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2017 Wall of Honor Induction Bios

On October 14, 2017, the 2nd Annual Frankfort-Schuyler Central School Wall of Honor Induction Ceremony was held. Seven inductees were honored during the ceremony. The inductees were introduced by members of the High School Public Speaking Class. The Frankfort-Schuyler Select Chorus and Show Choir performed before and after the ceremony.

The names and biographies of the Honorees and a slideshow of photos follows. Congratulations to all of our Honorees.

Gloria Falzarano

Gloria Falzarano is a graduate of the class of 1950, being inducted for her work in the field of education.

After graduating from Frankfort High School, Mrs. Falzarano pursued her education at the University of Albany where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1954. She continued her studies at Syracuse University where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling.

Mrs. Falzarano taught English at Mohawk Central School for six years and later spent 32 years as a guidance counselor at Frankfort-Schuyler High School, retiring in 1989. Mrs. Falzarano often spoke about her students fondly remembering their names, stories about them, and was always interested in how they were doing.

Mrs. Falzarano will be best remembered as a loving wife, mother, loyal friend, and as a generous person. She was blessed with a light-hearted nature, a sense of humor, and an infectious laugh.

Family was so important to Mrs. Falzarano. She and Mr. Falzarano were married for 57 years. She always considered her husband to be “her best friend.” Together they felt blessed and grateful for their two wonderful children David and Andrea. Mrs. Falzarano felt that when David married AnnaMaria and Andrea married Jim, two more wonderful children were added to their family. Her three grandchildren were a source of joy in her life.

Mrs. Falzarano’s parting words to those she leaves behind:  “Remember people, Schuyler is spelled S-c-h-U-yler!”


Dr. Joseph A. LaBarbera

Dr. Joseph A. LaBarbera is a graduate of the class of 1980, being inducted for his work in the field of medicine.

During his time at Frankfort-Schuyler and shortly after, Dr. LaBarbera served five years in the Civil Air Patrol as a teenager where he received the Billy Mitchell Award for his service and accomplishments.

He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Doctorate Degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa and has been inducted in to the International Chiropractic Honor Society.

Dr. LaBarbera opened his private chiropractic practice in Utica in 1986 and began teaching Martial Arts to underprivileged youth.

He introduced many new technologies to Central New York. He developed a simple method to copy x-rays without using a duplication machine, and invented and patented a spinal compression device for use during MRI exams to mimic the effects of gravity on the spine while patients were able to lie down.

Dr. LaBarbera was the chairman for a fundraiser for the Upstate Cerebral Palsy Center for Autism in 1998 and 1999, and has served as a volunteer board member for the Board of Directors at the Summit at Gore Mountain HOA from 2010 to today and was the President from 2012 to 2016. He has also served as an AYSO soccer coach.

In 2015 and 2016, Dr. LaBarbera was voted “Best Chiropractor in Central New York” in the Utica OD Reader’s Choice Award.


Frank C. LaPuma

Frank C. LaPuma is a graduate of the class of 1958, being inducted for his work in the field of medicine & community service.

After graduating from Frankfort-Schuyler, Mr. LaPuma was a member of the Newman Club, a Student Council member, Freshman Class President as well as vice president, then president of Phi Delta Chi at Albany College of Pharmacy. He was also a member of the yearbook committee, graduating in 1962.

After college he returned to Frankfort as a successful pharmacist, owning and operating LaPuma’s Pharmacy for 34 years. He was knowledgeable, patient and kind. Everyone loved and respected him. He could be counted on for advice, a good joke or a hot meal in his pharmacy. Proud of his Italian heritage, he loved to cook and share his dishes with others.  He was committed to helping people. He was a great listener and always made time for someone in need. After hours, he would deliver medications to those who were homebound. He was available to his clients, friends, and family whenever they needed him.

In addition, Mr. LaPuma was involved in the following:

  • Member of the Mohawk Valley Pharmaceutical Association
  • Treasurer of the Boy Scouts
  • President of the Frankfort Library Board
  • Member of the St. Francis Society
  • Member of Frankfort’s Kiwanis Club, earning the recognition of 1982 Kiwanian of the Year


Dr. Ryan Lawless

Dr. Ryan Lawless is a graduate of the class of 2000, being inducted for his work in the field of medicine.

Since graduating from Frankfort-Schuyler, Dr. Lawless has gone on to earn his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and currently serves as a Trauma/Acute Care Surgeon at Denver Health in Colorado.

