Long Beach High School held its 22nd Wall of Fame dedication on Oct. 16, adding six new plaques to the district’s tribute to those who have gone above and beyond in their contributions to students, athletics and the community as a whole.
This celebration distinguished James Bernhardt, Irene G. Dougherty, Long Beach First Responders, Heather McAdam-Pomilio, Michael Skudin and David Taylor, all of whom received plaques and acknowledgment from presenters. Members of the Board of Education, administration and community gathered in the high school auditorium for this meaningful event.
Master of ceremonies Steve Kohut presented opening remarks, as did Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Gallagher, Board of Education President Dr. Dennis Ryan, High School Principal Jeffrey Myers and student-athlete Owen Stark.
James Bernhardt graduated from Long Beach High School in 1974. He was a star athlete and outstanding student who went on to play football and lacrosse at Hofstra University. He had two stints as Long Beach High School’s varsity football coach, leading the Marines to playoffs each time. Outside of the community, he coached at Hofstra, Brown, Central Florida and Penn State Universities and was an assistant coach for the NFL Houston Texans.
Irene G. Dougherty was a member of the Long Beach Board of Education from 1935-1941. The sole woman on the Board, she helped shape the landscape of the district for years to come and was a pioneer in her era. She was the driving force behind the completion of Lindell High School (now Lindell Elementary School) and was instrumental in lobbying for the long-term fiscal health and vibrancy of the school district.
First responders who serve Long Beach responded heroically upon the World Health Organization’s declaration of the pandemic. They worked tirelessly to meet the needs of those who were stricken with the virus and cared for the community with compassion and professionalism. The Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Fire Department, Point Lookout Lido Fire Department, Nassau County Police Department and Long Beach Nurses were acknowledged and thanked for their extraordinary sacrifices. They also received commemorative plaques to take home, thanks to the work of the high school’s technology department and use of its laser cutter.
Heather McAdam-Pomilio graduated from Long Beach High School in 1988 and was an outstanding member of the softball team, leading the Marines to a conference championship and playoffs. She was recently inducted into the New York State Softball Hall of Fame and Nassau County High School Athletics Hall of Fame, and has volunteered her time to the Long Beach High School softball program for the past 15 years in addition to establishing her own school to teach softball players.
Michael Skudin graduated from Long Beach High School in 2007 and excelled on the varsity swim and lacrosse teams, serving as captain for both. He earned many recognitions and went on to play lacrosse at Hofstra University, where his achievements continued. He embarked upon a professional Major League Lacrosse Career and won three world championships while playing for the New York Lizards, Denver Outlaws and Boston Cannons.
David Taylor graduated from Long Beach High School in 1978 and was known for his excellence on the basketball court. He continued his basketball career at Hofstra University and went on to play professionally overseas, earning many accomplishments including a gold medal he won with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne basketball team in France. He started his own basketball training camp to mentor students in sports and in life.
Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics Arnold Epstein presented closing remarks, and the honorees and their families unveiled their newly installed plaques in the commons.