Arts Hall of Fame Inductees 2010

EDWARD “TED” BALL - Class of 1984

Ted is a 1984 graduate where upon graduation was honored with a Graphic Arts Technical Foundation Scholarship award. This recognition gained him acceptance into the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Print Technology and Management Bachelors Program in 1984. He was the first SHS Graduate to be accepted into this program. After graduation Ted accepted a full time employment offer from Pearl Pressman Liberty Communications Group as a member of their Production Coordination Team. In the mid 90’s Ted developed and administered an “Introduction to Print” curriculum for students of Continuing Education at Villanova University and Drexel University. In 1996 Ted was elected to pursue an opportunity with the Litho-Krome Company which is wholly owned by Hallmark Cards, Inc. as graphic arts engineer. In 1999, Ted was promoted to the Hallmark Cards Corporate Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Ted has always found a way to continue to be involved in assisting our graphic arts students during Celebration of the Arts and also funding the Edward Ball Hallmark Excellence Award for a deserving graduating senior since 2008.

DR. JEFFREY BENTON – Springfield High School Teacher 1983-2005

Jeff Benton started his career as a radio producer at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia from 1977-1983. He gained valuable experience that was put to excellent use as Springfield High School’s Video Productions Instructor where he served for over 20 years. He designed the renovation of the current high school studio where he developed and produced live homeroom broadcasts (“Springfield Today Show”) that was viewed by the entire school population. Throughout his career, he was recognized for his contributions in his field of expertise. He won the TELLY Award (Faculty Advisor) and also the VIDEOGRAPHY Award (Faculty Advisor) in 2001. He was chairman of his department at Springfield High School and also chaired the SHS “Accreditation for Growth” Action Team. Jeff served as the writer, producer and director of two EMMY-nominated PSA “Steps” programs. Since his retirement Jeff has worked at WYBE Public Television as a Master Control Operator/Writer.

JIM BITTNER - CLass of 1976

James is a 1976 graduate who can count among his many high school achievements multiple Pennsylvania District and Region Bands and Orchestras, culminating in his performance as principal trumpet of the All-State Orchestra senior year. He went on to study trumpet performance at both Temple University and the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. While at Curtis, James had several opportunities to perform and record with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1981, James was appointed by audition as a cornetist with the United States Air Force Band in Washington, D.C. - a position he held for the next 25 years. During this time, James earned his Masters Degree in music from Catholic University of America, performed in five Presidential Inaugural Parades, 29 nation-wide tours and over 750 concerts throughout the world. He performed numerous times as the featured trumpet soloist, and was privileged to perform “Taps” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. He also served in the official memorial service at the hallowed ground of the crash site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pa. James retired from active duty in 2006 with two Meritorious Service Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He currently teaches a full schedule of private students and serves as the Fairfax County brass instructor in seven different schools.

MATT BLACKBURN - Class of 1998

Matt Blackburn’s passion for woodworking began at an early age and became more intense in high school where he won “Best of Show Honors” in 1998. He began working at the prestigious Kinloch Woodworking of Unionville where he learned about world class reproductions of classic colonial American furniture. Matt followed that with a four-year stint with furniture maker, Larry Crossan and a degree from North Bennett Street School in Boston, one of the most renowned furniture design schools in the country. Matt is now a professional furniture maker continuing to pursue his own business. He has become a true student and practitioner of old world craftsmanship by studying masters of the past. He is well on his way to becoming a modern master and continually shares his expertise with those less experienced. He serves Springfield as a returning expert as well as judging “Celebration of the Arts” since 2004 and has already become a Springfield tradition.

DAVID BORRELLI - Class of 1993

Dave is a 1993 graduate who earned department honors while attending SHS. He went on to graduate from Delaware County Community College where he earned an Associates Degree in Automotive Technology. He gained valuable experience working at several car dealerships as well as the Delaware Department of Transportation early in his career. His true passion was to get into the teaching profession which began at Lincoln Technical Institute. During his tenure at Lincoln he was selected twice as Instructor Of the Year and once as overall Instructor of The Year for the entire company. Dave is currently teaching at Polytech High School in Delaware as the Automotive Technology Instructor. His hard work and passion for teaching has paid off and his dream job has become a reality. His students are lucky to have him!

