and education has been instrumental to me in my career and in my life.
Outside of work Tony volunteers with fellow engineers at local churches in Tucson to tutor high school kids in math and science. Tony also participates in a Raytheon sponsored mentoring program for middle school and high school kids that culminates in regional, state, and national science project competitions. He was honored last year by the University of Arizona as the Dr. Alfonso Ortega Engineer of the Year (for Math Engineering and Science Achievement [MESA]). He enjoys daily exercising, running, ballroom dancing, and eating!
The first harpist to be Grammy-nominated for a solo recording, Boston-based harpist Sarah Schuster Ericsson comes from a family of accomplished musicians. Born in Erie, PA, she began her musical studies at the age of five with the piano before turning to the harp at age ten with her mother as her first teacher. She was quickly accepted as a student of Alice Chalifoux, who was to become her major influence on the harp. Ms. Ericsson graduated from Fairview High School in 1976 and continued her studies at The Cleveland Institute of music, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree. While still a student, she was awarded a national harp fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Center.
Soon after graduation, Ms. Ericsson joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. While in Baltimore, she premiered many solo works for the harp including an American premiere with the Annapolis Brass Quintet. The Baltimore Sun described her playing with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra as “nothing short of spectacular.”
Ms. Ericsson later joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra. During her tenure, she played in the major concert halls of North and South America, Europe and Japan; she worked with many of the world’s top conductors, including Sir Simon Rattle, James Levine, and Bernard Haitink. In addition, she has performed at the prestigious music festivals of Salzburg, Spoleto and Tanglewood. The Boston Globe singled her out for her “dazzling, bravura playing and captivating detail.”
After ten years with the BSO, Ms. Ericsson left to pursue a career as a soloist and recording artist. As a soloist she has appeared with many of the area’s distinguished ensembles including the Boston Pops, and as a featured guest at the national Harp Society conference. In addition to her many broadcasts and orchestral recordings, she can be heard on her first solo CD Iridescence. Fanfare Magazine described her as a “virtuoso harpist” and the debut as “excellent performances of interesting off-the-usual-path repertoire.”
Ms. Ericsson’s latest recording is the Grammy-nominated Night Breeze, the first disc in the Excursions series on the Cambria label. This series focuses on the most influential composers for the harp.
Ms. Ericsson plays Lyon & Healy instruments: a Concert Grand 23 and a Salzedo model harp.
Eric Naughton graduated from Fairview High School in 1988. He continued his education at Penn State University where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video. He continued on to American University where he received his Masters degree in Film and Video.
Eric is a producer and director who resides in Los Angeles, California. He has worked on numerous television programs including 24. Eric recently produced an independent film that screened in over 20 film festivals and won 12 awards. He is currently working on scripts for both television and the theater.
Peter Burton graduated from Fairview High School in 1987. While at Fairview he was a dynamic leader both in and out of the classroom. He served key roles in Student Council and Student Forum. Peter continued his education at Baldwin-Wallace College and graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1990.
Peter began working with his family at the age of 13, pulling weeds, mowing grass, and washing cars. Today, he and his sister Karen own the Burton Funeral Homes and are the 5th generation to run the business. They also own Lakeside Cemetery and Cremation Garden in Erie.
Peter is married and has three children who all attend the Fairview schools. He is an active member of numerous clubs and has served on many boards including Hamot Hospital, Fairview Community Council, and West Penn AAA.
Peter lives by the following motto – “Do what you can today, because you never know what tomorrow will bring!”
Siobhan Herr Kobal has been a chairperson for the Fairview Community Council’s Needy Basket Holiday Food Drive for the past 13 years. She has been involved with the project for more than 16 years. In addition, she volunteers in the Fairview Schools and with the Athletic Boosters where she is in charge of Senior Recognition of all athletes.
Siobhan has been the Pastoral Council chair at Holy Cross Church for the past four years and enjoys assisting with other pastoral work as well. Siobhan is a volunteer for the northwest Pennsylvania DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) which responds to federal disasters.
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Mark Kessler graduated from Fairview High School in June of 2003. His parents are June and Larry Kessler. He has two sisters; Amy is an elementary teacher in the City of Erie School District and Elizabeth is a program planner for the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation in Wooster, Massachusetts.
Mark attended Paul Smith College http://www.paulsmiths.edu in Paul Smith, New York where he earned an Associate Degree in Outdoor Recreation. Mark spent a summer internship at the Quiet Creek Herb Farm and School of Country Living http://www.quietcreekherbfarm.com in Brookville, Pennsylvania where he studied intensive agriculture techniques and other farming and primitive skills. He continued his studies at the Hawk Circle Institute http://www.hawkcircle.com in Cherry Valley, New York where he earned a Primitive Skills Instructor Certificate. There he learned how to skin and tan animal hides, build shelters from the materials that nature provides, and start fires without matches or lighters, to name a few of his skills. While there he participated in several New York State history projects. He worked with a group that investigated and constructed Native American shelters that were present on Manhattan Island at the time of the European discovery. These shelters were dismantled and rebuilt and placed on sight in New York to celebrate the Native American experience in that place. He, along with several others, was on hand to share the process of designing and building these structures. He also was a worker that helped construct an Iroquois Long house at the Iroquois Museum in Cooperstown, New York, for the local historical society. Mark just completed a year of study under Eustace Conway at the Turtle Island Preserve http://www.turtleislandpreserve.com Triplett, North Carolina. Here he studied sustainable living skills and learned the art of living without electricity or motorization.
Presently, Mark is working at Buffalo Cove http://www.buffalocove.com Deep Gap, North Carolina where he is a caretaker and a teacher. Mark is presently constructing a log cabin on the grounds of Buffalo Cove that he will use as his home for this coming year. Links to pictures of the construction of this cabin can be found on this website. While he is waiting for the summer 2009 camping and school programs to start, he will be interning with a blacksmith and a trapper this coming winter.
Mark’s goal is to leave as minimal a “footprint” as possible with his life. He plans to carry on with his learning about sustainable life styles, primitive skills, and the “natural” way of living. He will continue to teach and share his knowledge and skills with others. Someday he will have his own homestead and preserve where he will continue to teach and share his talents and skills.
Peter Kraus graduated from Fairview High School in 1981 and continued his education at Edinboro University where he graduated in 1985. He attended Rochester Institute of Technology for some masters degree work.
Peter been a Fairview resident for more than 35 years and has served the Fairview community as Township Supervisor for the past 13 years. In his role as Supervisor, Pete oversees planning, zoning, recycling, safety, and parks and recreation. Pete assisted the Fairview School District as he managed and built two buildings: the new concession stand at Keck Memorial Field and the building at the Chris Batchelor memorial Tennis Courts. “It has been a pleasure and an honor being an employee of the people of the Fairview Township. I have so much pride in our community!”
Jill Behm graduated from Fairview High School in 1985 and continued her education at Kent State University where she received her Bachelors degree in Chemistry in 1989. She completed a D.O. degree at Ohio University of Osteopathic Medicine in 1994. Jill completed her Family Practice Residency at St. Vincent Health Center in 1997. She is an Emergency Room Physician at the VA Medical Center.
Jill is an active participant in the Quad Games and is the Female course record holder for the bike. Jill reigns as the Masters National Time Trial Cycling Champion. Jill still holds an FHS athletic record for her 147’2” javelin throw. She competed at the PA State Track Meet in 1984 and 1985 and finished 3rd in Javelin. Jill went to Kent State University on a Track and Field scholarship and was a 4 year varsity letterman. She was also the Mid-American Conference Champion for Javelin in 1989.
Jill and her husband live in Erie with their two sons.