District set to honor Plum's distinguished alumni

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Keith Nonnenberg's career selection was a no-brainer.

Nonnenberg, 42, of Plum saw how much his mother, the late Carolyn Nonnenberg, enjoyed her job as a teacher in the district.

“I saw the enjoyment she got from teaching,” said Nonnenberg, a teacher himself for nearly 20 years in the Plum School District.

Carolyn Nonnenberg died July 25, 2012 of cancer, her son said. She retired in 2005 after nearly 40 years in the district.

Carolyn Nonnenberg is one of five Plum graduates selected as members of the Plum High School Distinguished Alumni Class of 2013. She was a 1961 graduate of Plum High School.

The honorees are set to take their place on the Alumni Wall of Distinction, just outside the Plum High School auditorium.

In addition to Nonnenberg, the 2013 class members are:

• Dr. Michelle Fisher Freeman — completing her fellowship training in palliative medicine and hospice care at UPMC and pursuing her master's degree in medical education at the University of Pittsburgh, Class of 2001.

• Judge Lee Mazur — senior judge in the Family Division of the Court of Common Pleas, Class of 1957.

• Selena Evans Miller — professional makeup artist, Class of 1967.

• Lauren Evelyn Snyder — missionary, Class of 1981.

Loretta White, secretary of the distinguished alumni selection committee, said she is impressed with the accomplishments of the Class of 2013.

“Their accomplishments in a wide variety of career paths bring much pride to our school district and community,” said White, a school board member and retired Plum teacher.

The Class of 2013 is the fifth group of alumni to be recognized. Retired Plum teacher Bob Ford decided in 2006 to explore the possibility of honoring graduates who have made a difference in society, White said.

Lee Mazur, a senior judge in the Family Division of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, like Nonnenberg, is a long-time borough resident. Mazur, 73, participated in sports and extracurricular activities while a student at Plum High School.

Mazur has served the community in various capacities over the years.

“I have always been concerned about the citizens and the people,” Mazur said. “I try to do the fairest job.”

He is pleased to be named a distinguished alumnus.

“It is nice to be recognized,” Mazur said.

Dr. Michelle Fisher Freeman's participation in the Girls' Leaders Association at Plum High School gave her an appreciation of service to others.

Fisher Freeman, 30, who grew up in the Holiday Park section of Plum, also was inspired by her science classes and teachers.

“There was an appreciation for academic rigor,” said Fisher Freeman who in June expects to finish her fellowship training in palliative medicine and hospice care at UPMC.

Fisher Freeman, who also is pursuing her master's degree in medical education, is honored to be one of the youngest members of the distinguished alumni group.

She looks forward to interacting with Plum High School students during the program on April 22.

“I am looking forward to going back,” Fisher Freeman said.

Snyder, a missionary, has worked in China in education for more than two decades. She and her husband, Pete Synder, have trained teachers, helped build schools and started three language schools where Americans could study China and teach.

“I feel absolutely honored (to be a member of the Distinguished Alumni Class of 2013),” Snyder said in an email. “I greatly look forward to meeting the other members of the Distinguished Alumni Class of 2013.”

Evans Miller could not be reached for comment. She is a professional makeup artist and has worked in the U.S. and Europe.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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