SPFHS Inducts Five Members into Hall of Fame

Pictured (from left to right): Caroline Wood, Richard Wood, Marie Leppert, Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS Principal Dr. David L. Heisey, Laura Swiderski, former NJ Governor Don Di Francesco, Kevin Sicola, and Gene Schiller. Credits: Sean Conklin
Pictured (from left to right): Tyler Sicola, Mary Ann Sicola, Michael Sicola, Gianna Sicola, and Kevin Sicola. Credits: Sean Conklin
SPFHS Principal Dr. David L. Heisey speaking during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Credits: Sean Conklin

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ – Five graduates of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School were inducted on Tuesday evening, Nov. 18, to the SPFHS Hall of Fame for their distinguished contributions to the country and community.

Friends, family and alumni spoke highly of those inducted during the ceremony, which took place in the multi-purpose room at the high school.

More background information on each of the inductees follows:

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William Austin, Class of 1955 -- Bill is in the Rutgers Hall of Fame as an All-American football player, who led the Scarlett Knights in rushing for three straight seasons.  He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in 1959.  Bill later enjoyed a successful business career in bicycle companies.

Peter Schultz, Class of 1960 -- Peter invented an optical fiber which is the basis for the Internet. He is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame as well as the Rutgers Hall of Fame. Peter was chosen for the National Medal of Technology.  He joins Bill Austin as an entrepreneur.

Carl Sicola, Class of 1962 -- Now deceased, Carl was an innovative police officer and detective, who founded numerous community, church and school programs. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War serving in active duty from 1967-68 and maintaining his active reserve status until 1973. Detective Sicola was honored by the Union County Prosecutor's office as Municipal Police Officer of the Year in 1978 and 1985. In 1992, he received the Scotch Plains Police Department's Honorable Service Medal, and the department's Exceptional Duty Medal in 1995. 

Sada Thompson, Class of 1945 -- Now deceased, Sada starred as an actress in productions off-Broadway, Broadway, TV and films. She was a Tony Award-winner.  She was best known for her portrayal of matriarch Kate Lawrence on the ABC drama Family for which she won the 1978 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress. Her theatrical performances won her a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play and three Drama Desk Awards. Thomson was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2005.

Richard Wood, Class of 1948 -- Richard became a Colonel and war hero during the Vietnam War. He served as U.S. Army General Staff at the Pentagon.  He is the recipient of the Silver Star and eleven other awards.

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