MCSD announces 2017 Hall of Distinction Inductees

The Monticello Central School District is proud to announce this year’s inductees to its Hall of Distinction. Seven outstanding individuals will be honored at a special ceremony in the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School on Friday, Nov. 3 at noon.

This year’s inductees are:

George L. Cooke, Class of 1895
County Judge George L. Cooke, like many others to the Hall of Distinction, is an outstanding example of a self-made man. He was a member of Monticello High School’s first graduating class. Judge Cooke was well-liked and respected and is the namesake of one of the district’s elementary schools.


James Culligan, Class of 1949
Throughout his life, James (Jim) Culligan has been guided by his heart to serve his country, his community, his family and his friends.  He is a Korean War veteran, served as President of the Monticello Board of Education and was instrumental in passing Dean’s Law, which addresses legislation about animal abuse as a criminal act.

Robert Kapito, Class of 1975
Robert Kapito is President and a Director of BlackRock, a member of BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee and Chairman of the Global Operating Committee. He is responsible for day-to-day oversight of all BlackRock’s key operating units including Investment Strategies, Client Businesses, Technology and Operations, and Risk & Quantitative Analysis.

Marvin Rappaport, Class of 1965
Marvin spent his life giving to others who need assistance confronting bigotry, hatred and injustice. Marvin is a Sullivan County native who grew up in the hey-day of the Catskills. He was an active member of the Sullivan County legal community. He served as Chief of Staff for congress before joining the Anti-Defamation League.

Jean Rosenheck, Class of 1946
A member of Sullivan County for nearly 80 years, Jean was a successful businesswoman and advocate for the school community. She was a school board member and president. She was also a member of the Temple Sholom Board of Directors and was listed as a “Who’s Who of American Women,” among other accolades.

Gary Schmidt, Class of 1966
Gary has spent many years serving on the New York State Plumbing and Heating Wholesalers, the board of American Supply Association and on the board Wit & Company. He helped found the Community Bank of Sullivan County, today the Catskill Hudson Bank and is He is a recipient of the Walter A. Rhulen Award for Service to Business, Community and Humanity.

Barbara Pinto, Class of 1982
Barbara Pinto is an ABC News correspondent. She filed reports for World News with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America, Nightline and other broadcasts and platforms.  She is also the founder and CEO of Pinto Productions, Inc. Her work has earned recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, NY Broadcasters Association and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The Hall of Distinction was established in 2012 by the Monticello Board of Education to honor highly successful graduates, former students and former employees who have achieved distinction, outstanding accomplishment, or have made a significant contribution within their school, family, career, community and/or personal lives. Inductees are selected by a committee consisting of community stakeholders, Board of Education members, faculty and alumni. The Hall of Distinction is located in the lobby of the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School.

The induction ceremony is open to the public. There will be an open community reception following the ceremony from 7-9 p.m. at Bernie’s Holiday Restaurant in Rock Hill for the public to attend.