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BCHS Hall of Fame 2017

Filed in BCHS, District by on October 16, 2017

five people holding statues

From left to right: Hon. Stephen Herrick (1965); Dr. Robert Spence (1965); Kate Breslin (1983); Owen Smith (2000) and Katie Rowan (2005). The group was inducted into the Hall of Fame at halftime of the October 14 Homecoming football game.

The Bethlehem Central High School Hall of Fame welcomed five new members on Saturday, October 14 as part of 2017 Homecoming Weekend. The five former students, who have made lasting contributions in the fields of medicine, law, athletics, public policy and the arts, were inducted into the Hall of Fame during halftime at the football game on a sunny Saturday afternoon in front of a large Homecoming crowd.

View photos of the Hall of Fame Induction/Homecoming Game on the district’s Facebook page.

Prior to the game the honorees gathered with friends and family, current students, teachers, administrators and board members in the school’s Library Media Center where a reception was held. All five will be added to the BCHS Hall of Fame display near the front entrance to the high school.

Congratulations to all 2017 inductees into the BCHS Hall of Fame:

Learn more about the BCHS Alumni Hall of Fame.

2017 Bethlehem Central High School Hall of Fame Inductees

Kate Breslin – Class of 1983

Kate Breslin is the President & CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy. With Kate’s leadership, the Schuyler Center is building on its long history as a strong, independent voice and coalition-builder that holds government accountable and helps shape public debates around social policies that affect disenfranchised New Yorkers. Kate has spent her career analyzing and advocating in support of thoughtful policy solutions that improve the lives of people in the U.S. and abroad.

Kate plays a leadership role in statewide consumer-oriented coalitions focused on health — Medicaid Matters NY and Health Care for All NY. She is part of the leadership team working on New York State’s approaches to value-based payment, social determinants of health, and child health. She was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council and Early Childhood Advisory Council and serves on several health policy advisory bodies, including the Value-Based Payment, Innovation Council, and Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Oversight Panel.

Kate previously served as the Director of Policy for the Community Health Care Association of New York State. In this position she coordinated public policy initiatives to improve access to high-quality primary care in underserved communities. She was project director for the California Budget Project and has led and worked on relief and development programs in several African nations including serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone.

Kate was awarded the Citizen Action Perry Award in which she was “recognized for her work to build more efficient high-quality systems that better reach and meet the needs of people who live in poverty.” 

Kate lives in Saratoga Springs with her charming husband Peter; two awesome children, Elias and Jordan; and sweet pup, Kumba. Kate earned her Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and Master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kate is a 1983 graduate of BCHS.

Hon. Stephen Herrick – Class of 1965

Judge Herrick received his B.A. in Political Science and History from Union College and his J.D. from Albany Law School. In 1999, Judge Herrick pioneered the use of drug court as an alternative to incarceration in the Capital District. Judge Herrick opened a felony drug court in which he oversaw its operations in addition to his full criminal trial calendar and other judicial duties.

Building on this success, he also started the DWI treatment Court for felony defendants. In 2007, he was tasked by the Administrative Judge to develop a plan for a veterans’ treatment program. Two years later, Judge Herrick opened VetTrak, a treatment program unique to vets.

Following Judge Herrick’s mandatory retirement from the bench in 2016, he was appointed to serve as Albany County Public Defender. He also serves on the Albany County Opiate Task Force.

Judge Herrick is a member of the BCHS Class of 1965.

Katie Rowan – Class of 2005

Katie, currently the head women’s lacrosse coach at Wagner College, is a proud BCHS graduate, class of 2005.

Katie’s greatest athletic accomplishment was being a member of the 2009 and 2013 USA World Cup gold medalist teams. In her first year at the helm of the Seahawk program, Katie guided Wagner to the 2016 Northeast Conference championship, the first in program history, which earned the Green & White their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championships. This marked the 10th consecutive season that Katie has been a part of the NCAA Tournament as either a player or a coach.She previously made the tournament three times during an All-American playing career at Syracuse, and has now reached seven NCAA Tournaments as a coach – four as an assistant at Syracuse, two as an assistant at Albany, and one at Wagner.

