2018 Wall of Honor Induction Class

  • James Branck

    James Branck is being recognized in the areas of Technology and Business, he is a member of the Frankfort-Schuyler Class of 1960.


    Mr. Branck attended Mohawk Valley Technical Institute, now Mohawk Valley Community College, and received a degree in mechanical engineering.


    He was employed in the Drafting Department at General Electric in Utica, where he was awarded two patents for his work on Show and Tell, a toy record player and filmstrip viewer.


    Mr. Branck was awarded six additional patents while at PAR Technology Corporation as a senior design engineer working on point of sale (POS) terminals. He worked on the first POS Terminal with a touch screen and designed a terminal that had to be inconspicuously placed under counters at the Louvre Museum in Paris.


    He also served on the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District Board of Education for 10 years, serving as a board member, Vice President and President.


    Mr. Branck was described as “a great mentor,”  “prideful of his work,” and it has been said “he provided leadership, levity and words of encouragement.”


    Mrs. Jana Lambert, Mr. Branck’s daughter, accepted this recognition in his honor.


    Joseph P. Cristiano

    Joseph P. Christiano is being recognized in the areas of Business and Commerce. As a member of the Frankfort-Schuyler Class of 1958, Christiano attended MVCC and SUNY, where he earned degrees in business management. Later he attended Baldwin Wallace University, where he earned his MBA in the High Honors Program, in the area of system organization.


    He spent 23 years with the Sherwin-Williams Paint Company, where he served in several management positions, including: director of training and development, national sales manager, director of advertising and merchandising, vice president of store operations, and finally division president.


    In 2003, he founded, and is currently the CEO of the Northern California Entrepreneur Mentoring Group, which has offered pro bono mentoring and business assistance to over 400 entrepreneurs worldwide.


    Currently, he is the co-owner and co-chair of Better Homes and Garden Tri-Valley Realty and serves as the chairman of board for the Bank of San Francisco and is a member of the Napa Community Bank Board.


    He is a member of the Polytechnic University Industrial Advisory Council and also served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Coatings World Magazine.


    He has served as President of the New York State Jaycees and was selected for the annual Distinguished Individual Service to Community Award presented by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce.



    Steve McMurray

    Steve McMurray, member of the class of 1991, is being recognized in the areas of Community Service and Business.


    Mr. McMurray received his BA in Political Science and Broadcast Journalism from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.


    He has worked at WKTV Channel 2 in Utica since 2002, where he started as an assistant manager, became news director for eight years, served as station manager from 2012-2014 and is currently the vice president and general manager.


    Mr. McMurray has been recognized by the New York State Broadcasters Association, earning the Best Newscast award in 2003, the Best Locally-Produced Show Award in 2003 and the Outstanding Live Sports Coverage Award in 1996 and 1997.


    He has also been recognized by the Associated Press Broadcasters, earning the Best Newscast Award in 2003, recognition for the 9/11 Remembrance Special in 2002 and Outstanding Sports Coverage in 1997. The American Cancer Society presented him with the Media Award in 2001; and he has awarded the Les Diven Media Award for Outstanding Boilermaker Coverage.


    Mr. McMurray is also a member of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Frankfort Fire Department, a past assistant fire chief for the Frankfort Fire Department, a member of the Frankfort Kiwanis Club and a Frankfort youth baseball coach.



    Dr. Angelo Pedulla

    Dr. Angelo Pedulla is being recognized in the area of Medicine.


    Dr. Pedulla graduated from Frankfort-Schuyler in 1998, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Le Moyne College and received his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in 2006.


    His post-doctoral training included his residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease, also at the University of Rochester.


    Dr. Pedulla specializes in clinical cardiology, caring for patients in an out of the hospital. He has additional training in echocardiography studies, including exercise and pharmacological stress testing, transesophageal echo, vascular ultrasound and nuclear cardiology.


    His awards and recognition include:

    • Bauman Award Finalist in 2013
    • American College of Cardiology (New York) Fellow Representative 2010
    • Le Moyne Dean’s Scholar
    • Le Moyne Leadership Scholarship
    • Department of Medicine Fellows Teaching Award Nominee, 2010 and 2011


    He has published several journal articles regarding the treatment of heart disease and has presented at several symposiums.



    James Wallace

    Mr. James Wallace, a member of the class of 1974, is being recognized in the area of Government.


    After graduating from Frankfort-Schuyler, Mr. Wallace received a Bachelor’s Degree from Alfred University. Since 1991, he has served as the county administrator for Herkimer County, supervising 27 department heads with over 650 employees and operating on a budget near $100 million. Mr. Wallace is responsible for day-to-day implementation of County policies and procedures.


