MTHS Hall of Fame Class of 2014

Last Updated: 4/9/2019 4:18 PM

Tim Braden

Following his five years (8th through 12th) at Montville HS, Tim received a BS in forestry from the University of Vermont.  He accepted a position with the USDA Forest Service and set our to study insect and disease pathology in the Rockies.  On May 18, 1980, his plane landed amid an ash fallout in Spokane, Washington during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.  Tim spent the next two years studying the effects of volcanic ash on the forest ecosystem in Washington and Northern Idaho.  Missing his friends, family and the pace of the east coast, he returned home to become a registered stockbrocker with Domonic and Domonic Securities.  This career was short lived as Tim discovered his true passion, working with his hands.  With the guidance and advice of his dad Rich, he started his own construction company in 1986.  Tim's work can be seen regularly in Morris County Magazine and NJ Monthly.

Tim not only learned the basis of construction from his dad, he also inherited his dad's spirit of volunteerism.  Rich is credited with spearheading the construction of the first youth center in Montville.  He was one of the original chairpersons of the Montville 4th of July Committee and served on the Montville Township Planning Board.  He did all of this while raising 8 great kids all of whom are alumni of Montville Township H.S.

The Montville Kiwanis Club was Tim's introduction into community service.  Shortly after becoming a member, he was assigned the task of constructing Montville's Community Park Playground.  He supervised over 250 volunteers during 3 days of building in June 2000.  The result is the finest playground in teh area.  Tim went on to lead in the construction of playgrounds at Hilldale School, Camp Dawson and the municipal ballfields.  WIth the assistance of his brother Chris, he renovated the bathrooms at Camp Dawson and constructed a concession stand at the camp.  The Braden Brotehr also took on another Kiwanis project, installing electronic scoreboards in Montville's five elementary schools.  Tim serves as the Kiwanis liaison to the Montville Township HS Key Club where he coordinates the referees for their annual Volleyball Marathon.  He also constructed Alex's lemonade Stand, which the Key Club uses to raise money for cancer research.

Tim is a former Scout Master of Pack 179 and was Director of Travel Softball for the Montville Baseball and Softball Association.  He has been a youth sports coach since 1996 and in 2003, Tim was honored as Montville Township's Citizen of the Year.  In 2008, Tim initiatied Montville's first middle school volleyball program and in 2013, this original group of girls was ranked #16 in the State by the Star Ledger making it to the County finals and the State quarterfinals.

In 2006, Tim was elected to and served as Chairman of the Montville Charter Study Commission.  He has also served on teh Library Board and currently sits on the Planning Board.  Tim was elected to the Montville Township Committee in 2008.  In 2012 he became the first Montville Township High School graduate to serve as Montville's Mayor.

Tim is married to his better half, Linda.  They are very proud of their three children: Michele, Chris and Megan.

Colby Bruno

Colby Bruno grew up in Montville, went to William Mason Elementary School, then onto middle school, followed by Montville Township High School.  While at the high school, she was interested in sports and she loved the connections and friendships she made on her teams.  She was a three sport athlete, tennis in the fall, basketball in the winter, and lacrosse in the spring.  She went on to play Division I tennis at Loyola University in Maryland, which she had a stellar career.  In her senior year at Loyola, she befriended a professor/nun who recommended the Jesuit Volunteer Corps post-graduation.  She applied, was accepted and took a job in San Francisco.  She worked at La Raza Centro Legal, a legal services organization for low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrants.  It was there that she found her love of the law.  Colby was never soft-spoken, and this was the perfect fit for her passion of help those in need.  She remained in San Francisco for 3 more years and worked as a housing advocate for low-income, Spanish-speaking tenants.  Colby settled in Boston and went to Northeastern University School of Law.  There she was a teaching fellow fir the Law, Culture and Difference Program, an innovative approach to lawyering in the 20th century.  After graduation, Colby clerked at the Massachusetts Superior Court and then worked at Sullivan and Worcester - during which time she had her eye on a small non-profit, the Victim Rights Law Center.  After taking several pro bono cases for the Law Center, in 2004 Colby was fired as a staff attorney.  The Law Center was established in 2003 as the first nonprofit law center in the nation solely dedicated to serving the needs of rape and sexual assault victims.  Through direct legal services, the staff attorneys help restore victims' lives after an attack, ensuring that they stay in school; protect their privileged and confidential mental health, medical and education records; preserve their employment; maintain safe housing; secure or maintain their immigration status; and swiftly access victim compensation and other benefits (  Colby has represented hundreds of victims of sexual violence and she is a national expert in the legal rights of campus rape and sexual assault victims.  She now also serves as the media relations liaison for the Law Center.  The work of the Law Center has received national acclaim and attention from networks and publications such as the Today Show, Chronicle, teh New York Times, the Washington Post, FOX News, and teh Boston Globe.  Colbe was named by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2010 as one of twenty "Up and Coming Lawyers."  Colby enjoys her work immensely, but quickly points out that her number one priority is her family.  She is surrounded with joy, love and chaos by her husband, Paul, and their three children.  He brother and sister-in-law still reside in Montville with their two children.  Her parents retired to a warmer, sunnier North Carolina.  She thanks them for all of their support and encouragement throughout her life.

