Alumni Hall of Fame

Hilton Central School District welcomed five graduates into the Alumni Hall of Fame on Oct. 6, 2022.
They are: Lisa Snape Avery '81; Dr. Maureen Short Biggers '70; Dr. Connie Lee Cushing Lerea '73 (in memoriam); Loraleigh Roller '99; and Maureen (Graybill) Werner, Esq. '83.

The inductees were introduced at the High School Homecoming Pep Rally, were inducted in a ceremony in the High School Auditorium, enjoyed a reception with family and friends, rode on a float in the Homecoming Parade and were introduced at the varsity football game. A plaque for each inductee is on display in the High School Auditorium.

Hall of Fame Ceremony

Lisa Snape Avery

Lisa Snape Avery

Class of 1981

Lisa Snape Avery’s career in classical ballet began in Upstate New York at the Botsford School of Dance and the Burhyte School of Ballet. She trained with the New York City Ballet after receiving a scholarship to the New York State Summer School of the Arts.

Ms. Avery’s professional training led to opportunities throughout the country. However, early in her career, a serious injury sidelined her performing career. This monumental event pivoted her focus to developing her teaching and choreographic career, which led to various positions with prominent schools throughout the U.S.

In 1995, Ms. Avery founded Avery Ballet, where she specializes in training and developing dancers in the art of classical ballet, and setting traditional and original choreography on the Avery Ballet Company. Dancers are expected to maintain high standards in school, as well as within the community. Students are made aware how fortunate they are to afford dance training, and those who are not as fortunate should be given the same opportunity. Therefore, proceeds from Avery Ballet’s performances contribute to scholarships that provide dance education to the children of the Head Start Program, as well as many charitable organizations.

Ms. Avery’s passion for training the dancer to reach their full potential is shown by the success in her alumni. Dancers who have graduated from Avery Ballet are engaged in programs of higher education, enrolled in professional ballet schools, and have danced in professional companies throughout the world. Ms. Avery plans to continue to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of young dancers.

Dr. Maureen Short Biggers

Dr. Maureen Short Biggers

Class of 1970

Dr. Maureen Biggers, co-founder and executive director, champions the meaningful engagement of women with technology to empower their career success. While serving as assistant dean for Diversity in Computing at Georgia Tech and Indiana University, and as a champion in the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Pacesetter program, she has led successful efforts to significantly increase the number of women studying computing in response to a national corporate call.

Dr. Biggers has served as co-chair and is a current Advisory Board member for the NCWIT Academic Alliance, currently serves as co-chair of the Indiana Expanding Computing Education Pathways (ECEP) team, is co-PI on the national Leadership Team for the NSF ECEP 2.0 Alliance and is a broadening participation consultant for the national NSF ICICLE Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Cyberinfrastructure. In 2021, Dr. Biggers was awarded Indiana University’s Bicentennial Medal, in recognition of her distinguished contributions and service.

Dr. Connie Lee Cushing Lerea

Dr. Connie Lee Cushing Lerea

Class of 1973

Dr. Connie Lee Cushing Lerea loved her roots, growing up in Hilton with her parents Betty and John Cushing, sister Cathy, and brother John. Living in Parma, she was proud of her community and enjoyed spending as much time as possible back at home.

In 1985, Dr. Lerea earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Rochester. She spent the next four years as a post-doctoral fellow and research associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1989, Dr. Lerea established her own laboratory at New York Medical College where she was a professor of cell biology and anatomy. She was awarded a five-year grant from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institute of Health (NIH). Her studies where recognized to help characterize the molecular basis of certain genetic vision disorders.

The Connie Lee Lerea Travel Grant is awarded yearly to a young researcher at the annual Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. This memorial grant was formed to assure that enthusiastic investigators have the opportunity to discuss their research with leaders in their fields and receive the same mentorship and encouragement that Dr. Lerea received as a trainee. Her mentorship and contributions to science, research and life touched the entire global community and will never be forgotten.

Dr. Lerea was (and continues to be) an inspiration to everyone she encountered and was always there to help. All who knew her would see her upbeat, loving and caring personality. Wherever the journey took Connie, she embraced every moment. Her smile, laugh and zest for life were contagious.

Loraleigh Roller

Loraleigh Roller

Class of 1999

Loraleigh (Lora - Lee) Roller graduated Hilton High School in 1999. During her high school career, she was a member of the National Honor Society and played field hockey, volleyball and softball. With the support and encouragement of her family, Ms. Roller earned an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 2003. She earned her commission as an officer in the Coast Guard, serving on the Coast Guard Cutter TAHOMA as a deck watch officer. Her other units include Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, TX; Sector Field Office Grand Haven, MI; District 9 Incident Management Team in Cleveland, OH; Sector Northern New England Contingency Planning Staff, Portland, ME; and several tours at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC.

Ms. Roller transitioned to the Coast Guard Reserve and is currently the Operations Officer for the United States Navy Maritime Expeditionary Security Group 2 out of Norfolk, VA. She is a federal employee with the Coast Guard working as a program analyst in the Coast Guard Office of Law Enforcement Policy where she manages the counterdrug and migrant interdiction portfolios.

In her free time, Ms. Roller enjoys competing in The Tactical Games, The Patriot Games, backcountry backpacking, and spending time with her dogs. She has an 18-year-old daughter, 21-year-old son and daughter-in-law, and three-year old granddaughter, all of whom she is extremely proud.

Maureen (Graybill) Werner, Esq

Maureen (Graybill) Werner, Esq

Class of 1983

Maureen L. (Graybill) Werner, Esq. is a partner at the law firm of Schum & Werner, PLLC and has offices in Spencerport and Hilton. She received an AOS degree from SUNY Cobleskill in professional chef, a BS degree from SUNY Brockport in Political Science/Pre- Law and her Juris Doctor from the University of Buffalo Law School.

Ms. Werner’s path to her current position was not conventional, having practiced as a paralegal for 20 years prior to returning to law school at the age of 46. Werner focused on raising her son, Mikhail, before taking on the task of working full time and attending law school full time.

Upon admittance in the NYS bar, Ms. Werner worked for a small eastside firm before joining her current firm, where she was promoted to partner after three years and is currently the town attorney for both the Town of Hamlin and the Town of Parma. Ms. Werner has volunteered her time as a member of several boards of directors for non-for-profit corporations and is an active member in the Hilton Parma Hamlin Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Werner resides in her childhood home with her husband of 27 years, Michael.

History of HHS Alumni Hall of Fame:  The first Hilton High School Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee was convened in 1999. The Hilton High School Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee performs a review of each nominee's educational achievement; job-related achievements; honors and awards; community involvement; personal accomplishments; and/or any other appropriate qualifications that merit consideration.

Special thanks to the Alumni Hall of Fame Selection Committee; Planning Committee; Hilton Alumni Association, Hilton Education Foundation; Buildings & Grounds, Technology and Food Service Departments; and senior Luke Pisani.

Past Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees