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Haddonfield Memorial High School Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients 2023

James E. Smith

Jim Smith is a 1980 graduate of HMHS. He distinguished himself in high school as both a student and an athlete. By the time of his graduation, Jim had established nearly every distance record at HMHS in track and cross country. Among his most memorable achievements was Jim’s Meet of Champions victory in 1979, which has been called one of the greatest races in New Jersey cross-country history.

Jim’s high school achievements were the foreshadowing of an exceptional university experience at Stanford and the career achievements that were to follow. He earned his Bachelor of Science with distinction and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering and a PhD in engineering-economic systems at Stanford University. He was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi and Phi Betta Kappa honor societies. During his undergraduate days, he was a scholarship athlete earning varsity letters ever year in cross-country and track and field. Jim was captain of the 1982 and 1983 cross-country teams and the 1984 track team. In 1984, he competed in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Along the way Jim set the Stanford school record in the 1500 meter run and was named to the South Jersey Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Today, James E. Smith is the Jack Byrne Distinguished Professor in Decision Science, a position that falls within Dartmouth College’s Jack Byrne Academic Cluster in Mathematics and Decision Science. The Jack Byrne cluster focuses on developing and applying mathematical thinking to societal challenges in fields such as health care, transportation, and manufacturing.

Before moving to Dartmouth, Jim was the J.B. Fuqua Distinguished Professor in Decision Science at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University from 2009 to 2018. He served on Duke’s faculty from 1990-2018. During those nearly thirty years he has taught courses in probability and statistics, decision models, and decision analysis. He has been recognized repeatedly for his excellence as a teacher. Jim received the outstanding faculty award from Duke’s MBA classes in 1993 and 2000 and was a finalist for the award in 1992, 1995 and 1998. He was also twice cited for teaching awards for core courses in 2010 and 2014. He has been honored by Duke with the Bank of America Faculty Award in 2004. This award is Fuqua School’s highest faculty honor and is given for outstanding contributions to the school in terms of teaching, research, leadership, and service.

Professor Brian Tomlin, Jim’s colleague at Dartmouth observed, “I was ecstatic when we convinced Jim to leave Duke and join Dartmouth. I already knew Jim was an exceptional researcher. We also got an exceptional teacher. An MBA student at Dartmouth was asked by a reporter what her favorite course was. Her response: “Analytics with Professor Jim Smith. Analytics is a notoriously challenging first-year course, but Jim did an incredible job breaking down concepts and encouraging each of us to keep trying and keep supporting each other in our learning journeys.”

Professor Smith’s research interests center on decision analysis. He has published some thirty-nine papers in juried journals. In 2008, he received the Frank P. Ramsey Medal for distinguished contributions to the decision analysis field. He was named a William and Sue Gross Distinguished Research Scholar. On four occasions he has been recognized by INFORMS for the best publication on Decision Analysis (1995, 1997, 2000, 2013).

Jim has provided extensive external service to his profession. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Management Science, Operations Research, and Decision Analysis. He is active with INFORMS’ Decision Analysis Society and served as its president from 2008-10. He has served on numerous advisory panels, research councils and committees especially related to energy and energy efficiency. Similarly, Jim has served on over thirty university task forces, committees and panels at Duke and Dartmouth.

Professor David Brown who was recruited to Duke University by Jim and counts him as a mentor shared this thought, ”An Einstein quote that reminds me of Jim is, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. Jim’s career revolves around thinking deeply and clearly about highly complex problems, and he is exceptional at it. Learning to distill the complex into the simple is invaluable for educators and thought leaders. Jim’s mentorship has taught me that and so much more. He is a person of great accomplishment and integrity, who is remarkably down to earth. He is widely respected as a scholar, mentor, teacher and friend.”

Jim lives in Norwich Vermont with his wife Lori Carswell. Lori currently works at Vermont Adult Learning, helping people earn their high school diplomas or GED.

Jim and Lori have two daughters: Alison, 30, is a second-year medical resident in internal medicine at Duke University. Casey, 28, is a lawyer with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and lives in Brooklyn.

Nancy Kirby

Nancy Kirby, a 1956 HMHS alumna touches our past in some unique ways. Born in Haddonfield, she attended an integrated kindergarten, and moved on to the still-segregated two-room Lincoln Avenue School. She attributes her excellence as a student to her tutelage under a revered Haddonfield educator, Mrs. Theresa Marvel Dansbury.

At HMHS, she surprised her high school guidance counselors by applying and being accepted with a full scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. Her mother had other plans for Nancy, and she attended Bennett, an historically black women’s college, in Greensboro, NC. It was here that she took her first powerful steps as a civil rights advocate.

Nancy was a member of the NAACP chapter that was active at Bennett. When a group of four male students from North Carolina A and T were denied service at a local Woolworth’s lunch counter, the women from Bennett’s NAACP chapter organized the sit-in that followed. Despite her mother and grandmother’s directive to stay out of it, warning that, “We already have tickets to graduation”, Nancy followed her conscience, participated in the sit-in and was arrested for disorderly conduct, trespassing, and disturbing the peace.

She graduated from Bennett College in 1960 with a dual major in psychology and sociology. Nancy took her first position with the New Jersey Bureau of Child Services supporting families in crisis. Her work with parents helped many families avoid having children placed in the foster care system.

While working in that role, Nancy earned her Master in Social Science from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in 1965. She moved on to Temple Hospital where she served five years as a social worker supporting maternal and infant care and was later promoted to Head Social Worker for Outpatient Services at Temple. Nancy was offered an opportunity in women’s reproductive health and moved on to serve as the Director of Social Services at Planned Parenthood Philadelphia for three years.

In the early 1970’s, Nancy began working at the college and university level. She accepted a faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology at Beaver College, now Arcadia University. She was the first African-American to be offered tenure at Beaver. In 1979, Bryn Mawr College beckoned and she spent the next thirty-one years at the college, teaching, supervising students in field placements, and as Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research until her retirement in 2010.

One example of Nancy’s advocacy for students was offered by Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, Trapeta Mayson who delivered the commencement address for Bryn Mawr’s 2021 graduate degree recipients. In her speech, Ms. Mayson spoke of the grace and kindness she and her sister received as social work graduate students in the mid ’90s, and especially the grace offered by then-admissions director Nancy Kirby, who “looked at me and my sister and … didn’t see us as needy Black girls from a poor neighborhood with an ill mother,” but as “two smart young women who would add value to this College.”

Nancy Kirby has been taking care of people from womb to tomb her entire adult life. In addition to her fifty-year career in social work, she has engaged in extensive community service which reflects an ongoing involvement with advocacy and commitment to social justice issues. She has been a board member for several not-for-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Spectrum Health Services Inc. She has been a trustee for Inglis House that enables people with disabilities and their caregivers to live life to the fullest. Similarly, she served the UUHouse Outreach Program that works on behalf of adults over 60 to achieve independence and dignity living at home. As a trustee with the Valentine Foundation, she and her fellow trustees identified and nurtured organizations that empowered young women and girls. Her commitment to these organizations has been longstanding including her nearly 29-year commitment to the Douty Foundation, where as a trustee she supports “an organization that fosters equitable opportunities for children and youth.”

Nancy resides in Haverford, PA and continues to serve as a docent for her church, Mother Bethel AME at 6 th and Lombard in Philadelphia which sits on the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African Americans in the United States.

Dyann Waugh

Dr. Dyann Waugh is a 1964 graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School. Her father, Dr. Bascom Waugh, was the first African-American doctor to join the medical staff at Cooper in 1950. A World War II Veteran, Dr. Waugh was a flight surgeon for the 332nd Fighter Group, the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. He practiced medicine in Camden for over forty years and his family settled in Haddonfield in 1952.

At HMHS Dyann flourished in her study of Latin, French, Biology and English. She acknowledged that Physics and Chemistry were the bane of her high school career, so much so that she “kinda gave up on that dream” of becoming a physician.

At American University, Dr. Waugh earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and was admitted to a Ph.D. program in that field. Deferring her decision for graduate school, Dyann and her husband joined the Peace Corps in 1969. She was sent to a small rural village in Kenya, some fifty miles from the nearest city. She taught English for two years at a “harambe” school built by the villagers, supervised local census takers for the 1969 Kenya Census and administered immunizations in the smallpox eradication project. Dyann shared that, “This was a very formative experience for me, I had the opportunity to work in a different culture…and it gave me time to think about what I wanted to do when I got back.”

Her return led her to graduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park where she completed a Master of Science in Nutrition in 1973. She began consulting with physicians and crafting dietary improvement plans for young professionals. Although the work was gratifying, she sensed that she would be taken more seriously if she had a medical degree. Returning to school, Dr. Waugh earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1977 from Howard University. Six years later she would add to her impressive credentials with a second Master of Science in Occupational Health from Johns Hopkins.

Occupational and environmental medicine focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of occupation and environment related illnesses. Dr. Waugh’s early career in occupational medicine involved work with local hospitals in Baltimore and with OSHA before moving to the United States Postal Service in 1987. Her career at USPS spanned some thirty-two years with Dyann assuming increasing responsibility moving from Medical Officer, Associate Area Medical Director, Senior Medical Director and Associate Medical Director responsible for several states including Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.

