Congratulations, 2023 Alumni Award Winners!
Rev. Charles K. Riepe Alumni Award Winner: Lawrence Burton '80
The John Carroll School Board of Trustees is proud to announce that Lawrence (Larry) Burton '80 is the 2023 recipient of the Reverend Charles K. Riepe Alumni Award. Established in 1975, the Reverend Charles K. Riepe Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and community service, and is the highest award given to a John Carroll alumna/us.
After graduating from John Carroll, Larry attended Virginia Tech, earning an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering before going on to the Johns Hopkins University for his Master of Science degree in the same field in 1992.
Larry spent 36 years working as a mechanical engineer for the U.S. Army, retiring in 2018 as the Associate Director for Operations for the Weapons & Materials Research Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory on Aberdeen Proving Ground. While there, he had management responsibility for all facilities, personnel safety and operational security of more than 700 personnel. During the course of his distinguished career, Larry authored or co-authored 22 technical reports, five refereed journal articles and 18 conference proceedings papers, and made more than 200 technical presentations. He also earned dozens of awards for civilian service, community service, exceptional performance, special acts and more.
It's no surprise that so many of his awards were tied to community service. Larry’s history of community service extends back to the 1980s, when he was an active basketball and baseball coach in the Bel Air Recreation despite having no children in the programs. Upon his move from Bel Air to Darlington, Larry joined the Darlington Lions Club and became a fixture in the community as an active member for over two decades. In 2007, Larry volunteered to solicit and obtain federal funding for the West Cecil Health Center (WCHC). Larry went on to serve on the WCHC Board of Directors for six years, which included more than three years as the Board President and oversaw the facility’s opening. In 2014, at Larry’s urging, the Lions Club assumed responsibility for organizing the annual Darlington Independence Day Parade & Fireworks Celebration. Larry chaired this effort and established a 501(c)(3) foundation, boosting donations nearly threefold.
For more than a decade, he has been the primary keeper of the Darlington Lions medical loan closet that makes medical equipment available to individuals recovering from surgery or injuries, delivering items to those in need, retrieving them when they are no longer needed and making repairs as required. In a similar vein, Larry has led the annual Christmas Food Basket and Toy Distribution project for the Lions Club for 20 years, assisting more than 800 families and working to access corporate grants that fund nearly $5,000 annually in food purchases and gift cards to very appreciative families.
For his efforts, Larry received numerous Lions Club awards, including its Presidential Medal, and was named the Conowingo Person of the Year in 2009.
John Carroll is extremely grateful to Larry for his many years of supporting the School by sharing his time, treasure and talent. Larry has worn many hats at John Carroll, including 17 years as a coach and serving two terms on the School's Board of Trustees, during part of which he chaired the Board's Development Committee. He also volunteered at the school Fair, evaluated Senior Projects for nearly a decade and has been part of committees in support of past school capital campaigns. Larry regularly serves on the Class of 1980 reunion committee and is a loyal donor with a 30-year history of financially supporting John Carroll.
Larry is a devoted husband, son, father and grandfather, demonstrating a strong commitment to all members of his immediate and extended family. He has never faltered in his faith in God and lives his life with a firm sense of a greater power. It is his resolute spiritual belief that enables him to maintain a high level of selfless service to others.
Larry credits John Carroll with preparing him for his advanced academic pursuits, his many successes, as well as every aspect of his personal and spiritual life. He is quick to share his experiences at John Carroll with friends and neighbors who have children approaching high school age. Over the years, Larry’s recommendations have nudged more than a few students to pursue life as a Patriot.
Larry's commitment to bettering the world through his professional and community service endeavors is a true inspiration to us all and embodies what it means to be a Patriot. In keeping with John Carroll tradition, he will deliver the commencement remarks to the Class of 2023 at Graduation. Larry will also be honored at a special reception with his family and friends on Friday, May 26.
Coach Burton and the 1987–1988 Fresh-Soph Basketball Team
Student Activities Council circa 1980!
Performing in the JC Variety Show
Around the Halls of JC
Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award
Congratulations to Elizabeth Earnshaw '04, LMFT, the 2023 recipient of the Young Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award! The Young Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus/alumna who has graduated in the past 20 years and whose achievements and contributions have positively impacted his/her profession, community and John Carroll.
- Read Elizabeth Earnshaw's Bio
A couples therapist, entrepreneur and author, Elizabeth is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of others. As an undergraduate student at Temple University, she helped to develop a literacy program for underserved youth in Philadelphia, taught in Baltimore and Philadelphia, and volunteered at an Orphanage in Salvador, Brazil. Elizabeth provided pro-bono therapy for victims of domestic abuse at Project H.O.M.E. during her graduate studies at Thomas Jefferson University.
In the years following, Elizabeth developed a mental health triage program for children in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. She founded A Better Life Therapy, which treats thousands of individuals, couples and families a year, as well as co-founded a relationship health start-up, OURS, which raised millions in funding and is backed by the likes of Serena Williams and Adam Grant.
In 2021, Elizabeth authored the best selling book "I Want This to Work: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating the Most Difficult Relationship Issues We Face in the Modern Age." Her writing and advice was featured in The New York Times, Oprah Daily, The Today Show, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, The Times, USA Today as well as other national and international publications.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Art in Organizational Development and a master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy, is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Certified Gottman Therapist, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also a clinical fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and approved therapist training supervisor.
At The John Carroll School, Elizabeth was highly involved in service opportunities including the Adopt-a-Family program and food drives. She was also a member of the Student Council, Spirit Club and Drama Club.
