An educator who teaches teachers, a journalist and college instructor, a high school teacher and athletic coach, and a businessman from Pakistan who is known on a first-name basis across Berks County - those were the four new members inducted into the Exeter School District's Academic Hall of Fame during a Saturday event at the high school.
Inductees are selected based on three categories: former students who have brought honor to the school district; former educators who are deemed to have had a tremendous impact on students and the district; and community people who have made a lasting contribution to education at Exeter.
Honored this year:
- Mark Letcher, a 1990 Exeter High School graduate who has degrees from Millersville University, Southern Illinois University and Ohio State University. A northwest Indiana resident with a wife and three children, Letcher currently works as a teacher educator, specializing in adolescent literacy, and trains preservice English Language Arts Teachers.
- John Fidler, a 1970 graduate of Exeter and president of the student council who wrote for the school newspaper. He has degrees in English from Ursinus College and the University of Chicago. An award-winning columnist and copy editor with the Reading Eagle, Fidler also teaches writing and literature at Reading Area Community College. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post and the film journals Senses of Cinema and Cineaste.
- Karen McElhattan, a 1974 graduate of Susquehanna University with degrees in mathematics and Spanish who taught for 33 years in the Exeter School District, at both the junior and senior high. McElhattan also coached basketball and cheerleading for 15 years.
- Hamid Chaudhry, who emigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 1988 and owns multiple businesses throughout Berks, including Dairy Queens in Exeter and Kenhorst and the Lukoil station in West Reading. Chaudhry has donated considerable time and money over the years in support of education in Exeter and the Berks community as a whole.