This year's honorees for Schalmont High School's Alumni Wall of Distinction are Gail DeAngelo, class of 1988; Michael James Mugits, class of 1971; and David Van Patten, class of 1972. They will be inducted during a formal ceremony on Thursday, May 28, at 4:30 p.m. in the Schalmont High School library.
Mugits of Gansevoort was honored for inspiring family, friends and colleagues through his devotion to nurturing the dreams and sustaining the hopes of students. As one of seven children, he faced many challenges growing up.
I had to overcome a number of issues growing up, and I think that if someone spoke to me when I was 10 or 11 and said, 'This is what's going to happen to you someday,' I would [have been] hard-pressed to put a lot of credibility into what they said, said Mugits.
However, it was during his time at Schalmont High School that he made connections with teachers and staff members who supported him and cultivated his self-confidence. He also played on the varsity soccer, basketball and baseball teams, and wrote for the school yearbook.
"The experiences I had in high school equipped me with a broader perspective of how my future could unfold," said Mugits in a statement. "I left feeling well-equipped to walk down the paths of my choice."
From Schalmont High School, Mugits went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Maine at Machias and a master's degree from Plymouth State College. He then became the youngest principal in Maine at the age of 24, and served this role across the country in elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. He said one of his greatest accomplishments as a school principal happened in Texas when he led the transformation of a low-performing, impoverished, inner-city school into a school of achievement and hope, and received the O'Brien Foundation Award for Excellence in Leadership.