Eight to enter Ringgold Hall of Fame
The Ringgold Rams Club will induct eight new members into its hall of fame 6 p.m. Saturday during the 6th annual induction banquet at Ringgold High School. The following individuals will make up the class of 2013:
Bradley John Ferrara, M.D.
The son of Peter and Camilla Ferrara and a 1988 graduate of Ringgold High School, Ferrara played a number of roles in organizations.
He was a track standout for the Rams, winning and establishing records in the 100- and 200- meter dashes at the Big 10 conference meet, and was crowned a WPIAL champion in the 100m dash with a record time of 10.5 seconds.
Ferrara attended Kent State University in Ohio on a track scholarship and lettered in each of his four years on the team. He left as the school record holder in the 4x400 meters and sprint medley relays. He earned a bachelor of science degree in zoology and pre-medicine. He was named to the academic, All-MAC team.
He attended Temple University School of Medicine, graduating in 1996. He entered a dual residency program in internal-physical medicine and rehabilitation at Temple and Albert Einstein Medical Center.
After completing his residency, Ferrara was named director of medical rehabilitation at Moss Rehabilitation Hospital, where he remained for seven years.
He went into private practice and now has four offices where he specializes in sports injuries.
He remains a sponsor of the Mid Mon Track Classic and is involved with the Autism Cares Foundation. He is a volunteer track coach for Council Rock South High School and is an assistant coach for St. Bede's CYO track team.
Ferrara, and his wife, Lynn, live in Holland, Pa., with their three children, Jay, Holly, and Tyler.
Melissa Lazzari McDonald
One of the most successful volleyball players to come out of Ringgold High School, McDonald was also a standout basketball player for the Lady Rams.
She scored her 1,000th point while a junior for the Lady Rams and called a half-court buzzer beater to beat Elizabeth Forward as the highlight of her career. Volleyball became the sport that helped pave the way for her becoming a registered dietician for St. Francis Central Catholic School in Morgantown, W.Va.
She began playing basketball in fifth grade, one of only two girls on her team. She played volleyball and basketball while a student at Finley Middle School.
She competed on the Willow Pond Junior Olympic volleyball and Golden Triangle teams.
She was awarded a full scholarship to play at West Virginia Wesleyan College where she was named first-team All-Conference and to the WVIAC All-Tournament team from 1991 to 1993. The Bobcats won the conference and conference tournaments in all three seasons and advanced to the national tournament all three years.
She earned a bachelor of science degree in nutrition from Wesleyan and earned a master's degree from West Virginia University in nutrition and became a licensed registered dietician.
She is married to Stephen McDonald, the women's basketball coach at Fairmont State University. They have two children, Madison, 12, and Mason, 7, both of whom are multi-sport participants.
One of the finest football players to step on a field in the Mon Valley, Galiffa earned 125 football scholarship offers in 1968 as a player for Donora High School.
His senior year, he appeared in the “Faces in the Crowd” section of Sports Illustrated after smashing Joe Namath's western Pennsylvania passing record by more than 750 yards. Galiffa finished the season completing 88 of 149 passes for 1,873 yards and 22 touchdowns. He finished his career 249 of 479 for 3,808 yards and 32 touchdowns. His high school coach, Rudy Andabaker called Galiffa “the greatest quarterback there ever was at Donora.”
He attended West Virginia University where he played under head coach Bobby Bowden. His senior year he completed 164 of 334 passes for 2,496 yards, a record that stood until 1998.
Galiffa turned down a free agent contract offer from the New York Giants.
Galiffa wasn't too shabby on the basketball court while at Donora, either.
Teaming with Ken Griffey Sr. his senior year, the Dragons went 22-1. He also received 75 basketball scholarship offers.
Galiffa now lives and works in Wheeling, W.Va., where he works for Straub Honda Hyundai. He and his wife, Rosemary, have three children.
Ronald V. Pellegrini, M.D.
A native of Monongahela, Pellegrini graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and Jefferson Medical College. He completed his internship and residency at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh and a fellowship in thoracic surgery at the University Hospital of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has authored many publications and made numerous presentations focusing on valve replacement, coronary artery bypass grafts and other thoracic surgery topics.
He is currently a cardiothoracic surgeon with the Heart and Vascular Center at Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, part of the West Penn Allegheny Health System.
He serves as the chief of adult cardiac surgery at UPMC Passavant and UPMC Health Systems and chief of the division of cardiovascular thoracic surgery at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is also a clinical assistant professor of surgery at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he received three Faculty of the Year awards.
