Hall of Fame 2022

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ARLINGTON, VA. (April 28, 2022) --Nine accomplished alumni of Yorktown High School will be inducted in the school’s Hall of Fame and Inspiration at a ceremony set for Friday, May 20. The event, scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Patriot Hall, will welcome inductees, their families, students, alumni, parents and community officials for whom presenters will dedicate nine plaques containing photographs and biographies mounted on the wall in the gym lobby.

   The Hall of Fame and Inspiration was created in 2004 and includes such notable alumni as broadcaster Katie Couric (class of ’75), former Google CEO Eric Schmidt (’72), Olympic swimmer Tom Dolan (’93), the late astronaut David Brown (’74) and Hilton Hotels CEO Chris Nassetta (’80).

   The addition of nine in 2022 brings the total inductees to 44, after rounds of inductions in 2004, 2008, 2014 and 2018.

   The selections of distinguished alumni are made by a committee of alumni, a former teacher and a student member. Nominations are solicited from former students and the community via local news outlets and the website Yorktownalums.org seeking suggestions based on the following criteria: “alumni (including faculty and staff) who went on to become well known for achievement in any area of endeavor that brings credit to the school and whose story is compelling and inspiring.” The committee then votes on finalists.

   â€śThe fame can be local and national, but the accomplishments should have meaning to the students who walk by the plaques every day,” said current committee member Sara Jane Knight, a retired Yorktown government teacher. Funding for the project came from donations. “Once again, the committee—which met by Zoom—had challenging choices to make.”

     The alumni set to be inducted in the 2022 round (one inductee is a musical group that includes four YHS alumni) include:

Tom Faust
Arlington Sheriff, Justice Innovator
YHS Class of 1972
Inducted 2022

A criminal justice leader at local, state and national levels: January 2022 named by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser acting Director of Department of Corrections, having been director 2011-16: President, Faust Justice Group consulting 2017-19: Chief of Staff Los Angeles County Probation Department 2018- 2021. Elected Sheriff of Arlington County three terms (1990-2000): Executive Director National Sheriffs’ Association 2000-2007. B.S. public administration Virginia Tech, M.A. public administration George Mason University.

Hubert N. (Jay) Hoffman III
Business Executive, Philanthropist
YHS Class of 1962
Inducted 2022

Chief executive officer of Alexandria-Va. development firm The Hoffman Co., specializing in acquisition, management, construction and leasing of office, retail, hotel and multi-family properties: role in creation of 50-plus Northern Virginia buildings, including Hoffman Town Center in Eisenhower Valley: Board of Governors St. Stephen’s School for boys: President Alexandria Contractors’ Association: member Philatelic Council for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum: donor to Central Union Mission, Senior Services of Alexandria, Alexandria Domestic Violence Program, Alexandria Public Schools, Carpenter’s Shelter, Animal Welfare League: Army service in Europe mid-1960s, 11th Armored Calvary.

Torri Huske
Olympic Swimmer
YHS Class of 2021
Inducted 2022

Silver medalist 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics – 4x100m medley relay; American record holder – 100m Butterfly; 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Champion – 100m Butterfly; World Junior Record Holder – 4x100 Mixed Medley Relay; Six-time medalist (five gold, 1 silver) 2019 Budapest World Junior Championships; 2019 U.S. Open Winter National Champion – 100M Fly; 29-Time NISCA High School All-American; USA Today Girls Swimming and Diving Athlete of the Year (2021); 2-Time Washington Post Female High School Swimmer of the Year (2019, 2021); 15-Time VHSL Class 6 State Champion; NISCA Swimming Scholastic All-American; 4-Time USA Swimming Academic All-American; attends  Stanford University.

Mike Leinbach
NASA Space Shuttle Engineer
YHS Class of 1971
Inducted 2022

Shuttle Launch Director at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center, responsible for launch countdown policy, planning, and execution for program’s final 11 years: led 37 shuttle missions 2000-11: In 2003 led debris recovery after in-flight accident that took lives of seven astronauts: later investigated causes, as recounted in 2018 book Bringing Columbia Home: in 1998 became deputy director International Space Station; joined NASA in 1984 as a structural engineer: Presidential Rank Award, NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, NASA’s Medal for Outstanding Leadership: B.S. architecture University of Virginia, 1976, master's in engineering, civil engineering, 1981.

Tom Liljenquist
Collector of Civil War Images, Philanthropist
YHS Class of 1970
Inducted 2022

Founder and president of five Washington, D.C.-area luxury jewelry stores Liljenquist & Beckstead: With is  three sons collected original ambrotypes, tintypes and cartes de visite of Union and Confederate soldiers and their families: The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs now numbers 5,000 images (largest in world) donated beginning in 2010 to Library of Congress, viewable by the public: named to Library’s James Madison Council 2017: attended University of Utah 1970-75: in senior year launched jewelry business on Ocean City, Md., boardwalk.

Alyson Shontell
First Female Editor, Fortune
YHS Class of 2004
Inducted 2022

In October 2021 became editor-in-chief and chief content officer for 92-year-old Fortune Magazine, overseeing print, website and newsletters, plus executive conferences, videos, podcasts and Fortune Connect leadership club. Fortune’s first female and youngest top editor, serves as judge for American Society of Magazine Editors and Gerald Loeb Awards for business journalism: in 2008 helped found Business Insider, first as planner than writer-editor, named editor-in-chief 2016: B.A. 2008 advertising and psychology Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.

1979-81  --
Reggae Recording Artists
Attended YHS 1995-98
Inducted 2022

Jake Hemphill (lead vocals, guitar), Bobby “Lee” Jefferson (bass, vocals); Ryan “Byrd” Berty (drums); Ken Brownell (percussion). Founded at Yorktown 1997, three-time Grammy- nominated group of eight (formerly “Soldiers of Jah Army”) performs hundreds of concerts yearly; appeared on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” 2012; released 10 albums, among them: “Creeping In”; “Peace in Time of War”; “Get Wiser”; “Born in Babylon”; “Strength to Survive”; “Amid the Noise and Haste”, “Poetry in Motion,’’ “Beauty in the Silence” (which won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album 2022).

M.J. Stewart
NFL Defensive Back
YHS Class of 2014
Inducted 2022

Joined Houston Texans March 2022, spent two years with Cleveland Browns playing safety, nickel back and special teams: in 13 games in 2021 made 34 solo tackles and assisted in 13: in 2020 three interceptions and 18 tackles and assisted in four: drafted 2018 by Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in two seasons recorded 68 tackles: as University of North Carolina senior became Tar Heels’ all-time leader in pass breakups with 41: B.A. Exercise and Sport Science, Sport Administration. As Yorktown senior rushed for 1,800 yards, 32 touchdowns in 10-0 season.

Bob Witeck
Public Affairs Counselor, LGBTQ Activist
YHS Class of 1970
Inducted 2022

President and founder of Washington, D.C.-based Witeck Communications, launched 1993 as first LGBTQ-owned business certified by National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce: Public relations and marketing clients include American Airlines, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Comcast/NBC Universal, Bristol-Myers Squib, Walmart, Marriott International and MassMutual: Frequent public speaker and author: Hill & Knowlton senior vice president 1980s; 10 years as press secretary and legislative aide Senate Commerce Committee: B.A. economics and philosophy and Echols Scholar, University of Virginia, 1974: Member, Board of Visitors of George Mason University.