The Mepham Who's Who
1993 Honorees

Chairman Brian Levy and other Board members were on hand to honor and present the following seven alumni who have been elected to Mepham's Who's Who Hall of Fame.

Each Who's Who inductee has met the criteria for inclusion in the Mepham Hall of Fame, which includes accomplishments in their chosen careers and outstanding contributions to the welfare of mankind. When these extraordinary people are introduced to an audience of young people, it provides the forum for the future generation to see that with knowledge and dedication, they too can achieve "fame in Mepham's hallowed halls."

If you have graduated from Mepham more than ten years ago, meet the above qualifications and would like to be considered for an award next year, send an e-mail to to receive an application. You may nominate yourself or another Mepham alumna/alumnus.

The distinguished 1993 recipients are:

The distinguished recipients this year are:

Carol Finn Meyer '46 - Marketing Research/Teaching

Dr. Meyer received a nursing degree from the LI College School of Nursing in Brooklyn. She was licensed as a Staff Officer Professional Nurse in the US Merchant Marines and served from 1953-63 on the SS America and the SS United States. To further her education, she attended Hunter College (CUNY) and received her B.A., M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. and won the Phi Sigma Sigma Prize for Outstanding Work in Social Sciences in 1972.

Carol began her second career in market research at Crossley Surveys, a division of Westat, going on to research positions at Ted Bates Advertising and DDB Needham Worldwide. She then became an assistant professor at Baruch College in the graduate and under-graduate programs. She spent a year as a research director at Connoisseur magazine and is currently a marketing and media research consultant.

Dr. Meyer is a member of Advertising Women of NY and served two terms as president, was vice-president of National Council of Women of the US, was Lt. Governor of American Advertisiing Federation and received their Aid to Education and Crystal Prizm Awards, was elected to the Women's Forum of NYC and won the International Association of Women Executives Leadership Award.

Ruth Ketcham Lansford '48 - Environmental Preservation

In 1978, Ms. Lansford became a highly concerned citizen when she learned the Summa Corp. (a Howard Hughes company) proposed a large commercial and residential development project which would destroy the Baflona Wetlands, the last major wetlands area in Los Angeles County. She organized the Friends of Ballona Wetlands with six people, and this non-profit organization now has 1,500 active members.

The Friends began their fight to save the wetlands with media coverage to make the public aware of the problem, by applying pressure at all levels of the local, state and federal government, and finally filed and won a lawsuit to stop the project. Summa Corp. abandoned their project and sold out to Maguire Thomas Partners, who have committed $10 million for mid-tidal restoration of the wetlands. The Friends are currently negotiating for additional funds from the Port of Los Angeles to restore the wetlands to its full-tidal state. Ruth received the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society's Conservation Award, Sierra Club's Special Award, City of Los Angeles Good Earthkeeping Award, and has recently been nominated for the Chevron Conservation Award.

In addition, she is an assistant to her husband, William Lansford, who is a film and television writer/producer. They recently launched their own production company. Ruth has written two screen plays, one of which was a finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference.

Seth Poppel '61 - Business

Mr. Poppel received a B.S., magna cum laude, in mathematics from LI University at C.W. Post College, a M.B.A. from Columbia University specializing in operations research, and has completed course work and written exams for his Ph.D. at Columbia. Prior to joining Chase Manhattan Bank as a Director of Corporate Planning, he was a consultant for large corporations in the US and Europe, seeking to identify, acquire and manage undervalued companies. At Chase, he supervised their Strategic Planning Department and consulted with multinational corporations on retailing.

In 1990, Seth undertook a new venture with his partners and acquired the American Vision Centers chain in a leveraged buyout. As chairman and president, he expanded the chain into the largest all-franchise optical retailer in America. It was ranked in the top ten by Success magazine among franchises for quality of management.

He is listed in Who's Who in Business and Industry, Who's Who in America and the World and is active in the Bellmore-Merrick Environmental Troops, Merrick Community Nursery School, and a variety of projects with educational groups through Scholastic Press Association.

Seth and his wife, Danine, have turned their hobby of collecting high school yearbooks with photographs of celebrities into a business. As the manager of Yearbook Archives, he has appeared on over 200 TV and radio talk shows including Geraldo Rivera and "Inside Reports," published Yearbook at Doubleday as a joint venture with Memories magazine. A collection of his yearbook photographs are displayed at NY's Planet Hollywood Restaurant, owned by Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Clififord W. Reims '42 - Music (Opera) Teaching

After serving in the US Army in WWII, Dr. Reims received a B.A. in Music from Bucknell University and a M.M. in Voice from Indiana University, and a M.A. and Dr. of Musical Arts in Opera from the University of Southern California. He also received a full scholarship to Opera Leadership School in Tanglewood. After fourteen years as chairman and director of the Voice Department of the Opera Theater at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Cliff retired in 1986 and became artistic director of the Pensacola Opera from 1987-91. He has published a translation/musical edition of The Jealous Lover; a translation and piano/vocal score of Don Giovanni; and restored, edited, and added music and orchestration of The Village Coquettes. As artistic director of Masquero & Musicians, he toured with the group in northern Illinois and the central Gulf coast area.

