EVESHAM >> Cherokee High School’s Academic Hall of Fame will induct its third class on Thursday, May 30 as part of the school’s Academic Awards Ceremony.
This year's inductions will include the Lenape Regional High School District Superintendent of Schools, an Engineering Manager that holds a U.S. Patent, a United States Naval Academy graduate and decorated Marine Corps veteran who is the global brand manager and director for a global fitness company, and a New Jersey Superior Court judge appointed by the New Jersey Governor with extensive experience practicing law and serving on the Evesham Township Municipal Committee. These four outstanding individuals will join the 10 other individuals currently enshrined in the Cherokee High School Academic Hall of Fame.
Being honored and inducted is Dr. Carol Birnbohm, 1988 graduate of Cherokee High School. Dr. Birnbohm not only attended Cherokee but was also a teacher in the Mathematics Department from 1992 to 2001. In 2001, she accepted an Assistant Principal position at Cherokee and was a supervisor of the Mathematics and Guidance Departments. Dr. Birnbohm moved into the role of Director of Programs and Planning in the Lenape Regional High School District before moving into the Assistant Superintendent position in 2007. In 2012, Dr. Birnbohm took over as the Superintendent of the Lenape Regional High School District. She was recognized by the National School Public Relations Association as a “Superintendent to Watch” in the 2017-2018 school year. Dr. Birnbohm was honored as the 2019 Burlington County Superintendent of the Year by the Burlington County Association of School Administrators as well as the 2019 Region III Superintendent of the Year by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators. During her time as Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Birnbohm has implemented programs such as the “Two Graduations” initiative and a rotating schedule with an embedded community lunch and learn. Dr. Birnbohm’s leadership in programs such as Defy the Issue and the Anti-Defamation League’s No Place for Hate have involved students in creating an educational environment which allows staff members to create opportunities for students to get involved in their community.
Also being honored is Kerri Devine, 2009 graduate of Cherokee High School. Devine is currently an Engineering Manager for Siemens Building Technologies where she leads a team of 15 engineers to build next generation solutions for building automation. She holds a US Patent for an indoor passive location tracking system. Devine was the keynote speaker at the Society of Women Engineering National Conference in 2018 where she talked about “The Buildings of Tomorrow.” She volunteered to create a task force between Engineers without Borders and Habitat for Humanity where she championed the need for a mobile app to combat the plight of vacant and abandoned properties on Chicago’s South Side. In 2019, she is being recognized as 1 of 30 women under 30 by the Manufacturing Institute of America’s STEP Ahead Emerging Leaders Awards.
Honoree James Letchford is a 1998 graduate of Cherokee High School who currently serves as the global brand manager and director of CrossFit International for CrossFit Incorporated. Through his leadership he has contributed to expanding the number of CrossFit affiliates (gyms) from 3,000 to over 15,000 globally. In addition to expanded media relations, Letchford initiated, negotiated and has managed a more than $150 million dollar partnership with Reebok International and a contract with ESPN to air the CrossFit Games. For the past five years the Harvard Business School MBA program has implemented a case study that was organized and developed through the work of Letchford with a sequel due in 2019. Prior to his work at CrossFit International, Letchford graduated from the Naval Academy and served our country as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Through his extensive work in our armed forces and deployments overseas, Letchford earned the following acknowledgements: (2) Navy Commendations Medals, Navy Achievement Medal, (2) Combat Action Ribbons, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Iraqi Campaign Medal, (2) Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, and a Humanitarian Service Medal. Letchford has also done immense work with charitable groups including CrossFit for Hope, the CrossFit Foundation, and the Travis Manion Foundation.
Honorable Judge Richard J. Nocella is also being honored. Upon graduation from Cherokee High School in 1988, he earned a bachelor’s degree from La Salle University, juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law, and a master of laws degree in taxation from Villanova University School of Law. Judge Nocella was nominated for a Superior Court Judgeship by Governor Christie in May 2015 and was confirmed for the position by the New Jersey State Senate. Since becoming a Superior Court judge he has been the Presiding Judge of the Family Part, Chancery Division, Superior Court of New Jersey – Burlington Vicinage. Prior to his judgeship, Nocella established and operated a successful law practice in Marlton for more than 10 years while also serving as a public defender in the Township of Evesham. Judge Nocella has also served in various roles for the Burlington County Bar Association and Foundation.