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Baldwinsville Community Hall of Fame for Visual and Performing Arts Inductees to be honored in April

March 15, 2025

The Baldwinsville Community Hall of Fame for Visual and Performing Arts committee is happy to announce this year’s nominees. A ceremony to present them will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at 7 p.m., in the Auditorium at C.W. Baker High School. 

The Hall of Fame honors alumni, mentors, and community members whose talent, expertise, and dedication have enhanced or showcased the cultural landscape and arts programming of the Baldwinsville Central School District and the community of Baldwinsville. There will be art displays and performances from current C.W. Baker High School students, and families and community members are invited to attend the event.

This year’s seven nominees include: Jon Barden, Michael Conway, Garrett Heater,  Jennifer Scott Miceli, Richard Simiele, Phill Sterling and Cathy Strong.

Jon Barden

JON BARDEN, who taught Drama and Public Speaking at Baker for 30 years, began, along with Cindy Smith and Norm Wanzer, the production of  musicals at Baker. During his long, 30-year stint in Theatre Guild, he both acted in or directed more than 30 productions. After a short hiatus in retirement, Jon returned to playing a strong role in the productions at Theatre Guild for ten more years.


Cathy Strong

CATHY STRONG, a former choreographer for eleven years at Baker High School, emerged from a career directly out of high school as a Rockette, a USO performer, and even as the “Most Talented” candidate in the Miss Massachusetts Pageant. For several years, she choreographed and acted in area theater programs Salt City Playhouse, the Talent Company, and many more. She joined the Baker Musicals in 1994, and for 11 years of service, she choreographed hits such as Anything Goes, Oklahoma, Guys & Dolls, all to perfection.  In her spare time, she helped students with college auditions and taught them how to tap dance. When she retired as choreographer, she continued sharing her talent at OASIS, where she taught seniors to tap dance.


Jennifer Scott

JENNIFER SCOTT MICELI, a Baker High graduate, excelled in Chorus, Band, and Orchestra projects. Her Hartt School of Music and Eastman School of Music experience prepared her well for the outstanding achievements that she is realizing: Long Island University Professor of Music, Administrator and Chairman of Music Ed.; clinician, adjudicator, director, conductor of jazz studies throughout the country;Director of the Huntington Choral Society; the recipient of the David Newton Award forExcellence in Teaching at LIU; author of a pedagogical book on musical literacy; performances as singer, lecturer, and flutist in Europe as well as in the United States.


Richard J.

RICHARD J. SIMIELE (posthumously), who taught at Ray Middle School for 26 years, started the middle school music program there.  During this time, he developed 26 one-act musicals, unique to the Baldwinsville community. He produced all of these at no cost to the district, believing that he was gifting both the students and their parents. The shows involved teachers, staff, and parents, as both behind-the-scenes helpers and actors, making it a truly a total school community experience. 



MICHAEL CONWAY, an art teacher, taught at Reynolds Elementary in the Baldwinsville School District for 40 years. Since his retirement in 2016, he has continued an artistic presence in the area through volunteer projects at the Baldwinsville Library and at his church. He also enjoyed teaching adult art classes at Canton Woods Senior Center and substituting in Baldwinsville in Special areas. Mike still pursues his favorite art areas: illustration and painting.


Garrett August

GARRETT AUGUST HEATER began whetting his ambition for the world of drama as he performed in musicals at Baker High School, Crazy for You being a favorite. He honed his skills at Syracuse University and Hunter College in New York City, where he was awarded the Vera Mowry Roberts Fellowship. Presently, he is teaching Visual Arts and Music in Oswego, as well as in Harlem where he was named Teacher of Tomorrow by the NYC Department of Education. He is co-founder and artistic director of The Covey Theater Company, and producing artistic director of New York City-based Chelsea Opera. An award-winning playwright, he is the recipient of 15 SALT awards, His original play, Puccini will make its NYC debut in April 2024. Three of his plays have been produced at New York’s Fringe Festival: Lizzy Borden Took An Axe, Playing God, and Lincoln’s Blood.


Phill Sterling

PHILL STERLING taught music in all of BCSD’s school buildings – elementary, middle, and high school for more than 34 years. He served as Administrator of the High School Marching Band for eight of those years.After he retired in 2010, he became the Music Director of Christ Community UMC, from which he retired in 2012.  Highlights during his long career include hosting the first Field Band Competition at MacArthur Stadium in 1974; founding the Baldwinsville Community Band in 1979; composing and directing a musical, Speakeasy, in 1990; and being the recipient of B’ville’s award as Man of the Year 1994.