The following people have already been inducted in to the Coral Gables Senior High School Hall of Fame:
Barrow, Henry. A staple on the South Florida airwaves since the early 1960’s, Barrow became an integral part of the Dolphins broadcasts for the better part of three decades. He was there for all five of Miami’s Super Bowl visits and gained the trust of one of the most secretive coaches in NFL history, Don Shula. He pioneered the position that is now the standard in any radio or television sports broadcast. Barrow was the first to stand on the sidelines while on the air, reporting on things that had never before been a part of a football broadcast.
Calderon, Lissette (Class of 1992) – Calderon is the founder of Neology Life, a visionary development company with trendsetting projects along and near the Miami River. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, Calderon has made extraordinary contributions to the community as a board member of Amigos for Kids and the Sundari Foundation, Inc. At Gables High, some of her many accomplishments included: Senior Class President, Senior of Distinction, Silver Knight Honorable Mention, and Outstanding Senior of Distinction.
Carlson, Art (Class of 1967)– Calson is a Gables graduate who became a Writer & Video Producer at Florida Municipal Electric Association. He was the owner of Voice Beyond. Throughout his career, Calson won seven EMMY awards for his work as a reporter and video producer.
Cepero, Eloy “Bill” (Class of 1964)- Cepero left Cuba with his two brothers through the Methodist Church as part of “Operation Pedro Pan” and settled in Miami. After attending Coral Gables High School, Cepero served in the United States military. He later attended college to become a commercial/ mortgage banker as well as a host of radio and television shows.
Clark, Maxine – Maxine is the founder of Build-a-Bear Workshop, a teddy-bear-themed retail entertainment experience. The chain has done extremely well; In 2008, she was named one of The 25 Most Influential People in Retailing by Chain Store Age. In 2005, Build-a-Bear Workshop Portfolio was named Company of the year by the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies. In 2017, Build-a-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For list for the ninth year in a row. In 2017, Maxine was named to the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was named one of the Women of the Year by the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation. She serves on many boards including Footlocker and Gymboree. In 2006, she published her first book, “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a company with Heart.”
Colson, Bill (Class of 1970) – Colson’s career led him to become the Managing Editor (1996-2002) of Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated magazine. After 24 years in this position, he stepped down in 2002. Under his leadership, SI produced insightful and widely acclaimed sports journalism, including a detailed look at domestic violence by athletes, a cover story on the diminishing number of white athletes and an expose on Internet gambling.
Colson, Dean (Class of 1971) – After graduating from Gables, Colson studied law at Princeton. Mr. Colson is a past President of the Dade County Bar Association and a past member of The Florida Bar Board of Governors. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
Colzie, Cornelius “Neil” (Class of 1971)- Colzie was an American football defensive back for the Oakland Raiders (1975–1978), Miami Dolphins (1979), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1980–1983). He also played for the Orlando Renegades of the USFL in 1985.
Decker, Gail Edwards (Class of 1966) – Decker was a retired American actress best known for her roles as Dot Higgins in ABC’s It’s a Living, Sharon Lemure in NBC’s Blossom, and Vicky Larson in ABC’s Full House. In 1970, after graduating from the University of Miami, Cum Laude, Edwards wrote, produced, and starred in the off-Broadway musical Becoming. It won the Miami Herald Critics’ Choice award three times before the musical debuted in New York. While in New York, Edwards signed with the LeMond/Zetter Management Group. Soon afterward, she landed the role of “Sandy” opposite Peter Gallagher in Broadway’s East Coast tour of Grease.
Del Greco, Albert Louis “Al” (Class of 1980) – Del Greco was a gables grad who immersed himself in the world of sports. He was an American football placekicker for the Tennessee Titans, before becoming a sports radio personality and high school coach in Birmingham, Alabama. He is ranked #14 on the NFL’s list of all-time leading scorers.
Edwards, Gail (Class of 1968 or 69) – Edwards was an actress in plays, TV commercials, modeling and films. She is known for her roles as Dot Higgins in ABC’s “It’s a Living,” Sharon LeMeure in NBC’s “Blossom,” and Vicky Larson in ABC’s “Full House.”
Fox, Roberta (Class of 1961): This Gables alumnus became a member of the Florida Legislature ,where she successfully litigated landmark cases in employment, personal injury and family. She became a certified Mediator and Arbitrator in 2004. She is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including the 1973 One of Ten Outstanding Young Women of America Award; the 1986 Florida Women Lawyers Association’s Judge Mattie Belle Davis Award for service; and the 1996 Women of Impact Award. She was also a leader in the women’s movement.
