Shenendehowa names first three inductees to its new hall of fame

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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— A well-known surgeon who died in Iraq, a woman who broke a military glass ceiling and a corporate CEO will be the first inductees into a new hall of fame for Shenendehowa alumni.

The Shenendehowa Educational Foundation has formed a “Hall of Distinguished Alumni” for the Shenendehowa Central School District.

The late John P. Pryor, Carol Barkalow and Jay Ireland will be honored June 8 at the foundation’s Green and White Gala held at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The foundation plans to make the inductions an annual event to recognize alumni who can serve as role models for current students.

Here’s more information about their achievements:

• John Pryor, a 1984 graduate, was a trauma surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a major in the Army Reserve when he went to Iraq for the second time to treat troops injured in the fighting. But a rocket killed the 42-year-old on Christmas Day in 2008, three weeks into his tour.

“John was a man who truly believed that service to others was his calling,” Dr. William Schwab, the hospital’s chief of trauma surgery and critical care, said in a statement. “Whether it was volunteering at ground zero on 9/11, with the Army or serving the people of the community, it was what he was all about.”

• When Carol Barkalow entered the U.S. Military Academy in the summer of 1976 after graduating from Shenendehowa, she was one of 119 female cadets in the first class in which women were admitted. Sixty-two of them, including Barkalow, graduated from West Point in 1980.

In 1990 she published a book about the experience, “In the Men’s House.” She retired in 2002 as a lieutenant colonel and lives in Florida.

• Jay Ireland is president and CEO of GE Africa after working for General Electric for more than 32 years. A 1973 graduate, Ireland is also a GE officer and member of the company’s corporate council. He was recently named “International Business Leader of the Year” by investment advisory firm Africa Investor for driving the company’s business across the continent.

The foundation selection committee will accept nominations and pick three to five inductees each year.

Nominees must be a Shenendehowa graduate who has been out of school for at least 10 years and has made significant contributions to the community or humanitarian endeavors or had a remarkable career.

Nomination forms may be downloaded at or picked up at the district offices at 5 Chelsea Place.

The nomination deadline for the spring induction each year will be Feb. 1.

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