by Carol Ann Bennati
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Members of the Curtis High School Association of Alumni & Friends are putting their finishing touches on their 14th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony set for Sunday, April 26, at 1 p.m. in the Feldman Hall Auditorium at the St. George school — where tours of the school will be offered.
The association has honored 102 former Curtis students since its inception in 2000.
“The exceptional roster represents a cross section of careers and services that are hallmarks of American greatness and ingenuity. The association is proud of their fellow alumni and the alma mater that fostered them,” says Inez Palladino of the Curtis High School Association of Alumni & Friends.
Judge Edward J. Amann, Jr., Class of 1943. Judge Amann was a state Assemblyman representing Staten Island’s North Shore for 21 years and an architect of the state’s minimum wage laws. He supported a tax relief plan for older homeowners, pushed for an adolescent court on Staten Island and fought for laws to help mentally disabled youngsters. He served on the bench for 22 years after being appointed to the state Court of Claims by Governor Nelson Rockefeller and reappointed by Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. He served in the US navy and the Army Reserves during the Vietnam War.
Margaret Christie Nicolais, Class of 1945. Mrs. Nicolais attended Colby College, graduated from Wagner College and Rush Presbyterian School of Nursing and practiced at Marine Hospital. She was elected to the Chatham Borough Board of Education and Borough Councilwoman. She and her husband Michael raised funds to establish the Nicolais School of Business. She continues to participate in a multi-decade long cancer research study of the effects of diet and nutrition on various cancers at University Hospital in Newark.
Kenneth Ellis, Class of 1952. Ellis attended Wagner College and joined the US Naval Reserves. He was called to active duty and graduated from Wagner’s night and weekend program. He then worked for Trinity Church/Wall St. in Manhattan for 20 years, the last ten years as Executive Vice President of Operations. He was president of several condo properties and St. Margaret’s House, a senior housing unit. He was Vice President at Bankers Trust Corp. working with their real estate holdings.
John ‘Jack’ Furnari, Class of 1960. After graduating from Pace University, Furnari worked in sales promotions and joined the Staten Island Advance Advertising Department as their Marketing Manager. Active in the Staten Island community, he devotes time and energy to the South Shore Rotary, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Historic Richmond Town and the Staten Island Symphony. He was honored by the South Shore Rotary, Red Cross, Wagner College DaVinci Society and the SI Board of Realtors. He heads and raises funds for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, that helps build specially-designed smart-homes for the severely impaired service members.
Jerome P. Scully, Class of 1950. Scully served in the Coast Guard aboard the Cutter Tamaroa, a search and rescue ship depicted in the film, “Perfect Storm.” He graduated from the Wagner College night program. He was a Vice President and Corporate Secretary of the National Cargo Bureau, a marine surveying organization. Active in sports, he played with the Tompkinsville Blue Jays, coaching at St. Teresa’s School and is a member of the Esquire Golf Club. He established the SI Seniors Golf League, is chairman of the SI Senior Olympics Golf Committee and is a member of the Warren Jaques Memorial Committee.
Joel Shenman, Class of 1957. Shenman was on the golf teams at Curtis and Clemson University. He attended the PGA Tour Players Qualifying School at PGA Golf Club and qualified No. 15 in the nation against more than 650 applicants. He was the Head Golf Professional at many country clubs and ran a golf school from 1980-2004 for men, women and youth at the Crescent Golf Range. He gives private lessons and runs clinics at the Summer Golf Camp in Bernardsville. He attends the Masters Golf Tournament annually as a guide and teacher for a major oil company.
Barbara Smith Sheehan, Class of 1950. Mrs. Sheehan graduated from Centenary Junior College and worked as Executive Secretary to the Treasurer of the Ship Building Department of Bethlehem Steel. She went back to college while raising her children and received a bachelor and master’s degrees from the College of Staten Island. She worked for the Board of Education as a secretary at PS 32 and a teacher at Tottenville High School. She is a supporter of local events and on various committees, a member of the Junior Guild, Junior Visiting Nurses Association, Staten Island Beautification, Staten Island Museum, Mount Manresa and Circle of Friends.
George Herbert Way, Class of 1969. Way is a collector of English and Dutch furniture, silver, and Old Master portraits from the 16th and 17th centuries. He is reputed to possess the largest privately-owned collection of period chairs in North America. Nearly one-third of the chairs are on loan to Pennsbury Manor, home of William Penn and is professionally associated with Christie’s. He’s a contributing editor of Art & Antiques, Dutch magazine, and is the antique columnist of the Staten Island Advance. He’s been quoted in newspapers and magazine articles and appeared on local and national network TV and radio shows. He is working on a 17th century Dutch exhibition in Orangeburg and establishing the “George Way Collection” at Snug Harbor.