MCSD announces 2018 Hall of Distinction Inductees

Ceremony honoring inductees to take place on Friday, Nov. 2; public is invited

The Monticello Central School District is proud to announce this year’s inductees to its Hall of Distinction. Six outstanding individuals were honored at a special ceremony in the Arnold Packer Hughs Auditorium in Monticello High School on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.

The 2018 inductees are:

Anne Kaplan, Class of 1938

Anne Rappaport Kaplan made her mark in the Monticello community on several levels: business, politics and as a humanitarian. Anne and her husband, Moe, started Kaplan’s Delicatessen that grew into one of the most successful businesses in the county, with much credit going to Anne’s outgoing personality and business savvy. Anne was active in state and local politics and a leader in the community. In 1974, she was the first and, so far, only woman elected mayor of the Village of Monticello. Anne was also a strong and outspoken proponent for racial equality. A true role model, Anne Kaplan was proud of her Monticello roots.

Les Kristt, Class of 1964

Les is a leader in the business community. His family business has been a cornerstone in the Monticello community for 71 years. The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development presented Les with the Walter A. Rhulen Award, a prestigious award given annually to a person whose business excellence, commitment to community and service to humanity truly stand out. He was named the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year. Above all, Les Kristt is a true humanitarian. His service to the community is impressive: committee for Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Dinner, Bagel Festival and St. Jude’s Radiothon; past president, treasurer and member of the board of directors of the Monticello Rotary; member of the NAACP and Pets Alive Animal Rescue, to name a few. Les has dedicated his life to volunteering for the betterment of Monticello and Sullivan County.

Colonel Kelly J. Lawler, Class of 1983

For 30 years, Kelly Lawler served his country honorably in the United States Army. He was deployed in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, he was deployed once again, this time as a battalion commander, responsible for more than 1,000 troops. He served in the Pentagon, retiring in March 2018. Kelly is pursuing a master’s degree in secondary school education at William and Mary. His years in Monticello left a lasting impression on him, shaping his life and his career. He wants to impart those lessons on others.

Suzanne Rhulen Loughlin, Class of 1979

After Suzanne Rhulen Loughlin earned her Juris Doctor from New York Law School, she went on to specialize in crisis management and communications. She is a sought-after speaker in many industry sectors because of her expertise. Suzy remained active in her community, serving on the board of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, Sullivan County Industrial Development Agency. Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development and Nana’s House Childcare Center. She is president of the Trevor Loughlin Foundation, Inc., an organization in memory of her son providing grants to those battling catastrophic illness. She has received numerous awards for her community service, including the Anti-Defamation League’s Americanism Award.

Jeff Siegel, Class of 1977
Jeff is a successful businessman, his expertise in the fields of entertainment and special events. He is well-respected throughout the business community for his direction and focus. Jeff created the Bagel Festival, an annual event that brought enormous benefit to the area. He has been affiliated with many business organizations, including the Chambers of Commerce in Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess and Orange counties, Monticello Chamber of Commerce and the Sullivan County Visitors Association. He also was a on the committee for St. Jude’s Radiothon. He has worked throughout his career to bring residents and the business community together to make Monticello, his hometown, a better place to live, work and visit.

Sheriff Joseph Wasser, Class of 1939

Joseph Wasser’s life was one of public service, dedicating nearly 50 years to his community. Joe served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was elected magistrate of the Town of Thompson, serving for 19 years, and a member of the Thompson town board for 12 years. He was elected Sullivan County sheriff in 1971, served as a commissioner on the New York State Commission of Correction, and was elected sheriff again. He went on to become the longest-serving sheriff in the county with 20 years. Joe received the Times Herald Police Honor Award twice, the New York State Sheriff’s Association “Friend of Law Enforcement” Award and the Gorowitz Institute on Terrorism and Extremism Award. He was also active in many charitable and civic organization.