Bryn Chave-Strong

Bryn grew up in Towaco, the only child of Dolores and Randall, in a home that valued sports.  Her love of sports began at an early age as she watched her parents teach physical education and her father coach basketball.

At Montville Township High School, Bryn excelled in both field hockey and lacrosse where she played at the varsity level from her sophomore through senior years.  Bryn played basketball for two years but running around on a field is what excited her the most.  She earned various All Conference, All County and All State honors in both field hockey and lacrosse.  She also was the captain and won MVP honors for both sports her senior year and was honored to be chosen as a high school All American in lacrosse.

Lacrosse was her true passion.  She was awarded a scholarship to attend Boston College where she majored in sociology and minored in education.  She started all four years, was awarded IWLCA All Northeast region honors in 1994 and 1996, and still holds the numerous records in scoring goals and points.

After graduation, Bryn worked as an assistant coach in both field hockey and lacrosse at Davidson College in North Carolina.  From 1996 to 1998 she was able to teacher others and found helping others her true calling.  It took 10 years, various careers, years spent traveling abroad and time living in San Francisco and Spain, but she eventually went on to earn her masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University.  Working in rehabilitation departments in hospitals teaching others how to return to their lives post injury or surgery become her passion.

Bryn currently resides outside of San Francisco with her husband, Adam, and their two sons, Owen and Wyatt.  She would like to thank her parents for always believing in her and allowing her to pursue her dreams.

Matthew Graham

Growing up in Montville and attending its schools from Kindergarten through twelfth grade, Matthew developed a love of dance studying jazz, ballet, tap and acrobatics.  He toured locally with children's theater companies and became involved with the choir and theater productions at Montville Township High School.  He acted in the plays Inherit the Windand William Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights' Dream, performed in musicals Pirates of Penzance and Dames at Seasand was a cast member in Cherry Tree Players productions of Pippin and Sweeney Todd.

Matthew continued his dance studies at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Dance.  In addition to the ballet and contemporary dance syllabus and required academic courses, he always ensured that his scheduled included as many dance electives and performance experiences as possible.  He was cast in numerous pieces for the student and faculty concerts, including reconstructions of Doris Humphrey's Water Study and Shakers by Ernestibe Stodelle.  During his sophomore, junior and senior years, Matthew performed with the touring company, bringing the art of dance to schools throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania and traveled with the dance department to Ohio State University, Cornell University, and County College of Morris to participate in the American College Dance Festival Association. He also performed with the theater department in main stage productions of Anything Goes and Guys and Dolls and danced the role of Dream Curly in Oklahoma!

Upon graduation, Matthew began working professionally during three summer seasons and one Christmas season at Hershey Park, danced in the regional productions of 42nd Street, Cabaret, and Hitwave!, and Red Hot Broadway, traveled the world with the production company aboard the cruise ship MS Saga Rose, and performed as an ensemble member with the Radio City Rockettes.  Matthew toured with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for 6 seasons in Myrtle Beach, Branson, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Seattle and Phoenix.

