Three new members inducted into Academic Hall of Fame
Sara Bistany, Veritas Staff
A historical architect, an investment banker and an educator were guests of honor on Wednesday June 4 at the Emerald Hall in Abington as Rockland High School inducted three alumni into its Academic Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place before the Underclassmen Academic Awards ceremony. The latest inductees join a group of RHS Hall of Famers that includes authors, artists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and an astronaut.
Assistant Principal Susan Patton introduced the three inductees, Marsha Fader ‘68, Wayne Owen ‘74 and Fredrick Damon ‘82, who each spoke about their days at Rockland High, their accomplishments after high school, and the influence Rockland has had in their lives.
Marsha Fader who graduated from Rockland High School in 1968 was an outstanding student and very active in school activities. After graduating she attended Simmons College where she earned a degree in American Studies. Afterwards she attended Columbia University and received her Masters degree in Historic Preservation. She also received a Masters of Architecture degree from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
Fader said she has traveled all over the world designing, restoring and preserving historic buildings including the Deng Nan-Guang Museum Park in Taiwan, the Turquoise Trail Art Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the 1746 Old Windmill in Nantucket. Fader now lives in Nantucket where you will see many examples of her work.
She credits her days in Rockland with giving her a strong sense of community and family. She said that her mother and father both owned businesses on Union St. for many years and that she developed her love for older buildings and architecture growing up among the many historic buildings on Union Street.
Wayne Owen, a 1974 graduate, is one of five Owen siblings who have graduated from RHS. Owen was a member of the National Honor Society and captain of all three sports he played. Owen attended Babson College and had a double major in Accounting and Quantitative Methods. After college he worked at State Street Bank for 12 years. In 1990 he and three other college classmates launched an investment firm which now manages 35 billion dollars in assets. Owen is married and has three children.
Owen credits his family and the schools and community of Rockland for the perseverance that led to his successes in life. He said that to become a part of such a group of alumni is more than he would have imagined and he told students in attendance to take advantage of all the opportunities that Rockland and its schools provide for them. Owen also said that the great tradition of sports in Rockland was very important to him. He mentioned former principals and coaches at RHS, A. Scott Mackinlay and Steve Sangster, as mentors. Owen was also part of the ‘72 State Championship Basketball Team.
Fredrick Damon, as RHS students know, is a respected math teacher and dean at Rockland High School. He is also the head coach of the boys basketball team and an assistant football coach.
During his senior year as a student at RHS he was a starter on the basketball team and captain of the football team. In 1982 he graduated fourth in his class and went on to attend Boston College. When he graduated from BC in 1988 he received a degree in mathematics and a minor in computer science. He is married with five children.
Damon said he had not intended to be a teacher but started “quite by accident” in 1990, teaching for five years in the Rogers Middle School. According to Patton, Damon “has a way with reluctant learners.” Damon said he enjoys being able to affect his students’ lives in the ways a teacher and coach can. In his acceptance speech he read several letters from former students who thanked him for the help and guidance they received from him. In his speech,Damon also recognized his mother, Fran Damon, who is retiring this year as a secretary in the Rogers Middle School. Mrs. Damon has worked for the Rockland Schools for over 30 years!
Patton congratulated each of the three new members of the Hall of Fame in the traditional closing of her introductions. “…for all your accomplishments, past, present and future, we are proud to induct you into the Rockland High School Hall of Fame.”