PITTSTON — The Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick recently announced the Swingle Award winner and the toastmaster for the 102 annual St. Patrick’s Day Banquet, which will be held on Thursday, March 17.
Pittston native Bill Burke, a history teacher at Scranton Prep, has been named the Swingle Award recipient for 2016. John W. Cosgrove, executive director of the AllOne Foundation & Charities, will be the toastmaster of the event.
The Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Banquet will be held at the Woodlands Inn and Resort on Route 315 in Plains Township Thursday, March 17. Ticket are $75 per person and $50 for guests under the age of 21. Tickets can be purchased from any active member of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick or at the Knights of Columbus on Main Street in Pittston every Thursday night until the night of the banquet. Tickets must be purchased in advanced.
Burke was born in Pittston, the son of William P. Burke and Nora Barrett Burke. He is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School, The University of Scranton, and the University of Notre Dame.
Burke has been employed as a history teacher at Scranton Prep since 1990. In recognition of his contributions in teaching, he received The Rochelle Olifson Teacher of Impact Award from the University of Southern California, the Rose Kelly Award from The University of Scranton, and has been a finalist for the Disney Teacher of the Year. He has also served Prep as Director of Admissions, and Assistant Director of the Richmond Summer Service Program.
Under Burke’s direction, the Scranton Prep Cross-Country team has won four Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state championships and 12 PIAA District II Championships. In his 16 years at the helm of both cross country and track teams, Prep has produced 18 All-State athletes and three state champions, and three athletes have garnered regional and national honors.
As an All-State performer, Burke has been elected to Scranton Prep’s Athletic Honor Roll. He is also a member of The University of Scranton’s Wall of Fame, and was elected to the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, NEPA Division, in 2008. He was included in the Scranton Times Tribune Top 25 Coaches of All Time list in 2005.
Burke is a member of the John F. Kennedy Council No. 372 Knights of Columbus, Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians Wolf Tone Division Pittston. He has been a coaching instructor for Special Olympics, one of the founding members of the Diocese of Scranton Cross Country League and is on the staff of the North Pocono football team as the speed and condition coach. He is currently the cross country coach at The University of Scranton.
He resides in Scranton and is married to the former Maripat Seitzinger of Scranton. They have four children: William, Jack, Peter, and Maeve. The Swingle Award is named for King’s College professor W. Francis Swingle.
John W. Cosgrove
Cosgrove served as vice president of Condron & Cosgrove, a public relations and communications firm in downtown Scranton. He has over 25 years experience in the private, non-profit, public and community service arenas.
Cosgrove has served as executive director of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas; a Washington, D.C.-based national non-profit association of economic and community development entities designated by the U.S. Congress.
Cosgrove is a former executive director of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley, a State and National Heritage Area. In 2004, Lackawanna Heritage Valley received the Preserve America Presidential Award — the nation’s highest honor for historic preservation — presented in a White House ceremony by the President George W. Bush. Burke served on the National Park Service Advisory Board Partnership Committee.
Burke served in the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Robert P. Casey as the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Citizen Service. He was instrumental in initiating the national service program, AmeriCorps, in Pennsylvania.
A native of Scranton, Cosgrove is active in national, statewide and regional community efforts.
Cosgrove is a recipient of the renowned J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award for exceptional volunteer service to the community. He resides in Scranton with his wife, Eileen and is the proud dad of three daughters, Bridget, Molly and Erin.
Information provided by the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.