Who's Who

 

Dr. John Inzerillo  - Class of 1972

Dr. Inzerillo is the author of two books: 

Passion Beyond Pain:  A Mindful Approach to Living a Life of Balance.  This book was accepted by the Lilly Pharmecutial Company for distrubution to the health care professionals.

Pictures of Health which is available through Amazon. 

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Felix Rodriguez - Class of 1994

Felix is the author of DAD, ME AND MUHAMMAD ALI  (A Father and Son Story).   This book is available at most book stores.   Felix is also a Waterbury Board of Education member.

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Albert Chestone - Class of 1940

Albert is the author of the book " What America Means to Me".    After graduating from Wilby, Albert earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio University and his master's from NYU.   During WWII he served in North Africa and later in Italy with the 15th Air Force.  He retired as an FBI agent specializing in counter intelligence.    Albert hopes to "reawaken" America, especially the young, about the importance of decency, respect, morality, honesty, and patriotism, and to enlighten them about the meaning of freedom.   The book is available through Amazon.com and www.bn.com.

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Awista Ayub - Class of 1997

Author of the book, "However Tall the Mountain, a Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home".  Awista visited her parents homeland in 2002 and saw how the women were confined to their homes and subjected to violence under the Taliban.   She caputured the struggle of the Afghan women in this book and about the brave girls who risked proscecution under the Taliban. to pursue the dreams of ordinary childhood, doing what they loved most - playing soccer.    Awista was born in Afghanistan and immigrated to the US in 1981.   She founded the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange in 2003.    From Febrary 2005 to January 2007, Awista served as the Education and Health Office at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.  Awista received her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry frm the University of Rochester in NY and received her Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware. 

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders.

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Daisy Lord

Who is Daisy Lord.   Every year the Daisy Lord Award is given the the highest ranking male and female in the senior class.    Daisy Lord was born and educated in Waterbury.   She taught salesmanship in Wilby since 1918.  The students loved her school spirt and enthusiasm.   She was more than a teacher, she was also a mother to her students.   She passed away suddenly in 1941.   Her  passing was a shock to the students,staff and community.    In a trubute to her dedication to Wilby and students an award was named in her behalf. 

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Marcus Allen - Class of 2001

Marcus "The Allen Boy" Allen, producer, musician and songwriter, half of the Grammy award winning production team the Heavy Weights (Rihanna, Ne-yo, Heather Headley).  He and his partner Joe "Jojo Beats" Sparkman were signed to R&B superstar Ne-Yo's record label Compound Entertainment.

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B. Jay Cooper - Class of 1968

B. Jay served as deputy White House press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, also as director of public affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce under Secretary Malcolm Baldrige, and as director of public affairs at Yale University.  B. Jay recently co-authored a book with Chris Black "Mac Baldridge: The Cowboy in Ronald Reagan's Cabinet".   A book launch was held at the Courtyard by Marriot in Waterbury and was attended by Baldridge's daughters Molly and Megan Baldridge. 

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Brittany Parker - Class of 2005

Brittany is the coach of Women's Basketball at Niagara University

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Will Blandon - Class of 2002

Will is the coach of Football at Nichols College

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Christina Ruiz - Class of 2006

Christina while attending Bay Path College in Massachusetts performed with the College in Prague, Czech Republic.  They performed for local residents and visitors at Lichtenstein Palace, Hlahol Concert Hall, and St. George's Basilica.   She was also nominated for the 2010 Who's Who among Students, a recognition conferred upon students by a long standing national honors program.   

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Mariam Diaz (Gilbert) - Class of 1977

Mariam is a Theology Adjunct Professor at Neumann University, Asten, PA.   She is the author of "English for Pharmacy Writing and Oral Communication"  (2008) which can be purchased at www.lww.com.   She is a veteran of 9 Marathons and 4 Ultra-marathons (50 plus miles).   Montour 24 Hour Endurance Run 2014, Danville, PA, Around the Lake 24 Hour Endurance Run, Wakefield, MA  2012 and 2013, Philadelphia 100 Mile Ultra in April 2011, and Beast of Burden 100 Mile Ultra, Lockport, NY August 2011

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Michael Matzkevich (Shane Michael Taylor) - Class of 2000

Born with cerebral palsy and a quadriplegic, Michael released  his country album "I Will Stand" with the hit single "Warrier Cowboy".   The song, penned by Michael and two other Nashville songwriters, was inspired by him seeing a news segment showing the struggles, courage, and sacrifice of U.S. soldiers and the battles they face when they return home.  A video of the song was also released.     Mike is also a motivational speaker an author of "Living this Rodeo: A Journey from Fantasy to Reality".

