Salem/Woodbury Hall of Fame Inducts Five Exceptional Contributors

September 25, 2015


At halftime of the homecoming football game, Salem High School Principal Tracy Collyer (far right) introduces the 2015 Hall of Fame inductees: from left, Salem High Athletic Director Scott Insinga; Jared Cassedy, Class of 2000; Trevor Deardon, Class of 2008; Katie (Qualter) Pudil, Class of 1993; and E. J. Perry, former coach and special contributor.

At halftime of the homecoming football game, Salem High School Principal Tracy Collyer (far right) introduces the 2015 Hall of Fame inductees: from left, Salem High Athletic Director Scott Insinga; Jared Cassedy, Class of 2000; Trevor Deardon, Class of 2008; Katie (Qualter) Pudil, Class of 1993; and E. J. Perry, former coach and special contributor.

by Doug Robinson

The Salem/Woodbury Hall of Fame inducted four candidates into their prestigious hall of fame during a dinner ceremony at the Atkinson Resort and Country Club.

More than 150 friends, family, and supporters attended the event to support and acknowledge the accomplishments of the 2015 inductees:

Jared Cassedy, Class of 2000

University of New Hampshire 2004, Windham High School Concert Band teacher, Award/Recognition-2005 Grammy Music Educator award recipient, Selected to participate in the Music for all National Concert Band Festival 2015, WHS attended festival at Carnegie Hall 2014, NH Teacher of the Year nominee 2013.  WHS Concert Band performed at NAFME Eastern Division Conference 2013, WHS Concert Band performed at Heritage Festival in NYC 2012, NH Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year Award 2011.

Trevor Dearden, Class of 2008

Iowa State University 2008-2011, three-time NE wrestling champion, two-time NH state wrestling champion, two-time M.O.C Champion, four-time Blue Devil Tournament champion, three-time Lowell Holiday champion, 2008 New England Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee.

Katie (Qualter) Pudil, Class of 1993

Basketball Captain – Salem High School 2003, Basketball Captain-St. Anselm College, 2007, Coach-Nashua Girls JV Basketball 1997-1998, Notre Dame Academy JV Softball 2009-2010, GLTS Varsity Basketball 2008-2013.  Professional/Personal:  English teacher, coach, volunteer, referee, nursing home administrator, wife of Andrew, mother of Molly and John, daughter of James and Patricia Qualter and sister to Jamie and Shaun, graduate of St. Anselm College, Fitchburg State University.

Ernest J. Perry, Special Contributor

Coach for Salem boys’ Basketball, Volleyball and Track, boys’ Basketball state titles 2007, 2008, boys’ Volleyball state titles 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, Volleyball Record – 112 wins-0 losses, Eagle Tribune Male Coach of the Decade 2010.

Michael Downing, Class of 1972 (awarded posthumously)

82nd Airborne Military Police Co. 1976-1979, New Hampshire State Police 1979-1984, Town of Salem Police 1984-1995, NH State House of Representatives 1996-2002, NH State Senator District 22 2006-2010, 301st AHAC Captain Commanding 2009-2010, High Sheriff of Rockingham County 2010-2015.

The Salem/Woodbury Hall of Fame Committee recognizes and honor individuals who graduated from Woodbury High School or Salem High School and made truly exceptional contributions to the school, community, or society in general.

“While traditionally there has been an emphasis on the nominee’s high school athletic accomplishments, the committee is encouraging nominations for individuals who have distinguished themselves by virtue of academic accomplishments while in school or through exceptional contributions to society as adults,” according to the committee’s nomination paperwork.

“The Hall of Fame Committee wants to emphasize that individuals should consider nominating graduates who have distinguished themselves as contributing members of society.  For example, a graduate’s life experience may include distinguished government service through elected or appointed office; achievement in the arts, sciences, education, media, law, or another field; or corporate accomplishments by leadership or action,” writes the Salem Patch.

The Salem/Woodbury Hall of Fame requires a five-year waiting period from graduation for those who wish to be nominated.  Requirements state that “nominees will have distinguished themselves on the basis of skill, sportsmanship, academic achievement, and/or truly exceptional contributions to the community.  Individuals nominated for their roles after graduation will have made a significant contribution to student development, a school team or an individual’s athletic success, or will have made truly exceptional contributions to society in general.”

Jared Cassedy commented that his induction to the Hall of Fame was a “huge honor” and this (award) “means more to me than the Grammy.  This is what it is all about.  (For the people in) this room it is about making connections which shape students’ lives.”

As described by Jared’s sister, Michelle, “He has an unstoppable passion to help students.  He is inspiring, caring, and a revered leader.”

Dearden expressed his love and appreciation for the sacrifices made by his mom and his dad so that he could commit himself to wrestling.  “I want to thank my mom and dad for their commitment and for them giving me the opportunity as well as every tool to succeed.”

Dearden friend, Phil Kalil, defined Dearden as a “fearless” competition who “continued to better himself in order to be the best he could be and to be the best in his sport.  He dominated the sport because he seeked to understand the skill (needed) for him to achieve.”

Nine-year-old Molly dazzled the crowd with her proud words for her mom Katie.  Reading from her small, yet colorful notepad, she stepped up to the now very bent over microphone so that she could be heard: “My mom is sweet, loving, and my best friend.  She helps me with my homework and I am very proud of mom.

Katie Pudil, overcome with the joy of her daughter and dad standing next to her on the podium commented, “This is very humbling and I am overwhelmed.  This is a very prestigious award and I am grateful and honored.  It has been great to go down memory lane with my family.  They were there for me (mom and dad).  And this award needs to be shared with my teammates.  They were there for me too.”

E.J. Perry was not able to attend the event due to a previous commitment.  His brother, Tim, accepted the award on his behalf.

Reading from a prepared speech from his brother, E.J. stated that, “I loved Salem and I appreciated the special nights.  I will never forget the spirit of all my players, but the spirit of those in Salem.  We had spirit for our town and our school.”

Brother Tim commented that “E.J. invests himself into his schools and every person he coaches.  He wants every player to be better than himself.”

As the evening convened, the common theme resonated that to reach the levels that these four individuals reached required the pillars of family, working as a team, and possessing the hometown value of living and working in Salem, N.H.