East Haven Hall of Fame Selects Seven New Members for Induction
Frank Barron )
Lauri Finnegan Roman )
John Giordano )
Louis Lefevre )
Gabriele Pane )
Patrick Paulson )
Dianne Romans )
The East Haven High School (EHHS) Alumni Association Hall of Fame has selected seven new members for induction as part of its Class of 2020. The Hall of Fame was scheduled to hold its annual induction ceremony on Nov. 22, but the dinner was canceled due to COVID-19. The seven new members will instead be inducted with the Class of 2021 during a ceremony in November of this year. The members of the 2020 EHHS Hall of Fame class are Lauri Finnegan Roman, John Giordano, Louis Lefevre, Gabriele Pane, Patrick Paulson, Dianne Romans, and the late Frank Barron.
Frank Barron (Class of ‘68)
Frank Barron was a 1968 graduate of EHHS, where he started as a center on the football team’s Housatonic championship squads from 1965 to 1967. In 1973, Barron received a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Ohio after playing football and lacrosse at the school. He returned to Connecticut in 1980 to teach and coach at Daniel Hand High School (DHHS) in Madison for the next 33 years until his retirement from teaching in 2013. Barron also earned a master’s degree in corporate and political communication from Fairfield University in 1987.
Barron served as an assistant freshman football coach, a full-time varsity assistant coach, and assistant line coach during his tenure as a football coach at DHHS. He was an integral part of a Tigers’ football squad that won 12 state championships.
Barron was also the head coach for the JV and varsity boys’ lacrosse teams at DHHS for 20 years before becoming the JV head coach and a varsity assistant coach for the boys’ lacrosse team at Branford High School (BHS). He was instrumental in establishing the BHS girls’ lacrosse program and also helped found the Branford Youth Lacrosse program for boys in grades 5 to 12. Barron held clinics for lacrosse coaches and developed town-wide lacrosse recreation clinics.
During his career as a lacrosse coach, Barron amassed 500 career victories in Ohio and Connecticut and also led DHHS to the CIAC Division I semifinals in 1991 and 1992, as well as the Northern Division championship in 1992 and 1993. At BHS, Barron helped the Hornets win an SCC title in 2002, claim a state championship in 2003, post a regular-season record of 16-0 in 2005, make the Class M state semifinals in 2006, and advance to the Class M state final in 2007.
Barron was considered one of top lacrosse coaches in the country, in addition to being a popular local, regional, and national speaker and clinician. He was selected as head coach for the East team in the 2000 National Lacrosse Senior All-Star Games and was inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame Connecticut Chapter in 2011. Barron was also inducted into the Madison Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Branford Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019.
Barron passed away on July 18, 2020.
Lauri Finnegan Roman (Class of ‘77)
Lauri Finnegan Roman was a prolific athlete at EHHS, putting together an impressive career in field hockey, basketball, softball, and cheerleading before graduating in 1977.
Finnegan Roman was a two-time letter winner in field hockey. She also played varsity basketball, lettering in her sophomore, junior, and senior years. On the softball field, Finnegan Roman lettered all four years and was named to the All-Housatonic Second Team as a center fielder. In her senior year, she was the first-time unanimous All-Housatonic pick, again in center field. Finnegan Roman, who had a career batting average of .667, played in the state final in her freshman and senior years. She was also a varsity cheerleader at EHHS and volunteered as a youth football cheerleading coach for three years.
At EHHS, Finnegan Roman was named the first recipient of the Female Athlete of the Year Award, which recognizes outstanding athletic prowess, work ethic, and teamwork. She was a four-year member of the Student Council, served on the prom committee during her junior and senior years, and was a member of the 1977 yearbook staff.
After high school, Finnegan Roman married and then lived in Chicago and Boston before returning to East Haven, where she raised her daughter Samantha. Finnegan Roman worked at Tweed New Haven Airport as a customer service supervisor for USAir Express for 11 years, then worked at Yale University as a computer support technician for four years. In 2014, she became the office manager for Carfora Carriers, where she is currently employed. From 1995-’98, Finnegan Roman was a volunteer softball coach with the Foxon Recreation League.