Cliff is currently teaching part-time at the University of So. Alabama, working on educational projects for the Mobile Opera, is conductor of the Eastern Shore Choral Society, and reviews opera videos for the National Opera Association Newsletter.

He is listed in Who's Who in American Music, International Who's Who of Musicians and is proud of two former students, Barbara Daniels and Jeannine Altmeyer.

John Denny Ryan '59 - Community Service

It is with profound sorrow that we announce the death on June 13, 1998 of J. Denny Ryan, Past President and Director of the W.C. Mepham H.S. Alumni Association.

As a long time resident of Bellmore and motivated by fond memories of his high school years at Mepham, Mr. Ryan dedicated his energies to community service.

In his years as a founding member of the Alumni Association, Denny contributed countless hours and energetic spirit to the benefit of his alma mater. He served as vice president (1981-82), president (1983-1988, and 1991-1993), and past president (1993 to 1998).

During this time, he coordinated the annual Homecoming activities with the school and community organizations. He initiated the Association's "Most Valuable Mepham Wrestling Tournament Award," presented annually at the Sprig Gardner Wrestling Tournament. He coordinated the multi-faceted planning of Mepham's 50th anniversary celebration weekend held in November 1987.

His other community services included the Bellmore Little League (coach, 1976-1981). In 1979, he began coaching in the West Hempstead Roller Hockey League.

He was a member of the New York Queens Christadelphian Ecclesia and served as the secretary and treasurer for more than eighteen years.

It was his warmth, sincerity, and genuine sensitivity to others' feelings that enabled him to work so well with students, alumni, school administration, and community organizations.

William M. Savino '67 - Law

Mr. Savino received a B.S. in Economics and Business from Villanova University and a J.D. from Fordham University. He was admitted to the bar in 1975, the US Court of Appeals in 1978, the US Supreme Court in 1980 and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1989. After serving as counsel to the NYS Senate Insurance Committee, he joined the law firm of Rivkin, Radler & Kremer, where he is currently a senior partner of the firm and a partner in the firm's Insurance Coverage Practice Group. As a member of the Nassau County Bar Association (as well as being a member of the American Bar and NYS Bar Associations), he served on their Judicial Selection and Review Task Force and chaired their Insurance Committee.

Bill Savino has lectured and written articles on insurance and reinsurance matters throughout the US, contributing to publications and organizations such as: National and New York Law Journals, Canadian Insurance Magazine, Practicing Law Institute Defense Research Institute, American Bar Association, and N. American Resinsurance Environmental Claims Conference. Bill is active on the Village of Old Brookville Planning Board, has coached the North Shore Soccer Club Travel Team for ten years, and works with his wife Barbara on St. Christopher Children's Services.

Constance Testa Hayes'64 - Adapted Physical and Special Education

While raising two young children, Ms. Hayes returned to school and earned a B.S. in Physical Education and a M.S. in Special Education at Adelphi University. She established the first Adapted Physical Education (A.P.E.) program at three Suffolk County schools for pre-K though age twenty-one, became a consultant to the Sachem School District (encompassing sixteen schools) on programs for children and adults with severe developmental disabilities, autism, mental retardation, orthopedic impairments, and psychiatric disorders and developed special education/physical education fitness units for classrooms.

Connie is the coordinator of Special Olympics for the Sachem Schools and the Suffolk Child Development Center, has conducted workshops for the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation Special Olympics on LI, and is a member of the Advisory Group for Special Olympics International working directly with Eunice Kennedy Shriver on strategic plans.

She is also active with the NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Inc., having served as vice-president of A.P.E. activities, published articles for Zone newsletter, and has spoken at various conferences, and conducted an A.P.E. needs assessment survey for Suffolk County. She has also written articles for Special Education Parent Teacher Association (S.E.P.T.A.) and wrote a physical education program for vocational education for mentally retarded students.

Connie just received word that she was among sixty teachers selected by the Walt Disney Corporation for their 1993 Salute to American Teachers. Video profiles of the teachers will be featured on the Disney Channel's weekly cable TV series.

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