Rochella Dixon Martin
A 1965 graduate of Donora High School, she is the daughter of the late Eleanor and Peter Dixon.
Forced to join the work force immediately after graduation, Martin has led a life full of diverse and vast experiences. She worked with special needs children and also worked her way into several corporations. She served as a supervisor for tax collections and a check analyst.
She owned and managed high-end clothing boutiques in Point Breeze and Duquesne, and is currently working to open a new shop in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh, spending much of her time attending runway fashion shows in New York and Miami.
She remains involved in numerous community services, including donating clothes to women's shelters to assist in entering the workforce. She also assists women leaving prison to help them prepare for interviews and work.
She feels the most important of all her accomplishments is that of being a parent. She doesn't hide the fact that she was in an abusive relationship and her husband left her with a 3-year-old son.
She worked two, sometimes three jobs at a time to make a life for the two of them. Her determination did not go unnoticed by her son, who played football at Taylor Allderdice High School in Pittsburgh.
Her son, Curtis Martin, became a standout running back and received a scholarship to play football at the University of Pittsburgh. He eventually was drafted into the NFL by the New England Patriots, retired as a member of the New York Jets and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the fourth leading rusher in NFL history.
She only missed one game throughout her son's illustrious career due to illness.
She currently resides in Jefferson Hills.
Karey Kustron Gabrielli
A 1992 graduate of Ringgold, Gabrielli was a three-sport star for the Lady Rams, earning 11 varsity letters.
She was named first-team All-Section and received WPIAL Class AAA honorable mention as a senior volleyball player. She was captain of the 1992 section champion softball team, leading the team in hits and runs scored.
She was involved in numerous school activities, including student government and the National Honor Society.
As a senior, Gabrielli was named co-captain of the Lady Rams basketball team and finished as the team's leading scorer.
She earned a basketball and academic scholarship to play at Westminster College, where she was a three-year starter and 1,000-point scorer, despite missing her entire junior season with a knee injury.
A 1996 graduate of Westminster, she still holds the Lady Titan record for most points in a game (40), ranks second in single season scoring (434 points), season points per game (17.6), and career scoring average (13.6).
The daughter of Tom and Linda Kustron, of Monongahela, Gabrielli lives in New Albany, Ohio, with her husband, John, and their three sons, Jack, Luke, and Sam.
Dr. Charles Edward Stacey
A 1949 graduate of Donora High School, Stacey graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh in 1953. Four years later he achieved his master's degree in history. In 1974, he went the next step, earning his doctorate in educational administration, also from Pitt.
He was a fixture in the Ringgold School District, beginning as a teacher of English and social studies from 1953, at Donora High School, until 1972. During that time, he served as the chairman of the secondary social studies department from 1969 to 1972.
He was an in-service instructor for Intermediate Units I and III from 1976 to 2011.
He was a member of the faculty at California University of Pennsylvania (1992-2002), Carlow College (1993-2002) and Point Park College (2001-2004).
He held a number of administrative positions at Ringgold, including: federal projects coordinator, principal of the Donora campus, assistant high school principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent from 1989 to 1993.
He was also chairman of the Education Division at Carlow.
Stacey currently serves on the board of directors for the Mon Valley Health Resources Inc. and the Donora Public Library.
He wrote three publications with Samuel N. Francis, two distributed by the Tri-State Area School Study Council in 1974 and 1975. “The Law and the Sensual Teacher” was written with Francis in 1997.
His fourth publication, “Images of America – Donora,” was compiled with Brian Charlton and David Lonich.
Stacey is married to the former Susan Erdely.
Nelson Walker Sr.
Walker was the youngest of seven children born to Rev. Nathaniel and Louise Walker. The family moved to Donora from Fairchance in Fayette County in 1984.
As a ninth-grader at Carroll Junior High, Nelson wrestled for Ringgold and ended up earning a letter. While in high school, Nelson lettered in each year in the shot put and discus.
While a track and field standout, Walker's greatest talents were unleashed in football.
He played defensive tackle for the Rams and gained local and national recognition. He was named Big 10 All-Conference and named to USA Today's All-American Second Team. He was also selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic with the best players from Pennsylvania.
He eventually chose the University of Pittsburgh to continue his academic and football careers. He played outside and middle linebacker for the Panthers.
He married his longtime love, and fellow Ringgold graduate, Naomi Chaney. They have three children, Ashley, Nelson Jr., and Nathan. They currently reside in Philadelphia, where Walker is employed as the city's Director of Residential Services.