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Classical High School



2009 Events Archive - 1

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Please join us on Wednesday, April 28, at the Providence Marriott as we honor seven alumni and former faculty member, Ms. Susan Kaplan, at the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Tickets are $75 per person and benefit the fund to improve the quality of education for students at Classical. The event begins at 6 p.m., with the awards dinner following at 7 p.m. For tickets contact us at 401-383-6471.

Alumni honored this year include:

Bernard Bell '38


Bernard Bell was graduated from Classical High School in 1938. He received his B.A. from Brown University in 1942. He then joined the Army Air Corps to serve in World II. Upon his return, Bernie continued his education at the Yale Graduate School. Bernie then entered private industry, heading companies in Boston and Providence. Throughout his career, Bernie balanced his business pursuits with an active life as a volunteer, serving as President of Childrenís Friend and Service, the Touro National Heritage Trust and the Brown Alumni Association Class of 1942, as well as on numerous other boards. Among all of these pursuits, Bernie made his greatest contribution to the hospice movement. He began as a volunteer in Rhode Islandís hospice in 1980, and joined the board of the National Hospice Organization in 1984. Over the next seven years, he led the organizationís successful effort to stabilize its previously tenuous fund-raising and finances, serving as Chair of the National Advisory Council. Bernie was named the National Hospice Organization Person of the Year in 1991. Bernie is now active raising funds for a hospice in northern Israel.

Frederick Irving and the late Dorothy (Petrie) Irving '39


Frederick Irving and the late Dorothy (Petrie) Irving were graduated from Classical High School summa cum laude in 1939. Fred obtained his B.A. from Brown in 1943, and joined the United States Army Air Corps to serve during World War II. Dorothy earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and a M.A. in Education from Columbia. They married after Fredís return from combat, and Fred continued his education by obtaining a Masterís degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a degree from the United States National War College. Fred and Dorothy then became a team in the United States Foreign Service, where Fred advanced to become Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Iceland and Ambassador to Jamaica. In Iceland and Jamaica, Fred and Dorothy helped the people and the government of each country to become notably closer to the United States. The Irvingís also contributed to a number of international boards and commissions in such diverse areas as oceanic, environmental and scientific affairs (Fred) and education (Dorothy). The Alumni Association nominated Fred and Dorothy to be recognized this year together. Sadly, Dorothy passed away in February of this year, but we will honor Dorothyís memory.

Norman G. Orodenker '51

Norman G. Orodenker was graduated from Classical High School in 1951. He obtained his education with B.A., cum laude, from Brown University in 1955 and a law degree from Columbia Law School in 1958. He practiced law in Rhode Island ever since, advising businesses and corporations, as well as such state agencies as the Department of Transportation, the Department of Employment Security, and as Chief Legal Counsel to all Rhode Island state government departments under Governor Licht in 1969-72. Norman also has devoted his time to the cause of civil rights, serving as the chair of organizations at the local, state and national level, including the United States Civil Rights Advisory Commission, the Rhode Island Commission on Prejudice and Bias, and the Providence Policy Advisory Commission. Norman is a respected leader in many of Rhode Islandís communities, as demonstrated by his service as President of the Urban League of Rhode Island, Jewish Family Service and as Chair of the Black Jewish Alliance, Latino Jewish Alliance and Muslim Jewish Alliance. Norman also has been recognized for his work in the community relations world.

Robin Green '63

Robin Green was graduated from Classical High School in 1963. She continued her education at Brown University, Pembroke College, where she received her B.A. in 1967. She helped break the gender barrier at Rolling Stone Magazine, where she served as Contributing Editor from 1970 to 1974. She met her husband and writing partner Mitchell Burgess at the University of Iowa Writerís Workshop, where she received an MFA in 1976. Robin and Mitchell have written and produced some of the most highly regarded television drama series over the past three decades, including Northern Exposure and The Sopranos. Their work as producers has been recognized by the industry numerous times through Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Writersí Guild Awards and Peabody Awards. They are now developing new series pilot shows for the CBS and FX networks. Robin and Mitchell divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.

Bruce Paisner '60

Bruce Paisner was graduated from Classical High School in 1960, where he was Editor in Chief of the Caduceus. He continued his education at Harvard University, where he received his B.A. in 1964 and served as managing editor of the Harvard Crimson. He obtained his J.D. from Harvard Law School while also serving as a correspondent for Life magazine in New York and Washington, D.C. Upon graduating from law school, Bruce rose through the ranks at Time, Inc., ultimately becoming a Vice President of Time, Inc. In 1980, Bruce became President and co-owner of Novacom, Inc., a television production and distribution company which, in 1981, was acquired by the Hearst Corporation. He then began his career at Hearst, where he has served on the boards of Lifetime Television, A&E Network and the History Channel among others. He has advised Pleiades Multimedia, a Russian cable television programming company and currently serves as advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Hearst Corporation. Bruce is President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the central organization for the broadcast industry and the source of the Emmy awards. He also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association.

Jorge Elorza '94
  Jorge Elorza, the son of Guatemalan immigrants, grew up in Providenceís Olneyville neighborhood. His public education began with Project Head Start and continued through the Providence Public Schools until he was graduated from Classical High School in 1994. He obtained a degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island in 1998, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2003 after working briefly with a Big 8 accounting firm.

Jorge returned to Providence, to join the staff of Rhode Island Legal Services, representing the Stateís poor in their quest to obtain fair and decent living accommodations. Jorge became an Assistant Professor at Roger Williams Law School in 2005, where his teaching and scholarship focus on the areas of housing and civil rights law. Jorge coordinates the efforts of private attorneys and law students to bring lawsuits to advance the cause of affordable housing, and is currently lead counsel in a major case concerning the Stateís program of lead hazard mitigation. Jorge also serves on the boards of several community organizations, including the Poverty Institute, English for Action and Justicia en Diversidad Foundation.
Susan Adler Kaplan
  Susan Adler Kaplan earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Brown University. She taught English at Classical for 28 years before becoming Administrator of English and Libraries for the Providence Schools. She was an Adjunct Professor of Education at both Providence College and Roger Williams University. She has devoted her volunteer and professional activities to education. The Carnegie Corporation appointed her to the founding board of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the voluntary advanced teacher certification board. She participated in the Carnegie Teacher Assessment Project at Stanford University as part of that work. She was chief reader for the Rhode Island Writing Assessment and a co-founder and co-director of the Rhode Island Writing Project. The College Board appointed her to three terms on the English Academic Advisory Council. Kaplan received an Outstanding Teacher Educator Award from Brown University, and she was a Providence Teacher of the Year. She has recently accepted a part-time position as Instructional Coordinator at Blackstone Academy Charter School. A former member of the Corporation of Brown University, she is Chair of the Corporation Emeriti Committee, and she also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Miriam Hospital.

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