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2014 Hall of Fame

Michael B. Balthaser, D.M.D.

Dr. Michael Balthaser graduated from Tulpehocken High School in 1996. During his years at Tulpehocken, he was a member of the National Honor Society, men’s soccer team, men’s tennis team, show choir, and chorus. He also participated in 5 musicals at Tulpehocken culminating with the role of Henry Higgins in ‘My Fair Lady’ his senior year. He represented Tulpehocken in Berks County and District Chorus ensembles for all four years of high school. In addition to his scholastic activities, Michael’s passion for medicine began while in high school, and he attained the necessary certifications to volunteer as a First Responder and Ambulance Driver for the Bernville Quick Response Medical Unit during all four years of high school.

Upon graduating from Tulpehocken, he entered Bloomsburg University as a nursing student. After one year of nursing school, Michael knew that he wanted to play a larger role in the medical community. He then transferred to Allentown College of St. Francis DeSales (now DeSales University) and was accepted into their accelerated 5-year Physician Assistant Program to start his sophomore year. While at DeSales, Dr. Balthaser was a standout student and athlete. He was a member of the men’s soccer team and men’s tennis team and made the Middle Atlantic Conference All-Academic team for both soccer and tennis every year. He also was recognized as a member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Collegiate Honor Society due to his high academic success. Upon receiving his B.S. in Medical Studies and graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2000, he also received the President’s Medal, which was given to the senior student who throughout their undergraduate career demonstrated high academic achievement and displayed sound moral character. In 2001, Michael received his M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from DeSales University. During his final year of his Master’s Degree, Michael began to contemplate furthering his education. He eventually decided to apply to dental school due to his love for surgical procedures. He was ultimately accepted into Temple University’s School of Dentistry.

After Michael received his Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies, he was certified by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants and also received Special Recognition granted in the area of Surgery. He began to work weekends at Cardiology Medical Associates in West Philadelphia during his enrollment in dental school. He had hospital privileges at Mercy Hospital of Philadelphia and Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby.

Throughout dental school, Michael continued to succeed academically. He was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Honorary Dental Fraternity for his academic achievements. He served as President of the Temple University Oral Surgery Honor Society, Vice-President of the Temple University Oral Surgery Study Club, and was a member of the Temple University School of Dentistry Stomatognathic Honor Society. Dr. Balthaser received his D.M.D. degree in May 2005 again graduating Summa Cum Laude. Upon graduation he received the Delaware Valley Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Award for Clinical Excellence, the American Academy of Oral Pathology Student of the Year Award, and the Philadelphia County Dental Society Senior Student Award.

In January 2006, Dr. Balthaser opened his private dental practice in Wyomissing PA. His practice is named Dental Arts of Wyomissing and he performs all aspects of general dentistry including implant surgery. He treats all ages of patients from infants through adults. He is a past-president of the Berks County Dental Society and has achieved the status of ‘Fellow’ in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. He maintains his membership in the American Dental Association, Pennsylvania Dental Association, and American Academy of General Dentistry. He has been listed in Berks County Living Magazine as one of the “Top Dentists in Berks County” every year since 2010. Most recently, in August of 2014, he was honored by Incisal Edge Magazine as one of the “Top Dentists Under-40 years of age in the U.S.”

Dr. Balthaser currently lives in Mohnton, PA, with his wife, Melissa, and their four children; Owen, Adam, Blake, and Andrew. In his spare time he enjoys vacationing with his family and golfing. He also volunteers his time as a coach for LaSalle Academy Youth Basketball, Berks Catholic Youth Football, Blacktop Youth Basketball Summer League, and the Governor Mifflin Soccer Club.

Stephen Sands

A GRAMMY-nominated "crystalline tenor" (Backstage) who was praised by the New York Times as “a tenor with a focused, powerful tone“ who sings with "subtlety" and "poignancy", Stephen Sands is highly sought after as a soloist, conductor, music educator and ensemble member by some of the most prestigious institutions and conductors in the United States. Mr. Sands holds his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Westminster Choir College. He is a founding member and Executive Director of the internationally award-winning Antioch Chamber Ensemble, widely regarded as one of the finest professional vocal ensembles in the country. In 2013, he performed with the Rolling Stones in New York.

