Hall of Distinction Ceremony - July 27

Oxford Academy’s 2018 Hall of Distinction honorees to be inducted

 

Oxford Academy’s 2018 Hall of Distinction comprises five Oxford Academy alumni acclaimed in military, business, government, politics,  librarianship, community history, and education. The Friday, July 27 induction ceremony will be at 6:30 pm in the Oxford Academy Performing Arts Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

The Oxford Academy and Central School District has named another class of honorees for its Hall of Distinction. Lt. Colonel George Anthony Bancroft II (Class of 1994), Lt. Colonel John Jamieson Bancroft Jr. (Class of 1992), Charlotte F. Stafford (Class of 1936), Barbara H. Tompkins (Class of 1966), and Mary C. Weidman (Class of 1962) were selected by the Hall of Distinction Coordinating Committee following publicly solicited nominations.

These honorees are known for a variety of outstanding contributions: to the broader community by making a difference in the lives of others, to their professions through achievement in their chosen fields, and to the school while students at Oxford Academy.

Their accomplishments reach from the local to the national in influence. Lt. Colonel Tony Bancroft III and Lt. JJ Bancroft Jr. are brothers whose military service has had global impact through flight, leadership, training, and active duty. Ms. Stafford spent decades capturing our area’s history and advancing knowledge through librarianship and teaching. Mrs. Tompkins’s school leadership influenced the entire community’s student  readers, and she continues to influence our region through  community service. Ms. Weidman broke the glass ceiling for women in county politics by being the first female and Democrat to be elected to Chenango County office, and remains its longest-serving clerk. 

Oxford Academy and Central School District Superintendent Shawn Bissetta commented:

One look at this year’s honorees in the Hall of Distinction shows the range and depth of achievement by Oxford Academy and Central School District alumni. The individuals being recognized this year have given so much to the community, to our school, and to our country. Their influence is enduring, and it is a privilege to recognize them publicly. We are proud to count them among our own, and we hope our students will notice all that can be achieved after graduation. The school community has a lot to celebrate.

On Friday, July 27 at 6:30 pm, presentations will be made to honorees, or on their behalf to family members, in the Oxford Academy Performing Arts Auditorium, located at 50 S. Washington Avenue, Oxford, NY.

These awards reflect the Hall of Distinction tradition of ceremony, appreciation, and recognition for many remarkable individuals with hometown ties to Oxford Academy. Please join us.

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LIEUTENANT COLONEL GEORGE ANTHONY BANCROFT II, Class of 1994

Tony Bancroft’s career reflects significant achievement in the military and business. He graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy, was ranked 1st in his class at United States Naval Flight Training, and acquired over 1,500 hours of tactical flight time. His service included combat air patrols as an F/A-18 Hornet pilot, day and night aircraft carrier landings, and qualifying as a Landing Signal Officer (LSO) as part of VMFA-314, “The Black Knights,” a Marine Fighter Attack Squadron deployed on the USS Carl Vinson. On a later duty with VMFAT-101, “The Sharpshooters,” he led the F/A-18 Familiarization Syllabus instructing newly winged naval aviators how to fly the Hornet.  Tony held a Top Secret/SCI clearance while on active duty, and holds a commercial pilot license.  After leaving active duty in 2009, he joined the Marine Corps Reserve. Subsequently, Tony was hired by Gabelli Asset Management, Inc. as a research analyst covering the aerospace & defense, and environmental services industries. Tony earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance and Economics from Columbia Business School in 2011.

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LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN JAMIESON BANCROFT JR., Class of 1992

JJ Bancroft’s medaled service to his country started at the United States Naval Academy where he majored in history and earned a commission in the US Marine Corps. Following Marine Infantry and flight training, JJ was chosen to fly the twin bladed UH-1N “Huey,” and then joined the “Vipers,” a squadron that deployed to Okinawa, Korea, Guam, Kuwait, and Iraq. His ongoing specialized training led to activation in four tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.  JJ’s year at the Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, VA  was followed by service as the Airfield Operations Officer for the “Diamondbacks” squadron. JJ led his company on 7-month deployment to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq, and later deployed to Afghanistan in his capacity as an Operations Research Analyst. JJ is a graduate of the United State Marine Corps Command and Staff College as well as the Joint Combined Warfare Seminar.  He retired from the Marine Corps Reserves this year after 21 years of service, and was awarded the Joint Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal with Combat V for Valor and 14 strike flights with over 300 hours of combat time. 

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CHARLOTTE F. STAFFORD, Class of 1936

Until her death in 2010 at the age of 91, Charlotte was dedicated to books, teaching, and learned service to the extended Oxford community. A graduate of Elmira College, she taught French, German, and History till acquiring her Masters in Library Science from SUNY Albany. The rest of her teaching career comprised school librarianship in Binghamton and Norwich until her retirement in 1977. Charlotte worked to form the Oxford Historical Society, served as its first president, and then became Oxford’s Town/Village Historian, a position she held proudly for 34 years. She was a charter member of the Omicron Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, a charter member of the Binghamton Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, a Matron of the Lafayette Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, a past Associate Grand Warder for the Grand Chapter, OES, of New York State, and also served as chapter musician. Charlotte faithfully served St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oxford as a communicant for many years and member of the Vestry. She also was the first treasurer and later trustee of the Oxford Revitalization Project, a member of the Captain John Harris Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and more.

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BARBARA H. TOMPKINS, Class of 1966

Barbara’s esteemed career reached students across the region first as a teacher, then as a reading specialist, then a curriculum coordinator, and finally as Oxford Academy’s Primary School Principal from 1995 to 2006. She studied at SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Cortland, and holds a number of permanent certifications and administrative degrees. During her tenure as Principal, Barb made outstanding contributions to all the good work being done in the Primary building, and led both the school district and the Primary School in literacy programs. Since her retirement, her focus has been on family and community service. It is no surprise that Barb’s informed and generous volunteering for Head Start of Chenango, Chenango United Way, and even the Primary School post-retirement led to her being named the 2013 Volunteer of the Year. Barb is now a member of P.E.O. Chapter CG, Joseph Jefferson Book Club, and the Oxford Academy & Central School Scholarship Committee. She and her husband Gary are also now coordinators for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry at Emmanuel Church. Untold numbers of students helped across Barb’s long career are now better readers, better learners, and more gracious community members because of her work and example. Her gifts are  providing a lifetime of benefit to all who know her.

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MARY C. WEIDMAN, Class of 1962

Mary is well remembered by her classmates for her activity in Band, Chorus, Student Government, the National Honor Society, and for serving as Editor of the 1962 Oxford Academy yearbook, but her career’s reach expanded to include compassionate service to vulnerable but developing populations, and even a broken glass ceiling. After graduating from Syracuse University, she began work in the Onondaga Department of Social Services before she returned to Chenango County. Here Mary was chosen as Director of the Comprehensive and Training Act program, an early federal initiative to train and place workers in public service jobs.  She served in this capacity for many years before being named the Deputy Commissioner of the Chenango County Department of Social Services in 1987. In 1994 she was elected to the office of Chenango County Clerk, becoming the first female and Democrat to be elected to a Chenango County office, and now the longest serving clerk in the county’s history. She remains in that office today with more than 50  years of public service and counting. Additionally, Mary was instrumental for many years in operating one of the most respected fine dining restaurants in our area, The Old Mill in Mt. Upton. Mary is also active in many organizations including the Oxford Lions Club, the Chenango County Agricultural Society, and the Chenango County Historical Society.

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