Announcing the Inductees for the SPHS Alumni Hall of Fame 2018

Announcing the Inductees for the SPHS Alumni Hall of Fame 2018
November 22, 2017 Joyce Garozzo



     Frank Leone  began his studies in music with Philadelphia’s celebrated composer and Southern graduate, Romeo Cascarino, at the age of 14.  After playing at Southern, he received a scholarship at graduation to the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Southern High Cultural Hall of Fame member Vincent Persichetti.  Frank received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music.  He was the pianist in the main showrooms for both The Las Vegas Hilton and Caesars Palace (1971-1975) and worked with some of the biggest names in show business.  He has expertise as a musical director, conductor, pianist, and arranger.  He was the musical director of The Minsky Follies at the Aladdin Hotel (1968-69).   Frank accompanied a cadre of stars that include:  Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Steve and Edie, Carol Channing, Anthony Newly, Roy Clark, Ben Vereen, Robert Goulet, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis Jr, Ike and Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and the Pips, B.B. King, Ann-Margaret, Tony Bennett, Goldie Hawn, Sergio Franchi (1969-1970), Paul Anka (1975-1982), Engelbert Humperdinck (1983-1984), Red Skelton (1985-1994), and Elvis Presley, with whom he also toured.    He served as the musical director for Franchi, Anka, Humperdinck, and Skelton.  Frank served as President of the Musicians’ Union of Las Vegas for 14 years and is president emeritus of the union.



         John Nelson founded NELSON in 1977. During his years of leadership as President and Principal of Design, the firm grew into a top five commercial interior design firm with offices nationally. At the same time NELSON gained recognition through winning major projects as well as design awards and cover articles in industry publications featuring the work. Some of the more notable local projects; Cigna’s World Headquarters, Liberty One Building, Sun Oil’s 10 Penn Center Building, and the Fidelity Bank Building (now Wells Fargo) Renovation/Restoration. This project won the restoration of the year and was the film site for the movie “Trading Places” starring Eddie Murphy.


     Dr. Kenneth Stein attended Vare Elementary, Furness Junior High, Southern (Class of 1961), Temple University (BA in Biology-1964), and Temple School of Medicine (1968). He served a one-year medical internship at the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and completed a 3-year Residency in Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (1969-1972). He served in the U.S. Army (72-74) as Assistant Chief of Dermatology, Letterman Army Hospital, Presidio of San Francisco. Ken entered solo practice in June of 1974 as a board- certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist in Santa Rosa, Ca. After practicing for 42 years, he retired in 2015.
Ken continues in his capacity as the Principal Investigator for Dermatologic Drug Research Studies at Radiant Research Company (Synexus Research).  He has supervised over 50 clinical drug studies over the past 15 years.  He was Assistant Professor of Dermatology, UCSF, and served as a Director in the 20-30 Club, and other community charitable organizations. Ken is Married to his SPHS sweetheart, Sandy, for over 52 years.  Sandy Austin Stein, a talented artist, was inducted into the SPHS Cultural Hall of Fame in 1997. Ken is so honored to return to his origins and cherished SPHS to receive this special award. His selection is especially enduring and timely as he celebrates his 75th birthday.

Posthumous award to



     Sociologist Robert K. Merton, SPHS Class of 1928, is considered a founding father of modern sociology and is recognized for the work he contributed to criminology. He started his sociological career at Temple and Harvard, taught at Colombia, Harvard, and Tulane, and was one of the seminal authors in the sociology of science.   He received a Guggenheim Fellowship and was the first sociologist to be named a MacArthur Fellow.  He was awarded the US National Medal of Science,    the first sociologist to receive the prize. Some of Merton’s works deal with theories of the middle range, clarifying functional analysis, dysfunctions, and manifest and latent functions.  His publications include “Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth Century England,” “Social Theory and Social Structure,” “The Sociology of Science  Sociological Ambivalence,” “On the Shoulders of Giants: A Shandean Postscript,” and “The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity: A Study in Sociological Semantics and the Sociology of Science.” Some phrases that are attributed to him include the self-fulfilling prophecy, role model, dysfunctional, and conceptional analysis. His son, Robert C. Merton, is the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in economics and his daughter, Vanessa Merton, is a Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law.





