Three inducted into "Hall of Fame"

PERU The Peru Central School District has inducted three new members into its Hall of Fame following a June 12 awards ceremony. Two of the inductees have made significant contributions in the local community while the third has gone on to become a world-recognized leader in her field. Francis Allen graduated from Peru High School in 1950 and Albany State Teachers College in 1954. After teaching math for two years at Peru High School, she enrolled in a University of Michigan masters degree program, fully intending to return to her teaching position at Peru. While studying in Michigan, Allen didnt foresee she would take a computer programming job with IBM to pay college debts and would remain with the same company for the next 45 years. In 1989, she was the first woman to be named an IBM Fellow and in 2006 she received Association of Computing Engineerings Turing Award, considered by many to be the Nobel Prize of computing. The award recognized her work in optimizing computer programming, mentoring younger researchers and as a leader in the computing community. Allen is the first and only woman to have received this award in its 40-year history. Growing up on a farm taught me the practical side of making things happen, explained Allen. It gave me the confidence that I could solve hard problems. Allen also experienced the hope more women would enter the computer industry. A huge amount of working together and cooperation is required to build computer systems, Allen said. Women typically enjoy working as a team and sharing credit for all the work. Thats a strength that women have ... A diverse team of people gets much better results. John Roach, a well-known resident of Peru, taught biology and life sciences at Peru Central for 35 years. Also a Korean War veteran, he rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and squadron commander in the United States Air Force Reserves and is a long-time community leader. The biography accompanying Roachs award noted he founded the Peru Central School District Federal Credit Union in 1963, which today has assets of more than $6 million. He officiated basketball and football for many years and welcomed Fresh Air children into his home. He has been a member of the Peru Volunteer Fire Department since 1964, holding several leadership positions, including president and assistant chief. At the town level, he served as tax assessor, councilman, supervisor and historian. As a member of St. Augustines Parish, he has served as a Eucharistic minister, adult altar server, Home and School Club member and charter member of the Knights of Columbus. In his spare time, Roach operated various small businesses, worked as a substitute school bus driver and assisted RSVP and Meals on Wheels. Ron Wilson served as the principal of the Southside School on Plattsburgh Air Force Base and the Peru Junior High and High School for 14 years following 15 years as a sixth-grade teacher. He was the Peru Teacher of the Year in 1979. Wilsons love of children and the Adirondacks led him to develop the Adirondack Experience, an alternative education program that exposed both faculty and students to nature, team building and problem solving. He participated in many Peru musical productions and was known as the Peru Central School Leprechaun entertaining Peru students and residents of Apple Valley Senior Housing every St. Patricks Day. When Wilson retired, he became field supervisor of student teachers for the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and, in 2006, was elected as president of the New York State Retired Teachers Association. Wilsons love of community includes years of leadership with the Peru Activity and Recreation Committee, the Adirondack Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Lake Colby Environment Conservation Camp. He has also served on numerous community and organization boards and has been a long-time leader in the Redeemer Lutheran Church community. Fourteen members previously inducted into the Hall of Fame include James Hutchinson, Mary Jane Feltman, Leo Bourgois, Graeme Francis, Anthony Papero, Lynn Wilke, Dr. Jon Wetzel, Richard Martin, Clare Rooney, Ethel Stewart, Ignatius Lacombe, Dr. Philip Bonner, Rockwell Blake and Richard Boulrice.

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