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The Knights of Distinction

The Knights of Distinction program has been established to honor special individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Windsor Central School District or graduates who have attained outstanding high school or lifetime achievements. These individuals shall be recognized publicly, and permanently honored at Windsor High School.
Knights of Distinction 

Knights of Distinction 2023
 


Bruce Bedford ‘70
 
Distinguished Coach, Educator, and Graduate
 
INDUCTED 2023
 

 
 
A 1970 graduate of Windsor Central High School, Bruce excelled as a 3 sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball.  Post high school, Bruce obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Waynesburg College and a Masters Degree from Empire State College.
 
Upon graduation from Waynesburg, Bruce returned to Windsor to teach Middle School mathematics and coach freshman boys basketball and assist with varsity football.  In 1979, Mr. Bedford began a 4 year stint in the United States Air Force, serving at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia as a Computer Systems Officer, earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  He chose to return to civilian life and spent the next 10 years as a software engineer for CAE-LINK Corporation.  In 1993, Bruce decided it was time to return to education and went back to teaching Middle School mathematics until his retirement in 2010.  As a teacher he was demanding and meticulous, yet fair.  He had a system and his students benefited as a result.  As a coach he excelled.  In 11 years as the girls jv basketball coach, he won nearly 75% of his contests, including 5 divisional championships.  Those who know Bruce understand that his true passion, besides his family, is golf.  He was able to lead the Windsor golf team for 16 years, becoming Windsor’s all-time career wins leader with 159 wins at a success rate of 66.5%. As a coach his teams won the Section IV Class B championship 4 times.  He was also able to coach 16 athletes to compete in the Section IV NYS Championship qualifier, with 4 different athletes eventually moving on to the state championship tournament.  Bruce made sure his athletes were always prepared and spent countless hours in-season and out-of-season working with athletes to provide opportunities to get better.  He was a tremendous advocate for his athletes.  Although no longer coaching, Bruce is still a strong supporter of Windsor.   He currently resides in Endwell with his wife Cindy, and can be found on a golf course or with his family. For his contributions to the Windsor Central School District we recognize Bruce Bedford as a 2023 Windsor Knight of Distinction.
 
 
 
 
Amy Liebman '86
 
Distinguished Graduate
 
Inducted 2023
 
 
 
 
 
Amy has devoted her career to improving the safety and health of disenfranchised populations. She graduated from WIndsor in 1986 and proceeded to  earn a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Arts from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  She joined Migrant Clinicians Network in 1999 and currently serves as the Chief Program Officer: Workers, Environment and Climate. With MCN she has established nationally recognized initiatives to improve the health and safety of immigrant workers and their families. She oversees programs ranging from integrating occupational and environmental medicine into primary care to designing worker safety interventions. She is a national leader in addressing worker safety and environmental justice through the community health worker model. Prior to her current position, she directed numerous environmental health and justice projects along the US-Mexico Border including an award-winning, community-based hygiene education program that reached thousands of families living without water and sewerage services. She has spearheaded policy efforts within the American Public Health Association to support the protection of agricultural workers and served on the federal advisory committee to the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. Her programs have won several awards including the 2008 EPA Children’s Environmental Health Champion Award and the 2015 National Safety Council Research Collaboration Award. In 2011, Amy received the Lorin Kerr Award, an APHA/Occupational Health and Safety Section honor recognizing public health professionals for their dedication and sustained efforts to improve the lives of workers. She is a past Chair of APHA’s Occupational Health and Safety. Amy has been the principal investigator and project manager of numerous government and privately sponsored projects. She has authored articles, bilingual training manuals and other educational materials dealing with environmental and occupational health and migrants. She is an avid soccer fan and loves to spend time with her husband, Tim, and sons, Ben & Gabe.  For her environmental and occupational health work and contributions to society we recognize Amy Liebman as a 2023 Windsor Knight of Distinction.
 