During Katie’s collegiate playing career at Syracuse University, she amassed 396 points on 232 goals and 164 assists en route to becoming the school’s first three-time First-Team All-America selection. Katie led the nation in scoring in 2008 and was named a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy and the Honda Award. She set single-season school records for points (142) and assists (69) that year and led the Orange to the national semifinals for the first time in school history. Katie was a four-time All-BIG EAST First Team selection and a two-time BIG EAST Attack Player of the Year honoree. 

In 2013, Katie helped the U.S. National Team to its second consecutive gold medal at the Federation of International Lacrosse World Cup. She was named the player of the match in the final game after setting a program record for goals in a game (8) and recording 10 points, as well as being named to the All-World Team for the tournament. Katie earned her Bachelor’s degree in inclusive education and special education and sociology in 2009 and her Master’s in literacy education in 2010 from Syracuse University. She was voted to the ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA At-Large Academic All-America national first team as a senior after receiving second-team honors as a junior.

Katie earned the 2009 Soladay Award at Syracuse University, which is the highest honor bestowed upon an SU student-athlete. Katie is also involved in the recent professional women’s lacrosse leagues, as a player and now as a coach.  Katie was a player in the inaugural United Women’s Lacrosse League championship team for the Long Island Sound in 2016.  She was recently named the head women’s lacrosse coach of the Upstate Pride in the newest professional women’s lacrosse league, the WPLL, beginning Summer 2018.

Katie enjoys giving back to the community and is involved with many youth lacrosse groups.  She organizes free lacrosse clinics to help grow the sport of lacrosse in NYC and has a strong partnership with different programs, especially the Brooklyn Crescents.

Owen Smith – Class of 2000

Mr. Smith serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Park Playhouse and the Managing Director of the historic Palace Theatre.

A graduate of the Park Playhouse II youth theatre program, Owen worked with Park Playhouse for over a decade as a director and performer, and has led the company in his current role since 2010. The company has since seen resurgence in its artistic accolades, as well as significant growth in ticket sales, contributions and sponsorship.

In 2014, he was pleased to be named one of the Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40. In 2015, The Downtown Albany BID presented Owen with the Norman S. Rice Arts, Culture & Education Award.

Before returning to the Capital Region in 2010, Owen was a founding member and the Producing Director of The Clockwork Theatre in New York City, and directed several productions off-Broadway for the company, including the Drama Desk nominated world premiere of Underground.

Smith is a published co-adaptor of award-winning playwright David Ives’ comedy Don Juan in Chicago.  During his time in New York, Owen served as the Assistant General Manager at New York’s Theatre for a New Audience. His work as an actor was seen on tour in the 40th Anniversary National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof, as well as in productions in New York and regionally.

Mr. Smith is a proud member of the BCHS class of 2000.

Robert J. Spence, M.D. – Class of 1965

Dr. Robert J. Spence completed his undergraduate and medical degrees in the Johns Hopkins University and Medical School’s two year/5 year program. He trained in the Johns Hopkins University surgery and plastic surgery programs, and in the National Cancer Institute and the Penn State University surgery residency programs.

Dr. Spence was a pioneer in the use of plastic surgery to treat acute and long-term effects of severe burn injuries. He founded and was director for 18 years of the Maryland Tissue Bank and Laboratory that became the tissue bank component of Maryland State organ and tissue procurement organization, the Living Legacy Foundation.

In 2008 – 2014, Dr. Spence established the Burn Reconstruction Program for the Department of Defense in San Antonio at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Brooke Army Medical Center.  He was named to the list of America’s Top Doctors from 2006 through 2014, a top doctor in Baltimore in 2012 and a top doctor in Washington/Baltimore in 2012.

Dr. Spence was the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center from 1985 – 2005, full-time faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Medical School from 1985 – 2008, Director of the Johns Hopkins Burn Reconstruction Center from 1992 – 2008, Director of the Johns Hopkins Burn Center from 2003 – 2005, and the founder and director of the National Burn Reconstruction Center at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital from 2008 – 2014. 

In addition to being widely published, Dr. Spence volunteered as director of the Maryland State tissue bank, at the Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp, and on boards of organizations supporting the work of burn centers, burn reconstruction, and burn injured patients.  In retirement, he remains professionally active as a consultant for fellow burn reconstructive surgeons and for Department of Defense research grants for treatment for burn-injured warriors. 

Dr. Spence is a member of the BCHS Class of 1965.