As published in The Amherst Bee

A retired U.S. Army colonel and NATO Afghanistan inspector general; vice president of The PGA Tour; and the op-ed editor of The New York Times are among 10 distinguished alumni named to the Williamsville Wall of Fame. They will be inducted Friday, Nov. 8, during an awards breakfast at the Park Country Club in Williamsville.

The induction celebration is sponsored by the Williamsville Education Foundation, Inc. Following the induction ceremony, the newest Wall of Fame members will be guests of honor at their respective alma maters and address students during special assembly programs.

According to Williamsville Central Schools Superintendent Scott Martzloff, the Wall of Fame honors outstanding Williamsville graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to society and community service.

“These distinguished alumni are an inspiration to our current students and a great source of pride for the entire Williamsville community,” he said.

From Williamsville South High School, the inductees include:

  •  James Dao, Class of 1975, op-ed editor, The New York Times.
  •  Elaina Giolando, Class of 2007, life transformation coach and freelance writer.
  •  Christopher H. Toone, Class of 2009, founder and CEO of The Senase Project, a non-profit organization that focuses on public education in rural Africa.
  •  Michael Walline, Class of 1991, Western New York theater actor, choreographer and director.

From Williamsville East High School, the inductees include:

  •  Maureen Cattieu, Class of 2002, founder and director of Cartagena Paws, an animal rescue in Cartagena, Columbia.
  •  Mark F. Fassl, Class of 1980, retired U.S. Army colonel; former NATO Afghanistan training mission inspector general; current inspector general, Alabama Department of Corrections.
  •  John Flaschner, Class of 1980, vice president of community impact, The PGA Tour.

From Williamsville North High School, the inductees include:

  •  David M. Brown, Class of 1978, senior project manager, ManTech International Corp.; retired Central Intelligence Agency officer.
  •  Penny Myers, Class of 1992, cantor, Temple Beth Zion.
  •  Henry J. Stopinski, Class of 1980, superintendent of Royalton-Hartland Central School District.

The Williamsville Wall of Fame has 118 members representing the district’s three high schools as well as the original high school, which dates back to the early 20th century.

Tickets for the Nov. 8 breakfast celebration cost $25. To reserve tickets for the awards breakfast at the Park Country Club, go to

Wall of Fame sponsorship opportunities are available for companies, individuals and groups who want to support Williamsville’s tradition of providing quality education for all students, the school district noted.

Proceeds from the Wall of Fame celebration support the Williamsville Education Foundation’s teacher mini-grant program, which funds student-focused projects across the district, as well as its new scholarship program for graduating seniors.

For more information about how to sponsor the Wall of Fame celebration, contact Trey Measer at 204-4900.