Photo by John Armato
The four honorees of this year's Pottstown High School Alumni Honor Roll with the students who helped honor them during the Oct. 18 ceremony.
October is Alumni Honor Roll month at both Pottstown and Pottsgrove high schools.
Ceremonies for both were held within a day of each other.
First up was Pottstown, which on Oct. 18 inducted George M. McLain Jr. (Class of 1958), Eva K.M. Yashinsky (Class of 1972), Bennie Simms (Class of 1972) and David Donald (Class of 1981) into the alumni honor roll.
McLain, born on Maple Street and raised on Sunset Drive, was an all-state legion baseball player
and a graduate of East Stroudsburg State College, where he majored in social studies education.
A social studies teacher at Boyertown Area Senior High School for six years, McLain earned a masters in education from Temple, and took a job at as assistant principal at Pottstown Central Junior High School, where he worked for two years.
Afterward, he obtained a past as principal of Conrad Weiser High School Principal, a post he held for 15 years, before moving on two two administrative positions before retirement in 1997.
McLain worked on staff development initiatives at the national and state level and, in his retirement, has served Alvernia University as supervisor of student teachers.
Yashinsky, whose maiden name is Altomari, is not only a Pottstown High School graduate, where she graduated sixth in a class of 326 and was the president of the class, she spent her entire 35-year career as a teacher in the Pottstown School District.
A graduate of Temple University's Tyler School of the Arts, Yashinsky, an art teacher at every school building but Barth and the middle school, was named Teacher of the Year in 2011.
Photo by John Armato
McLain, Donald, Yashinsky and Simms in front of the lobby mural
Yashinsky helped to organize.
She is remembered by many graduating classes for her creative and inspirational graduation ceremony backdrops.
Since graduating, Simms has had a long musical career that brought him to 14 different countries.
He has worked with many well-known artists including The Temptations, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Trammps, Dizz Gillespie, Rita Coolidge, Ray Parker Jr., the Tower of Power and Tavares.
As a bassist, Simms played with Pieces of a Dream, where he also served a scomposer, producer and music director.
He has performed on television many times, including on Good Morning America, Emeril Live and on a PBS broadcast special "Love Rhythm and Soul," with Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls and the Spinners.
He is currently the music director and bassist for The Three Degrees World Wide, Simone and founding member, with Curtis Harmon, of the new jazz sensation "New Foundation."
Captain of the Trojan football team when he graduate, Donald attended Temple University's business school, made the dean's list, received the scholar athlete award and was, again captain of the football team.
Donald is the founder and CEO of PeopleShare Inc., the third largest privately-held staffing company in Pennsylvania with more than 5,000 employees with its headquarters here in Pottstown.
He is a board member not only of Temple University's graduate school, but also Philadelphia Works, a post to which he was appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Nutter.
His company has been recognized numerous times as one of the 500 fastest-growing companies; was an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2011 and has been recognized by Smart CEO Magazine as one of 50 CEOS to watch.
PeopleShare Inc. has been recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the "best places to work."
Donald has been asked many times to meet with the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare, as well as Congressional staff, concerning success in the work force.
All four were honored at a school-wide ceremony and assembly.
The next day, the 13th annual luncheon of the Pottsgrove Education Foundation and the Pottsgrove Retired Educators was held at Copperfield's in Limerick and the members of the Pottsgrove Honor Roll were recognized.
This year's honorees were Michael A. Foltz, Kathy-Jo Winterbottom, John Moletress and the late Joseph Dori.
Foltz is the Chief of Police of Lower Pottsgrove Township.
Winterbottom is a retired captain and commanding officer of Troop T of the Pennsylvania State Police.
Moletress is active in theater education and directing.
Dori was an English teacher and coach at Pottsgrove High School for 35 years.
The Pottsgrove Honor Roll recognizes members of the community who have provided distinguished service to the school district, or who have made notable contributions to society since graduating from Pottsgrove.
Master of ceremonies for the luncheon was James Basile and honorees were introduced by Charles Yohn, Earl Boehmer, Barb Clayton and Kevin Hennessey. Jane Conley offered the invocation.
Serving on the Honor Roll Committee are Basile, Yohn, Linda Cole, John Meko, D.J. Testa, Arlan Burkert, Addison Davidson, Clayton, Boehmer, Thomas Roberts and Robert Rheel.