Welcome to the Levittown Alumni Hall of Fame
To recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves by their contributions in their field of work, study or athletics.
Want to Nominate A Levittown Alumni?
- Nomination can be made by using the Alumni Hall Of Fame Nomination Form.
- Nomination forms will be made available on or before January 1st of each year. Once a person is nominated they will remain in consideration for three years if not immediately selected.
A nominee must have graduated from either Division Avenue High School, Levittown Memorial High School, or General Douglas MacArthur High School a minimum of 10 years prior to nomination. Current employees are excluded.
Thomas CafaroGeneral Douglas MacArthur
Mr. Thomas Cafaro is one of the greatest lacrosse players ever at MacArthur and at West Point. A two-time, first-team All American, Thomas Cafaro was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He was a member of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Lacrosse squad and was a vital contributor to the Amy Black Knights National Championship Team. He won the Lt. Ray Enners Award as the nation's most outstanding player in 1971 and the Jack Turnbull Award as the country's top attackman that same year. Mr. Cafaro graduated from West Point in 1971 holding 6 records, 4 of which still stand: Points in a single season (85); goals in a single season (51); points in a postseason (18) and goals in a postseason game (7). He ranks sixth, all time, in scoring (167), ninth in goals (96) and seventh in assists (71). Tom scored 7 goals against Cornell in the 1971 semifinals (still a record for goals in an NCAA semifinal) the third best single game performance in Army History. Cafaro averaged 6.54 points per game in 1971, a feat that still lists 17th in NCAA history.
Mr. Cafaro was a groundbreaking player and his prowess on the field was included in Lacrosse technique and tradition, as well as other publications.
After graduation from West Point, Tom served his country as an Army officer for 8 years, worked as a College Athletic Director and Lacrosse coach, served as Vice-President at the United States Sports Academy and finally retired as Vice President for Enrollment and Marketing at Nichols College. He was inducted in to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1988 and the West Point Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Louise CassanoLevittown Memorial
Owner and principal of LuCas Communications, Louise Cassano is a public relations specialist and consultant who established her business in 1994 after a career in journalism for a community newspaper.
An avid Levittown and Long Island volunteer and mentor to many in her profession and in business, Louise has held numerous officer and board positions with a variety of organizations starting her volunteer work in high school as a student aid in the Coordinators Office and as Secretary of the Student Government and a reporter for the school newspaper. Her interest in volunteer work has continued throughout the years. She has served and continues in many board positions and various capacities and as chair of many committees with the Levittown Chamber of Commerce for which she served as president in 2004 to 2005 and with the Levittown Community Council for which she served as charter president when the organization was formed in 1998 and continues as 2nd Vice President today. She is currently a member of the Levittown Lions Club, Levittown Historical Society, Levittown Property Owners Association, St. Bernard's Pastoral Council, Levittown Community Action Coalition, and most recently Levittown School District Task Force. She also serves on the boards of the Independent Art Society and the Suburban Art League.
Louise has a long history with Levittown's outstanding anniversary celebrations. She volunteered with Levittown's 40th Anniversary Planning Committee in 1987 and co-chaired Levittown's year-long 50th Anniversary celebration and its 60th Anniversary Committee and is currently chairperson of Levittown Special Events, which is hosting a five-year celebration of Levittown's history, which will culminate with a 75th anniversary celebration in 2022. Louise has received numerous recognitions and awards for the countless number of hours she has dedicated to the Levittown community.
Gerald ClapsGeneral Douglas MacArthur
Mr. Gerald Claps worked as a Drivers' Education teacher and then Industrial Arts teacher in the Levittown School District from1968 after which he served our country in the Armed Forces. Upon his return to Levittown, Mr. Claps taught Career and Technical skills and continued to teach Drivers' Education. He became chair of the Industrial Arts Department and then Director of the Vocational School, which now bears his name. Mr. Claps retired as Assistant Superintendent of Administration in 1992.
A fine person and liked by all, Mr. Claps was the recipient of several honors during his professional career, including Council of Administrators Award of Excellence. He was also named an Honorary member of the Career and Technical Honor Society and was cited by Congressman Peter King for his contributions to Education in 2002.
William GriffithGeneral Douglas MacArthur
"Are we having fun yet?" If you have heard that catchphrase, then you are already acquainted with the work of William Griffith, who is credited in Bartlett's Quotations for the phrase. A prolific cartoonist and author, Mr. Griffith published his first comic strips in the East Village Other, featuring an angry amphibian named Mr. The Toad.
