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Two of Aberdeen High School’s alumni were honored and inducted into the school’s hall of fame Monday, joining the 13 other notable alumni in the elite group.

John Dubia, Class of 1961, was inducted Monday, and George “Corky” Connolly, Class of 1959, was posthumously inducted.

Mr. Connolly died of cancer in August 2008 at the age of 66. Mr. Connolly’s award was accepted on his behalf by his wife, P. Gail Connolly, and his brother, Charles Connolly.

Both inductees received proclamations from Harford County Executive David Craig, the Harford County Council and the Maryland General Assembly. The inductees also received a paperweight from the Aberdeen City Council.

“I am humbled and honored,” Dubia said. “I am proud to have attended Aberdeen High School for four years, and graduated with the great Class of 1961.”

During his time at Aberdeen, Dubia participated in many clubs, such as the Wheel Club, National Honor Society, and Math, French, Latin and Science clubs.

Following his high school career, Dubia attended Georgetown University and later entered the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1966 as a lieutenant of field artillery.

During Dubia’s 14 years of troop assignments, he commanded artillery batteries in Vietnam and Germany. He also served as commanding general of the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center and commandant of the Field Artillery School.

In addition, he has held many other distinguished posts in military and civil positions, including assistant professor of military science at the University of South Dakota.

Dubia’s military education includes the Field Artillery and Infantry Officer Advanced Courses, Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

His civilian education includes a master’s in business administration from the University of South Dakota and completion of the Advanced Management Program at Rutgers University School of Business.

Dubia has also received many decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with the third oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal with the third oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with the second oak leaf cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with the first oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Army Staff Identification Badge and the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.

In 1990, Dubia served as the executive secretary to the Secretary of Defense and received his first star while serving in that capacity. He then served as the chief of field artillery in 1994.

After four years as director of the Army Staff, Dubia retired a three star lieutenant general in August 1999.

During the past decade, Dubia has given back to the community as a member of the board of trustees of the Fisher House Foundation.

While at Aberdeen High School, Mr. Connolly was an exceptional athlete, participating in five sports in a school year.

Mr. Connolly went on to graduate from Frostburg State College and teach physical education and health in Allegany County.

He later returned to his alma mater, where he spent 32 years in various capacities including physical education and health teacher, coach of many sports and athletic director.

Mr. Connolly coached Aberdeen’s baseball team, led by Cal Ripken Jr., to a state championship in 1978. Both Cal Ripken Jr. and Cal Ripken Sr. were inducted into Aberdeen High’s hall of fame in 2006.

In 1995, Mr. Connolly was selected as the Maryland District V Athletic Director of the Year, a district that covers Harford, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties.

“George was the best athletic director we ever worked for,” Robert Magee, who served as principal of Aberdeen when Mr. Connolly was a teacher, said. “George was also dedicated to the kids of Aberdeen High School. The thing he was most proud of, besides his family, was this school.”

Mr. Connolly’s family asked Magee to speak on their behalf.

Harford County Councilman Richard Slutzky, who worked closely with Mr. Connolly for 25 years, agreed with Magee.

“He became the consummate athletic director,” Slutzky said. “He was the best athletic director I have ever heard anyone speak of.”

Mr. Connolly retired from the public school system in 1996, and during his retirement he served as the regional representative for the Circle System Group.

In February 2007, Mr. Connolly was inducted into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame, and in 2009, he was inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to athletics.

The George “Corky” Connolly Scholarship Fund is awarded at Aberdeen High each year, and assists selected students in obtaining their goal of attending college.

Other Aberdeen High School Hall of Fame members include: Cal Ripken Sr., Cal Ripken Jr., Michael Griffin, Irvin Pankey and E. J. Henderson in 2006; Charlotte Cronin, A. Dwight Pettit and M.G. Mitchell Stevenson in 2007; and Ralph Baker, Violet “Vi” Ripken and Steven Wise in 2008; and Brian Simmons and Amy Wood in 2009.


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