    Prior to serving in his current position, he was the director of the Herkimer County Employment and Training Program where he was responsible for the development and implementation of training programs for economically disadvantaged, handicapped and dislocated persons.


    Under his leadership, Herkimer County is becoming a thriving area for business opportunities and growth. The Tractor Supply Distribution Center, Hale Manufacturing Center, Heidelberg Bakery Expansion and Fiberdyne Labs are simply a few of the many successful businesses established in our County under his direction.


    Mr. Wallace is a member of the Herkimer-Oneida Community Foundation Workforce Investment Board, Mohawk Valley Economic Development District Board of Directors, Herkimer County Persons in Need of Supervision Board and several others.

2018 Spirit of Frankfort-Schuyler Honorees

  • Gary Caiola

    Mr. Gary Caiola, a member of the class of 1975.


    Mr. Caiola graduated from Mohawk Valley Community College and is currently employed by Beaton Industrial as an outside sales consultant.


    Mr. Caiola has a long and accomplished record of community service. He has served for many years as the BYO basketball and little league baseball coach. Since 1980, Mr. Caiola has been a member of the Knights of Columbus and since 1996, he has also been a member of the St. Francis DiPaola Society. He served as a trustee for the Village of Frankfort from 1996 to 2002. 


    He is a member of the Frankfort Kiwanis Club and has been involved with the Kiwanis since 1988 and past president and Board of Directors member of the Kiwanis.  He was twice selected as Kiwanian of the Year and has been responsible for coordinating the annual Kiwanis Junior/Senior-Faculty Basketball Game, the proceeds of which are donated to charitable causes. Mr. Caiola continues to participate in many other Kiwanis projects including:

    • Camp Kiwanis Program
    • Youth of the Month Recognition
    • Annual Pancake Breakfast
    • Annual Christmas Clothing and Toy Drive


    All of these projects, and so many others, serve to assist the children and families of our community.



    Charles Conigliaro

    Mr. Conigliaro was a 60-year resident of Frankfort and a 1974 graduate of Frankfort-Schuyler. After graduation, Mr. Conigliaro joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves and served for 28 years. He is a military veteran, who has served during Operation Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. In 2002 he retired at the rank of Master Sargent. He is a graduate of the Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy. Mr. Conigliaro has been awarded many military service awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.


    Mr. Conigliaro was employed for 33 years as a high voltage lineperson with both Frankfort and Ilion Municipal Power and Light Departments.


    Mr. Conigliaro is an Eagle Scout and served for many years on the scouting committee for Boy Scout Troop 1.  He actively served for 42 years with the Frankfort Volunteer Fire Department. In 2002, in collaboration with Frankfort and Schuyler Fire Departments’ personnel, with the New York State, he accomplished the installation of 3,100 free smoke alarms in 680 homes.


    Mr. Conigliaro served as a New York State certified emergency medical technician who volunteered with the Frankfort Fire Department Ambulance for over 30 years, developing and implementing the “Frankfort Fire Department School Credit Firefighter Program.” 


    Throughout Mr. Conigliaro’s career he has been recognized and received many accolades for his efforts from the emergency service community, government agencies and civic organizations, for his efforts involving his dedication and support involving the fire service.


    Carmelina Lore-Cooper

    Mrs. Carmelina Lore-Cooper is a graduate of the class of 1977.


    After graduation, she earned an A.A.S. Degree in Legal Secretarial from Herkimer County Community College, Bachelor’s Degree in Distributive Education and Retailing from Syracuse University, and Master’s Degree in Vocational Education from SUNY Oswego.


    She taught for more than 30 years at Frankfort-Schuyler as a business education and teen leadership teacher. Ms. Lore-Cooper served as class advisor, student council advisor, Builder’s Club advisor and yearbook advisor.


    She was also a peer mediator for Catholic Charities, taught religious education for Our Lady Queen of the Apostles Church and served as a mentor for the Capturing Kids Hearts Program.


    Mrs. Lore-Cooper Received the following awards:

    • Kiwanis Outstanding Leader Award
    • Genesis Group “Outstanding Educator Award”
    • Frankfort-Schuyler Teachers’ Association Outstanding Service Award


    She continues to be a pillar within the Frankfort-Schuyler School District and Community. She is always willing to put in extra efforts for the district and former students. Her relationship with parents, teachers, students and administrators is something special.


    Scott Grates

    Scott Grates graduated from Frankfort-Schuyler in 1995.


