Outstanding alumni inducted to GVSD Wall of Fame
MALVERN >> As part of its Homecoming celebration Oct. 15, the Great Valley School District inducted three outstanding alumni to its Wall of Fame. These graduates were nominated by friends or family members for the outstanding personal and professional achievements and community contributions they have made since graduating high school. This year’s Inductees join 18 other Great Valley grads who have been named to the Wall of Fame since the program’s start in 2012.
“The Wall of Fame is a way for us to reconnect with our alumni and to applaud their outstanding achievements since graduation,” said Great Valley Director of Communications and Outreach Jennifer Blake, who chairs the selection committee. “These graduates serve as role models for our current students and also speak to the excellence of a Great Valley education.”
Wall of Fame Inductees for 2016 are: Adam McKay, Shannon Nutter-Wiersbitzky, and Hillary Dunlop-Schmid. Inductees who were able to attend Homecoming enjoyed a tour of their alma mater, rode in the Homecoming parade, and were welcomed at an all-class alumni reception. Inductees were formally honored during a short ceremony on the game field just prior to the start of the Homecoming football game.
Inductees were selected from nominations received by the selection committee. Anyone can nominate a Great Valley graduate for consideration, but nominees are judged according to strict criteria. According to the District website, the program is designed to “ensure that the lives and achievements of Great Valley’s most accomplished graduates will forever be known among fellow graduates, current and future high school students, and the Great Valley community.” Inductees are those graduates who: model high standards of excellence in their personal and/or professional life; make outstanding contributions to volunteer service or their local community; and have demonstrated success at the local, regional, or international levels in any appropriate area of endeavor, including academia and education, arts, business, media, public service, medicine, military, sports, etc.
Blake said that a key consideration of the selection committee is whether or not those nominated are somehow living true to Great Valley School District’s mission. “We are always impressed with the caliber of our alumni and the contributions they are making to their local, national and sometimes even the global community,” she said. “This kind of work and volunteerism speaks directly to our mission statement.”
Nominations for the Wall of Fame are accepted annually in late summer. For more information, visit www.gvsd.org/ walloffame.
2016 Wall of Fame Inductees are:
Adam McKay, Class of 1986. Writer/director/producer Adam McKay is widely regarded as one of cinema’s most comedic modern filmmakers. Initially, McKay made his name in the comedy world as a founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, and later worked for six years at Saturday Night Live, where he became Head Writer and collaborated with Will Ferrell. That collaboration led to movies like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), followed by the hit Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006). In 2006, McKay and Ferrell formed their company, Gary Sanchez Productions, which is responsible for movies including Step Brothers (2008), The Other Guys (2010) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013). He also produced numerous others, including Get Hard (2015) and Daddy’s Home (2015), and independent titles such as Welcome to Me (2015). In 2015, McKay turned his focus to a more serious topic when he and Charles Randolph adapted Michael Lewis’s New York Times best-selling book, The Big Short about the financial crisis of 2007/2008. For that film, McKay earned Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Director, and he and Randolph won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards, BAFTA, WGA and Scripter Awards.
McKay is a long-time supporter of numerous charitable organizations including Amnesty International. He is a patron of Represent.Us, the largest grassroots anti-corruption campaign in the US. In addition, McKay supports The Brady Center, Homeless Healthcare LA, and Jail Guitar Doors. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Shira, and their two daughters, Pearl and Lili Rose.
Shannon Nutter-Wiers-bitzky, Class of 1988. Nutter-Wiersbitzky earned her undergraduate degree in economics and international studies from Macalester College and her M.B.A. from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. She previously worked for leading companies, including Deloitte & Touche and General Motors, and is currently a senior executive at Vanguard. In addition to her executive role, Shannon also originated and led development of My Classroom Economy, a free nation-wide program that enables K-12 teachers to create a mini-economy in their classrooms and teach children key life skills through experiential learning.
Shannon is also a published author of children’s literature. Her two middle-grade novels, “The Summer of Hammers and Angels” and What Flowers Remember” have received national recognition, including two “best children’s book of the year” awards. She is a member of the board for Teach for America Philadelphia, regularly volunteers time with Home of the Sparrow, and actively blogs on the topics of Alzheimer’s and women in leadership.
Hillary Dunlop-Schmid, Class of 1994. Schmid graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education. She earned her master’s degree from Rosemont College in Curriculum and Instruction. She taught Special Education for 10 years in Chester & Delaware Counties.
Schmid and her family are the founders of Zane’s Run, an event held annually in September. Founded in memory of their daughter, Zane, who passed away from Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in 2009, all proceeds from the event go toward helping newly diagnosed families and children with SMA throughout the world. She received an award from Cure SMA for her fundraising and awareness efforts, and worked closely with a Pennsylvania State Legislator to have August declared as Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month. Mrs. Schmid serves on the Family Support Committee for Cure SMA, and frequently volunteers for community activities and events. She lives in Malvern with her husband, Keith, and their children, Avery, Brennen, and Braxton.
Hillary Dunlop-Schmid, Class of 1994, and Shannon Nutter-Wiersbitzky, Class of 1988
Adam McKay, Class of 1986