Grossman, Stuart (Class of 1964) – Stuart is recognized as one of America’s pre-eminent trial lawyers. He is co-founder of the Grossman, Roth, Yaffa, Cohen law firm in Coral Gables, and has been recognized by numerous groups for his unparalleled legal advocacy. He has made a lasting impact through his generous support of many civic and charitable causes, including as Chairman of Margaux’s Miracle, which funds pediatric cancer research. Stuart was a member of the Gables High basketball team and debate team and holds both undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Miami.
Kerdyk, Tracy (Class of 1984):Kergyk was born March 5, 1966. After attending Coral Gables Senior High School, his passion for golf led him to become an American professional golfer who played on the LPGA Tour.
Kotys, Nick: (April 3, 1913 – July 28, 2005) Kotys was an American football coach at Coral Gables High School where he built one of the most dominating programs in Florida state history. The team won FHSAA state titles in 1963, 1964, 1967 and 1968, and two mythical state championships before the playoff system was begun. Kotys also won four mythical national titles in 1956, 1964, 1967 and 1968. He retired in 1971 after 20 seasons as head coach of the Cavaliers with a 160-33-9 record.
Labbie, Dr. Andrew (Class of 1976) – Labbie is the owner of a private company here in South Florida, holding some of the best surgeons, with revenues of up to a million dollars annually. In addition, he is the Chief of the Department of Surgery at Miami Children’s Hospital where he specializes in Urology.
Ledue, William “Bill” – Ledue was a beloved Band Director of CGHS’s “Band of Distinction.” He led generations of students in the pursuit of musical excellence on the field and in the concert hall. More importantly, he instilled in them honorable characteristics that could be applied across a lifetime: Discipline, commitment, preparation, cooperation, camaraderie, grace in victory and defeat, and all the while keeping a sense of humor and having fun. His bands traveled the world. They marched in national parades including the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. Bill received many honors, including ASCAP “Music in Sports award for his work on the Orange Bowl Halftime shows. He was inducted into the Miami-Dade County Music Educators, Florida Music Educators, Coral Gables High School, and Florida Bandmaster Association Halls of Fame. Bill was born in Whitinsville, Mass. He also served in the Coast Guard Combat Unit in World War II. He passed away on September 2, 2011 at the age of 89.
Lenoir, Benjamin William “Bill” (Class of 1957) (March 14, 1939-August 26, 2010). Lenoir was an electrical engineer and a NASA astronaut. He was backup science pilot for Skylab 3 and Skylab 4, the second and third manned missions in the Skylab program. During Skylab 4, he was co-leader of the visual observations project and coordinator between the flight crew and the principal investigators for the solar science experiments. Lenoir flew as a Mission Specialist on STS-5 (November 11-16, 1982), the first Space Shuttle flight to deploy commercial Satellites and logged over 122 hours in space.
Lowell, Mike (Class of 1992)- Lowell is a former Major League Baseball third baseman. During a 13-year career, Lowell played for the New York Yankees (1998), Florida Marlins (1999–2005), and the Boston Red Sox (2006–2010).
Martin, Dr. Randolph (Class of 1961): The Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI) was pleased to welcome Randy Martin, M.D., who is a well-known television health expert and cardiovascular specialist, to its family of physicians. Dr. Martin joined PHI as director of clinical education and physician development, effective September 14, 2009.
Mayer, Bob (Class of 1965) – Mayer was a television journalist for more than four decades and anchor of the Today in South Florida morning news program on NBC6 for 40 years. After a long and successful career, he is now retired.
Mercado-Valdes, Frank (Class of 1980) – This Gables graduate founded a black television syndication, the African Heritage Network, a television sales, distribution, and marketing company. He was alone and intimidated by the white students who harassed him on a daily basis, and he gave up trying to compete academically. However, he did become very good with his fists, and by the ninth grade, his fighting skills were so good that he considered a boxing career. Although he did not go on to make a career in boxing, he earned several Florida Golden Glove championships when he was in high school. His grades continued to suffer, and when he finished high school in 1980, he was at the bottom of the graduating class. Mercado-Valdes joined the military, the U.S. Marine Corp, and served a two-year stint. When he was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1982, he enrolled at Miami-Dade Junior College and graduated with an Associate in Arts degree. He subsequently matriculated at the University of Miami, receiving a degree in political science from that institution. While at the University of Miami, Mercado-Valdes began toying with an entrepreneurial idea that would change his life in ways he had never dreamed.1980 – Founded a black television syndication, the African Heritage Network, a television sales, distribution, and marketing company. He was alone and intimidated by the white students who harassed him on a daily basis, and he gave up trying to compete academically. However, he did become very good with his fists, and by the ninth grade, his fighting skills were so good that he considered a boxing career. Although he did not go on to make a career in boxing, he earned several Florida Golden Glove championships when he was in high school. His grades continued to suffer, and when he finished high school in 1980, he was at the bottom of the graduating class. Mercado-Valdes joined the military, the U.S. Marine Corp, and served a two-year stint. When he was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1982, he enrolled at Miami-Dade Junior College and graduated with an Associate in Arts degree. He subsequently matriculated at the University of Miami, receiving a degree in political science from that institution. While at the University of Miami, Mercado-Valdes began toying with an entrepreneurial idea that would change his life in ways he had never dreamed.