Her most important achievement, though, is her family. They live together in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congratulations, Elizabeth!
Patriot Service Award
Congratulations are also in order for the 2023 recipient of the Patriot Service Award — Kira Sconion '95. The Patriot Service Award is presented to an alumna/us who has given back significantly to The John Carroll School through his/her time, talent or treasure.
- Read Kira Sconion's Bio
Kira Sconion has spent almost a decade shaping the educational experiences of students along the full spectrum, from young learners to advanced degree candidates, in order to blend her desire for purpose-driven work and her professional expertise.
Kira began her professional career at Black & Decker, where she worked on customized product portfolios and marketing initiatives for global accounts such as Walmart, The Home Depot, Target and Lowe’s. There, she was awarded the Alonzo G. Decker Community Service Award for her commitment to community outreach and impact within the mid-Atlantic region.
After 13 years in the consumer goods industry, Kira realized she desired more mission-driven work and took her project and product management-related expertise to the education sector. She joined the Laureate Education team and, under her oversight as the Executive Director of Product Management, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences graduated more Master of Science in Nursing prepared nurses than any other institution in the country. Most recently, Kira’s professional ventures took her to Pearson Education to serve as the Vice President of Product Management for Curriculum.
Kira’s work for racial and social justice and equity began more than 30 years ago as a student advocate for underserved and underrepresented communities. She continues these efforts today by providing leadership, support and mentorship within several local organizations, including John Carroll's Black Student Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., League of Women Voters of Harford County, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and its Harford County Alumnae Chapter, National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC-HAC), Harford County’s NAACP as its immediate past vice president. She served on an advisory board for various Baltimore City elementary schools and The John Carroll School's Alumni Advisory Board.
Following graduation from The John Carroll School, Kira went on to earn an Executive MBA from Walden University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Bachelor of Science in Spanish from Loyola University. Her passions include traveling and volunteering.
Patriot Pride Awards
John Carroll is proud to present three alumni with the 2023 Patriot Pride Awards: Taralyn Tharp Kohler '89, Tim DeCapite '96 and Jerry Reyerson '69. The Patriot Pride Award is presented to those individual(s) who display outstanding achievement in their career or long-term service to the community.
- Read Taralyn Tharp Kohler's Bio
Taralyn Tharp Kohler '89 is the first Executive Director of CORE Foundation, whose mission is to ignite and support charitable projects. Under Taralyn's leadership, CORE has grown from five to 35 projects and now serves the international community. During the pandemic, CORE received recognition from media outlets such as Lester Holt, Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Good Morning America for providing over 4,000 desks to students learning from home. CORE Foundation also supported international community partners during crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine. CORE Foundation also uses triathlons to fundraise, and as a triathlete herself, Taralyn has created opportunities for youth in financial need at local homeless shelters. Over 350 youth have participated in these programs over the past few years, receiving scholarships, training, experiences, bikes, and athletic shoes.
Prior to her role at CORE, Taralyn was CEO & Founder of "Move Your Mission," with a mission of helping non-profits soar to new heights. Taralyn has not only made philanthropy her career but is also a regular volunteer for groups including the National Charity League, the Young Men's Service League, Girl Scouts and the American Red Cross. Taralyn was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Gold Award three times for achieving over 500 service hours in 12 months.
Taralyn's strong vision and values are rooted in her experience at John Carroll. As a participant in the School's US/USSR exchange program in 1989, she had a front-row seat to see the world's poverty and inequality and wanted to find ways to be part of the change she knew was possible. And find ways, she did. She was honored to share this story during Mr. Miller's Medal of Honor ceremony.
- Read Tim DeCapite's Bio
Tim DeCapite '96 has practiced dermatology in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation since 2010. The hospital where he works is part of the Indian Health Service, which provides health care to Native American Communities that are often underserved.
The Navajo Reservation is located in very remote part of the country and there are many challenges to living on the reservation. Native peoples suffer high rates of poverty and unemployment, and there are great health disparities. Tim started a dermatology department from the beginning, and to the best of his knowledge, is the only dermatologist currently practicing on a Reservation in the U.S. Tim also coaches little league baseball every year and spent five years as Tuba City's youth soccer commissioner.
Tim and his family lived on the Reservation full-time for eight years. While they recently moved back to Bel Air, Tim continues to work for the hospital. He flies out every month for a week to see patients in person and uses telemedicine to see patients while away. During his children’s breaks from school at St. Margaret School, they travel back to Tuba City as a family.
- Read Jerry Reyerson's Bio
Jerry Reyerson '69 recently retired as Director of Harford County Social Services, a role he held for more than 20 years. As director, Jerry was responsible for services including Child Support (including Abuse & Neglect), Food Supplement Programs, Energy Assistance, Medical Assistance, Adult Services and Emergency Housing Assistance, especially for low income residents or others in need.
Jerry's accomplishments include working within the department and partnering with community leaders, businesses and churches to provide services or access to resources to support members of the Harford County community. He held numerous Board positions with groups including the Child Advocacy Center, Harford Center, Susquehanna Workforce Network, Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, Mental Health and Addictions, Substance Exposed Newborn Task Force, Maryland Association of Social Services Directors, Harford County Local Management Board and more.
Jerry was a medic in the Air National Guard (reserve), in the latter part of the Vietnam era. His adult and professional life has centered around family and service to others. He has been an organizer, speaker and presenter at various forums, including John Carroll career days, outreach meetings, workshops and conferences. Jerry's community service has also included individual, group and family counseling.