Matthew moved to London and began his U.K. career by tap dancing on the radio for BBC Radio 4 in a special performance of On Your Toes starring Bonnie Langford.  He then secured dance roles in feature films Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon and Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Pride and Prejudice starring Kiera Knightly and Donald Sutherland.  After dancing in the Royal Opera House production of La Traviata, Matthew was fortunate to have the opportunity to tour Japan with Les Histoires D'Amour starring Sylvie Guillem.  Matthew continued his stage work, dancing in Royal Opera's Maskarade, Iphegenie, and Tauride, and Un Ballo in Macheraat the Royal Opera House and English National Opera's The Mikado at The Coliseum.  He also continued work in film and television with the feature film version of The Magic Flute directed by Kenneth Branagh, television film Colditz, and for the opening of the Wales Millenium Center, broadcast by BBC Wales.  Most recently, Matthew completed 5 seasons on London's West End a Father Christmas in Raymond Briggs' The Snowman.  This is in addition to two U.K. tours, a Korean tour, and a recording of the production for Sony DVD

Matthew still lives in London and although he has retired from dance, he still has a keen interest in performing arts.  He would like to thank his family for all of their support over the years.

Michael F. O'Brien

Raised in Clifton, New Jersey, Mike has been a resident of Montville Township since 1970.  He received his B.S. degree in education from Fairleigh Dickinson University, his M.A. in Administration from New Jersey City University, and has done additional graduate work at Montclair State University and the University of Bridgeport.

Mike retired at the end of 2008 after over 40 years on the teaching staff of Montville Township High School.  During his tenure in the district he taught courses such as Humanities, United States History, Sociology, Minorities, and Political Biography to thousands of students.

He initiated the Civic Involvement program at MTHS designed to make students aware of the structure and workings of local government.  He was among the founders of Project Graduation under the auspices of the Youth Services Commission.  He was awarded the Jefferson Cup by the Parents Council for his dedication to and support of MTHS.  He was also selected by the Montville Chamber of Commerce for the Civil Service Award.

During his years at MTHS he also coached numerous sports teams on all levels (high school, AAU, CYO, recreation, etc.) including baseball, lacrosse, softball, soccer and basketball, in both Montville and surrounding communities.

As an active citizen involved in politics in Montville Township, Mr. O'Brien has been a resource for both staff and students on civic matters in the community.  He has served on numerous boards, commissions and volunteer organizations including Youth Services and Drug Awareness.  He was President of the Montville Townsip Education Association for several terms.  He is currently an elected member of the Montville Township Board of Education, the Chair of the Montville Township Historic Preservation Review Commission, and Chair for the Democratic Party in Montville Township.  For a number of years he has been and continues as the "Voice of the Mustangs" for MTHS home football games.  He is a founding member and still serves on the MTHS Hall of Fame Committee.

When Mike retired from the High School, he was the last remaining member of the founding staff, having taught from the opening of MTHS in 1968 when it was located in what was then Central School (now Lazar School).

Outside of school, Mr. O'Brien is both an outdoorsman and conservationist.  He is a member/supporter of several environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, Passaic River Coalition, and Friends of the Delaware. He is a participant in wildlife surveys.

He is an expert and lecturer on the topics of antiques and the decorative arts, a certified appraiser, and the owner/operator of Appraisal Associates of New Jersey Inc.

In addition to these pursuits he is involved in genealogical research projects.  He is a member of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Mike and his wife Linda have five children all of whom are graduates of Montville Township High School: Dr. Abigail O'Keeffe, Daniel F. O'Brien, Esq., Dr. Edmund O'Brien, and twins Conor and Caroline O'Brien.  They also have five grandchildren.

He continues to travel widely throughout the U.S. and Canada in pursuit of his interests related to the environment , genealogy, and history.  In his travels he is most likely to be found in Jersey, on the Delaware Bay, Pennsylvania or Montana.

Timothy Purnell

Dr. Timothy Purnell was born and raised in Montville.  His parents, Sandy and "Doc" Purnell, were extremely involved in Montville.  Throughout his years at Montville Township High School. Dr. Timothy Purnell served as Marching Band Percussion Leader and held various roles in Ms. Kucher-Patenaude's musicals.  At the University of Delaware, Dr. Purnell remained active in the percussion line of the marching band and found a passion for teaching.

Dr. Purnell received his Bachelor of Arts in 1997 from the University of Delaware with a concentration in Biology.  He received his Masters in Administration and Supervision in 2002 from Montclair State University and his Doctorate from Saton Hall University in 2008.  Dr. Purnell's research, titled "No Transient Child Left Behind," studied the link between student transience and standardized test scores on a global and local level.