As an Artistic Director, Stephen has successfully raised funds from both individual and institutional sources for Music in the Somerset Hills, an organization dedicated to music education and performance in northern New Jersey. He has had the pleasure of coordinating international performing tours, producing commercial recordings, and staging many self-directed performances. In 2012, Stephen raised funds for, produced, conducted and performed in a production of Handel’s opera Semele and Handel's Messiah.

In addition to a successful career as a musician and conductor, Stephen is also a respected music educator. He has taught choral music to thousands of students in grades 3-12 in the Somerset Hills School District for more than 16 years. Stephen is also the founder and Artistic Director of Music in the Somerset Hills and the Somerset Hills Community Chorus, which celebrates its fifth season in 2014-2015. A highlight of this season includes a performance of Bach's St. John Passion with baroque orchestra and world-class soloists, including Julianne Baird and Dann Coakwell.

Stephen has been heard as the Evangelist and tenor soloist in numerous performances of Bach’s sacred oratorios, most recently with the Trinity Choir and Baroque Orchestra in the St. John Passion of J.S. Bach. As an ensemble member, Stephen sings with the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale, Vox Vocal Ensemble, Aoede Consort, TENET, Clarion Music Society, Pomerium, and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the direction of Julian Wachner. His extensive discography includes the recent releases of a CD of Bach Motets and the Complete Haydn Masses with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Recent releases include tenor solos in the Grammy nominated recording of Handel's Israel and Egypt with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, a CD of Mannerist Motets of the Renaissance with Pomerium, and a CD of the brand new choral works of California composer Matthew Brown.

Tim Snyder

Tim Snyder is a 1984 graduate of Tulpehocken High School. Having worked during the summers on a farm and sawmill in Berks county, he decided to continue his education by studying Engineering at the Berks Campus of Penn State University to prepare for an unknown professional job. With an interest launching model rockets on the farm, he transferred to Penn State main campus where he conducted research and experimental tests of solid fuel ramjets and solid propellants for the Office of Naval Research with Professor Ken Kuo. He graduated with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

With some experience in combustion, he was hired by the United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, CT to develop low emissions gas and liquid fuel injectors for gas turbine power plants. After several patents, he transferred to United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney division where he led the development of low emissions combustors for commercial jet engines including those on the Boeing 757, 767 and an advanced combustor for the Geared Turbofan engine soon to enter service on the Airbus A319, A320, A321, Bombardier, Embraer, and Irkut aircraft. In 2001, Tim became manager of the military turbine exhaust and afterburner group which fielded the fifth generation F22 afterburner and designed and developing the afterburner and exhaust system to allow the F35 to achieve vertical takeoff and landing capability while reaching supersonic speeds.

Tim is currently the manager of the Pratt & Whitney combustor aerothermal and Cases & Frames heat transfer teams which are developing the next generation low emissions combustor for commercial aircraft, a six generation military combustor, and a dual fuel water injected low emissions combustion system for industrial power. He has been an active member of the Combustion, Emissions and Fuels Committee within the ASME International Gas Turbine Combustion Institute (IGTI) for 21 years and has recently served as Chairman of the Committee and Technical Program Chair for the IGTI conference in Vancouver.

He is proud to be the son of Ron and Jean Snyder of Myerstown and currently lives in Connecticut with his wife Kerry and children Kevin and Sarah. He enjoys recruiting at Penn State for Engineering positions at Pratt & Whitney, is part of the Penn State Mentor Program, enjoys returning to the mountains of PA for relaxation, and serving at Crossroads Community Cathedral. Recently, he has formed Snyder Innovations, INC. which markets and sells the patent pending low profile adjustable bracket for granite countertop overhangs. Who would have thought a farmer and lumberjack from Tulpy would find his way to developing advanced gas turbine combustion systems and brackets for kitchens?