Morgantown High to honor distinguished grads Friday

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Oct. 4—Things don't begin and end with Barney Fife at Morgantown High School.

Or, rather, Don Knotts (Class of 1942), the comedic actor who went on to win five Emmys for his portrayal of the above bumbling character in The Andy Griffith television show in the 1960s.

Scores of graduates from the school on Wilson Avenue have gone on to make their names in all walks, and five more will recognized under the lights of Pony Lewis Field during halftime of the MHS-Fairmont Senior game Friday night.

The 2022 inductees:

Chris Yura: After turning his tassel in 1999, the Mohigans football star went on full scholarship to Notre Dame, where he was solid performer on the Fighting Irish team. After graduation from the school in South Bend, Ind., he returned to Morgantown to become a social entrepreneur. His Sustain U. clothing line used 100 % recycled materials. He also went on to found West Virginia Harvest, a food-to-table enterprise using family farms across the Mountain State.

Lori Arbogast-Sherlock: The 1996 graduate was senior class president and a member of the Red and Blue Marching Band. She is an associate professor of exercise physiology at WVU, and is also an internationally ranked triathlete who has competed in Ironman competitions across the world. She studied exercise physiology at WVU, where she also earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. The aquatic therapy program she helps coordinate at the school in Morgantown is the only one of its kind in the nation.

David Pavelko: The 1987 graduate went on to play basketball for Princeton, where he earned a bachelor's in sociology. After that, it was onto George Washington University for graduate school and a tourism administration degree. Pavelko has since gone on to be an authority in that field and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other national media outlets. He's also an adjunct professor at the NYU Tisch School of Hospitality in New York City.

George Carpenter: The 2006 graduate was a numbers star at MHS, on top of playing football and lacrosse. After taking a computer science degree from Niagara University, he worked in that field for a year, before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps to become a pilot. On the way to earning the rank of major, he has flown the MV-22B Osprey on combat deployments to Afghanistan and rescue missions in Libya. He is still on active duty and is pursuing a master's degree in defense and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.

Gavin Hall: A career in artificial intelligence was in the programming for the 2003 graduate who starred in academics and athletics at MHS. Hall was in the Science Honorary and National Honor Society while holding down a starting position on the Mohigans baseball team. At WVU, he was a triple-major in mathematics, physics and mechanical engineering. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he focused his graduate studies on artificial intelligence and robotics. Stints at Johns Hopkins and NASA led him to the high-tech car maker Tesla, where he creates AI systems.

Along with Knotts and the other above-mentioned, Morgantown High's Alumni Wall and Hall of Fame shows the diversity of experiences and achievement of graduates over the years.

Past honorees include Thomas "Tommy " Bennett (1965), who was posthumously recognized with the Medal of Honor for his bravery in Vietnam.

Bennett, a conscientious objector who was a combat medic, died rescuing several wounded platoon mates under heavy fire.

Other noted alumni are Emily Calandrelli, an MIT-trained engineer, children's book author and television space show host ; and Trevor Nicholas, a singer and actor who has starred on Broadway and London's West End.

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