Seven distinguished individuals were inducted as the second class of the CAS-CIAC Hall of Honor this evening. The seven honorees, Mrs. Katharine “Kit” Bishop, Mr. Robert “Jiggs” Cecchini, Mr. Al Cramer, Mr. Ray Faustich, Mr. Tom Monahan, Mr. Charlie Sharos, and Mr. Ivan Wood were selected for their exceptional service to the Connecticut Association of Schools – Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Biographies for the inductees as well as the tribute videos shown at the event are available in the “Bios/Videos” tab.
The CAS-CIAC Hall of Honor was established to honor individuals who have made significant long-term contributions to CAS-CIAC in one of seven categories: educational leadership, athletic leadership, friend of education, contribution to education, contribution to athletics, service to education, or service to athletics.
When Kit became principal of Daisy Ingraham School in 1987, it was the only elementary school in Westbrook. She quickly became involved in The Elementary and Middle School Principals’ Association of CT (EMSPAC) to network with other principals. She served on the board of directors as regional director, vice president, president, and CT State Rep for the NAESP. In 1999, she was an integral participant in the smooth merger of EMSPAC and CAS. She was immediately appointed to the CAS Board of Directors, she continued as NAESP State Representative for six years helping to strengthen CAS’s relationship with NAESP.
Kit was an active member of CAS for the next fifteen years serving on the Elementary and CAS Board of Directors, the CAS Executive Board, the Elementary Program Committee, Elementary By-laws Committee, and Early Childhood Committee. In 2010, she was appointed president of CAS the same year that Executive Director Dr. Karissa Niehoff took over the reins from Michael Savage, who had mentored Kit in her involvement in CAS.
While she was at Daisy Ingraham, the school received the Blue Ribbon School designation in 1999. Under her leadership, the school implemented a special needs pre-K program, multi-age classrooms, extended day kindergarten, Spanish language program, and collaborated with neighboring towns with some initiatives. Kit was a strong proponent of the China Program and began a partner school relationship that still has exchanges of teachers and students.
At Suffield, Jiggs taught physical education and health at all grade levels and was appointed as director of the physical education department in 1967. Two years later, he became the director of athletics; in 1971, he was named the assistant principal of Suffield High School; and, in 1987, he became the principal of the high school, a position he held until his retirement in 1991.
Jiggs’ coaching career is extensive. He coached football and basketball in Brewer Maine for five years and then he became the varsity football coach at The American School for the Deaf for five years. He coached boys and girls basketball and baseball for a total of 14 years at Suffield High School. Jiggs served as the co-coach of the golf team from 1993-98.
Jiggs is past treasurer of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and served as its president in 1979. Among his community activities, Jiggs has been a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Board of Selectmen, the Planning and Zoning Board, and has been chairman of the Juvenile Review Board of the town of East Granby. His history of service at CIAC includes membership on the officials committee and past tournament director for both soccer and golf. He’s a consultant to the CIAC Board of Control. He’s also the current tournament director of the CIAC boys basketball committee a job he’s handled since 1996. Jiggs has been a strong supporter of women’s sports throughout the years. Since 1978, he has been a valued member of the CIAC Girls Basketball Committee where his knowledge and counsel have been reflected in the advancement of girls basketball throughout Connecticut and New England, and on the national level, he has been a member of the National Federation of State High School Associations National Basketball Rules Committee.
Jiggs was inducted into the Connecticut Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988. He has been honored for distinguished service by the Connecticut Association of Schools, the Suffield Board of Education, the Suffield Rotary Club, the Suffield Booster Club and the North Central Connecticut Conference.
Jiggs and his wife of 44 years, Beverly, are the proud parents of two daughters, Mari-Jo and Angela Gail.
Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President of CAS. He was a draftee in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was awarded a Letter of Commendation by the Board of Directors in 1984. He had already received the CAS Citation, its highest honor in 1978. The 72nd CIAC Boys Basketball Tournament and the 47th CIAC Ice Hockey Tournament were dedicated to him in 1994 and 2007.
Upon his appointment to the central office staff in 1984, he quickly became expert in all matters relating to CIAC with full responsibility for twenty-three sport committees and four conference standing committees. In addition he became versed in computer lore and served as resident computer instructor.
His work in increasing student athletic participation and making sports safer is his lasting legacy. He alone developed and gained approval for the cooperative team concept. This has significantly increased the number of student-athletes participating, especially in football and ice hockey. Other sports have gained as well. For ten years he worked hand in hand with fifteen medical doctors on the Connecticut Sports Medicine Committee. Their joint effort resulted in requiring safer athletic equipment and facilities. He was instrumental in having the National Federation adopt a no blocking below the waist rule in the open field. This has saved many, many knees.
The CAS-CIAC central office colleagues said, “He conducted his office with courage and integrity, with objectivity and a single standard of fairness which reflected the highest possible credit on the CIAC, the Association and upon him personally. He gave the work everything it demanded and more and where it would have been extremely easy to make enemies, he made friends while still upholding the best standards and the mission of CIAC. The Connecticut High School Coaches Association upon giving him its highest award said, “He was strict on the rules, but helped all involved to make the necessary transitions.”
