BROCTON - The Brocton Central School Alumni Association announces its Hall of Fame inductees for the 2012-2013 year. The committee reviewed and studied several applications for this year's selection and induction. Two outstanding candidates were selected: Jerome Skinner, Class of 1970; Judith (Remington) Fingerhut, Class of 1962; and Richard Prince, Class of 1964.
Skinner graduated as class salutatorian in 1970 and received his BA at SUNY Fredonia in 1974. He received his juris doctorate in 1979 from the Ohio Northern University Petit College of Law and was admitted to the Bar of the State of Ohio in 1979. He has practiced complex tort, product liability and class action litigation with an emphasis on commercial aviation litigation in Cincinnati, Ohio, since 1979. He was a member of the historic Pan Am Flight 103 plane crash case and has represented families of victims involved in other terrorist aviation tragedies. He has participated in numerous air crash disaster cases and has even argued before the Supreme Court. Even closer to Skinner's heart is the Romanian Handicapped Ministries organization which he founded in response to a heart-rending visit to Romania. As president of this organization, he oversees the funding and staffing of summer camps, medical center, and medical supply activities in the inner city of Constanta, Romania. Skinner is married with three grown children and is involved in his local church.
Fingerhut graduated from BCS in 1962 and Gowanda State Hospital School of Nursing in 1965. She began her nursing career at ECMC as a staff nurse and then worked for Buffalo State Hospital where she served as head nurse. She served as a staff nurse in psychiatry then nursing supervisor in Alameda County, Calif., where she worked for 30 years before retiring as associate director of Nursing in the County free-standing psychiatric facility. Fingerhut volunteered for UN Naval Reserves while in California where she served as lieutenant. She served three months in support of Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. Fingerhut took early retirement to serve as primary caregiver for her husband, mother and sister who all battled terminal conditions. She has also volunteered for Girl Scouts, Westfield Community Kitchen, and the local animal shelter in addition to serving on the Westfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Board.
Prince is a member of the committee that makes the selections. In 2009, he was nominated for the honor, but declined. This year when he wasn't able to attend the meeting, the committee selected him. They decided to keep it a secret from Prince fearing he would not attend the dinner celebrating the inductees. However, it became difficult to keep this a secret while letting people know he was being honored. Finally, the committee informed Prince of the honor.
After graduating from Brocton, Prince went to SUNY Cortland to become a physical education teacher. Upon graduating from Cortland, he returned to Brocton in 1971 to teach physical education. Prince retired after 30 years of dedicated service to the students of Brocton. During his tenure in Brocton, he was instrumental in establishing the school's athletic policy which went on to be a model for area schools. He also created the coach's award and the Dan Palmer award, which are still presented. Prince was a football, basketball, baseball and volleyball coach. He was the first coach to take our football team to Rich Stadium in 1988. As Athletic Director, he was responsible for the players as well as the coaches' behaviors. No one wanted to be called to his office. Getting called in to his office usually resulted in at least a 20 minute one-sided talk - Prince talked and you listened. However, he was always fair and would eventually listen to both sides. He held you accountable. Prince has always put the student/athlete first. He wanted the best and expected the best from the athletes as well as the coaches. Prince was very appropriately nicknamed the 'Gentle Giant.'
Outside of school, Prince is very civic-minded. He has been a member of the United Way Board, the Inner Lakes Federal Credit Union board, the Chautauqua County Athletic Council Board, and the Section VI Board. He has been a Salvation Army bell ringer, emcee for many Brocton events and a volunteer for the Chautauqua County Home. Prince also coached basketball for Fredonia State and Fredonia High School. He has been married to his wife Linda Woleben for 45 years, the son of Harold and Beverly Prince and a brother to Kenneth. Other than going away to college, he has been a resident of the Brocton school district his entire life.
The Brocton Central School Alumni Association congratulates both of these inductees. A Hall of Fame celebration took place with a dinner on Saturday, Oct. 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at 21 Brix, located on Route 20 in Portland just west of the Brocton School. For more information, contact Mary Ellen Westin at 792-9472.