Finn among list of SHS Hall inductees

Seven members of the Shelton High School community, ranging from legendary coaches to skilled teachers, will be inducted into the school’s 2019 Hall of Fame.

Shelton High Athletic Director John Niski earlier this week announced that William Banfe, Elaine Biercevicz-Piazza, Kenneth Bobowick, Edward Finn, Maurice Martin, John McNamara and Donald Ramia would be ininducted in Octobert.

“The Shelton High School Hall of Fame was established in 2017 as a way to recognize and honor in a permanent manner those who have excelled in their dedication to the community of Shelton High School and those who have made outstanding contributions both at Shelton High School and in the world which reflect positively upon Shelton High School,” said Niski, also the SHS Hall of Fame committee chairman.

An induction banquet will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 at The Stone Barn Restaurant, 175 Shelton Road, Monroe. Tickets are $50 per person. Checks can be made payable to Shelton High School Hall of Fame and sent to: Shelton High School Hall of Fame, 120 Meadow St., Shelton, CT 06484, c/o John Niski. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Oct. 10.

Banfe served as both housemaster and headmaster of Shelton Intermediate School and was involved in Shelton High School football for more than 20 years. He served as operations manager for the Shelton public schools and was instrumental in the planning, design and building project management of Shelton Intermediate School and Perry Hill School as well as the SHS renovation.

Biercevicz-Piazza was a pioneering athlete, teacher, coach and athletic director. A 1964 SHS graduate, she went on to teach physical education at Seymour High School and initiated girls’ basketball, softball and swimming teams. She was athletic director at Lyman Hall High School for 27 years. Biercevicz-Piazza was a member of the national champion Raybestos fast pitch softball team. She is a member of several other halls of fame including the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, the New Haven Tap-Off Club Hall of Fame, the Northeast Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Amateur Softball Hall of Fame.

Bobowick served as a longtime science teacher and department chair at SHS for more than 30 years, said Niski, during which time he inspired students to love science, particularly biological sciences, genetics, and environmental science. Bobowick was also the golf team head coach — in that role for 34 years — and the girls’ basketball assistant coach during several league, conference and the 1993 CIAC Class LL state championship run.

Finn was a legendary teacher as well as football and track coach at Shelton High School during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, said Niski. Finn has the most wins of any school football coach in Shelton, including two undefeated seasons. The current stadium at Shelton High School is named in his honor. Finn also held administrative positions, including vice principal of SHS and superintendent of schools.

“Moe” Martin was a 1952 graduate of SHS and was a standout member of the graduating class. Active in sports and school activities, including being a member of the only SHS basketball team to win a state championship, Martin was a leader among his classmates, said Niski, adding that, after retiring as the city’s probate judge, Martin volunteers his time with many civic organizations including the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, of which he is also a member of their Hall of Fame.

McNamara was a teacher and marching band leader at SHS for more than 30 years. During his time as SHS band director, McNamara led a band of more than 350 members strong to appearances in the Rose Bowl and Washington, D.C. Niski said McNamara successfully instilled a new sense of pride in a small valley high school band and brought pride to the school and community by taking the band from coast to coast. He was also instrumental in acquiring a pipe organ that was installed by the Organ Society in the SHS auditorium, drawing some of the most prominent organists of the day to perform at SHS.

Ramia was a 1964 graduate of SHS and a standout athlete on the football team, said Niski. Ramia was an industrial arts teacher at SHS and went on to become both the school’s housemaster and headmaster. Ramia also served as the vocational education coordinator for the district, added Niski, and was responsible for the overhaul of several adult education programs.

For more information about the SHS Hall of Fame, contact Niski at 203-922-3014 x1940.