Knights of Distinction 2022
 


Robert Williams ‘61
 
Distinguished Graduate
 
INDUCTED 2022
 

 
 
A 1961 graduate of Windsor Central High School, Bob excelled in athletics and was the class president.   He was a standout 4 year varsity wrestler, winning the prestigious Windsor Christmas Wrestling tournament.   Post high school, Bob began his college years at Cornell University, ultimately graduating from SUNY Oswego with a degree in Education.  He earned a masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont.  Bob began his teaching and coaching career in Oswego, eventually returning to Broome County to teach science at Susquehanna Valley and Vestal High School.  It was in 1968 that Bob began his work in the environmental field.   Along with Jeffery Barnes, Bob formed Barnes-Williams Environmental Consultants following their work on the Susitna Hydroelectric project in Alaska.  He continued his fish-passage work in New York State, working with federal agencies throughout the Hudson, Mohawk, Black, Grasse, Raquette and Susquehanna Rivers.  As oil and gas projects and pipelines throughout the country expanded in the ‘80s & 90’s, so did the work of BWEC.  Bob’s work through the BWEC has had a tremendous environmental impact from coast to coast.  Bob has been a man ahead of his time, leading environmental work for six decades.   During that time he also served on the Windsor Board of Education from 1976-1986.  He was also a founder of the Windsor Dollars for Scholars Program, now existing as the Black Knight Funds, which has provided tens of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships to Windsor students over the years.  For his contributions to the environment,our community, and the school we recognize Robert Williams as a 2022 Windsor Knight of Distinction.
 
 
Knights of Distinction 2021
 
 
 
Dr. Dorothy Edwards ‘88
 
Distinguished Graduate
 
INDUCTED 2021
 
 
Dr. Robert Peterson ‘64
 
Distinguished Graduate
 
INDUCTED 2021
 
 
Dorothy Edwards, PH.D.
 
 
Dr. Dorothy Edwards grew up in the hills of West Windsor.  Graduating from Windsor Central High School in 1988.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of South Florida.   Dr. Edwards then earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University.  
 
In 2006, as the director of the University of Kentucky’s Violence Intervention and Prevention program, Dr. Edwards founded the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program  The program focuses on implementing bystander intervention strategies to reduce sexual assault and domestic violence on college campuses.
 
A CDC-funded study evaluated Green Dot bystander intervention in 26 high schools over 5 years and confirms that Green Dot for High Schools reduces rates of sexual abuse, dating violence, stalking, and other interpersonal violence.  
 
Through her business, Alteristic, Dr. Edwards has been able to train over 984 schools and 213 businesses, including the United States Department of Justice.  
 
For her lifetime of work in intervention and violence prevention Dr. Dorothy Edwards is being honored as a Knight of Distinction by the Windsor Central School District.
 
 
 
Dr. Robert Peterson, M.D., Ph.D., MPH
 
 
Dr. Robert Peterson was a graduate of the Windsor Central High School class of 1964.  He then continued his education earning his degrees at Canisius College, Yale University of Medicine, Yale University Graduate School and Harvard School of Public Health.  
  
Dr. Peterson has been Director of the Section of Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Colorado, Professor of Paediatrics and Pharmacology and Chairman of the Dept. of Paediatrics at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, and Director of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.
 
He has also served as the Director General of the Therapeutic Products Directorate at Health Canada from 2000 to 2005, before returning to the University of British Columbia as Clinical Professor of Paediatrics. He was appointed to the Canadian Expert Drug Advisory Committee in 2005 and assumed the role of Chair in 2008.
 
Dr. Peterson was also a member of the United Nations World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Evaluation, and Chairman of the Regulations Advisory Board of the Centre for Medicines Research, International Institute for Regulatory Science. Dr. Peterson has written 5 books and been published in over 100 abstracts, articles and editorials.
 
For his contribution to the field of medicine Dr. Robert Peterson is being honored as a Knight of Distinction by the Windsor Central School District.
 
 
Knights of Distinction 2019
 


Donald Doolittle ‘48-
 
Doolittle was a Windsor Central High School graduate from the class of 1948.  Don, with his wife of 68 years, JoAnn, chose to remain in Kirkwood on the Doolittle Farm where they raised their 7 children.  Don served on the school board from 1970-1979. During that time he was instrumental in the site selection of the current high school.   Mr. Doolittle was an active member of the Kirkwood Lions Club for over 40 years, as well as the Windsor Alumni Association, where he was a driving force in giving back to the community and pushing to provide scholarships for Windsor graduates.  In 1988, Don retired as the Broome County Executive Director of the Agricultural Stabilization Conservation Service of the USDA. For decades Don could be found at athletic events, music concerts and scholastic ceremonies supporting his children, grandchildren, & great grandchildren, as well as the greater Windsor community he devoted a lifetime to.
 