He credits two universities with preparing him for life, the State University of New York at Cortland and Columbia University, located in New York City. He met his wonderful wife “Coke” at Cortland and they were married in 1953. They have one son Dr. Jeffrey Cramer and two bright and athletic grandsons Matthew and Andrew. He has said repeatedly “working at CAS-CIAC will always be his most treasured experience.”
Ray serves as the Ct state board and CIAC baseball rules interpreter, a position he has held for thirty-five years. He was also the New England baseball rules interpreter for the NCAA and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. A leader in his field, he served as the president of several officials’ organizations, including the Fairfield County Chapter of Approved Baseball Umpires, the Connecticut State Board of Approved Baseball Umpires, the College Baseball Umpires Association and the Connecticut Association of Interscholastic Officials. On the national level, Ray served a four year term as a member of the National Federation of High Schools Baseball Rules Committee, and, in recognition of his vast rules knowledge, the NFHS re-appointed him to chair the rules committee for another full term. He also served as a member of the NFHS National Officials Education Planning Committee and was a national conference moderator, clinician & contributor, giving clinics to the New Mexico Athletic Officials Association and to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League coaches and umpires.
Ray is currently a member of the CIAC Officials Advisory Board and he represents the state umpires on the CIAC Baseball Committee. He has given numerous presentations to CT baseball officials and has conducted countless baseball rules clinics for coaches.
Ray has received numerous honors in his career including the CTAHPERD Physical Education Teacher of the Year, the CHSCA Wrestling Coach of the Year and induction into Trumbull High School Hall of Fame in 1995. Ray and his wife Eileen have three children – Amy who lives in San Francisco, CA; Gary who lives in Hamden, CT; and Kevin who is currently living in Seymour, CT.
After the sudden death of his father in 1952, Tom was selected to take over his responsibilities as the school’s athletic director while coaching football and, later, baseball and basketball.
Just prior to 1959 when Bristol split into two high schools, Tom was given the title of director of physical education for Bristol schools. One of the projects he took on in this position was organizing the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Central and Eastern. Recently, an award was created in his name that is given to a player from each team.
Tom was active in the start up of both the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, serving as president of each organization while also being inducted into their respective halls of fame.
In 1979, Tom retired as Bristol’s athletic director, thus ending 30 years of coaching and administrative work for the Bristol school system. Even after retirement, he remained active in the CHSCA.
Tom was a consultant to the CIAC for more than 20 years. He served as assistant director of the basketball and baseball tournaments, selecting sites and assigning officials. In 1971 he received a special Citation from the CIAC for his work.
In 1983, Tom received the prestigious Gold Key Award from the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance, an honor his father had received during the 1940s.
Thomas R. Monahan passed away on July 2, 2003.
Charlie coached varsity basketball (30 years), soccer (32 years) and baseball (10 years). He coached two state championship boys basketball teams, Class M (1969-1970) and Class L (1970-1971).
His teams were the first in the state to win in two different division championships in consecutive years. He also coached a Class L state champion soccer team in 1979.
Throughout his distinguished career in high school athletics, Charlie received recognition from many organizations. Among his honors were: National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) District 1 National Coach of the Year Award in both soccer and basketball; NHSACA National Athletic Director of the Year Award, NHSACA Hall of Fame induction; Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Hall of Fame induction; CHSCA Athletic Director of the Year Award; CHSCA Coach of the Year Award in both soccer and basketball; and the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance Coach of the Year and Gold Key Awards. The town of South Windsor awarded him four individual and three team proclamations; and the Connecticut basketball officials presented him with the Commissioner’s Award as well as the Sportsmanship, Service and Appreciation Awards.
Charlie was the former President of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, the North Central Connecticut Conference and the Central Valley Conference. He was also a member of various CHSCA committees and was active in the CIAC serving as a consultant to the CIAC Board of Control as boys and girls soccer tournament director.
Charlie settled in Windsor, Connecticut, with his wife Sheila, where they raised their children, Penni and Tom.
In 1946, after service in the US Navy he returned to Plainville, resuming his teaching and coaching duties and becoming Director of Athletics and Physical Education at P.H.S. He added golf, swimming, and gymnastics to his list of coaching responsibilities, and served for two years as assistant principal.
In 1955, Ivan became principal of Plainville High, holding that position until his retirement in 1976.
During his tenure as principal, he was very active in the Connecticut Association of Schools and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. He served as president of the then CT Association of Secondary Schools (CASS) (1972), as chairman of the CIAC basketball and baseball committees and the CIAC Officials and Eligibility committees. He was a consultant to the CIAC basketball, football and baseball committees and was the football and baseball tournament director in 1976 and 1977. Ivan contributed his service, counsel and support to CAS/CIAC for his entire career and, through his efforts, girls’ basketball grew to become one of the finest athletic programs in the state.
Woody’s service to the Plainville community was noteworthy. He had leadership roles in numerous civic organizations including six years on the Plainville Board of Education. Ivan received the CIAC Citation in 1971, The National High School Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award in 1974, Plainville High School dedicated it’s gymnasium in his name in 1974, he received The CHSCA Distinguished Service Award, 1984, The Gold Key award from Connecticut Sports Writers in 1987 . He was inducted into The Connecticut Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988, he received the Connecticut High Schools’ Athletic Directors Award in 1992, he was named Plainville’s Volunteer of the Year, in 1998 and he was inducted into the Plainville High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.
Ivan passed away on January 26, 2005.