John Giordano (Class of ‘68)
John Giordano, a Class of 1968 EHHS graduate, has enjoyed more than four decades of success as a business entrepreneur and licensed public insurance adjuster, in addition to experience as an elected state of Connecticut legislator, committee chairperson, and community advocate. Giordano is president and CEO of Giordano Associates, a firm established in 1978 that represents corporations and individuals relative to property damage claims. Among the company’s major clients are Yale New Haven Hospital, local universities, and large municipalities.
After graduating from EHHS, Giordano attended the University of New Haven, where he majored in political science. Prior to his career as a business executive, Giordano began what was to become a parallel path of public service. In 1971, Giordano, then 21, became the youngest person ever elected in Connecticut when he successfully ran for the East Haven Town Council. He sat on the council for two terms, serving on several committees, including police and fire.
In 1975, Giordano was elected to the state House of Representatives, once again earning the distinction of being the youngest person ever elected to that body. He served in the House for three-consecutive terms, sitting on several committees in leadership roles. While in the legislature, Giordano was instrumental in securing a $50,000 grant from the State Historical Commission, helping the Old Stone Church restore its steeple. He also was elected chair of the House Liquor Committee.
Giordano also served as a member of the Connecticut Sports Foundation, raising money for families affected by cancer. From 1998 to 2003, he was a member of the Park and Recreation board for the Town of Branford, where he lives with three children: John, Jacqueline, and Jocelyn. The family attends St. Mary’s Parish and is a member of the Pine Orchard Country Club.
Louis Lefevre (Class of ‘84)
Louis Lefevre was a starting point guard for the East Haven boys’ basketball team during his junior and senior years. After graduating from EHHS in 1984, Lefevre earned a bachelor’s degree in education (biology), cum laude, from Central Connecticut State University. He began his teaching career at New Britain’s Sacred Heart School, where he taught for five years. Lefevre then taught for three years at Maloney High School in Meriden. He later taught at secondary schools in Atlanta, Dallas, and Clarksville, Indiana. Among the subjects that Lefevre taught were biology, science, physical science, anatomy, and environmental science.
Lefevre has been coaching varsity boys’ basketball since 1987, compiling a career record of 570-221. He has led four different high schools, all of which have been open since at least 1950, to their most successful seasons in program history.
Among his many other coaching accomplishments, Lefevre strung together a 40-game win streak at Mary Immaculate Academy High School in New Britain and won a Class S state title at Terryville High School in Plymouth 1995. He also set a school record for season wins (going 24-4) at St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, amassed a 10-year record of 175-52 and won the school’s first regional championship at Clarksville’s Providence High School, and won the only 3A sectional championship in the history of Tipton High School in Indians in 2017, posting a 91-28 five-year record. During his inaugural season at North Harrison High School in Ramsey, Indiana in 2019, Lefevre’s team finished with 18 wins, which was the most for the school since its 1989-’90 season.
Gabriele Pane (Class of ‘08)
Gabriele Pane enjoyed an outstanding career as a three-sport athlete at EHHS. In soccer, Pane was named All-League First Team for four-straight years and was also a two-time captain for the Yellowjackets. In 2007, she broke four records: most career points, career goals, career assists, and most assists in a season. In tennis, Pane made All-League First Team in her sophomore, junior, and senior years and was again a two-time captain. Additionally, she broke the school record for the most wins in doubles and had the Yellowjackets’ most appearances at states. Pane also played basketball, serving as a captain for one season and earning recognition as a scholar-athlete from the New Haven Tap-Off Club.