Dr. Lawless’s work has appeared in medical publications on two occasions:

  • First, in 2012 on the subject of “Caval agenesis with a hypoplastic left kidney in a patient with trauma on warfarin for deep vein thrombosis.”
  • More recently, in 2016, his work was published on the subject of  “Control the damage: morbidity and mortality after emergent trauma laparotomy.”

Dr. Lawless has also made contributions to the next generation of medical professionals as an assistant professor of surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and has been asked to speak at multiple medical conferences across the country.

Ryan and his wife, Stephanie Lawless (Shephard), also a 2000 Frankfort-Schuyler Graduate, have made their home in Denver, CO. where they are raising their two sons, Aiden and Mason.


William Murtaugh

William Murtaugh is a graduate of the class of 2003, being inducted for his work in the field of medicine.

Mr. Murtaugh is a Project Manager at the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network at UCLA in Los Angeles, California where he oversees clinical trial laboratories around the world. He has been involved in AIDS/HIV and Tuberculosis research since 2007, starting as a research assistant in an HIV laboratory after college.

His impact in the field of scientific research includes several abstracts and an award winning poster on tuberculosis. During his time at the Association of Public Health Laboratories, he published “The Tenacity of Tuberculosis: MDR-TB” to bring awareness on World TB Day about the disease’s impact on our most vulnerable citizens.

In 2011, he was accepted into a highly competitive fellowship program at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Division of Virology and Immunology, where he focused on emerging infectious diseases. He was one of only 14 fellows.

Mr. Murtaugh has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is Board Certified in Public Health.


Virginia Reina

Virginia Reina is a graduate of the class of 1946, being inducted for her work in the field of education.

After graduating, Mrs. Reina studied the education of math, and computer science at The College of Saint Rose, Utica College, and SUNY-Oneonta. Mrs. Reina was a National Science Foundation scholarship award winner, and has received multiple National Defense grants for support of computer math courses. She was recognized by the Kettering Foundation of Colgate University for early innovation in the use of electronic calculators in the classroom, and selected as an Outstanding Secondary Educator of America in 1974.

Mrs. Reina was Chair of the NYSUT Central Conference of Math Teachers, a charter member assisting in the organization and inception of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State, and a member of the National Council of teachers of Mathematics. Mrs. Reina was appointed to the Herkimer County Community College Board of Trustees and served as Board Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair during her board tenure. She was a long-term member of the Herkimer County Teachers Association, served in President and Vice-President roles for the Frankfort-Schuyler Teacher Association, and was Chair of the Professional Advancement Committee.

Mrs. Reina taught Mathematics for forty years at Frankfort-Schuyler High School. She was a superb teacher who had a strong desire for her students to succeed and to feel comfortable with math. She did all this in a confident, assuring, and elegant manner which had profound effects on her students well beyond the world of math. Many of her students became math teachers themselves and extended the legacy of Mrs. Reina through their careers at Frankfort-Schuyler and beyond.

Mrs. Reina is memorialized by the Virginia Lambert Reina Scholarship Fund of Frankfort-Schuyler Central School, a scholarship fund that honors students who excel in mathematics.


Dr. Mark Vivacqua

Dr. Mark Vivacqua is a graduate of the class of 1977, being inducted for his work in the field of education.

After graduating from Frankfort-Schuyler, Dr. Vivacqua attended Herkimer College, Utica College of Syracuse University, SUNY Albany, SUNY Cortland, and most recently The Sage Colleges. He completed his dissertation on “School Violence Prevention in Rural Upstate New York: Analyses of Policy & Practice.”

He was an adjunct instructor in psychology at Mohawk Valley Community College, served as school psychologist at  Frankfort-Schuyler, was the elementary principal at Poland Central School, became the superintendent of schools at West Canada Valley and was the district superintendent and CEO of Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Dr. Vivacqua served as Committee on Special Education Chairperson and was the special education grant manager at Frankfort-Schuyler and Poland Central Schools.

Dr. Vivacqua has made presentations at many professional conferenced including:

  • New York State School Board Association
  • New York State Association of School Business Officials
  • Rural School Association of New York State
  • The Hochspring Center for the Promotion of School Safety and Mental Health Spring Summit

Dr. Vivacqua was also a member of the following groups:

  • Central New York Area Health Education Center Regional Advisory Council
  • Education Leadership Mohawk Valley Steering Committee
  • Frankfort Kiwanis Board of Directors and was a past president
  • Herkimer County Youth Violence Prevention and Suicide Prevention Committees
  • Herkimer Dollars for Scholars Foundation Board
  • Herkimer County Youth Summit
  • United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area Community Involvement Committee