Distinguished Alumni Wall of FameView our Where Are They Now page to read about some of our graduates. Click here to read moreArticle from The Olean Times Herald - Click here to read onlineSALAMANCA — Among the recognition for student athletics, academics and character on the walls of the Salamanca City Central School District’s Iroquois Drive campus, visitors may soon see a section recognizing school system alumni who have made noteworthy accomplishments since graduating or retiring.
At a meeting earlier this month, the board of education approved the creation of a selection committee for the newly founded Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame.
The wall’s purpose would be to annually recognize outstanding Salamanca alumni, former district staff, former school board members and special friends of the district.
Superintendent Robert Breidenstein said the possibility of a Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame first emerged in conversation with the alumni group last summer.
“The bottom line is we have some tremendously influential Salamanca alumni and individuals who have been a part of our system,” he said. “Conversation was centered on creating an opportunity to recognize these people and one more opportunity for community engagement.”
The alumni chosen are to be people who have achieved distinction in their lives and chosen field after high school through significant contributions to their career, community or through personal achievements, as well as to provide an incentive for current and future students.
“If you’ve been to other schools, you may see these half-sized placards with the person’s picture, their accomplishments and their engagements as an alumni from the school system who has gone on to do great things,” Breidenstein said. “Or an individual has somehow affiliated with the community that benefits the school system or staff members and has served in a multitude of capacities enriching the school system and enriching the school community.”
After several months of research with other districts, he said districts with successful alumni walls of fame have several details in common. First, they have an expansive selection committee.
In a draft drawn up for the committee as an example to work from, Breidenstein suggested Salamanca’s selection committee could include two current board members, two current students (one junior and one senior), five alumni, four current or retired faculty members with at least one retiree, one district office administrator and one building administrator.
“Having a wide, broad-ranging, community-based group to discuss potential applicants and nominees is a universally consistent fact across all of the alumni groups I’ve looked at,” he said.
Second, Breidenstein said most of the groups had an established set of bylaws, adding that when a controversial or uncertain course of action is taken in the future, in terms of selecting applicants as nominees, the bylaws would create a pathway to resolve conflicts well before they begin.
“Having a firm, established set of bylaws creates that committee culture where individuals aren’t nominated because they have the right last name, football jersey number or GPA but lack other credentials,” he said.
Breidenstein also suggested the committee set a base criteria so the members should look for nominee applicants fairly by following the bylaws, eliminating favoritism and avoiding politics. He also suggested the nomination process be consistent, well publicized and nominations remain open.
“I think it makes sense, sort of like the hall of fame for baseball or football, that the number is capped at a particular number annually so it’s not feast and famine from year to year,” he explained.
Breidenstein’s suggestion of recognizing the wall of fame inductees at the annual Warrior Awards banquet in June would give the committee about four months to organize and select the applicants in time for proper notice.
“It might seem like a good pathway to invite those folks in and celebrate alumni with our current Salamanca Warrior leaders and staff,” Breidenstein said.
Valedictorian and Salutatorian Plaques from 1958 - Present