Dr. Purnell taught for five years, worked his way through administrative levels to the superintendent position, and continues as an adjunct professor of Mental Health at Montclair State University, where he has taught since 2002.  His former Montville Township Principal, Mr. Cardinale, served as his unofficial mentor during his first year as superintendent.  Dr. Purnell is currently in his fifth year as the superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools.  He has provided professional development on strategic planning and technology and has served as a keynote speaker statewide.

Dr. Purnell is in his second year as President of the Somerset County Association of School Administrators.  He is the recipient of the You Make a Difference Award, Phoenix Award for Improving Student Achievement, Governor's Teaching Recognition Award and Weston Teaching in Excellence Award.  He received a Geraldine R. Dodge Fellowship School Leadership Award to study the Italian educational system for one month.  Dr. Purnell received the 2014 Central Region Superintendent of the Year Award for New Jersey.  His former Montville Township Superintendent, Dr. Richard Bozza presented him the award in September 2014.  Dr. Purnell and his wife, Alexandra, have three children and reside in Madison, NJ.

Alyssa Sepinwall


Alyssa graduated from MTHS in 1987.  While at MTHS she was involved in many activities, including Drama Club, the Podium, FBLA, and Forensics.  She was state champion in extemporaneous speaking and represented NJ at the National Forensic League tournament three years in a row (1985-1987).  She founded the MTHS chapter of Junior Statesmen of America and also earned the highest senior class award, "Mustang of the Year."

After graduating from MTHS, Alyssa attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.  She majored in History and Political Science, and also studied abroad at Oxford University.  Alyssa was active in many clubs at Penn, including student government, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1991.  After a tear of volunteering in Israel, Alyssa moved to Northern California to pursue a Ph.D. in history at Stanford University.  She wrote her dissertation on the abbe Henri Gregoire, a French priest and revolutionary who had argued for ending discrimination against Jews and abolishing slavery.  After receiving her doctorate, she spent a semester as the Lucius N. Littauer Postdoctoral Fellow at Penn's Center for Advanced Judaic Studies before returning to California.

Alyssa is currently a full Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History Department at California State University - San Marcos.  She is the author of The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism (2005)and Haitian History: New Perspectives (2012).  She has also published numerous scholarly articles.  Alyssa has served on committees or been an officer in several professional societies; she has also been a fellow at Harvard University's Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World.  Her research has taken her around the world, and Alyssa particularly enjoys meeting with French and Haitian colleagues.

Although Alyssa loves research and writing, the most rewarding part of her job is teaching her students at CSUSM.  She is a part winner of CSUSM's President's Award for Innovation in Teaching.  She teachers world history surveys as well as specialized courses on European, French, Haitian and Jewish history.

Alyssa is grateful to all her teachers at MTHS.  She has especially warm memories of Mrs. Brennan, the world's most spirited, caring, and wise guidance counselor.  She is also grateful to Mrs. Laux who made French fun and gave her a wonderful foundation for future success in the language, and teh English teachers who pushed her to be a better writer.  The social studies department made history come alive and she is especially grateful to Mr. Lucibello for introducing her to historiography, something which remains an enduring subject of fascination for her.  Alyssa very much appreciates the specialness of the Montville Board of Education in investing so generously in extracurricular activities which were critical to her success.  She also thanks the terrific advisors for Forensics and FBLA, who nurtured students, led them to national tournaments, and were caring and involved mentors.  Although she was not a spectacular success in Academic Decathlon as a student, she hopes that Mr. Lucibello will be proud to know that she went on to write the Resource Guide for the 2009-2010 AD SuperQuiz on the French Revolution, which was used in 2000 high schools around the country.

Alyssa lives in San Diego with her husband Steve and her hilarious son Jacob.  She is proud to follow her younger brother Alan into the MTHS Hall of Fame.  Her profoundest thanks go to them, her sister Stacy, and her parents, Dr. Harriet Sepinwall and the late Dr. Jerry Sepinwall, for their constant love and encouragement.

Maureen Stinson

Maureen Stinson was born in May of 1969.  She attended the Montville School system from Kindergarten at Valley View School through Montville Township High School.

