UPDATE: Albemarle High School Alumni Association’s 2018 "A Night to Remember" event will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 4. The following release has been updated accordingly.
Dr. Pamela Moran, NFL Star Nick Novak, and 33-Year Teacher Leroy Smith Will Be Inducted Into Albemarle High School’s Hall of Fame on May 4
(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – Dr. Pamela R. Moran, the Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools since 2005 and the state’s Superintendent of the Year in 2015, will be among three inductees this year by the Albemarle High School (AHS) Alumni Association into its Hall of Fame. The Association, which began in 2008, has more than 4,000 members and represents over 24,000 graduates of the county’s flagship high school, now in its 65th year of operation.
Joining Dr. Moran as the newest members of the Hall of Fame this year will be National Football League (NFL) star, Nicholas Novak, and Leroy Smith, who is being honored posthumously and who taught for 33 years at the school.
All three will be inducted formally during the Association’s annual A Night to Remember celebration, which will be held on Friday, May 4, at 6 p.m. in the AHS auditorium. The Alumni Association is underwriting the event, and there will be no charge for admission. All members of the community are invited.
Those wishing to attend are asked to register at:
The guest speaker for the celebration will be Retired U.S. Navy Captain Robert Caldwell, who is a 1977 graduate of the high school. Capt. Caldwell’s dad was transferred to England at the end of Capt. Caldwell’s junior year at Albemarle, and he is believed to be the only alumnus who spent his senior year in London.
Capt. Caldwell is the Director of Engineering and Infrastructure in the Office of New Reactors for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He will talk about the extraordinary efforts of then principal Benjamin Hurt that made it possible for his long-distance graduation from the school.
In addition to being Virginia’s Superintendent of the Year in 2015, Dr. Moran was one of four finalists in 2016 for Superintendent of the Year for the United States. Under her direction, Albemarle County Public Schools became one of the top-performing school divisions in the state, with an on-time graduation rate of 95 percent. Seven out of every 10 high school seniors graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma, 40 percent higher than the state average for all school divisions.
Earlier this year, a national education assessment organization rated the division as the third top-performing school division among the 133 school divisions in the state.
Last fall, Dr. Moran announced that she will be retiring on June 30 as the second longest-serving superintendent in the school division’s history.
Charles Crenshaw, the founder and chairman of the alumni association, said it was a meeting with Dr. Moran in 2008 that led him to organize the association. “I was talking with Pam about naming a road at the school Benjamin Hurt Drive in recognition of the 30 years of distinguished service by Dr. Hurt as our principal. “She asked me the best way to raise funds for a school project, and I said if it were something Albemarle High School graduates could get involved in, I would start an alumni association. We spent the rest of the meeting talking about nothing but that, and that fall, our association was born.”
Novak is a 2000 graduate of the school. A star of the Patriot football program, he went on to become a leading student athlete at the University of Maryland, twice earning All-Conference honors. At one time, he was the career scoring leader in the conference, and he later played for 12 seasons as a place kicker in the NFL, scoring more than 800 points for teams including the Washington Redskins and the San Diego Chargers.
Smith was a vocational education teacher for more than three decades at AHS, bringing skills in auto mechanics, electricity, engineering drawing, the industrial arts, and woodworking to thousands of students.
Phillip James, who nominated Smith, remembers him as a “firm and fair teacher who always used humor to engage even the least interested student.” Steve Martin noted that Smith was the school’s first soccer coach in 1969. “He also was an excellent SCUBA instructor, and his work with the local rescue squad included the dive team. He inspired me to become a public safety diver and instructor and to give back to the community in creating and leading a water rescue team,” Martin said.