Pair of MUHS grads to be inducted into high school hall of fame
MIDDLEBURY — Two graduates of Middlebury Union High School will be inducted into the MHS/MUHS Hall of Fame next Friday.
New Hall of Famers Bill Cunningham and David Shaw will be introduced at halftime of the MUHS Homecoming football game vs. Rutland on Friday, Sept. 28, at Doc Collins Field.
Cunningham, Class of 1973, played football, basketball and baseball; attended Boys State, and was a member of the National Honor Society during his years at MUHS. He graduated from Southern New Hampshire University and completed his Master’s Degree in Non Profit Management from Norwich University. In 2015, he retired from the Vermont Air National Guard after 37 years of service with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and Superintendent of the 229th Information Operations Squadron. He currently serves as the Regional Director for Addison County Transit Resources in Middlebury.
As a member of the 229th Information Operations Squadron, Chief Cunningham was instrumental to the establishment and growth of the unit. Throughout the years, he became a subject matter expert on training personnel via advanced distributed learning (ADL), and used this expertise to train junior enlisted and officers to the high standards and outstanding reputation expected of the 229 IOS. He established a fully functioning enlisted professional development program. Building on the foundation of the program he started, Cunningham developed a benchmark program to shape future enlisted leaders of the Vermont Air National Guard. He is actively involved in the Enlisted Association of the National Guard (EANGUS) as the State President of the association that benefits both soldiers and airman. He has been instrumental to the establishment of a Military Ball Committee, which successfully planned, organized and presented military balls for 450 National Guard members and their families for the last seven years.
Cunningham has also volunteered many years for Special Olympics providing athletes the opportunity to display their abilities. He started in 1978 as a cross country ski coach at the Vermont State Winter games and then the International Winter Games hosted at Smugglers Notch Vermont. He has continued in many roles with Special Olympics. He chaired a Special Olympics state basketball tournament hosted at Middlebury College in 1983. He currently coaches alpine skiing athletes. He served on the Law Enforcement Torch Run Board of Directors for Special Olympics as the representative from the National Guard for many years. He was inducted into the Law Enforcement Torch Run Hall of Fame in 2005, and was selected as the Torch Run Volunteer for the Year in 2009.
In 2013 he was recognized by the Vermont National Guard with the General John L. Barr Community Service award, recognizing his volunteer contributions to his community. In 2016 the Addison County Chamber of Commerce recognized his community involvement with the Buster Brush Citizen of the Year Award. Bill is currently the President of the MHS/MUHS Alumni Association. He is also a member of the Middlebury Rotary and Lions Club.
Shaw, known for his support of Tiger football, can often be found on the sidelines, encouraging officials and supporting the Tigers, only missing three home games in 38 years.
A 1980 graduate of MUHS, Shaw represented the Tigers as a member of the football and wrestling teams, receiving two varsity letters, as well participating on three state championships teams, two in football, one in wrestling. David was the captain of the wrestling team his senior year.
After graduation, Shaw shared his athletic experience as both a coach and official. He coached 5th- and 6th-, and 7th- and 8th-grade Middlebury flag football from 1980-1992 and served as a high school wrestling official throughout Vermont from 1980-1998.
Shortly after graduation, David Shaw followed in his father’s (Donald “Butch” Shaw) footsteps by volunteering for the Middlebury Fire Department (MFD). His service to the department has been recognized numerous times by the Vermont State Firefighters Association (VSFA), receiving both Line Officer of the Year and the VSFA Chiefs Award. Concurrent with his responsibilities as a firefighter, Shaw serves on MFD Technical Rescue Team, which includes rope rescue, swift water rescue, and ice rescue. In this capacity he has responded to calls across Vermont.
Following his 35 years of service and promotion to captain (1989) and assistant chief (2001), Shaw was appointed MFD chief in 2015. Despite a nationwide reduction in manpower, under Shaw’s leadership, MFD has maintained its effectiveness in protecting the community, receiving more than 285 calls annually. Shaw d has worked tirelessly to ensure the department’s emergency readiness, organizing regular personnel training, certification, and procuring modern firefighting equipment, including a new ladder truck in 2017.
Beyond his roles with MFD, David Shaw has found other avenues to serve the community. He was appointed by Gov. Schumlin to serve on the state committee to select the state’s first Search and Rescue Coordinator. He serves on the Zoning Board of Adjustments in Weybridge, where he resides with his wife, Wendy.
He is also a former president and vice president of the Addison County Firefighters Association, and he is currently vice president of the Battell Hose Company and chair of the Turpin Library; a fire library for the county.