Her expertise in occupational and environmental medicine has led her to shoulder responsibilities associated with some major challenges that the nation has faced including terrorist threats, biohazard detection, and NARCAN distribution. In 2001, Dr. Waugh was recognized with the Vice President’s Award which recognizes “superior contributions or individual achievement deserving of system wide recognition” for her work related to the anthrax attack and the subsequent shut down, clean-up and reopening of the DC post office. Her colleague, Dr. Devesh Karjanpane, characterized this as a monumental undertaking. He wrote, “Dr. Waugh has the skills of a master stateswoman. She brought greatly differing parties to a collaborative agreement without compromising sound medical principles. Dr. Waugh’s compassion extended impartially, and winning the game was just not the primary objective. Doing right was.”

After her retirement from the USPS, Dr. Waugh continued to practice medicine including time as an Occupational Medicine Consultant for USPS during the pandemic.

Dyann remains very active in her community of Hyattsville, MD. She is a member of the Health Ministry and Gospel Choir at First United Methodist Church; performs with Rafiki na Dada, an a capella women’s group that sings songs of the African diaspora, serves as a board member for ECO City Farms and participates in the Bridging Cultural Gaps Book Club of Hyattsville. Dyann also serves her community as a member of the Hyattsville Health, Wellness and Recreation Committee, where she has organized presentations on the health effects of climate change, plant-based eating, indoor air pollution, and mental health first aid training for residents.

Through her long and distinguished career Dr. Waugh has made the time to be a nurturing mother to her now grown children and the life companion to her husband, the Honorable Mayor Robert Croslin, of Hyattsville, MD.

Jack O’Malley

Jack O’Malley ’81 was a multi-sport athlete at HMHS who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson University in 1985. His career path took him into the business world where he has carved out a highly successful career in sales.

From 1985-1995, Jack rose to Sales Manager at Lever Brothers and was recognized as District Salesman of the Year, Unit Manager of the Year, and Acme Markets Vendor of the Year. Over the next several years, Jack was employed by a Colgate Palmolive subsidiary where he was an award-winning Business Development Manager and later Regional Sales Director.

Declining an opportunity to move with the company to Texas, he remained local working for Bayer in Sales Management. He earned several more awards for his work including the President’s Star Award as the top field sales manager in the US.

Jack is also co-owner of John F. O’Malley LLC, a fourth-generation transportation company that moves the luggage and equipment of the Phillies and visiting teams between the airport and stadium.

While all the above makes for a very successful busines career, there are few lifelong residents of Haddonfield, who have contributed as much service or volunteered as selflessly as Jack O’Malley. Since 1992, he has coached numerous youth sports teams, including those of his children, but also many teams on which his own children didn’t play, including Little League, Pigtail Softball, Youth Basketball, Youth Soccer, Youth Football and Haddonfield girls’ travel basketball teams.

While coaching, Jack has also been an active member of several athletics-based boards in town, including the HMHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee (committee member since 2006 and President since 2011); Haddonfield Youth Soccer Board Vice President (1998 – 2013); Haddonfield Youth Basketball Association, HYBA (2001-present), Founding Member and was Vice President; Haddonfield Recreation Council (2000 – present) and finally board member for Haddonfield Youth Football and Cheerleading (2012 – 2014).

In addition to volunteering for sports-related organizations, Jack has served on numerous committees and boards including the BOE formed Community Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) of which he was a member from 2008-2010 and helped create our Drexel Partnership and reinstitute Tuition Student Programs; the Turf Field Committee from 2010–2013, where he helped raise more than $600,000 for two turf fields at HMHS; the “One Haddonfield” committee in support of the Bancroft Referendum that was defeated by a narrow margin (2013), of which he was a founder and Chairman; The Haddonfield Civic Association (2014 – present); The Boxwood Hall Committee (2016-2017, a group of dedicated local citizens looking to create an Performing Arts Center at the current vacant property). Most recently Jack has served as a Board Member for The Haddonfield Foundation (2018 – Present), including assuming the role of President in 2020. Jack’s dedication and countless hours of service to civic causes was recognized by the Haddonfield Civic Association in 2014 who presented him with the Alfred E. Driscoll Community Service Award.

