Stoughton High School's Hall of Fame for Extraordinary Achievement inducted two new members Friday morning.
Robert F. Rivers, class of 1982, and Priscilla E. Geigis, class of 1983, spoke about their experiences growing up in Stoughton and how that shaped their lives. Rivers went from being a teller at Randolph Savings Bank to being the president of Eastern Bank in Boston, while Geigis is the director of the state parks system.
"This is a day of inspiration," said Stoughton principal Juliette Miller. "We have a saying, 'Once a Knight, always a Knight.' "
Dr. Marguerite Rizzi, the superintendent of schools, who was joined by retired superintendents Anthony Sarno and Dr. John Murray on the stage, said this is one of her favorite events.
"It gives (the students) an opportunity to see how a person can go on and be very successful in life as adults," said Rizzi.
While he was a student at Stonehill College, Rivers was asked to write a business proposal for his life, and aiming high with his goal. He wrote that he wanted to be president of a bank in Boston.
"I had no reason to think that," said Rivers, who described himself as an ordinary kid at Stoughton High. "No one in my family was in banking. I had no connections and I had just been rejected for the Bank of Boston training program.
"(But) I was as a teller, and cleaning banks at night, so in my mind, I was already in the banking business."
He went to work in Pennsylvania and then followed a friend to Nebraska.
"Who knew the road to Boston goes through Omaha?" said Rivers, who was in Boston within a year, and at age 42 in 2007, was president of the bank.
Rivers is also very active in social justice, working for gay rights for employees, and bringing diversity to the executive board at Eastern Bank.
He told the students to "do good things, and good things will happen." Rivers also said to aim high, establish goals, take risks, be flexible, always be learning and have faith.
Growing up in Stoughton, Geigis developed a love of the great outdoors, biking to Borderland State Park, hiking at Blue Hills and crashing the waves with her dad at Horseneck Beach. In August, her family would take a month-long trip to a national park where Geigis would play park ranger.
"I had a coonskin cap," she said."I went around dressed as a park ranger and always had to take the ranger's tour."
She turned that love into a career, using the tools she developed as a student at Stoughton High.
Geigis was a member of the band, learning under the direction of Ronald Christianson, for whom the auditorium is named. She praised Christianson's teaching and for helping her develop teamwork concepts which she uses in her job "He wanted to bring the best out in us, as musicans and as people," she said.
Her band experience gave her a feeling of being part of something bigger.
"I love to work as part of a team," she said. "Teamwork is an important aspect of life."
Geigis was also involved in student government at Stoughton High, working on a voting drive, organizing Students Against Drunk Driving, and later working on Michael Dukakis' governor campaign.
"Make sure your voice is heard," said Geigis. "Those experiences I had inspired me to major in politics at Connecticut College."