Moore Jr., Ralph: For 16 years (1977-1993), Ralph Moore was principal of Coral Gables High School. Upon his retirement from Coral Gables Senior high, the Coral Gables Community Foundation launched an annual scholarship in his name: the Ralph V. Moore Scholarship for Cavalier excellence, which is awarded to a Gables student with at least a 3.0 GPA who demonstrated “exemplary service” to the school and/or community. Moore is also the namesake of a building on the Gables Campus, the Ralph Moore Building (Building 9) built in the 1990s that currently hosts most classes in the school’s International Baccalaureate program.
Olkes, Alan T -Olkes had a long and distinguished career in education that spans more than 50 years. He was a principal at Coral Gables Senior High and was in charge of the music program. In addition to teaching and serving as a principal at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, he held a variety of senior-level positions in the curriculum, technology, and human resources departments of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Alan co-founded Chancellor Academies in 1999. He served in a senior-level capacity with Chancellor Beacon Academies and continues to do so with Imagine Schools as Executive Vice President over Texas.
Ortega, Ralph (Class of 1971) – Ortega is a former American college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for six seasons in the 1970s and early 1980s. Ortega played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins of the NFL.
Pilafian, Sam (Class of 1967)- Pilafin had a unique talent for music that led him to become an American tuba player. He was active in the jazz scene, having played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, among other notable artists. Pilaphan performed with Leonard Bernstein at the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. as well as in the NY Philharmonic, NY Opera Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops Orchestra. He was once considered to be the best premier tuba player in the world.
Rath, Harry (Principal) DECEASED
Reno, Janet (Class of 1956)- Reno was the former Attorney General of the United States (1993–2001). She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on February 11, 1993, and confirmed on March 11. She was the first female Attorney General and the second longest-serving Attorney General after William Wirt. At gables, Reno was captain of the debate team.
Rodrigues, Beverly Conuts (Class of 1971)- Rodrigues was one of the first Black graduates of Coral Gables Senior High. After high school, she became a News Anchor and the director of Black Models Network.
Sadowski, William (Class of 1962)- Sadowski was the Managing Director and Head of Municipal Underwriting Syndicate Desk at Loop Capital, where he was responsible for Loop Capital’s Municipal Underwriting Syndicate Desk. With over 25 years of experience in the municipal market, Sadowski brings the firm and its clients extensive expertise including analytical and technical support, pricing, refunding analysis and debt structuring. Prior to joining Loop Capital, he spent over two decades at PaineWebber as Manager of their Municipal Underwriting Department. He has also held senior positions at Cowen and Reinoso & Co. and John Nuveen and Company, where he was Manager of the Bond Department.
Scott, Winston E. (Class of 1968)- Scott worked as an astronaut who launched Endeavour (January 11-20, 1996), a 9-day flight during which the crew retrieved the Space Flyer Unit satellite (launched from Japan 10-months earlier), deployed and retrieved the OAST-Flyer satellite, and conducted two spacewalks. He was also part of the Navy for many years and served as a Captain. He became the executive director of the Florida Space Authority and in September 2006 he became Vice President and Deputy General Manager of the engineering and science contract group for Jacobs Engineering in Houston, Texas.
Sekoff, Roy (Class of 1977) – After graduating from the University of Miami, Roy became the founding Editor of the Huffington Post and President and co-creator of HuffPost Live. His book of humorous essays, “Lacks Self-Control,” has won multiple writing and publishing awards, and he was a writer and on-air correspondent for Michael Moore’s Emmy-winning “TV Nation.” At Gables High, he was President of Thespians Drama Club, a Senior of Distinction, a Silver Knight nominee, and played leading roles in Barefoot in the Park and Pinocchio.
Silva, Veronica (Assistant Principal?)