Jack also serves as a Deacon at The First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield. In his work with the church, Jack has organized, chaperoned and helped fund the First Presbyterian Youth Mission trips annually since 2015. In 2023, Jack led the youth mission volunteers to rural central Appalachia where they spent a week repairing homes for low-income families. Lisa Wolschina, local businesswoman and past lifetime achievement award winner said, “Jack O’Malley has a special gift of finding some common ground/thread with anybody so all people can feel comfortable around him. I spent a week with him this past summer on a mission trip to Tennessee.  Thanks to Jack, I learned about ripping up floors, I cried for people in very difficult situations, and I laughed every day. This world needs more Jack O’Malley’s.“

Outside of local community service, Jack is also an ardent supporter of Autism Speaks, helping team “Rally for O’Malley” raise over $300,000 for autism research since 1999. He is also a long- time member at Tavistock Country Club and serves on both the Entertainment and Golf Committees.

Jack and his wife Ginger have 3 children: Paige, 30 (Philadelphia), Johnny, 29 (Haddonfield), and Patrick, 26 (Chicago). Fortunately for us, he continues to reside in Haddonfield.

Ari Palitz

Ari Palitz spent the first eleven years of his life growing up as a city kid. He lived on 86 th Street in Manhattan surrounded by four movie theaters that would leave a lasting impression on him. Growing up on Star Wars and Superman, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller.

Ari came to Haddonfield and spent six years of his middle and high school education in the Haddonfield Public Schools. He went on to the University of Pittsburgh graduating in 1996 with a major in film and communications.

With a group of his Pitt friends, he moved to New York intent on making his mark in the film industry. He attended the Robert Di Niro School of Film while trying to break into the business. Ari acknowledged that the biggest challenge was “getting in the loop”, meeting and connecting with other working film and production professionals, finding consistent work and learning on the job. “We were all willing to be the guy who just gets coffee, if that got our foot in the door”.

Much of his early work was as a production assistant and then later a producer and director of music videos and commercials. He also began to produce and direct short films such as “Another Day in the Life” for MTV, and Temple Street Blues.

In 2000, Ari moved to Hollywood. As an independent filmmaker, Ari produced a low-budget action thriller called Pit Fighter. Universal Studios liked his work and offered him a contract. He produced his first of thirteen feature films in 2002 at Universal Studios where he also directed Unbeatable Harold in 2005. Soon after Palitz teamed up with director, Zak Penn for the mockumentary, The Grand, starring Woody Harrelson.

In 2010, Ari returning to his music video roots, produced the live action elements for Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Downtown,” directed by Chris Milk.  This interactive video went on to win the Gran Prix at the 2011 Cannes advertising awards in the Cyber category as well as the FWA (favorite website of the year) Award.  It became a turning point for Ari, who turned his full creative energy to working with new technologies like virtual reality.

Some of his most powerful pieces of film have come from his work as a producer in Branded Documentary that encompass both strong story and high production value, including the Toyota film series that documented the journey of NASA’s Shuttle Endeavor through the streets of LA, which won four Golden Lion awards, Shaun White’s documentary “Road to Sochi” for NBC, Producer of Hank: Five Years From The Brink.

Ari made a significant mark in the world of Virtual Reality story-telling, working as a producer with Here Be Dragons, Clouds over Sidra, Waves of Grace, “The Possible” series, U2’s “Song for Someone”, New York Times “Take Flight”, and 30 episodes of TRVLR for Discovery VR and Google.

Ari is also the co-director of the virtual reality documentaries, “My Mother’s Wing”, “Ground Beneath Her”, “Listening to the Universe” and, “The Last Goodbye” which premiered at the Tribeca and Venice Film Festivals in 2017 and in 2018. The Last Goodbye’s concept was both simple and ambitious: to have a concentration camp survivor, Pinchas Gutter, guide the viewer in a tour of Madjanek Concentration Camp in Poland where Pinchas was interned over seven decades ago. This film won the Lumiere Award for Best VR Documentary Jury Prize, 2 Webbys and the AICP Next Award for Virtual Reality.

In February, 2020, the Time Warner film, The March had its debut at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Ari served as lead producer for this immersive virtual-reality project and museum exhibition, which offers audiences an unprecedented opportunity to experience the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In partnership with the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which granted development rights to TIME for the project, The March marks the first-ever virtual depiction of Dr. King.

Over the past two years Ari has served StoryFiles as its Chief Creative Officer. StoryFiles is the inventor of conversational video and has recently created interactive projects with Mother Fletcher and Mother Randle, the oldest surviving witnesses of the Tulsa Massacre, as well as with Andrew Young and Star Trek’s William Shatner.

Continuing to experiment with virtual reality, conversational video and AI, Ari directed “Lovebirds of the Twin Towers” (2021) and Tell Me Inge (2023) (an interactive conversation with a holocaust survivor).

He currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Narrator Studio. With his wife and two daughters, he currently resides in Tulsa, OK where he continues to do ground-breaking work.