ANNIE BURRIDGE - Class of 1995

While at Springfield High School, Annie Burridge was active in all aspects of the performing arts including Band, Orchestra, and Choir and leading roles in two musicals. Annie went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance with a minor in Business Administration at Penn State University graduating summa cum laude from the Schreyer Honor’s College. She then attended New England Conservatory where she earned two Master’s degrees in Voice Performance and Opera Studies. Annie’s professional career as an opera singer has included engagements with Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Iowa, Pensacola Opera, Center City Opera Theatre and numerous orchestras. In 2006 her career focus turned to opera administration. She earned a Master’s Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and is now serving as Director of Development at the Opera Company of Philadelphia. She is also a Professional Teaching Associate at the University of Pennsylvania teaching voice and adjunct faculty at Drexel University.


Sixteen years after graduating, Jackie Cassidy continues to live a life that reverberates from the artistic experience gained in the Fine Arts and Industrial Arts programs at SHS. The skills and techniques learned at SHS – as well as the joy and passion for art has led Jackie to become an art teacher at Fern Hill Elementary School in West Chester. Jackie is also the West Chester Area School District’s Elementary Art Department Chairperson and an active member of numerous education and art affiliations. A BFA Interior Design graduate of Marywood University and having received her teaching certification from Rosemont College, Jackie continued to expand her education at Penn State with a graduate certificate in Entrepreneurial Studies. Prior to her teaching experience, Jackie worked successfully in the Interior Design field. In addition to being an art promoter for 15 years and art teacher for 8 years, she is the founder and owner of “Primary Media”, a company dedicated to enriching the lives of children by teaching them fine arts and its history. The “Primary Kids” book series is about four multi-cultural characters who take children on various adventures inside artworks. The first book in the series, “The Primary Kids Meet Georges Seurat” is due out in this year.

LUCA DEL NEGRO – Springfield High School teacher 1957 – 1991

Luca Del Negro began his teaching career in 1957, teaching Junior and Senior High School instrumental music in Springfield. During Luca’s tenure at Springfield High School, the band and orchestra received many accolades including two gold medals won by the band at a world festival in Holland. The dance band was invited to play at the New York World’s Fair. The band also played at the inauguration of the Phillies Veterans Stadium. Locally, Springfield hosted numerous District and Regional Band and Orchestra Festivals as well as host for the Eastern State Pennsylvania Orchestra Festival. Luca was also president of PMEA District 12 for two years. He is presently a member of PSEA, PMEA, PSAR, MENC and Phi Beta Music. Luca spends some of his time as a volunteer at a library and a member of the Rose Tree Pops Orchestra. Luca attributes much of the success of his students to his friends and colleagues Joseph Salatino and Richard Miller.

ALBERT DESIDERIO - Class of 1953

Albert Desiderio graduated from Springfield High School in 1953. Among his many achievements as a violinist in high school, perhaps the highest was his selection as the Concertmaster of the Pennsylvania All-State Orchestra. Albert went on to study music at the University of Pennsylvania where he performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Conservatory, Philadelphia Youth, and the University of Pennsylvania Orchestras, all of which he also served as Concertmaster. During his pursuit of his Master’s degree from Michigan State University, he was also a soloist with the University Orchestra, and the Battle Creek, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Symphonies. After receiving his degree from MSU, Albert auditioned for and was accepted into The United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C. Just three months after joining the band, Albert was tragically killed in a plane crash, along with 18 of his Navy Band shipmates, during a tour of South America. In his memory, Springfield High School continues to proudly award the Albert Desiderio Memorial Award to an outstanding musician every year.

MARK HAIBACH - Class of 1990

When the current regime of Industrial Technology instructors began 25 years ago, they searched for leadership among students to help revamp a program in need of revitalization. George Trout was fortunate to find the much needed enthusiasm in an outspoken freshman whose energy became contagious among his peers. Mark Haibach quickly helped rejuvenate the Industrial Materials program by encouraging other to join, designing challenging projects that were heretofore unthinkable, and actively leading by example. Mark’s determination and willingness to put in many extra hours not only earned the respect of his peers and teachers, he was also awarded Best-of-Show Honors at “Celebration of the Arts.” Now in his 11th year teaching his own successful woodworking program at Cape May Regional High School, Mark continues to inspire with his unstoppable work ethic and high standards. In addition, he has served Springfield High School as a “Celebration” judge for the past 17 years. We are fortunate to have his integrity and professionalism continue to benefit Springfield High School.

EARL KNORR – Springfield High School Principal 1970-1990

Earl Knorr was principal of Springfield High School from 1970-1990. Among his many passions, Earl held the arts very dear to his heart. Earl was instrumental in establishing “Celebration of The Arts”. He also was very involved in the SHS Theater Program. Because of his support and involvement the small “black box” theater at SHS bears his most respected name. He also was a talented actor and had leading roles in Kennett Lilith Theater Productions and performances at Longwood Gardens. Earl was very involved in the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. He served two terms as Middle States Association vice-president and one term as president of the Board Of Trustees. In this capacity he travelled the world in an attempt to make the teaching environment more effective and productive, regardless of the situation or conditions. Earl Knorr was a true scholar and leader who was appreciated and admired by all who knew him. His influences and extreme standards for professionalism and integrity are still felt throughout the halls of Springfield High School.

