VPA Announces 2017 Class for Hall of Fame

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Principals’ Association is pleased to announce the selection of 14 outstanding individuals for the VPA Hall of Fame.

Inductees have distinguished themselves through service and achievement in programs or activities sponsored by the VPA.  The Hall of Fame was organized in 2001 to recognize and preserve the heritage of high school interscholastic activities in Vermont. 

Members of the VPA Hall have exemplified the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and character as student-athletes, coaches/advisors, administrators, media members, officials and contributors.

The following individuals have been selected to the Class of 2017 for the VPA Hall of Fame:



David Ball, football, basketball and track & field, Spaulding High School, Barre.

            Ball participated in football, basketball and track & field for 4 years at Spaulding were he excelled at all 3 sports.  Ball was a standout football receiver and also helped Spaulding win a state basketball title.  He set several records while participating in track & field, including the state high jump mark.  Ball was a member of the Burlington Free Press All-State football and basketball teams, Vermont Shrine Football team and Twin State All-Star Basketball teams in 2002.  Ball later went to University of New Hampshire where he was a 3-time All-American with a record-setting career.  He briefly played in both the National and Canadian Football Leagues.


Keith Cieplicki, basketball, Rice Memorial High School, South Burlington

          Cieplicki was a standout 4-year player at Rice Memorial, becoming the first Vermonter to exceed 2,000 points (2,049 career points).  His scoring output was without the benefit of the 3-point shot.  He was a 2-time Vermont High School Athlete of the Year.  After his graduation in 1981 Cieplicki went on to a standout career at William & Mary College where he is in its Hall of Fame (along with the Rice Memorial and New England Basketball Hall of Fames).   Cieplicki was picked in the 1985 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.   He later coached boys basketball at Rice and women’s basketball at the University of Vermont and Syracuse University.  


Jake Eaton, football, basketball and baseball, Rutland High School

            Eaton was a standout 3-sport athlete at Rutland during the late 1990s.  He was Vermont Gatorade Football Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998.  He is also Rutland High’s all-time leading scorer in basketball with 1,586 points.  Eaton later went on to the University of Maine to play quarterback.  He is in their Athletic Hall of Fame.  He later served as a coach and athletic director at Proctor High.


Lucy Higgins, track & field and soccer, Lamoille Union High School, Hyde Park

            Higgins was a standout in both indoor and outdoor track along with soccer.  Higgins won 7 indoor and 9 outdoor State Championships during her 4-year career.  She also participated in the Dartmouth Invitational Indoor meets and won 2 individual Championships.  She is the record holder in the Vermont 400-meter dash.  Higgins also was an All-State selection in soccer and led her school to 2 Division II State Championships.


Tyler Pelland, baseball, Mount Abraham Union High School, Bristol

            Pelland was a dominant left-hand pitcher for the Eagles from 1999 to 2002.  He led his team to State Championships in both 2001 and 2002.  As a senior he sported a 0.31 ERA with 170 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched.  He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox upon completion of high school and pitched five years in professional baseball, reaching the AAA level before an injury ended his career.  He returned to school to seek a college diploma.


Christina Raiche, basketball, Mill River Union High School, North Clarendon

          Raiche was a standout player at Mill River from 1994-1998.  She is the second leading scorer in her school’s history with 1,453 points and over 890 rebounds.  She was a 4-time All-Marble Valley League performer and was on the Vermont Twin State team in 1998.  She later played at both College of St. Joseph and Green Mountain College, scoring over 1,000 points in her career.


Hannah Rowe, cross country, basketball, track & field, St. Johnsbury Academy

            Rowe was a 3-sport standout at the Academy in all 4 years.  She was State Champion in Cross Country in 2008 and 2009.  A 2-time Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Athlete of the Month and the Gatorade Runner of the Year in 2008 and 2009.  She won 8 State Track & Field Championships and led her Basketball team to the State Championship in 2010.  She later competed at Dartmouth College in Cross Country.





Peter Brakeley, teacher and football coach, Middlebury Union High School

           Brakeley has coached football for 40 years at every level, including since 1980 at Middlebury Union.  Brakeley, a Middlebury Union and Middlebury College graduate, served as the head coach for the Tigers from 1993 to 2007.  The Tigers won 3 State Championships in Division 1 and were runners-up another 7 times.  The award-winning teacher still serves the football program as the freshman coach since 2009.


Paul Jordan, teacher and football coach, South Burlington High School

             A long-time teacher, coach, and advocate of youth, Paul Jordan’s teams were highly successful on the football field and in the classroom. Jordan is credited with turning around a disappointing football program, which had won 2 games in 2 years and in his second season produced a 9-0 state championship squad.  His teams won State Championships five times and were runners-up twice.  Jordan compiled a 117-41-1 record over 19 seasons.   He was the Vermont Shrine Coach in 1977 and 1985.


Alan Stewart, softball and basketball coach, Randolph Union High School

             Stewart was a teacher-coach at Randolph from the late 1970’s until 2011.  He has touched thousands of lives with his teaching and his 32-year career coaching softball and 15 years coaching basketball.  His softball teams won over 400 games, including back-to-back undefeated teams in 1988-89 by going 37-0 with two of at least six of his state titles. Stewart, who was a baseball standout growing up, helped create the annual North-South Senior All-Star Classic.    


James Leamy, teacher basketball coach, Proctor, West Rutland and Rutland High Schools


            Leamy coached varsity basketball at three Rutland County high schools from 1961 to 1991 after graduating from St. Michael’s College.  His teams were known for their defense and compiled a 430-243 record.  During his 30 years, his teams made the playoffs 28 times.  They won or tied for 7 league titles and made 10 Final Four appearances, including winning 2 State Championships.  He is in the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.






Bob Hingston, athletic director, Windsor High School      

Hingston served as the athletic director at Windsor High School for 16 years and Dean of Students for more than 2 years.  Hingston was the Vermont Athletic Director of the Year 3 times and won the NIAAA Award of Merit twice.  He is a past president of the Vermont State Athletic Directors Association and the Marble Valley League. He hosted several Vermont High School Track Meets and state championship games in various sports. He began coaching at Windsor in 1983 in junior high basketball, baseball and football.  He coached varsity baseball and was a junior varsity and varsity football coach.




Jerry Jasinski, official, track & field contributor

              Jasinski has been a long-time football and basketball official in Vermont.  Jasinski also established and directed the Vermont State Decathlon/Heptathlon Championships for 35 years.  He also was a meet director and official for Vermont State Track Championships for over 40 years.  He is currently a chemistry professor at Keene (N.H.) State College, where he has authored or co-written more than 400 papers in scholarly journals.           




Dan Shepardson, Basketball Official, Soccer Coach

             Shepardson is a long-time basketball official and rules interpreter at the high school level and also referees college games.  He was a standout soccer player at Norwich University and is in the school’s Hall of Fame.  He started his standout soccer coaching career at nearby Northfield High School and later moved to Champlain Valley Union winning several State Championships.  Besides his outstanding officiating career, he works as the Director of Athletics and Activities at CVU in Hinesburg.


The Class of 2017 Induction Ceremony will be Friday May 5 at the Capital Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Montpelier.  A reception begins at 5 p.m. with a banquet and the ceremony following.

Contact Mallori LaPointe at the VPA office for reservations at (802) 229-0547.  Tickets are $45.  Information and forms are also available on the VPA website at www.vpaonline.org


Information on the nomination criteria and process is available by consulting the VPA website.