Silver, Jeffrey (Class of 1973) – Silver has produced over 30 feature films through his production company Biscayne Pictures. He is currently working on a remake of “The Little Mermaid” (Disney) directed by Rob Marshall. His most recent release was the photo-real re-imaging of “The Lion King” (Disney). Other recent releases include the epic fairy-tale “Beauty and the Beast (Disney). He also produced the sci-fi actioner, “Edge of Tomorrow” (Warners), and “Tron: Legacy.” (Disney), “Training Day,” (Warners) and the “Santa Clause.” (Disney). He won an Emmy as producer of the hit television series, “The Wonder Years.”
Simpson, Jim, – Simpson is a Former Gables High Head Coach JV Football Coach and Assistant Coach Varsity. Coach Simpson is the beloved former Gables High Activities Director from 1962-1995, and inspired both athletes and other student leaders alike through his devotion to what Gables High stands for: great academics, leadership, and sportsmanship.
Stokes, Roberta Boyce (Class of 1957)- On the Orange Bowl committee and was an Honoree for the ITCOX Pioneer Award in 1992.
Sutton, Rear Admiral Robert “Bobby” (Class of 1959)- Sutton served as a Surface Warfare Officer for 34 years, serving on seven ships and commanding two of them. He was a commander in the US Navy and served in the Persian Gulf.
Tinker, Gerald (Class of 1969) – Tinker is a former American athlete and American football player, winner of gold medal in the 4 x 100 meters relay at the 1972 Summer Olympics. After the Olympics, Tinker was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2nd round (44th overall) of the 1974 NFL Draft as wide receiver. He played for the Falcons (1974–1975) and the Green Bay Packers (1975).
Ventulett II, Thomas (Class of 1953)- Thomson gained recognition as one of the founding principals of Thompson, Ventulett Stainback & Associates, Inc., Tom Ventulett is Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors. Since the firm’s inception in 1968, TVS has been honored with over 200 design awards including a National AIA Honor Award for McCormick Place in Chicago and Honor Award – Urban Design for the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Wilson, Kathie P. (Kathe)- Wilson gave back to her alma mater by becoming a teacher at Gables High for 19 years. She was the founder of the National German Honor Society and earned the Cross of Merit from West Germany in 1976. She was also responsible for the retirement law change mandate for retirement at age 70.
Winston, George (Class of 1967)- Winston was an American musician and pianist, first recorded by John Fahey for Fahey’s Takoma Records. Winston’s 2002 album Night Divides the Day – The Music of the Doors took the music of the 1960s band The Doors and transformed it into solo pianos.
Wolin, John (Class of 1965) – After graduating from Coral Gables Senior High, Wolin entered the workforce as a reporter at the Miami Herald. He remained with the paper for 21 years and gained an editorial position. After he retired, a scholarship was created in his memory for aspiring journalists.
Woodward, William “Woody” (Class of 1960)- Woodward was born on September 23, 1942, in Miami, Florida. He is a retired player and general manager in Major League Baseball. Woodward played college baseball for the Florida State University Seminoles. He played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (1963–1968) and the Cincinnati Reds (1968–1971). A shortstop and second baseman, Woodward appeared in 880 games played, garnering 517 hits. He hit for a .236 batting average with one home run and 148 runs batted in.
Yacoub, Ron (Class of 1992) -Yacoub is the Founder of Pinecrest Physical Therapy, and his passion to help his patients return to an active lifestyle spurred him to expand the company to locations throughout South Florida and now in the Dominican Republic. Ron regularly and generously supports Gables High and Gables High athletes. Ron obtained his Masters in Physical Therapy and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Miami. He was a Gables High Senior of Distinction and student athlete on the JV and Varsity football teams.
Zweig, Martin E. (Class of 1960)- Zweig was born 1942 in Cleveland, Ohio and became an American stock investor, investment advisor, and financial analyst. He is, according to Forbes Magazine, renowned for his “eccentric and lavish lifestyle” as well as having the most expensive residence in the United States. It was listed on the New York City real estate market a few years ago for $70 million. His particular investing methodology is based on selecting growth stocks that also have certain value characteristics, through a system that uses both fundamental analysis and market timing. He predicted the stock market crash the Friday before the 1987 crash.
Zwilch, Ellen Taaffe (Class of 1956) – Zwilch was an American composer who became the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Among her recognitions are the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Chamber Music Prize, the Arturo Toscanini Music Critics Award, the Ernst von Dohnányi Citation, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 4 Grammy nominations, the Alfred I. Dupont Award, Miami Performing Arts Center Award, the Medaglia d’oro in the J.B. Viotti Competition, and the NPR and WNYC Gotham Award for her contributions to the musical life of New York City. Zwilich has also been elected to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
(Last Updated: March 2021)