DENNIS LAUFFER (aka: DAWK) - Springfield High School Teacher 1962-1978

Dennis Lauffer was the driving force behind the Choral program at Springfield High School from 1962 to 1978. He began his first year with a choir of less than 75 students in grades 9 thru 12 and within five years he had six choral groups with membership totaling over 400 students and waiting lists. The choir had many notable performances including two appearances at the Academy of Music as well as various performances with New York City Opera soloists. He also had a professional artist from New York direct students in operettas here at SHS. Dennis was a strong advocate for music excellence within his individual groups. He hosted many PMEA District Choral Festivals, participated in PMEA conventions, won two international choral festivals, traveled to Europe four times, a command performance for the Queen of the Netherlands, and recipient of “Freedom Foundation Award; and of course, many collaborations with Luca Del Negro on the musicals at SHS.

EILEEN MANNING – Springfield High School Contributor 1995–Present

Time is the most significant gift anyone can receive and Eileen Manning has been making enormous donations for the past 15 years. Eileen has been an extremely active participant in the Industrial Materials Technology Department since her son, Pat, entered the program in 1995. She continues to be a major contributor and volunteer in Industrial Materials and with a myriad of responsibilities associated with “Celebration of the Arts,” which she eagerly accepts. She conducts a ticket raffle each year to help support the program, promotes “Celebration” with advertising and news articles, and comes in each year to assist many students with their finish applications. “I like to see the proud looks on the faces of all the students as they complete their works of art for display at “Celebration”, says Eileen. Most parents stop volunteering when their children graduate – we are fortunate that Eileen does not fit that mold and can only hope we are the beneficiaries of her generosity for years to come!

ANDREW MARK - CLass of 1980

Andrew Mark graduated in 1980 from Springfield High School, having garnered many honors as a cellist, including numerous Pennsylvania District, Region and All-State honors. Andrew continued his musical studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, graduating with top honors in performance and academics. Andrew has been an active member of Boston’s classical music community, having performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra since 1989. Andrew is an advocate of both chamber music performance and new music. His solo cello career has included performances with orchestras throughout the United States. Andrew continues an ongoing commitment to teaching and is a member of the music faculty at the New England Conservatory and The Boston Conservatory, where he serves as Chair of the String Department. In 2008, Andrew received the Studio Teacher of the Year Award, and in 2009 was presented a cash award for outstanding contributions in teaching by the Foundation for the Advancement of String Education.

ELWOOD S. MILLER – Springfield High School Teacher 1945

When Elwood Miller took over the music department of the Springfield School District in 1945, the band consisted of 12 lukewarm players. By the end of September, there were 28 members ready for the first football game. This growing ensemble was the first band to march in the Springfield Memorial Day Parade, a tradition that continues to this day. After that first season, Elwood began the elementary band and string program to build a feeder program for the district. He collected instruments from attics, solicited donations, and received many instruments from U.S. Army and Navy surplus that was distributed after the war. In 1953, Elwood spent many hours helping design the music rooms in the new section of the high school. These designs went on to win an award for the architect and was published in a national magazine. In the meantime, the band program had flourished, and many students participated in state music events. Elwood went on to be elected President of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and served the high school as the activities director and assistant principal. Although Elwood Miller was the foundation of our instrumental music program, his true legacy is the large number of students who found in him the inspiration to discover the joy in studying music.

RICHARD S. MILLER - CLass of 1956

Dick graduated from Springfield High School in 1956. He attended Lebanon Valley College and was selected as one of the outstanding student teachers in his senior year. He was recruited by Mr. E. T. Richardson to become the middle school band director in 1964. Through his leadership, the bands, orchestras, and jazz bands received national attention and the instrumental music program was selected as one of the top rated programs in the United States by the Music Educator National Conference. Dick received the PMEA citation of Excellence for Teaching (1985) and twice received the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence Award. He was presented the Outstanding Bandmaster’s Award in the State of Pennsylvania by the International Bandmaster’s Fraternity Phi Beta Mu (1996). After his retirement from SHS, Dick served as Band Director at both Widener and Drexel Universities. Today Dick is playing French horn with the New Holland Band, the second oldest continuing band in the country.

