Norwalk High School Alumni Association adds five to wall of honor

NORWALK — The Norwalk High School Alumni Association will honor five alumni at its 26th annual Wall of Honor Awards next month.

George D. Grover, Barbara Becker Holstein, Joseph Madaffari, Omar Williams and Edward Zamm will join the wall located in a prominent section of the high school lobby. The wall features Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, war heroes, sports personalities, authors, educators, medical professionals, lawyers, artists, musicians, industrialists, politicians and leaders community.

The Wall of Honor began in 1995 with the idea of ​​honoring a wide range of alumni beyond the typical high school sports halls of fame found in Connecticut. Winners are selected based on four key areas, including excelling in their field and bringing credit to themselves, the city, and the school; produce singular successful achievements; gain exceptional recognition from peers over a lifetime of activity; and demonstrating unquestionable integrity.

The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m. at the Norwalk Inn.


George D. Grover

Grover graduated from Norwalk High School in 1955. He studied finance and accounting at La Salle University. He began his career with South Norwalk Trust Co. He later joined the Norwalk Municipal Employees Credit Union and served in the Norwalk Fire Department for 23 years, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief.

He retired from the Greater Norwalk Area Credit Union as president, also after 23 years, having grown the organization to $30 million in assets and more than 5,000 members. He lived by the motto, “Remember the members own the credit union.”

In retirement, he continued to serve on the boards of the Great Norwalk Credit Union and the Connecticut Credit Union League. He also volunteered for over 40 years as a member of Pietro Micco Lodge #744, Sons and Daughters of Italy in America and raised funds for their scholarship program and other non-profit groups.

Barbara Becker Holstein

Holstein graduated in 1960 and is a practicing psychologist in New Jersey known for her books, films, podcasts, articles and lectures in the field of positive psychology. Her website, TheEnchantedSelf.com, was one of the first websites to help women discover their talents and potential. She also wrote the first case-style book for women and their therapists called “The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy”.

She was an innovator in positive psychology and became a respected filmmaker, often focusing on coming-of-age issues. She has been selected or won honors at over a hundred film festivals. She is best known for “SelfieFilms”, where actors often do their own filming with their smartphones. This allows young actors to share on an emotional level rarely achieved in front of a film crew.

Joseph Madafari

Madaffari, the recently retired athletic director of Brien McMahon High School, spent his career as a professional educator in schools. He started out as a math teacher, coach, and director of high school summer sports camps. He has coached football, baseball, wrestling, indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s lacrosse. He led four teams that won the All-FCIAC.

As athletic director, he oversaw 40 coaches and 42 teams in 22 sports at Brien McMahon High School. He was recognized by the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors, winning the Meritorious Service Award in 2019. In 2018, he was named National Athletic Director of the Year. He has also held positions with the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and FCIAC. He received the Thomas R. Monahan Honorary Award from the CHSCA.

Omar Williams

Williams graduated from Norwalk High in 1994. A graduate of the University of Connecticut Law School, he served as an attorney with the Office of Public Defense Services in Norwalk and New Haven.

In 2014, he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court by Governor Dannel P. Malloy and worked in New London and Hartford.

In 2021, President Joe Biden appointed him United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut.

Edward Zamm

Zamm graduated in 1942. He practiced law in Norwalk for 62 years, retiring as the city’s oldest practicing attorney at 92. He graduated from Columbia Law School and served in the United States Army as a staff sergeant in the 77th Infantry Division. He was one of the first troops to occupy Japan in 1945.

He has devoted more than 25 years to Veterans Affairs and served as the Connecticut Commandant of Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. As a lawyer, he served as a city attorney for eight years and helped establish the city’s legal department. He was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives and served as Treasurer for the Third District.

Zamm also coached for Norwalk Community Golf, which featured the first woman in state competition, and a blind golfer who became a nationally ranked competitor. The coach has also participated in many prestigious tournaments and achieved considerable success as an amateur golfer.

To be considered, applicants must have attended Norwalk High School for at least one year, graduated more than 25 years ago, and have demonstrated outstanding achievement in business and industry, law , education, arts and entertainment, public or military service, science and health care. sport or community service.

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Andrew B. Reiter