Riverview High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inducted two graduates in a ceremony involving engineering students in classes taught by Deb Berman and Maureen Finley. These men, whose lifelong careers have involved engineering and physics, as well as giving back to the community, were honored before students destined to pursue similar paths.
Many former Riverview students have gone on to marvelous things upon graduating, pursuing now-flourishing careers.
On Jan. 10, engineering students and members of the school’s “Stars to Starfish” program were invited to see the induction of Guy Peterson and Chris Wheeler into the Hall of Fame.
The purpose of the recognition ceremony held in the planetarium was to honor the outstanding achievements accomplished by RHS graduates, and to acknowledge their success in both their personal and professional lifetime as legacies.
The first honoree was Guy Peterson, class of 1972. He went to University of Florida and earned his Master of Arts in Architecture degree in 1976. Peterson is now both the president and principal architect of Guy Peterson Office for Architecture, where he maintains responsibility for project design.
He has received over 90 awards in design and several special recognitions since the beginning of his work in 1980. He has also been inducted into other halls of fame and deemed among the 500 most influential business leaders in America.
The second honoree was Chris Wheeler, class of 1974. In school, his favorite class was physics, and he also enjoyed participating in the Kiltie Band. After high school, he went on to study at the California Institute of Technology and graduated with a degree in applied physics. Furthermore, he transitioned to Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA.
For over 30 years, he gained tremendous experience in real estate development, management and financing. He supervised the acquisition of over 20,000 homes and other recreational buildings. Wheeler also managed the transition of two public-private entity transactions on Wall Street.
Aside from his busy business career, Wheeler harvests trees in his backyard and has gained experience in flying planes from his father. He is now also an experienced and certified pilot.
Deborah Berman, Career and Technical Education (CTE) department chairperson, helped organize the induction. She believes that it was crucial for students to see such greatly acquired skills and success from people of their own school.
“I think it helps to motivate students to want to reach their own goals and get inspired by people who have already been so successful,” she said.
Finley added that the students were “intrigued” that these prominent graduates once were interested in and studying the same subject matter that now interests them.
Retired faculty member Jo Ivey is the chairperson of the Distinguished Hall of Fame.