In her high school years she served as vice president of her class and participated in planning many activities such as Safe Ride, the junior/senior prom and the senior banquet.

From a sports perspective, Maureen earned 10 varsity letters and 2 junior varsity letters over her four years at MTHS.  She was always a team player and was proud to represent Montville High School whenever she stepped on the field or court.  In field hockey, she played on the championship teams winning the conference, county and/or state tournaments.  She was a team captain her senior year.  She was also awarded Most Valuable Player her senior year.  She made the first team all-conference team, first team all-county team, and first team all-state team.  In basketball, Maureen played varsity her sophomore through senior years.  While the team did not win a game, Maureen continued to play for Montville and kept trying.  She was team captain her senior year and she was awarded Most Improved Player that year.  In softball, Maureen played junior varsity her freshman year and varsity for the remaining three years.  She was team captain, all-conference and received Most Valuable Player as a senior.

After high school, Maureen went on to Katherine Gibbs where she earned her associate's degree.  She started working at Nabisco immediately after graduating and moved from an administrative assistant to a technology analyst.  While working at Nabisco, Maureen continued her education at Caldwell College and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration.

After working for Nabisco for 10 years, Maureen went on to work at Merrill Lynch.  While at Merrill Lynch, Maureen volunteered her time to a program to help underprivileged children chosen in kindergarten to receive a paid college education to the school of their choice if they could graduate from high school.  While several children did not graduate, the majority did and went on to great schools.  This was very rewarding work for Maureen.  Helping a child with homework of deciding if they should go to a party where drinking was involved were some examples of Maureen's contributions to making the children successful.

In 2003, Maureen left Merrill Lynch and went to work for Hewlett Packard as an account executive.  In 2008 she received the MVP award given to the top 2% of individuals out of the 300+ employees.  This award was for dedication to the company, the current customer she supported, delivery excellence and revenue generation.  In 2014, Maureen received the Sales Excellence Summit Award. given to the top performers in the company, as selected by the executive committee.  Maureen continues to be dedicated to her employer and to the customer that she supports.

From a voluntary perspective, Maureen filled the role of Co-HSA President from 2012-2014.  She continues to be very involved in fund raising and enrichment to benefit the children of Saint Pius X School.  She also sits on the Saint Pius X Church Finanec Committee.  Maureen is a team mom for Broncos Football as well.  Maureen has held the position of president of the Montville High School Hall of Fame Committtee for three years.

Maureen married her husband Tom Stinson in 2001 and is very fortunate to have 3 step daughters, Jennifer, Jackie and Jessica and her son Thomas.  She continued to reside in Montville, NJ.

Richard Vuyosevich

Rich began his teaching career in 1974 at St. Mary's High School in Rutherford where he attended high school.  He taught History and coached football, basketball and baseball and was inducted in 2009 to the St. Mary's High School Hall of Fame.

Rich began teaching at Montville Township High School in 1978 and continued until his retirement in 2010.  Rich taught the following subjects: Humanities, Economics, 21st Century, and U.S. History I & II.  He was also moderator of the Varsity Club and a member of the Discipline Committee.  He served on the New Jersey Historical Commission and participated in summer teaching seminars at Kean University.  Rich is a founding member of the Montville Township High School Hall of Fame Committee where he served three years as president.

Rich's main involvement in 32 years at Montville Township High School was in the area of coaching.  Rich was assistant varsity football coach for 19 years.  He was also assistant baseball coach for 4 years.  His main coaching responsibility was Head Varsity Boys Basketball coach for 23 years.  During that time his teams achieved nearly 350 wins.  His teams won 2 league championships, had 2 state sectional final appearances and three final four appearances in the Morris County tournament.

Rich's coaching honors include 1982 Skyline Conference Coach of the Year, 1982 Community Coach of the Year, 1985 Skyline Conference Coach of he Year, 1991 Bergen County Scholastic League Coach of the Year, 2000 Northern Hills Coach of teh Year, 2000 Daily Record Morris County Coach of the Year and 2000 Star Ledger Morris County Coach of the Year.

Since his retirement, Rich has continued to coach at Mountain Lakes and Lodi High Schools as assistant basketball coach.  Rich has been traveling overseas and throughout the United States as well as golfing and boating.

His fondest memories of his 32 years were the privilege to teach, coach and work with a variety of great people.