Joseph Galiardi

Connellsville High School – 1953

Joe won the WPIAL tennis singles title in 1953, and to this day, is the only player, boy or girl, to have achieved that feat. He led CHS’s team to the WPIAL team championship in 1953. He played collegiately at Miami (Fla) and Penn State. He lettered in high school basketball for three seasons, earning All-Section honors. Joe played a key role in launching Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD). He was recognized by the City and County of San Francisco at City Hall in 1983 for his vital role in establishing MADD. His book, “Hooked on Autographs”, now in its 4th revision, has drawn rave reviews from the late great Arnold Palmer and golf legend Jack Nicklaus, among others. The net book proceeds from his hobby memoir are donated to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Bay Area & Western Chapter. Joe serves on the PVA’s Golf Advisory Board and chairs their annual fundraiser golf tournaments to benefit the paralyzed veterans. Joe is listed in the 2017 Guinness Book of World Records (page 92) for having the world’s largest authenticated autographed golf ball collection (426). Latrobe’s Arnold Palmer signed his first golf ball in 1989.
Joe served two years of active duty in the United States Army. He was honorably discharged in 1959 with the rank of Specialist 5. Joe is a member of the Penn State Varsity Club and the Saratoga Country Club. He and his wife, Judy, have two children and three grandchildren. He lives Cupertino, California.


David L. Geary, M.S.J, Ph.D.

Connellsville High School – 1965

Senior military officer, senior federal government official, corporate executive, university dean and professor, historian, author. More than 50 years of public service. Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Forces Korea, U.S. Department of Energy. Director of Communications, Lockheed Martin Corporation. Faculty, U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of Alabama. Board of Directors, University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College, and three charitable foundations.
Adjunct Faculty, universities of West Virginia, Georgia State, New Mexico, and Victoria (Canada). Guest Lecturer, universities of Maine, Maryland, Southern California, Colorado, Florida State and Georgia. Author and advisor for professional journals. Wrote the history of Connellsville newspapers and numerous articles on Connellsville history. Outstanding Advisor, University of Alabama. Advised two student organizations who earned more leadership awards than 152 other universities combined for three consecutive years, awarded the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation and decorated by the U.S. government. For the Energy Department, authored its first communication plan, founded its Public Affairs University, created a national crisis communications center, and oversaw what became the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Communication degrees from the former Otterbein College, West Virginia University, Ph.D. with honors in Costa Rica, and professional diplomas form the U.S. National Defense University, U.S. Air Force Command and Staff College, and the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. In high school, was in chorus, president of the Organ Club, head basketball manager, treasurer of the Lettermen’s Club, and member of the Senior Council and the National Honor Society.


Judy Wrote Keller

Connellsville High School – 1965

1965 graduate of Connellsville High School – Senior Class Treasurer, National Honor Society, Future Teachers of America, Leaders’ Club, page editor of the school newspaper, Office Aide, and the “Coker” Concert and “Marching 100” Band directed by Mr. John Sloan. 1969 graduate of California State College with a degree in Secondary Education. Member of Kappa Delta Pi National Education Honorary and president of the Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority. She served for 30 years in the Connellsville Area School District, teaching Civics, World Cultures, US History and Psychology. Faculty advisor for the CAHS cheerleaders, the Pep Club, Prom Advisory Board, Yearbook Advisor and Publicity Director, Props Crew Director, and Theatre Manager for CAHS Musicals directed by of Merle Stutzman.
Judy served for 16 years as an elected Connellsville City Official in three different offices – City Controller, City Council, and City Treasurer. Former member of the Carnegie Free Library Board of Directors. Vice President of the Connellsville Bi-Centennial Committee and chairperson of the Parade Committee for that celebration in 2006. Member of the St. John the Evangelist Church Finance Council and the Connellsville Historical Society. Author in 2019 of RESPECT – HONOR – REMEMBER – Connellsville Area Veterans Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice in World War II which is now part of the National WW II Museum Library, New Orleans. The second written memorial project completed in 2022 is DEVOTION TO DUTY – Connellsville Area Veterans Who Made the Supreme Sacrifice in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East Conflicts. Chairperson of the Connellsville Area Veterans Memorial Honor Roll Committee that spearheaded the project to refurbish the existing Connellsville War Memorial (1958), and to memorialize on a new granite honor roll the names of over 250 area men who gave their lives in time of war so others might live in freedom.


