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Five Canton graduates recognized, inducted into Wall of Fame – The Collinsville Press
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Five Canton graduates recognized, inducted into Wall of Fame

From left, Seth Mastrocola (Canton High Class of 2003), Hollace Bristol (1964), Reggie Tucker (1987) and Ashley Thrall (2000) were inducted into the Canton High Wall of Fame. (Photo courtesy Ruth Kidwell)

CANTON, October 17, 2019 – Nearly 20 years ago, Jordan Grossman was the assistant principal at Canton High School and he wanted to show students the possibilities of life after high school.

He wanted to share the success of Canton High graduates in the community, in the state, in the nation and the world. The one thing in common – graduation from Canton High School.

In 2002, Grossman helped establish Canton’s Wall of Fame. It was to inspire students and to honor and recognize alumni for their character, leadership and positive contributions to society.

Five graduates of Canton High School were honored in a ceremony recently in the high school auditorium. It was an event in the morning so students could attend and learn what recent Canton High graduates have accomplished after graduation.

  • Ashley P. Thrall (Class of 2000), an associate professor of structural engineering at Notre Dame;
  • Hollace Bristol (1964), a long-time educator and administrator;
  • Seth Mastrocola (2003), an Operations officer with the National Guard;
  • Reggie Tucker (1987), the successful teacher, administrator and boys basketball coach at Classical Magnet School in Hartford;
  • and artist Robert Quick (1950) were honored with induction into the Wall of Fame.

Ashley Thrall, Class of 2000

Thrall is an associate professor of structural engineering at Notre Dame, an innovative and dynamic researcher and teacher. She has developed a deep, mechanics-based analysis expertise that has blossomed into building the leading lab in the nation focused solely on civil kinetic structures.

Her steel-focused work includes accelerated construction of steel bridges through adjustable connections and modular design, impacting both fabrication and erection costs. Her digital image correlation methods applied to laser etched steel are revolutionary.

She monitored the steel girders of the new Tappan Zee Bridge in New York City using the digital image correlation methodologies.

She designed and built the Kinetic Structures Lab at Notre Dame. It helped Thrall and her team to develop the Origami-inspired shelter for the U.S. Army which has significantly reduced the need for fuel for heating and cooling military shelters.

Thrall arms the students in her statics, steel and bridge classes with the ability to solve challenging and real world problems, as well as provides high school and graduate students exposure to the many and diverse aspects of structural engineering through a wide range of opportunities, from field trips to lectures.

Reggie Tucker, Class of 1987

Tucker has been the only basketball coach at Classical Magnet in Hartford, beginning in 2005. He has led the Gladiators to three division titles in the Constitution State Conference and shares of two North Central Connecticut Conference championships. Last winter, his Classical team went undefeated in the NCCC to win the league title and 19-1 overall – setting a team record for regular season victories.

Tucker led the Gladiators to the Class S championship game in 2011 before they lost to Valley Regional. They finished that season with a school-record mark of 23-4. Tucker has led Classical to winning records in 11 of 14 seasons.

For the past 15 years, he has been a history teach in the Classical Magnet middle school. Classical has students in grades 6-12. The first six years of his career were as an elementary teacher at Noah Webster Elementary School in Hartford.

Tucker was the Classical Middle School athletic director from 2006-10 and took over the AD duties at Classical Magnet high school from 2016-18. He stepped down to obtain additional certification in educational leadership.

“I really don’t view myself as anything special,” he said. “Honestly, I am just a regular dude trying to make an impact on my students and players lives. I am no different than any other coach.”

Tucker grew up in Hartford but attended Canton schools through the Project Concern program, a voluntary school desegregation program throughout greater Hartford. He played basketball for the Warriors under head coach Bill Mudano and went onto play in college at Western New England University.

Five students, in the first row, spoke about each inductee. From left, Alex Lederman, Marta Frawley, Ty Adams, Meg Babbitt, and David Cabeceiras . In the second row, from left, Seth Mastrocola, Hollace Bristol, Reggie Tucker, and Ashley Thrall

Bob Quick, Class of 1950

Born in Avon, Quick had no formal background or training in art. But he became an accomplished artist, specializing in wildlife and western landscapes. After graduating from Canton High where he was an outstanding baseball player, Quick attended Hillyer College – now known as the University of Hartford – before spending time in the U.S. Air Force.

Quick has received several first place awards including the $50,000 Arts for the Park grand prize in 1991 and a top 10 finalist in 1993.

Five times, one of Quick’s works were selected for the Arts for the Parks top 100 national tour where artists shared their visions of our national parks with audiences around the nation. His work was selected to be part of the top 100 tour in 1993, 1994, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

His work is part of collections in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada and the United States. For eight years, one of Quick’s pieces called “The Looking Glass” hung in the executive office of the president. The lobby of a clubhouse of an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course in Mesquie, Nevada was designed around seven original paints of Nevada wildlife that were painted by Quick.

Quick and his wife, Ruth, currently live in Sedona, Arizona.

Seth Mastrocola, Class of 2003

Mastrocola has been serving his community for years – even when he was back in high school.

In 2002, he was working as a lifeguard in Satan’s Kingdom on the Farmington River as part of the tube ride business. He was one of two lifeguards who helped save the life of a 13-year-old boy who fell off his tube and got stuck between rocks.

Since then, he had graduated from UConn with a degree in psychology and sociology and from Southern Connecticut State with a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He has served the nation in the Army and the National Guard.

Today, Seth is an Operations officer for the Connecticut National Guard. He has solders under his leadership stationed around the world. He also monitors current events that could use assistance from the National Guard.

He manages a budget, has served as a technical chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist to local, state and federal agencies, has coordinated more than 100 multi-agency emergency response training sessions and has coordinates emergency HAZMAT (hazardous material) response operations of a team of 22 technicians.

He has also served as a Medical Operations Officer in the Army while stationed in Afghanistan, supervising 30 health professionals in six locations throughout the country. He earned a Bronze Star during his deployment there.

Seth was a student speaker at the first Wall of Fame ceremony in 2002.

Hollace Bristol, Class of 1964

Hollace has spent a lifetime in education, earning a Master’s Degree from Tufts in 1972 and earning a doctorate in education from Northern Arizona University in 2005.

She spent 22 years as a math instructor at Northwestern Connecticut Community College from 1978 through 2001. She also was the director of the Mathematics and Science Center at NCCC for several years and the Academic Division Director.

Hollace was a senior evaluation specialist for Professional Evaluation and Assessment Consultants in Flagstaff, Arizona, serving as external evaluator on federally-funded education grants. She holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a research focus on education for sustainability.

Her doctoral work has contributed to a critical restructuring of the beliefs and assumptions that form the foundation of the Western public educational system so that teachers in training and eventually their students will develop a deep consciousness of and responsibility for a sustainable planet.

Her previous positions include Associate Superintendent of Schools for Coconino County, Arizona, professor of mathematics at the community college level (NCCC), and an adjunct faculty member at the university level teaching education, experiential education, and organizational leadership.

She has designed and facilitated numerous adventure-based leadership workshops and programs for educational, community, recreational, and social agencies. Hollace holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and a master’s degree in education from Tufts University.

2018 induction ceremony

2017 induction ceremony

2016 induction ceremony

2015 induction ceremony

2014 Wall of Fame ceremony

2013 induction ceremony

2012 Wall of Fame induction ceremony

2009 induction ceremony

Canton High Wall of Fame 2002-12

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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