TED MOORE - Class of 1969

After a successful high school career in the instrumental program, Ted Moore chose the path of performance. Since graduating from the Eastman School of Music, Ted has pursued a career which has taken him to many parts of the world performing with many different artists. He is leader and composer for his own Brazilian jazz group, Brasilia, which has released its first CD to national acclaim. He has performed with Stan Getz, Paul Winter, Marian McPartland, Eric Gale, Jack Wilkins, Gene Bertoncini and Joey DeFrancesco. On tour, Ted has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as Japan, Spain, England and Holland. He has spent two years living in Rio de Janeiro as percussionist with the Brazilian Orchestra and performing with many well known Brazilian jazz artists. He has played in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Cathedral of St. John in New York, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He is presently on the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley teaching percussion and Director of Jazz Ensembles.

SCOTT NEELY - Class of 1989

Scott was a multiple award winner during Celebration of the Arts while he attended SHS. He started his career as a freelance artist for Taylor Graphics, Inc in 1991. He was self employed for many years working on comic book and fantasy illustrations for assorted publishers. In 2003, he ended a successful seven-year run as the weekly editorial cartoonist for The Suburban and Wayne Times. From 2002-2008 Scott was also the managing editor for NMA Magazines and was the voice and visual sound designer behind the Delaware County Magazine. The highlights of his professional career include work for Disney on such licenses as Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and My Friends Tigger & Pooh among many others. For the past ten years, Scott has been an official “Scooby-Doo” artist for Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Warner Brothers Global Publishing. He also enjoys teaching animation classes at the Delaware College of Art and Design in Wilmington and staying close to home by teaching in our very own Springfield Lions Club Adult Classes. We’re thankful he continues to come back to share his wealth of knowledge within the Springfield/Morton communities.

ANDREA SYGLOWSKI - Class of 2002

After graduating from SHS, Andrea attended the University Of Southern California. While at U.S.C. she was presented with The Aileen Stanley Memorial Award, Ava Greenwald Award, Jack Nicholson Award and David Dukes Award, all for excellence in acting. She went on to originate the role of Betsy Baker in the West Coast Premiere of A.R. Gurney’s “Post Mortem”. She was listed on Grigwalk Talks Theater “Best of List” for “Featured Performance” with actors Patti Lupone, Kate Burton and John Malkovich. She was also listed on “Backstage Magazine’s” ‘Garland’s Critics List’ for ‘Best Performance in a Straight play’. Other works include commercials, industrials, and short films. Her web-series, “Merrime” was the 2009 winner for “Best Comedy TV Pilot” at the Independent Television Festival and was an “Official Selection” at the New York Television Festival. The last two summers she worked at the Williamstown Theater Festival, both as an actor, workshopping new material, and one- on-one with children from underprivileged neighborhoods. Currently, she is on full scholarship at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, continuing her graduate studies in acting.

ALBERT “A.J.” WENTZ – Springfield High School Teacher 1942-1977

Albert Wentz was affectionately known simply as “A.J.” to all who knew him. Despite his diminutive stature, A.J.’s presence always provided guidance, support, and leadership in a large way. His gentle, soft-spoken demeanor made others instantly feel at ease, cared for, and equally respected. A.J.’s love of his profession kept him at Springfield for 36 years of teaching from 1942-1977 as he successfully and single-handedly built a successful woodworking program to guide the path for the current Industrial Materials students. He retired as the Industrial Arts Department Chairman in 1977 after guiding thousands of young people during his tenure. Remaining in education, he also served as a teacher and principal for other Delaware County Schools and also worked part-time in the laboratory for Sun Company for 38 years where he was involved in the Sun Day Camp from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. He also continued to substitute at Springfield until 1990 where current Industrial Technology Faculty benefited from his advice and wisdom. A.J. passed away in March, 2003 following a final career as a highly successful real estate broker.

BARB WILSON – Springfield High School Teacher 1982-1995

“Celebration of the Arts” is an enormous event at Springfield High School that involves two-thirds of the student body and attracts thousands of artistic enthusiasts. Without Barb Wilson’s motivation and perseverance, this annual and anticipated spectacle may never have been initiated. Barb was instrumental in establishing “Celebration” in 1983 and was the first to put our students’ work on display for public exhibition. Her professionalism and expertise inspired thousands of young artists, as she set the high quality standards for today’s artisans. Barb taught at three previous schools before completing her 14-year career at Springfield in 1995. Privately, she is a multiple award-winning artist and currently a practicing landscape painter whose work is available at Eagle Gallery, Eagle, PA.