Pane is a Harvard Book Award winner and has received the Outstanding Student Award from Yale University. Pane is a cum laude graduate of Stonehill College in Easton Massachusetts, where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Pane is a professional artist and gallery curator. Her artwork hangs in major galleries, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It has also been featured at major auction platforms and displayed in a wide range of venues, including the New York Stock Exchange trading floor, Sony Hall, New York Fashion Week, Buzz Art Auctions, Nomo Soho Art Gallery, Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, Athletes for Art Auction (in partnership with the NFL), and Avant Gallery. Pane’s pieces have been featured on popular TV shows, decorate exclusive nightclubs, and also grace the décor of major record label headquarters and fashion houses throughout the United States. Her clientele at Not Your Muse ranges from hip-hop celebrities to professional athletes and sophisticated art connoisseurs.
Patrick Paulson (Class of ‘07)
Patrick “Pat” Paulson, a member of the Class of 2007 at EHHS, was a four-year starter for the Yellowjackets’ boys’ basketball squad, leading the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots in all four years of his career and also serving as captain during his senior season. Paulson is the second all-time leading scorer in program history with 1,393 points and holds school records for most career field goals (527) and most career games played (86). He was named SCC All-Division and also to the New Haven Tap-Off Club All-County Team in his sophomore, junior, and senior years. Paulson was also selected to the New Haven Register’s All-Area Team and All-State Second Team as both a junior and a senior. He was also chosen to play in the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) Senior All-Star Game.
A two-sport athlete during his high school years, Paulson was a four-year starter for the East Haven boys’ basketball team, was selected for the CHSCA All-Star Game, and was also named to the American Legion Dream Dozen Team.
Paulson was offered a scholarship to the University of New Haven. He later transferred into Branford Hall Career Institute’s professional fitness trainer program, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Paulson is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine and hold certifications in nutrition, corrective exercise, and performance enhancement.
Paulson worked as a personal trainer at The Edge Fitness Club for more than five years, training youngsters, the elderly, athletes, and those with special needs in the areas of weight management, speed, agility, and rehabilitation. Paulson recently started his own personal training business in West Haven.
Dianne Romans (Class of ‘84)
Dianne Romans is a 1984 graduate of EHHS, where she was a member of the Yellowjackets’ state championship softball team. After graduating from high school, Romans attended South Central Community College and received an associate degree in general studies. She later earned a paralegal certificate from Branford Hall Career Institute in 1996. Romans then continued her education at Quinnipiac University’s School of Business.
During her 30-year career as an accomplished business professional, Romans held executive positions at SNET, CT Bar & Restaurant Supplies, the law firm of Tyler Cooper and Alcorn, and SBC. She currently is a senior paralegal at AT&T, a Connecticut notary public, and a justice of the peace. She was also recently appointed to the East Haven Police Commission.
Romans has been a passionate, energetic, and committed community volunteer for decades. Among the many organizations that have benefited from her time and talent are the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes, where she was a walk-a-thon team leader; the Center for Children’s Advocacy, where she ran the Keep the Power On clinic that worked with low-income families; and the Grand Avenue Men’s Shelter, where she served dinner and distributed clothing, toiletries, and bagged lunches. Romans also volunteers at the Clifford Beers Clinic, including the holiday in the Adopt a Family program.
Romans and her dog Samantha are a trained and certified pet therapy team that frequently visits Connecticut Hospice and local nursing homes. They also participate in the Hagaman Memorial Library’s Read to Me program and visit local colleges and universities, where they help students alleviate stress during exam week.
Romans is committed to issues affecting the local community. She began volunteering at the East Haven Food Pantry in 2006 and currently serves as its president. She also is a member of the East Haven Merit Award Committee and the Vietnam Veterans Post 484 Fireworks Committee. Romans instituted a backpack program to support local elementary schools’ efforts to provide weekend and holiday meals for children. She has taken the lead on several food pantry fundraising activities and implemented a system to keep it open during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving an average of 150 families each week.
Romans was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award from 2014 through 2018 and also received the mayor’s Merit Award for Community Service in 2018.