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Raymond E. Snyder, Sr. - Class of 1925

Five term mayor of Waterbury from 1948 - 1955.   Formally an undertaker and owner of Snyder Funeral Home (the home was the former residence of  actress Rosalind Russell) on Willow Street.

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John Fusco -1970's

Hollywood writer and producer.   Author of novel  "Paradise Salvage".   Writer and producer of 10 major motion pictures including Crossroads, Hidalgo, Young Guns, Young Guns II, The Forbidden Kingdom, Thunderheart, and Spirit: Stallion and the Cimarron.  In 2014 he created the epic "Marco Polo" for Netflix.

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Shirley Grey - 1919

Shirely (Agnes Zetterstrand) was an actress in the 1930's.   She began her acting career with Sylvester Poli's stock theater company, The Poli Players, in 1921 and performed in more than 45 films during her brief movie career from 1930 to 1935. 

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Ryan Gomes - 2000

Basketball player with Boston Celtics and  Los Angeles Clippers

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 Carl Cicchetti - 1947

Chick Hetti (stage name) along with Donald Claps, and Maury Cohen formed the band "The Playmates".   In 1958 they made Billboards Top 5 with "Beep Beep" their novielty song about  a race between a Cadillac and little a Nash Rambler.

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Eileen Thomas - 1963

Eileen was a member of the Radio City Rockettes and peformed over 1,400 shows including the Christmas Shows and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Pedro DeBrito - 1977

After graduating from UConn where Pedro put the Univeristy on the national soccer map, the team won the National Championship in 1981 when he scored five goals in the tournament, tying a national record.    He was a two time All-American at Connectict and he still holds the school record for assists in a season with 20.    In 1982 he was a first selection draft pick in the North American Soccer League draft by theTampa Bay Rowdies shere he earned NASL Rookie of the Year honors and he was drafted onto the U.S. Men's National Team.  He played professionally until 1983 and that included two seasons with the New York Cosmos.  He was a Major Indoor Soccer League champion in 1987 with the Dallas Sidekicks.  

He moved to Miami in 2001 and worked at Drew Estate Cigar Co. for 13 years.

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 Royal A. Merwin - 1919  

Remember singing the Wilby Alma Mater at Graduation.  This was written by Alumni Royal Andrews Merwin.

Royal was born in Woodmont, CT on June 10, 1899.   He showed an interest in music at an early age when he began to pick out tunes on the family parlor organ.  The Merwin's moved to Waterbury when Royal was 13 and at that time he joined the choir at St. John's Church, ringing bells in the belfry and also served as an organist at All Souls Church.   After Wilby he matriculated at the Yale School of Music, graduating in 1923.  He completed a five year course in four years, winning the Kellogg-Osborne Prize in   While at Yale, he conducted the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in playing his own composition "Theseus" which won the Steinert Prize.   He coached the Yale Banjo Club for two years and conducted a fifteen piece student's orchestra in the Yale Dining Hall.   In 1924, he accepted a position as organist and choirmaster at St. John's Episcopal Church in Waterbury, resigning to collaborate with Nathaniel Shilkret of the Victor Talking Machine Company in the presentation of radio programs.  He wrote several vocal and orchestral arrangements and became assistant conductor.   In 1928 he became accompanist for the International Singers with whom he filled a position as piano soloist, composer, and arranger.  Following a period of greater leasure devoting more time to composing, he accepted a position of master of music at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA.  This period of teaching and composing lasted up to the time of his death in 1935.  

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Ed Cavanaugh - 1947

During his playing career at Wilby, Ed was named All-City, All-NVL, and All-State.  He went on to play for Duke University before embarking on a long coaching career in both college and the NFL. 

He coached for four years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, three of those years he was head coach.   Cavanaugh never beat Navy while at Army.   As head coach he had two defeats and a tie.

He was inducted into the Republican American's Red Zone Hall of Fame. 

