Byron-Bergen Central Schools named three alumni to the Hall of Fame for 2013. Mark Taft (class of 1977), Andrew Oderkirk (class of 1984), and Kelly (Pawlak) March (class of 1988) join the ranks of other distinguished Byron-Bergen alumni honored with a place in the Hall of Fame for their achievements after graduation.
The Byron-Bergen Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of the district’s graduates, providing young people of our district with positive adult role models, showing that graduates of Byron-Bergen can achieve high levels of accomplishment in their lives. This honor is in its eleventh year and has become part of our school district culture and a permanent reminder to our students about the outcome of hard work and diligence. This year’s honorees exemplify dedication, leadership and service.
While attending Byron-Bergen, Mark Taft participated in Student Government, National Honor Society, wrestling, track, American Field Service Club, Spanish Club, and Latin Club. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in Chemical Engineering, and has worked for ABB, Inc. since 1981. Mr. Taft is currently the senior vice president and general manager for the Power Generation Division in North America, headquartered in Wickliffe, OH. In addition, Mr. Taft is the founder of the WE CARE community action team for ABB in Wickliffe, a community service group that facilitates and leads activities for employees to reach out to the community in which they work. Mr. Taft was recognized by the Greater Cleveland Association of Fundraising Professionals with the Corporate Leadership Award in 2011. In addition to several other community-based activities, Mr. Taft is also actively involved with Habitat for Humanity, where he has served as a volunteer, board of trustees member, board vice president, and Public Relations Committee chairman.
Andrew Oderkirk was active in track and wrestling during school, and began his career in the United States Army as an enlisted infantryman immediately following graduation. After his discharge in 1988, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Oderkirk earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport, where he was selected as a ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. After completing Army Ranger School, he re-entered active duty as an Infantry Officer. He earned a master’s degree in Business Management from Lawrence Technical University in Michigan. LTC Oderkirk’s final two assignments with the Army were joint service positions; Chief of Contracting – Multi-National Division – North (MND-N), Camp Speicher, Iraq, and as a product manager in the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit medal, Bronze Star medal, Meritorious Service medal, Joint Service Commendation medal, the Expert Infantry Badge, the Ranger Tab, and the Pathfinder, Parachutist, and Air Assault Badges. LTC Oderkirk retired from the U.S. Army in December 2012, concluding 29 years of service. He is currently a site manager for a defense contractor in Sterling Heights, MI.
Kelly (Pawlak) March was a member of the soccer and basketball teams at Byron-Bergen, and participated in Student Policy Review Board and Mock Trial. Mrs. March earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo and was the director of the Corfu Free Library for 7 years. Under her leadership, the Corfu Library grew to become a nationally recognized library for its population. Currently, Mrs. March is a youth service library assistant at the Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia. A highly energetic program creator, you can find her involved in numerous literacy-based educational programs for children and families at the library. She is also actively involved in her community with youth soccer, sport fencing, Girl Scouts, and 4-H. Mrs. March passionately educates people and raises awareness about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) while fundraising for a cure. She recently accepted a volunteer position on the Council for Independent Living Center for the Genesee Region.
The 2013 inductees were honored on Friday, September 13th at an induction ceremony and dinner and at half-time during the boys’ varsity soccer game.