A part of the underground comic movement, Mr. Griffith is best known for his character, Zippy the Pinhead, who appeared in 1971, but went weekly in 1976. Zippy became quite popular, and in 1982 was the subject of a song by the B52's Fred Schneider and the Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel called "Zippy Theme Song." The daily Zippy strip was started in 1986 and went into syndication by King Features in over 200 newspapers worldwide. In 2008 Mr Griffith presented a talk on Zippy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. In it, he laid out his "Top 40 List on Comics and their Creation," which has since been reposted on numerous comics websites.
In October 1994 Griffith toured Cuba for two weeks, during a period of mass exodus, as thousands of Cubans took advantage of President Fidel Castro's decision to permit emigration for a limited time. In early 1995, Griffith published a six-week series of "comics journalism" stories about Cuban culture and politics in Zippy . The Cuba series included transcripts of conversations Griffith had conducted with various Cubans, including artists, government officials, and a Yoruba priestess.
In addition to his work as a syndicated cartoonist, Mr. Griffith was one of a handful of noted artists who designed Wacky Packages trading cards for the Topps Company. He was called back into service by Topps for a new issue of that product called Wacky Packages Old School Sketch Cards.
In 2015 Bill had his memoir, Invisible Ink: My Mother's Secret Love Affair With a Famous Cartoonist ," published by Fantagraphics. His most recent graphic biography, Nobody's Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead is a sensitive look at the life of Schlitzie Surtees, an American sideshow performer. This account of Schlitzie will be featured in a new documentary, titled Schlitzie: One of Us , which is currently in production.
Frederick JohsGeneral Douglas MacArthur
Mr. Frederick Johs is the son of original homeowners of a house on Club Lane, where they lived until they passed away. He was an excellent athlete at MacArthur and earned the title of Captain of the Basketball team. He holds an Accounting degree from Hofstra, a Law Degree from St. John's and also studied at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at Exeter, England.
A founding partner of the Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles law firm, Mr. Johs serves a senior trial partner in all areas of litigation. He was chosen as one of six regional counsel for a major national insurer to oversee litigation involving sexual abuse and misconduct by clergy.
Mr. Johs' accomplishments are many and varied. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District, serves on the Board of Governors of Touro Law School, the Board of Boys Hope Girls Hope (an international organization centered on cultivating youth empowerment through the foundation of education and holistic support) and the Board of Advancement for Commerce Industry and Technology (where he is a Past President). He previously served on the Board of Mather Memorial Hospital and has been honored as one of the ten best trial lawyers on Long Island and has been name to the "Best Lawyers" list for 13 consecutive years and "Super Lawyers" for 9 consecutive years. Pulse Magazine rated him a Top Legal Eagle for Nassau/Suffolk Counties.
Phillip MargolinLevittown Memorial
Mr. Phillip Margolin has had a long and diverse career. After graduation from Levittown Memorial, Phillip attended American University (1965), served in the Peace Corps from 1965-1967, then attended Law School at NYU (1970).
Mr. Margolin worked in private practice from 1972 - 1996, specializing in criminal and appellate work. He also clerked for the Oregon Court of Appeals. Although he published his first book in 1974, it was not until 1996 that he became a full time author. Since then he has published over 20 novels, all of which have been placed on the New York Times bestseller list. In addition to that distinction, Mr. Margolin's novels have been critically acclaimed and adapted for the screen ( The Last Innocent Man ) and mini-series ( Gone but not Forgotten) . His short stories, "The Jailhouse Lawyer" and "The House on Pine Terrace" were included in the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories for 2009 and 2010.
In addition to his tremendous success as an attorney and an author, Mr. Margolin is committed to giving back to the education field. From 1996-2009 he served as the President and Chairman of the Board of Chess for Success , a non-profit charity that uses chess to teach elementary and middle school children study skills. After a brief hiatus, he once again serves on that Board. From 2007 - 2013, he was on the Board of Literary Arts, which sponsors the Oregon Book Awards, the Writers in the Schools program and Portland Arts and Lectures.
Frank RussoLevittown Memorial
Mr. Frank Russo is a successful entrepreneur, businessman, coach and decorated athlete. As a standout player for Levittown Memorial, Mr. Russo was a member of the All County Baseball and Hockey Teams (1978-1979) and a member of the All Long Island Baseball and Football teams (1980). He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1980, the New York Yankees in 1981 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1982 and played professional baseball for the Cincinnati Reds Organization (in the Florida State High A League), while attending college at the University of Miami (College World Series Semi-Finalist - 1984) and at Florida Atlantic University, where he earned degrees in Sports medicine and Athletic Training.