 
Stephen Herz ‘65-
 
Herz, a 1965 graduate of WCHS, earned his undergraduate education at SUNY Oswego.  He returned to the family farm with his wife Christine, raised two children and taught technology, wood shop, graphic arts, metal working, design & drafting, driver’s education, and more in Windsor.   Herz retired in 2002 and went on to serve as president of the Board of Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York Morgan Horse Society, and in 2006 he began the first of 3 terms as Broome County Legislator for the 9th District.  He was a founding member of the Windsor Community Revitalization Organization, which has brought Windsor the Window on the Arts Festival, First Night and the annual Corn Festival. He created the Agricultural Task Force while serving as legislator. He served on the board of the Broome County Farm Bureau and most recently has been asked to serve on US Congressman Anthony Brandisi’s Agricultural Advisory Team.
 
 
Clem Bowman ‘65-
 
Bowman, a 1965 Windsor graduate, was a renowned underwater photographer, with his photographs being showcased in various publications.  In 1974 Clem opened his own airline business, “Coral Reef Flying Services”, which offered services throughout the Caribbean and Florida. Staying true to his high school nickname, “Renaissance Man”, Clem returned to school and earned his medical degree from the University of Miami.  
 
Dr. Bowman returned to Florida and was eventually charged with running the Emergency Services in Miami. Meanwhile, Dr. Bowman continued to pursue his passions of underwater exploration and flying.  In 1981, Clem served as the resident surgeon for the undersea Hydrolab mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  In 1997, he was named to the United States Soaring Team, competing in the World Championships in Turkey. Dr. Clem Bowman died while training for the World Championships in 1999.  
 
 
Dr. Darlene Unger '83-
 
Dr. Unger, a former student of Mr. Herz, is a Windsor Central High School graduate from the class of 1983 who went on to earn a doctoral degree in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She has worked with Youngstown State University as the director of autism studies, DePaul University as the director of the doctoral program, Cornell University in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Employment and Disability Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University in the School of Education and Kent State University as a full-time professor in the College of Education and Special Education Program. Currently, she is a research professor of special education at Kent State University.
 
Dr. Unger has coordinated federally-funded research and training projects to improve the transition of youth with disabilities to college and careers, supported employment, and the efficacy of business and rehabilitation partnerships. Her publications include book chapters and journal articles on the use of mobile technology for teaching and learning, employer experiences with individuals with disabilities, disability-employment discrimination, and supported employment. She is past-president of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of Career Development and Transition.
 


Knights of Distinction 2018
 


Harry B. Bronson ‘78
 
Distinguished Graduate and
 
Community Leader
 
INDUCTED 2018
 
 
Erin G. Van Vleck ‘08
 
Distinguished Graduate and
 
Community Leader
 
INDUCTED 2018
 
 
Terry A. Wansart ‘77
 
Distinguished Graduate and
 
Educator
 
INDUCTED 2018
 
 

Harry B. Bronson ‘78-
 
 
Mr. Harry Bronson is a Windsor Central High School graduate from the class of 1978. After earning an undergraduate degree in Public Justice from SUNY Oswego, Harry attended the University of Buffalo, earning a Juris Doctor. Formerly a partner at the firm of Blitman and King, he focused on anti-discrimination employment law, labor issues, employee benefits and litigation.  He was elected to the Monroe County Legislature in 2005 and then was elected to represent the 131st District in the New York State Assembly in 2010.   Currently, Mr. Bronson maintains a private law practice, is co-owner of Equal=Grounds coffee house, serves as an adjunct professor at Cornell University and represents the NYS Assembly, 138th district.    
 
 
 
 
Erin G. Van Vleck ‘08-
 
 
A 2008 graduate of Windsor Central High School, Miss Van Vleck obtained her undergraduate education at Binghamton University.  She then attended SUNY Buffalo Law School and earned her Juris Doctor from the law school at Cornell University.  Upon earning her degree from Cornell, Erin took a position as a judicial law clerk for the Alaska Court of Appeals.  In 2016, Erin opened her own legal practice, Law Offices of Erin G. Van Vleck, in Fairbanks, AK.  Currently, Erin has moved back to New York and is a staff attorney for Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc., as well as performs research and writes for attorneys around New York State.  Erin has committed herself to working and advocating for those in need.  Her role at the Legal Aid Society is as the Pro Bono Innovation Staff Attorney working towards those facing eviction and improving landlord practices within Broome County.
 
