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Hall of Achievement Celebrates 25 Years of Copiague Success

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Continuing its longstanding tradition of excellence, the Copiague School District celebrated its 2022 Hall of Achievement inductees during a ceremony held on Oct. 15 at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School.

Joined by family, friends, Copiague School District administrators and board of education members, this year’s honorees were Gloria Hodgson (Class of 1980), Anthony S. Pepe (Class of 1996), Kenrich Thomas (Class of 2007) and Kia Wright (Class of 2003). Board of Education President Kenneth Urban welcomed guests to the ceremony and congratulated the newest inductees on this achievement.

“You should all be very proud of your accomplishments and successes,” he said. “There are two main reasons for our Hall of Achievement. One is to recognize our alumni for their leadership, dedication, hard work and community involvement. The other is to show our students, both past and present, that we are always with them for years to come. Current students all have the opportunity to read about our inducted alumni through the years, showing them the pride that comes from striving to do your best in your career as well as give back to your community.”

Copiague School District’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon spoke about the creation of the Hall of Achievement in 1996, now in its 25th year, and the tradition it carries. “In honoring successful past graduates of Copiague, the Hall of Achievement’s primary purpose is to introduce these alumni as positive role models to our entire school community. By the nature of their accomplishments and service, inductees into the Hall of Achievement inspire our students to reach their goals.”

After graduating from Copiague, Gloria Hodgson received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Shaw University and a master’s degree in public safety administration from Columbus State University. Starting her criminal justice career as a jailer in Georgia, she later became a police officer, detective and eventually was promoted to police captain, the first ever captain of the Union City Police Department.

Anthony S. Pepe, who currently serves a vice president for the Copiague Board of Education, has been working in corporate operations management his entire career, servicing Fortune 500 companies all over the globe. He is currently the senior vice president of operations at Castle Merchandising, co-owner/CEO of A Mano Baking Company and owner/CEO of No Bull Beef Jerky. An active community advocate, he currently holds positions in the Knights of Columbus, Chamber of Commerce as well as the board of education. He believes being dedicated, active and prepared for any situation are what makes a person successful.

Kendrick Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ashford University and a master’s degree in mass communications. He started his career as the local weather and traffic anchor for nationally syndicated shows. He went on to become a news reports/anchor and received five Florida Associated Press awards. Thomas has worked in various marketing and communications positions throughout his career and published a book, “The Missing Memento: The Greatest to Never Do It.”

Kia Wright led Copiague to two Long Island basketball championships and one New York State championship. She was named a four-time first team All Long Island player and Suffolk County player of the year. She received her bachelor’s degree in sports management from St. John’s University, where she captained the women’s basketball team and winning the university’s first NCAA tournament in 17 years. Wright played professional with the WNBA’s New York Liberty. She now provides opportunities to youth as head coach of the Copiague varsity girls basketball team, CEO of Wright Way and director of a nonprofit youth organization.


Date Added: 10/24/2022