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Edward "The Mad Hatter" Maglio - '60

During his senior year at Wilby, Ed was the class president.  After graduation he found his career in radio working for WWCO, WNVR AND WWCO AM radio in Waterbury in the late 60's and 70's going by the name the Mad Hatter.   Do to his outlandish broadcasts he was known as the Wolfman Jack of Waterbury.    Ed was also known for his personality and his stunts such as broadcasting suspended from a crane over a building, on top of buckets of ice, and his 51 hour marathon from McDonalds on Thomaston Ave to help raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.   He always ended his show with the song "Daddy's Home".    During the 60's he managed the Sunburst Teen Dance Club on Lakewood Rd.   After radio, he owned the Mad Hatters Tea Party and Hat's Place.   Sadly, the same day Ed passed on April 18, 2004, his sister Deborah Maglio Kaplan '72 died within a hour of her brother.   Deborah worked as a club DJ going by the name Sister Hat.   It was a sad day in Waterbury.

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Alex Rozum - class of 1973

Musician and artist.   Alex released an album entitled "Lost to the Street" which was written up in Rolling Stone Magazine. 

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Kenny (KJ) James - class of 1971

Kenny is a singer, songwriter, actor, and international entertainer who had an unprecedented 13 wins on the hit show "Star Search".   He recorded the award-winning album "Target".   He is also the author of his auto-biography "BEFORE THE SPOTLIGHT".

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Chris (Big Dog) Davis - class of 1978

Music producer and musician.  At the age of 10, he conducted the Yale Symphony Orchestra.  He produced Maysa's "Quiet Fire" which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance.  Chris performed every instrument in the song.

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Philip Fitzell - class of 1957

Author of a fiction book "On The Brink: A Trio of Genres" Available on Amazon.   Also inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame (PLMA - Private Label Manufacturing Association).

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Gemma Acheampong - class of 2011

Olympics 2016, Rio de Janeiro.   Gemma represented her country of Ghana in the 4x100 relay.   She was a former class M state champion.  She was a track sensation while at Wilby.  In her senior year 2011, she was an NVL indoor champion when she ran the anchor leg for the 4x400 relay.  In the outdoor season she won the NVL 100 meter dash in 12.61 and then the state 100 title in 12.49.  In her senior season at Boston Univ. she won Patriot League indoor titles in the 60 and 200 meters.  In the outdoor season she again won the 100 (11.49) and 200 (23.92) and she won the 100 meter title in the IC4A/ECAC championships in 11.56.  She raced but did not medal for Ghana at the 2014 Commonweath Games in Glasgow, Scotland.  She competed with Ghana at the African Championships in Durban South Africa in the last week of June.  She earned her trip to Rio on the Ghana's 4x100 relay in July in the Cape Coast, Ghana. She placed in the record book as Ghana's fastest ever woman's 4x1. 

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Larry Rifkin - Class of 1970

Larry was a long time programming executive for Connecticut Public Television until his early retirement in 2009.

He is best know for bringing Barney the Dinosaur and UConn Women's Basketball to television  Throughout the course of his tenure, CPTV developed a national reputation for quality programs, including national series like "Scientific American Frontiers with Alan Alda, how-to-programs, concert specials like Carole King in Concert, and a range of children's programs.    For the local programs CPTV developed under his leadership, nearly 50 EMMY Awards were bestowed upon the station and he was named to the Boston-New England Emmy Silver Circle in 2006, which is the regional television Hall of Fame. 

Since his retirement, he returned to his first love - radio - and has been the host of 1320 WATR's Talk of the Town, bringing his public broadcasting sensibilities to a regional talk program.  He has attracted major national authors and guests  as well as political figures from across the state. 

He recently vacated the broadcast chair at WATR after seven years.  He will not devote his time to podcasts on U.S. Political and Social Trends and volunteering for CRIS Radio, a news reading service for the blind, as well as assignments for WATR.    

Mr Rifkin is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Connecticut and has a master's degree in Cororate and Political Communication from Fairfield University.

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Arista L. Johnson - Class of 1985

Supterintendent of the Bridgeport School System.   Prior to Superintendent, Arista taught Science at Kennedy High School in Waterbury and was later an Instructional Leadership Director in the district.   Teaching was a second career for her.  Her first career was as a pharmaceutical chemist which she attributed to having an amazing chemistry teacher at Wilby.