    After high school, Mr. Grates attended St. John Fisher College and earned a degree in communications and journalism. He is the owner of the Scott Grates State Farm Insurance Agency, which has been recognized in the top 3% of all State Farm Agencies in the country. Mr. Grates annually volunteers hundreds of hours and makes personal donations in support of our community. He has coached Frankfort youth sports for more than 10 years and is a member of the Frankfort Kiwanis Club, where he was recognized as Kiwanian of the Year in 2012.  In 2012, he was also named as the Hunger Coalition Outstanding Citizen.


    As a member of the Kiwanis Club, Mr. Grates coordinated the annual Punt, Pass and Kick contest. He participates in the annual Kiwanis Junior/Senior-Faculty Basketball Game, which raises funds for the Hunger Coalition.  He attends the K-Kids and Builder’s Clubs meetings and assists with the activities sponsored by those student groups. He also serves as a volunteer for the annual Christmas clothing and toy drive.


    When notified about his selection for a Spirit of Frankfort-Schuyler recognition, Mr. Grates said, “Regardless of what credentials are on my resume, the one I’ve always been most proud of is being a Frankfort-Schuyler alumni.”


    Lucille Hand

    Mrs. Lucile Hand graduated from Frankfort-Schuyler Central School in 1962. She graduated with her Associate’s Degree from Cobleskill Tech, then continued on to earn Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Brockport and her Master’s Degree from SUNY Upstate NY.


    Mrs. Hand taught 2nd and 3rd grade at Frankfort-Schuyler for 33 years. While teaching, she was involved in numerous committees including PARP, talent show, spelling bee, brunch with Santa, journal writing, building concerns, arts in education and morning program.


    Mrs. Hand has been recognized for numerous awards over the years.  She was recognized as Educator of the Week in 2000. Some other awards she was recognized for include Distinguished Service Award by Kiwanis, Hearts for Others by Catholic Charities, Everyday Hero Award by Kiwanis, Asset Builder Award by Herkimer County Cares Campaign and lastly, the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2017 by the Hunger Coalition


    In 2000, she introduced the America Reads Program for the elementary students.  She currently serves as the coordinator and mentor for this program. Other programs that Mrs. Hand coordinates are Gram Lorraine Christmas Clothing Program for the elementary students, Uncle Frank Back to School Program for students in need at Frankfort-Schuyler and food drives for the Food Banks of the Valley sponsored by the Hunger Coalition.  She also spearheads collections for Operation Candy Cane and sending Christmas cards to vets. At Christmas time, Mrs. Hand takes a class of students to the Mohawk Valley Nursing Home to spread holiday cheer. She has been continuing this tradition since 1998. She is an active member of the PTO and has done so since 1967.



    Mike Jacopelle

    Mr. Michael Jacopelle was a true friend of Frankfort-Schuyler. For more than 40 years, Mr. Jacopelle volunteered to help with the Frankfort-Schuyler athletic teams. He, seemingly, attended every football, basketball, soccer, baseball and wrestling athletic contest. Mr. Jacopelle volunteered to assist with the equipment and supplies. He rode the team bus to away games and sat with the student-athletes and coaches on the team bench during the games.


    A true fan of Frankfort-Schuyler athletics, Mr. Jacopelle could tell you all about the athletes who set school records in their respective sports, or who scored the most points, or who had the most yards-rushed in football.


    He could always be seen wearing his favorite Frankfort-Schuyler baseball cap, letter jacket, t-shirt or sweatshirt. Mr. Jacopelle was one of the kindest, most gentle people in our community. He was loved by everyone.


    Mr. Jacopelle passed away in 2011. He will remain, forever, in the hearts and minds of the Frankfort-Schuyler School District community. He will forever be a Maroon Knight and he truly is an example of the Spirit of Frankfort-Schuyler.


    Ann Marie Congdon, Mr. Jacopelle’s niece, accepted this recognition in his honor.


    Brad Vivacqua

    Mr. Brad vivacqua is a graduate of the Frankfort-Schuyler class of 1999.


    He later attended and graduated from Herkimer County Community College, as well as the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. Currently he is a general assignment reporter and news anchor at Spectrum News in Syracuse with more than 15 years of experience of news and sports reporting.


    Mr. Vivacqua has covered big interviews including Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to Philadelphia, appearances at Syracuse University N.C.A.A. Men’s Final Four, President Obama’s visit to Cooperstown, two Pinstripe Bowl Games at Yankee Stadium and tragedies such as fires and homicides. He serves as an adjunct journalism professor at both Syracuse University and Utica College.


    Mr. Vivacqua is the “voice” of the Frankfort-Schuyler football team, volunteering as the public address announcer for our home games. He volunteers with the Frankfort Kiwanis Club and announces at the Club’s annual student-faculty Kiwanis basketball game, which raises funds for the area food bank. He is a member of the Saint Francis Society and volunteers his time for the Society’s programs and activities.