After his baseball career, Frank began work as an Orthopedic Sports medicine sales representative, where he quickly distinguished himself, winning the Don Joy Sports medicine National Rep of the Year award (1985). He has personally trained thousands of members of the medical profession on the utilization of all current and advanced technology used in Orthopedic Reconstructive Trauma, Spine and Joint Replacement Surgery. In 1998, Mr. Russo founded his own company Orthopedic Solutions, a forward thinking company that looks to seek out and bring to the marked the very latest technologies in the field.
He has been named a Global Sales Performer of the Year, National Semi Finalist and Runner up for Stryker Orthopedics and has continued to diversify his professional life by forming a company that builds and sells luxury water front homes in South Florida. For this he was nominated as South Florida Entrepreneur of the Year.
Mr. Russo is one to always give back to the people and places who have helped him along the way. In 1996, he was part of a humanitarian mission to Kiev, Ukraine with Stryker Orthopedics where he supported 20 hip replacement surgeries. He has also made significant donations to his alma maters. For Division Avenue, he donated batting cages, as well as the baseball dugouts at Doug Robins field. For the University of Miami, he donated a weight room for use by the players. Frank is one of those people who epitomize the quote by Theodore Roosevelt: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
Edward ShollDivision Avenue
Sgt. Ed Sholl, was a 26 year veteran of law enforcement with the New York City and Nassau County Police Department. At the time of his passing, he was an instructor in the Nassau County Police Academy. Sargent Sholl, who has been described as a kind and very bright person who cared deeply about his family and his community.
Michael VerdiGeneral Douglas MacArthur
Mike Verdi graduated from MacArthur High School in 1992. In 2002 he became a Division Dragon. To say Mike was respected by his colleagues is an understatement. He was revered, admired, and loved by anyone lucky enough to cross his path. He was a pleasure to be around, which is why his colleagues and students flocked to his room daily, all hoping to get just a little time with him, to be lit up by him for just a small moment. And he could always be counted on to give that moment, to listen or lend a hand in any way that he could.
Mr. Verdi, - Coach Verdi to his athletes - taught his students and his players to, "Be here," to be present in the moment, to focus on the now, and to live for today. In his room he posted signs proclaiming, "Carpe Diem!" Seize the day! He dared them to be great. Students in his class took chances to create writings they never thought possible. Some painted masterpieces on the cabinet doors of his room to be seen for generations. His athletes pushed themselves to work together, to strive harder and to do better to be better. Mr. Verdi's students left high school unafraid to take risks daring to do great things. Mike passed away in September 2019. As his colleague Dave Goldman wrote, "He was the best of us. He was the heart of us. He was the Dragon" Although missed terribly, Mike Verdi will forever be in our hearts.
Eric WedinDivision Avenue HS
Mr. Eric Wedin holds the distinction as being one of the most highly decorated athletes to graduate from Division Avenue. A Football and Lacrosse player, Eric received the following honors as a student at Division Avenue: Thorpe Award winner (presented annually to the best football player in Nassau County - 1996); Member of the Daily News/MSG Network Tri-State Football All Star Team (1996); First Team All Long Island Football (1996); All County Football (1996); All American Lacrosse Team (1997); All County Lacrosse Team (1995, 1996, 1997). As a College Player at John Hopkins, he was a standout student and athlete, earning the following awards and achievements: Henry Ciccarone Award (1998-2001); Sidney C. Erianger Award for Outstanding Senior (2001); George D. Penniman Award for Outstanding Midfielder (2001); Cowan Award - Given for Work Ethic, Competitiveness, Physical and Mental Toughness (2001) and All American (1991). Eric was the 4th Overall pick in the Major Lacrosse League Draft.
Currently, Mr. Wedin is the Vice-President of CHUBB Limited Insurance. He is responsible for managing a portfolio of approximately $165M in premiums. He focuses on private and not for profit companies offering various products including Directors and Officers, Employment Practices, Pension Liability Insurance, Crime and GPL/REIT for the NY Region.
Given Eric's incredible ability and talent, one might imagine that he could be aloof or think himself in a class by himself. Nothing could be further from the truth. He is a kind, unassuming person who thinks of others before himself and whose excellence and talent helped everyone around him play better.