Association to honor NHS alumni

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck High School Alumni Association will honor seven alumni at its 43rd Anniversary Banquet.

The banquet is Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Portuguese Club, 110 Rubber Ave. Tickets are $40.

According to the association the banquet allows former classmates and friends to come back together after many years. Besides bringing former classmates together, the banquet recognizes select Naugatuck High School graduates.

“We honor people we consider have given back to the community of Naugatuck,” Alumni Association President Terry Swanson said.

This year the association will honor Carlos Batista, Frances Branco, Mary Lou Burmeister, James Goggin, Iva Rose “Cindy” Herb, Raymond Lennon, Jr. and Wayne McAllister.

Swanson said the honorees are chosen based on their outstanding contributions to the borough.

“We try to look and find people from different classes going back many years,” Swanson said.

Swanson said this year they went back to the Class of 1949 to honor Burmeister, who worked as a nurse and used to lead walking tours of the borough.

“That’s someone we would look at to honor this way,” Swanson said.

In addition to honoring graduates the association tries to set current students up for success.

The banquet is the association’s biggest fundraiser, Swanson said, allowing it to give out up to $20,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors each year. The association is also the custodians for 35 other scholarships, she said.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Terry Swanson at (203)-729-1254 or Dorothy Knowles at (203)-729-5463.

Carlos Batista (Class of 1969): Batista has lived in the borough 54 years and served as a member of the Inland Wetlands commission and the chairman of the Naugatuck Police Commission. Batista has also served as the chairman of the Portuguese American Political Action Committee and was the president of the Naugatuck Portuguese Club. In addition, Batista has served the community as the chairman of the board of directors of Naugatuck Financial Corporation and Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan Bank.

Frances Branco (Class of 1950): Branco, a life-long resident of Naugatuck, served on the Board of Education and worked as the school secretary at Andrew Avenue Elementary School. Branco volunteered as a member of various parent groups while her children were in school. After the rainstorm of 2012 that caused significant damage at St. Francis Church, Branco, who is a parishioner there, organized the pasta dinner fundraiser to rebuild the basement. Branco has also served the community as a member of the Naugatuck Visiting Nurses Association and the Naugatuck TRIAD. Branco has been a member of the Naugatuck Portuguese Club, having joined the Ladies Auxiliary at 16 years old. She has served as president of the Ladies Auxiliary and the fundraising chairwoman of the club’s building committee.

Mary Lou Burmeister (Class of 1949): Burmeister served the borough as a member of the Board of Finance and a member of the Naugatuck Historical Society, where she also led children’s educational programs. Burmeister, who worked as a registered nurse, also served on the Naugatuck Valley Health Board and the disaster team of the American Red Cross. Burmeister is a member of the Naugatuck Senior Center, Naugatuck Garden Club, and the Howard Whittemore Library Book Club.

James Goggin (Class of 1981): Goggin served the borough as the mayoral aide, a burgess and is currently the tax collector. In addition to his work with the municipal government, Goggin coaches Little Pal Basketball, is the race organizer and sponsor of the annual Naugatuck Education Foundation Old Corner Café 5K, serves as the co-chair for the annual Sao Paio 5K, and has coached Naugatuck Youth Soccer. Goggin currently serves on the Naugatuck Teen Theater Board of Directors, the Naugatuck Thunderfish Board of Directors, the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls Board of Directors and as a member of the Golf Committee.

Iva Rose “Cindy” Herb (Class of 1969): Herb served the Naugatuck school district as a member of the Salem School PTA and the treasurer of the Naugatuck High School Quarterback club. Herb also served the borough as a member of the Board of Finance. She was put on the board by Mayor Terry Buckmiller and served under four mayors during her time on the board. In addition to her volunteer work with the borough she fought to have a traffic light placed at the entrance to the high school. Herb currently serves on the Five Year Capital Committee and the High School Renovation Committee.

Ray Lennon, Jr. (Class of 1970): Lennon served as the chairman of the Board of Finance, a burgess, a member of the Planning Commission and a member of the Inland Wetlands Commission. Lennon currently serves on the Five Year Capital Committee and the High School Renovation Committee.

Wayne McAllister (Class of 1971)
: McAllister worked in the borough’s government since 1989, when he was hired as an assessor. McAllister became controller for the borough in 1995 and the business manager for the Board of Education in 1997. In 2010 he began serving both positions when the borough combined the duties of the jobs. During that time he was able to bring the borough from running a deficit to having an 8 percent reserve fund and a high bond rating. Although he has retired from both positions, McAllister still serves as an alternate on the Board of Finance.