Krista L. Kinneer

Connellsville Area High School – 1993

Krista is a research scientist with a career focused on basic cell biology research and development of antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. As a scientist at the CDC National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (2000-2004), her research focused on liver function and the signaling pathways underlying dioxin toxicity, for which she and her team received the NIOSH Alice Hamilton Award. She then joined the biotech start-up company Medlmmune to design and discover antibody therapies in their preclinical cancer research program. From 2004-2022, her work was focused on the development of antibody-drug conjugates, a type of drug designed to selectively deliver toxic chemotherapeutic agents directly to tumor cells. Over the course of her career, Krista has initiated and led several programs that advanced to human clinical trials and have shown promising activity in patients for which standard therapies have failed. She was appointed Director, Tumor Targeted Delivery, Oncology R&D at AstraZeneca in 2020, and Director, Oncology Translational Medicine at AstraZeneca in 2022. She has authored more than 20 scientific research articles, is a co-inventor on multiple patents and has delivered several invited lectures at national and international scientific conferences. She is also a passionate advocate and mentor of junior scientists and students, especially women and under-represented minorities, who are interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.


Dr. Georj L. Lewis

Connellsville Area High School – 1989

Dr. Georj L Lewis earned a BS in Business/ Accounting, an MA in Counseling/Student Personnel, both from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Georgia Southern University. Professionally, Dr. Lewis is in his 28’h year in higher education and currently serves as the 4th President of Atlanta Metropolitan State College. His career has been, and continues to be a journey to transform the lives of students. Among Dr. Lewis’ distinguished service, recognition, and awards, some of the most notable are: Recognition as a 2021 Pillar of Profession, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Induction into the Edinboro University Football Hall of Fame in 2006, Recipient of the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award, and Named Scholarship at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Lewis has been inspired to strive for excellence through his relationship with God, his loving family, colleagues, coaches, and friends. Dr. Lewis’ actions are guided by Luke 12 :48 – “To whom much is given, much is required” and Proverbs 6:3 – “Acknowledge Him in all things and He will direct your path.”


Dr. Richard Eugene Shearer

Connellsville High School – 1937

Dr. Richard Eugene Shearer often stated this guiding principle of his life: “In essence, education is essential. It can give power, skills and understanding; but it takes religion to give direction, values and full meaning to that power.” Dr. Shearer was born in 1919 In Connellsville, Pa., the son of H.D. and Florence (Prinkey) Shearer. During high school he met and graduated with his future wife, Ruth E. Mansberger (Shearer) a partner in his lifelong work. They were the proud parents of three children. Dr. Shearer graduated from Eastern Baptist College and Seminary A.B. 1941, Th. BD. 1943; New Brunswick Theological Seminary, B.D. 1945; Columbia University, M.A. 1950, D.D. 1953, Ed.D. 1959. In 1951, while pastoring several churches in New Jersey, Dr. Shearer became “Dr. Music” on a weekly radio program sponsored by the church. At the age of 30, Dr. Shearer was elected President of Alderson Broaddus College, making him the youngest college president in the United States at that time. Under his leadership, enrollment increased dramatically, the campus grew from three buildings to fourteen, the first baccalaureate Physician’s Assistant program in the country was established, and many other new academic, off campus and overseas study programs, and athletic programs were created. Dr. Shearer became an avid aviator during his presidency in order to literally “cover more ground” and stay connected to A.B. alumni and friends of the College, as well as to raise funds for the College. The activity caught the attention of the Pittsburgh Press which published a feature article entitled, “Prexy On The Fly”. Dr. Shearer served as President of Alderson Broaddus College for 33 years until his retirement in 1983. Dr. Shearer was an energetic, creative and dedicated leader whether preaching the Word from the pulpit, singing solos for all occasions, or leading a college community dedicated to Christian higher education. He not only stated his philosophy, he lived it, and it gave meaning to his life and countless others. Connellsville was where his values were shaped and instilled in him for the purpose and calling of God for his life.