CAHS inducts 5 noteworthy alumni onto Wall of Fame

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ST. THOMAS - Charlotte Amalie High School has inducted another five noteworthy Virgin Islanders onto its Wall of Fame.

Judge Verne Hodge Sr., Jeanette Smith-Barry, Georgia Francis, Brig. Gen. Timothy Lake and Elrod Hendricks are the wall's newest honorees. They will join past inductees, including Gov. Charles Turnbull, Judge Curtis Gomez and Dr. Alfred Heath.

CAHS Principal Carmen Howell said she started the program to honor alumni, inspire students and create role models. The wall features the school's alumni contributions in education, health care, politics, government service, academics, athletics, music, fine arts, military service, and business entrepreneurship.

The Wall of Fame was started as a way for the school to not only honor the contributions of its alums, but to teach the students about their history, notable figures in their community and their accomplishments, Howell said.

The five new Wall of Fame members are:

Brig. Gen. Timothy Lake

Lake is a 1981 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School. He was commissioned in the Regular Army from ROTC at North Carolina A&T State University as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1985. He later earned a Master's Degree from the United States Army War College.

Lake's military education includes Airborne School, Combined Arms Staff Service School, United States Army Command and General Staff College.

His many notable assignments include the 102nd Military Intelligence Battalion; the 2nd Infantry Division; the 24th Infantry Division; the 141st Signal Battalion, the 1st Armory Division; the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment; the 123rd Signal Battalion; the 3rd Infantry Division; the Virgin Islands National Guard Joint Task Force; the White House Communication Agency and Special Missions Command, Camp David; Army National Guard Readiness Center; the Pentagon, Defense Joint Staff; the Army Capabilities Integration Center, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Lake's decorations include the Presidential Service Badge, the Joint Staff Service Badge, Army Staff Badge, Joint Meritorious Unit Award as well as the following medals: Defense Meritorious Service, Army Commendation, Army Achievement, Army Reserve Component, National Defense Service, Southwest Asia Service, Humanitarian Service, Armed Forces Reserve with Bronze Hourglass, and two Kuwait Liberation medals.

Judge Verne Hodge Sr.

Presiding Judge Emeritus Verne Antonio Hodge graduated salutatorian of the CAHS Class of 1952. He graduated magna cum laude from Hampton Institute in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in Accounting, and a Military Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from Hampton's ROTC program.

He returned home and completed his 6-year Army Reserve obligation, as a 1st Lieutenant until 1964.

He was employed by the V.I. Government as an Internal Auditor, an Internal Revenue Agent, Business Manager and Personnel Director. In 1966, he enrolled in Howard University School of Law and earned his juris doctor degree. In 1969 he was admitted to the Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands bars, the 3rd Circuit Bar in 1970, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1973.

He established his own law practice and worked there until 1973 when he was appointed V.I. attorney general. He served in that position until 1976 when he became presiding judge of the Territorial Court.

Hodge served on several boards and commissions and was awarded the V.I. Medal of Honor by the 23rd Legislature. He created and supports the very successful Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra to prevent juvenile delinquency and to encourage the achievement of educational goals.

Now retired, he still volunteers at the Superior Court, and periodically hears cases as a designated justice with the V.I. Supreme Court.

Elrod Hendricks

This 1959 Graduate of the Charlotte Amalie High School was a defensive catcher and spent most of his years playing for the Baltimore Orioles on teams that went to three consecutive World Series from 1969-71. Hendricks led American League catchers in fielding percentage in 1969 and 1975. He also played briefly for the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. His most productive season came in 1970, when he hit 12 home runs with 41 RBI. Hendricks would always be remembered for his outstanding role in helping Baltimore defeat the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970 World Series. He also appeared in the 1976 World Series for the Yankees against Cincinnati. Hendricks was adored in Puerto Rico where he played for 17 seasons with the Cangrejeros de Santurce. He was a fixture in Baltimore, holding the position of bullpen coach for 28 years, the longest coaching tenure in Orioles history.

Hendricks died of a heart attack in Glen Burnie, M.D., one day shy of his 65th birthday. Although the number 44 has not been officially retired, no Oriole player has worn it since Hendricks died.

Jeanette Smith-Barry

Smith-Barry graduated CAHS in 1969. The top ten honor graduate did her undergraduate studies at the College of the Virgin Islands graduating cum laude in 1973. She began fulfilling her life's work and passion as a teacher at CAHS which literally became her new home for the next 34 years. She earned a master's degree from the University of Connecticut and completed all post graduate course work toward a doctoral degree at the University of Miami, taught at the University of the Virgin Islands, and studied further in programs and institutes at Harvard, University of Delaware, Fordham University, and at the Michigan SUPES Academy for new superintendents.

After teaching at CAHS for almost 10 years, she became the English department chairperson, and then in 1989 she was promoted to assistant principal, and six years later, she became principal.

Thirteen years later she was appointed to her present position as Insular Superintendent of Schools for the District of St. Thomas and St. John.

She has been recognized for her work by various civic and community organizations, was named in the International Who's Who of Professionals, is a member of the UVI Golden Key Society, and is a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow.

Georgia Francis

Musician Georgia Francis, a 1972 graduate of the Charlotte Amalie High School, developed her love for music from the teachings of her mother, the late Eulalie "Lopie" Lopez.

As a high school freshman, she traveled to New York City's Mamaroneck High School and also visited the Ed Sullivan Theatre. After completing her undergraduate studies in music at Fisk University and her graduate studies at Florida State University, she returned home to teach music in the public school system.

Francis has traveled with student groups to the inauguration of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, toured England; Canada; Georgia; Florida; Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; New York; New Jersey; Massachusetts; St. Kitts; and the BVI. Among her many awards of distinction are her 2006 Rotary Club's Diamond Paul Harris Fellowship, and V.I. State and District Teacher of the Year and the 2010-2012 Rock City Classic Band Championship.

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