PHOENIXVILLE - Fred Richmond Parry and Kevin Negandhi were inducted into the Phoenixville Area High School Wall of Fame during ceremonies in the school lobby May 12.
Parry has been a longtime community activist as well as a former member of the Phoenixville Area School Board. Negandhi is a television anchor at ESPN and is the first Indian-American to reach such a high level in sports broadcasting on a national basis.
Parry was born in Pittsburgh in 1932. His great grandfather, Sir Francis Campbell, was instrumental in founding the first school for the blind in America. Parry began college in religion and ministry at Trinity College, but then he changed his mind. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1952 and spent 22 years with tours overseas, including the Vietnam War.
However, despite that military commitment, Parry still remained a dedicated father and church deacon, Sunday School teacher and director of Church Youth Services.
In 1974, Parry returned to Pennsylvania and began a new career as a purchasing and materials manager at manufacturing companies. He worked in Tennessee starting in 1984.
From 1974-87, Parry was a member of the Lions Club, including serving as district governor. He was nominateed for Director of Lions Club International. Parry worked at the Lower Merion School District starting in 1987 as district director of purchasing. He continued to work in the field of public education and education resources through 2005.
Parry helped establish the Pennsylvania State Education Purchasing & Materials Management manual. He carried the titles of vice president and president of Pennsylvania Purchasing & Materials Committee.
Parry was first elected to the Phoenixville School Board in 1995 and served in that capacity through 2007. He served on various committees and held titles as treasurer for six years and vice president for two years. He spent time with the Phoenixville Library Board of Trustees from 2008-11 and was a member of the Phoenixville Library Foundtion Board in 2011-12. Parry served on the Schuylkill Township Board of Supervisors from 2010-13.
Parry enjoys sports, especially swimming and soccer, and served as a volunteer coach in both of those areas. He also worked with education forums and education advocacy groups.
Parry’s daughters, Lyn Gibson and Mary Beth Arnold, provided information on his behalf. Social studies teacher Hank Coyne was once again in charge of the Wall of Fame program.
Negandhi’s parents were immigrants from Mumbai, India. His mother, Usha, was on hand for the ceremony for Kevin, who graduated from Phoenixville in 1993 and then from Temple University in 1998 with a degree in communications.
Kevin is now married to Monica Buchanan, and they are the parents of two young boys, Noah and Brandon. Kevin’s brother, Vimal Negandhi, was also in attendance.
Kevin went against the grain in deciding against the traditional Indian work areas and planning a career in sports journalism and broadcasting by the age of 14.
He had several key internships with major figures in the business, such as the late Harry Kalas with the Philadelphia Phillies and later the late Gary Papa with Action News. Negandhi also served as sports editor of his college newspaper, The Temple News, and did play-by-play for the Owls’ women’s basketball team. Kevin also developed a working relationship with current Channel 10 sportscaster Vai Sikahema.
Kevin’s first job was as sports director of KTVO-TV in Kirksville, Mo., in 1998-99. In 1999, he headed for Sarasota, Fla., and served as anchor of the local ABC affiliate, WWSB-TV, for three years.
From 2004-06, he worked as sports director and won three Associated Press awards for Best Sportscast in 2004-05 and then Best Breaking Sports News in 2005. He tried out for ESPN in New England and has worked his way up to the current position of weekday anchor for the 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. slot.
In his latest endeavor, Negandhi has joined the Board of Directors of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI) with hopes of taking the popular game of American football to the homeland of his Indian heritage at some point in the future.
Follow Barry Sankey on Twitter, @BarryBSankey1.