Steven was an outstanding athlete and student as SPHS. In his three years at Southern, Steven played football, basketball, baseball and was on the swimming team. On the Basketball Team in his junior year he was a starting guard and a backup guard in his senior year. On the Football Team he was a starting defensive back in his junior year and the starting quarterback, defensive back and punter on the football team. He was named to the All Public team as a defensive back and played in the first City All Star Game as a defensive back and punter. Steven was selected to the Eagles Roman Gabriel Football Camp at Ursinus College for quarterbacks in 1974. In baseball he was the varsity starting shortstop for 3 years, and a member of the 1974 and 1975 All City Baseball Championships teams. He was named as an All Public shortstop and selected as the Bulletin Scholar Athlete of the year in 1975. Steven placed 8th in the City Championships in 1974 in the 100 Backstroke and. also swam in the 1975 City Championship in the 100 Freestyle, Backstroke, medley relay and anchor in the 4 x 1 00 Freestyle Relay event.
Steven is married to Jayne for 15 years and resides in Vineland, NJ. He is the father of 2 children Steven and Eric, and 4 stepchildren, Rachel, Aaron, Brianne and Benjamin. He is a Christian and is very involved at his church the Pitman Road Church of Christ. Steven is a Business Development Manager for a wholesaler in Langhorne, PA.


     In Ron’s junior and senior years at Southern, he was the starting shortstop on the varsity Baseball Team. and in his senior year he was the starting halfback on the varsity Football Team. He was voted in as an All-Public shortstop in his junior year. In his senior year at Southern, Ron was honorable mention All-Public in football. Also, in his senior year he was an All-Public and All City shortstop in baseball. He also received the Bulletin Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award, the Student Athlete of the year from the SPHS Alumni Association and the Celia Pincus Award from the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. (outstanding all-around Senior) He was a 3-year member of the National Honor Society and ranked 15th in the 1972 graduating class of 873 students. Following high school, he attended Temple University and majored in Business.
Ron has 2 children, Nicole and Ron Jr. He’s the proud grandfather of Michael, his daughter’s son and the expectant grandfather of a boy due in January 2018, also to his daughter and her husband Michael. For the past ten years Ron has been in a relationship with Gina Sansone. He worked 39 years for the City of Philadelphia, 28 as a License and Inspection code inspector and 11 years in the Department of Commerce as a contract analyst for government funded programs. In addition, he was a volunteer coach with the Delaware Valley and Southeast Youth Associations. In his youth he worked for the Department of Recreation at Columbus Square. He is now happily retired! Ron and Gina enjoy summers at the Jersey shore and spending a lot of quality time with his and her children and their grandchildren. Ron states that he has never missed a summer at the Jersey shore in 63 years. He also likes to travel and is an avid thoroughbred horse racing fan.


Joe was a back-up guard on the 1954 SPHS basketball team, one of the finest basketball teams in
history and this can be attested to by the fact that 4 of the 5 starters are in the SPHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Joe’s accomplishments started shortly after he was hired by Brooklyn College in 1963 as a lecturer in the Department of Health and Physical Education. In a letter of recommendation for Joe, an ” Iconic ” DIV .1 athletic coach, summarized Joe’s 130-page resume to a condensed form. He stated, ” I do not believe you may again come across a resume as diversified as Joe’s”

Joe excelled as a coach. in 1964, he was appointed head coach of men’s swimming. A team that had not had a winning season in 28 years. As head coach for 11 years, his teams won 10 championships. He excelled as an Athletic Director in charge of 20 teams for men and women, He’s the accomplished author of numerous publications (at least 28) on sports, about 8 to 10, appeared in the Sunday Edition of the New York Times.” The articles dealt with, psychology, sociology, ethics, current trends, future trends in women’s sports, etc. He has often been referred to as, ” One of the most widely published athletic directors in the nation”. He created an Athletic Hall of Fame in his first year as Athletic Director, wrote all the rules and regulations governing it, approved, by College legal counsel. He worked relentlessly to receive corporate support from many corporations, including Toyota, Wendy’s, Nike, Michelob, many local business people and Banks.
Joe was invited by the Speaker of the House, of the New York State Senate, to give a presentation to State Senators on Athletic Concerns. He started a movement for a major sports complex in Brooklyn (domed stadium) Today, known as Barclays. Invited to appear on a popular late-night talk show, with the President of a Private University, To discuss legislation which would have greatly affected the” Final Four” “March Madness. Wrote an article about this which in the “Sunday Edition of the New York Times.” People could call in and ask us questions, NCAA==Legislation Defeated!!!  Joe rose to the top of the Athletic Department of Brooklyn City College. He did this through hard work, and unwavering determination and drive. He started as a lecturer and promoted over the years to Full Professor. He retired as a Professor Emeritus. He states ‘I really enjoyed my career. Never a dull moment, always challenging!!!