 
 
Terry A. Wansart ‘77-
 
 
A 1977 graduate of Windsor Central High School, Ms. Wansart obtained her Bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University in Health and Physical Education.  She continued her studies at Hunter College , earning a Master’s degree in Physical Education/Athletic Administration.  Terry was hired in 1982 as an assistant athletic director at Hunter College.  She has been the Hunter College Director of Athletics since 1988, currently in her 37th year of service at the institution.  During her tenure she has successfully been the head coach of women’s basketball, volleyball and softball.  Also under her direction the Hawks have captured more CUNY Athletic Conference Commissioner's Cups than any other member school with ten and have secured 123 conference championships over the past 17 years.  A few of her recognitions and awards include the 2015 HEO Award, 2017 MBWA Distinguished Service Award, and the 2018 Met Basketball Writers Association Distinguished Service Award.
 
 
 
Knights of Distinction 2017
 


Dr. Drake Lamen, Class of 1969
 
A graduate of Windsor Central High School class of 1969, Dr. Drake Lamen received his medical degree from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in 1977.  He has served the communities of Greater Broome and Chenango Counties for 40 years as a family practitioner.  During that time, Dr. Lamen’s work and commitment in Windsor earned him the distinction of being known as “Windsor’s Doctor.”   Currently, Dr. Lamen is serving as the President / CEO / CMO of UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich, NY.
 
 
Brigadier General Brett J. McMullen, Class of 1980
 
A graduate of Windsor Central High School class of 1980, Brig. Gen. Brett J. McMullen is the Mobilization Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Contracting, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington D.C.  He is responsible for all aspects of contracting relating to the acquisition of weapon systems, logistics, operational and contingency support for the Air Force.  Gen. McMullen served in the enlisted ranks from 1981-1985 prior to receiving his commission from the Air Force Office Trainer School.  He has held a variety of assignments and staff positions.  During his long tenure at U.S. Special Operations Command, Gen. McMullen oversaw USSOCOM’s expansion of world-wide contingency operations.
 
 
Christina Sickles Merchant, Class of 1967
 
A graduate of Windsor Central High School class of 1967, Christina Sickles Merchant became a national leader in conflict resolution and labor relations.  She received a B.S. from Cornell’s School of Industrial Labor Relations in 1971.  Throughout her career she worked with the U.S. Department of Labor, was Commissioner of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Director of Labor-Management Cooperation within the Federal Labor-Relations Authority, Project Director for Labor-Management Cooperation under the Department of Defense,      Director of the Labor Management Project, and a fellow within the Maxwell School of Syracuse University where she also served as a Professor of Practice and Faculty Associate.  As an author the book she co-authored was selected as the winner of the Best Book Award in 1997 by the International Association of Conflict Management.  
 
 
Deputy Kevin J. Tarsia, Class of 1983
 
A 1983 graduate of Windsor Central High School and Broome Community College, Kevin Tarsia served 13 years as a Deputy Sheriff for Broome County.  Deputy Tarsia loved his family, friends and community.  On July 4, 2002 Deputy Tarsia was killed in the line of duty while approaching burglary suspects in Grange Hall Park, Kirkwood, NY.
 
 
Knights of Distinction 2016
 

William Grausgruber
 
 
Serving the Windsor Central School District for over 30 years as a teacher and mentor, as well as contributing to the Greater Binghamton Area for over 5 decades, Mr. William Grausgruber has left a lasting impression on innumerable people.  His contributions in the fields of painting and sculpture can be seen throughout the school district, local community, Southern Tier and beyond.  He has won countless awards for his artwork, but more importantly, he has used his craft to give back to the community.
 
 
 
Chief Master Sergeant Mark A. Bronson ‘90
 
 
A graduate of the Windsor Central High School Class of 1990, Chief Master Sergeant Bronson joined the Air Force in May 1992. Over the last 24 years Chief Bronson has risen in the ranks from a munitions systems journeyman to Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 628th Air Base Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.  During his tenure in the Air Force Chief Bronson has served in Maine, Germany, Florida, South Carolina, California, Texas and Colorado earning numerous major awards and decorations, including but not limited to, the Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal and NATO Medal.  
 
