Hall of Distinction announces 2021 inductees; ceremony will take place in spring

The Monticello Hall of Distinction Committee has chosen six accomplished individuals to this year’s class for 2021. The inductees are:

  • Todd Cellini – Class of 1997
  • Cindy Gilmore – Class of 1980
  • Warren “Buddy” Goldsmith – Class of 1959
  • Henry “Hank” Good – Class of 1972
  • Mark Meddaugh – Class of 1971
  • Seth Rausch – Class of 1996

The Hall of Distinction ceremony for 2021, which is usually held on the first Friday in November, will be held in the spring of 2022, according to Lori Orestano-James, chairperson of the committee and president of the Monticello Board of Education.

“The plan is to hold an in-person ceremony, complete with family, friends and the hope of the entire Monticello High School student body in attendance in the spring,” said Orestano-James.

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s ceremony was not held. Current restrictions would not allow for a full ceremony this fall either. Therefore, the committee decided to wait until the spring to hold the ceremony.

“This year’s class covers a wide swath of successes from our Monticello graduates,” said Orestano-James. “Each one brings a unique perspective and background on success and how to achieve it.”

Part of the Hall of Distinction is for inductees to share their stories and talents with the student body in their classes on the day of the ceremony. The plan this year is to have them present to classes virtually as well as to come in and speak with students in person.

“They will be adjuncts throughout the year,” Orestano-James noted. “Our students will be exposed to our honorees in a more robust and productive way this year through video. The honorees will be in the classrooms for more than just one day.”

 The Hall of Distinction honors highly successful alumni, former board of education members and former employees who have achieved distinction, outstanding accomplishments or made significant contributions within their school, family, career, community and/or personal lives. It was established during the 2012-2013 school year and is located in the lobby outside of the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School.

 

Meet the Hall of Distinction, Class of 2021

 

Todd Cellini, a 1997 graduate of Monticello High School, became one of the youngest university presidents in the United States when he was named president of South University before his 30th birthday. He is currently the chief academic and operations officer at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Broomfield Colorado.

Todd earned two bachelor’s degrees from Binghamton University before earning his master’s degree in social sciences with a concentration in higher education, also from Binghamton. He went on to earn his doctorate in education from Argosy University. He is also a published author.

And he achieved all of this while overcoming a hearing impairment.

“Todd Cellini is a source of pride for his family and his community, having overcome the disabling effects of hearing impairment to achieve success at the highest level of his profession while earning a doctorate in the process,” said his nomination to the Hall of Distinction.

 

Cynthia “Cindy” MacAdam Gilmore is a lifelong resident of Monticello and a 1980 graduate of Monticello High School. Cindy earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing and went to work as a pediatric registered nurse at Community General Hospital in Harris. She became the school nurse at Cooke Elementary School, earning certification to teach health for students in grades kindergarten through six.

During her time at Cooke, Cindy earned her master’s degree in Health Services Administration while working full-time and with a young family. She became a manager at Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen and continued her education, earning a second master’s degree in Family Nurse Practitioner as well as a certificate for Legal Nurse Consultant. She returned to Community General Hospital to manage the Family Health Care Center for nearly a decade. In 2006, Cindy joined Sullivan Internal Medicine, which is now a division of Middletown Medical where she still practices today.

“I cannot think of anyone who has served our community over a professional lifetime who better deserves this honor,” said one letter nominating Cindy. “She continues to be a valuable asset to our community, finding treatments for our ailments, giving answers to our questions, and providing knowledge to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle.”

 

Warren “Buddy” Goldsmith was a Monticello High School athlete before becoming a coach at his beloved high school. He served as a head coach, assistant and volunteer coach for more than 30 years, serving both boys and girls soccer teams, the ski team, track and field team and was instrumental in the development of the district’s gymnastics program. He inspired generations of young athletes with his positive attitude, his willingness to share his knowledge and his success, bring home numerous OCIAA and Section IX titles.

Buddy, who was born and raised in Monticello and graduated from Monticello High School in 1959, went on to be the director of Recreation for the Village of Monticello and founded the Monticello Youth Group. He was also director of the Senior Citizens Program.

Beyond Monticello, Buddy was the director of Sullivan/Orange County Special Olympics, serving on the New York State Special Olympics Games Committee for 30 years. He helped train the athletes in competitive gymnastics.

Though he passed away in 2012, Buddy Goldsmith’s positive influence continues to inspire more generations of Monticello athletes.

“As a coach and mentor, Buddy strived for excellence in performance and fairness,” according to his nomination letter. “He encouraged all to do the best they were capable of.”

 

 

Henry “Hank” Good has lived his dream. This 1972 graduate of Monticello High School has always loved big trucks – he questioned the drivers at the truck stop across from his elementary school and even was able to get rides in their rigs. He bought his first semi in 1981 and that’s when his dreams took flight.

Hank has had a remarkable career as the owner of Henry R. Good Interstate Trucking. He has driven more than three million miles professionally and received many safe driving awards, along with a New York State Congressional commendation.

However, Hank and his rig are known internationally! He has traveled to Europe as part of International Good Will Show Truck Tours. His truck is no ordinary one. It’s known as the Highway Hilton, a home on wheels. He has won hundreds of trophies and awards at truck shows in the United States and abroad. He is featured on trucker trading cards, has been part of several videos and television shows and received the Trucker Buddy Gary King Award. He is a good-will ambassador around the world, having been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and winning more than 150 trophies in truck shows.

Locally, Hank has given back to his community in many ways throughout the years – as a fire fighter, member of the Monticello Volunteer Ambulance Corp, assistant scout master for the Boy Scouts, and as a volunteer in the Monticello School District. He sponsors the Ursella Good Scholarship for graduating MHS seniors.

“Henry is a valuable member of our community and deserves this honor,” states his nomination letter. “He is exactly what we need to show kids how hard work and determination can bring true success to a person. When people think of Hang Good, they think of that guy who will always stop to help you.”

 

Mark Meddaugh is a 1971 graduate of Monticello High School. He has won election as a family court judge three times and has served in the position for 29 years. Judge Meddaugh is also an acting justice of the of the Supreme Court in the Third Judicial District. He was instrumental in starting C.A.S.A. and the family drug treatment court.

Judge Meddaugh is married to Robin Meddaugh and has three grown sons. He has been active with the youth soccer program, Little League and the Rock Hill Fire Department.

“Judge Meddaugh is well-respected for his fairness in court and his community services,” noted the nomination letter. “As such he is a role model for students.”

 

Seth Rausch is living his dream. Born into a musical family, Seth began playing drums when he was just three years old. Now, he is a touring musician, playing the skins for top rock and country rock  acts.

Seth moved to Nashville after graduating Monticello High School in 1996. It wasn’t long before he started getting gigs and impressing influencers in the business. He has performed with Quinn Loggins, Joey DeGraw, The Wilkinsons, SheDaisy, Sarah Johns, Chris Young, The Band Perry and Sheryl Crow. He has toured with Brooks and Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisly and Sugarland. For years, he was the drummer for Grammy-winning band, Little Big Town, recording with them and appearing in videos while touring the world doing concerts. He is currently on tour with Keith Urban.

“Seth is living proof that hard work and dedication to a career dream can become a reality,” says the nomination form for the Hall of Distinction. “Seth wanted to make a living playing drums and that’s what he is doing. He is a great example of a student who has become a very successful adult – a devoted husband and father of five, active in his faith and community in Nashville.”