 
 
Alfred Gorick ‘82
 
 
A graduate of the Windsor Central High School Class of 1982, Mr. Alfred Gorick earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University.   Upon graduating from Clarkson, Mr. Gorick settled in the Binghamton area founding Alfred Gorick Co., Inc.  Shortly thereafter he became president of Gorick Construction Co., Inc.  He has also since become the director of the National Demolition Association, designed and developed River Run II Golf Links, been named in the Who’s Who of Outstanding Business Executives, serves on the Town of Kirkwood Zoning Board, is a member of the United Way of Broome County board, a Harpur Forum Board member, parish president at the St. John Ukrainian Orthodox Church  and a board member of the Southern Tier Hockey Association, as well as an avid supporter of the Windsor Central School District.
 
 
 
Knights of Distinction 2015
 

Jack Collins
Distinguished educator
and coach
 INDUCTED 2015
 
Joan Collins
Distinguished educator
and teacher leader
INDUCTED 2015
 
Gerald O’Donnell
Distinguished educator
 and coach
INDUCTED 2015
 
Kenneth Ellsworth ‘79
Distinguished graduate
and community leader
INDUCTED 2015
 
Alice Freeman Palmer, 1872
Distinguished graduate, president of Wellesley College
and national women’s education leader
INDUCTED 2015
 
Joseph A. Griffith ‘64
Distinguished graduate,
Community and civic leader
Town of Kirkwood Supervisor
INDUCTED 2015
 

Jack Collins
After graduating from Cortland HS and attending SUNY Morrisville and SUNY Oswego, Mr. Jack Collins became a member of the WCHS staff in the fall of 1960.  Jack instructed students in technology and drivers education at Windsor for 47 years.  Also, as a basketball coach, first boys then girls, he accrued a 332-212 record over 26 varsity seasons.
 
Joan Helen Collins
 In 1973, Mrs. Joan Collins started teaching German and Spanish at Windsor Central High School.  From 1975 - 2007, she continued her career at Windsor, as an English teacher.   During her 37 years at Windsor, she filled many roles, such as English Department Chair, coordinator for the Mentoring Program, Cheerleading Advisor, and Driver Education instructor. From 1987-2007 she also served as an adjunct professor for Syracuse University in the Project Advance program.  Mrs. Collins currently teaches English as a Second Language at SUNY Broome.  
 
Kenneth Ellsworth
Mr. Kenneth Ellsworth is a WCHS graduate, class of ‘79.  Graduating from Syracuse University, Ken returned to Windsor where he and his wife, Rebecca, have raised their three children.  Mr. Ellsworth has become a successful entrepreneur and businessman, active member of the Windsor Alumni Association serving as treasurer, and a major supporter of the Windsor CSD and Windsor Youth programs.
 
Joseph Griffin
Mr. Joseph Griffin was a 1964 graduate of WCHS and a graduate of BCC.  He worked for IBM for 30 years before retiring.  Mr. Griffin became the youngest Councilman ever elected in the Town of Kirkwood at the age of 26.  He served for over 30 years on the Kirkwood Town Board, working closely with WCSD Superintendents, Principals, Teachers and Families.  To date there have been 4 scholarships awarded in Mr. Griffins memory to deserving Windsor students since Joe’s passing in 2003.
 
Gerald O’Donnell
Serving the Windsor Central School District for over 40 years as a teacher, coach, role model, as well as contributing to the Greater Binghamton Area for over 50 years and a veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Mr. Gerry O’Donnell has left a lasting impression on an innumerable amount of people.  His encyclopedic memory of his former students and athletes demonstrates the passion and commitment he has in teaching and helping others.
 
Alice Freeman Palmer
Mrs. Alice Freeman Palmer was an1872 graduate of the Windsor Academy. In 1876, she graduated from the University of Michigan.  She was one of the leading early proponents of higher education for women in the US. She served as the head of the history department at Wellesley College, became the first women to be president of a national university at Wellesley College, served as the dean of women at the University of Chicago, was the director of the World’s Columbian Exposition, and served twice as the president of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae.


 
Knights of Distinction 2014
 


GARY VAIL
 
DISTINGUISHED TEACHER, COACH,
 
ADMINISTRATOR AND COMMUNITY MEMBER
 
INDUCTED 2014
 
 
 
DONALD BRUNSWICK
 
DISTINGUISHED ADMINISTRATOR
 
COMMUNITY AND CHURCH LEADER
 
INDUCTED 2014
 
 
JIM CROWLEY ‘89
 
DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE
 
COLLEGIATE ATHLETE AND COACH
 
INDUCTED 2014
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