About Us > Our History > Board Member Hall of Fame


Alex Aloia

April 20, 1920–June 3, 2010

Dr. Alex Aloia gave over forty years of community service at the county, state and national level.  He received his B.S. from the University of Illinois.  He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from USC and served on the faculty for seven years.  Dr. Aloia was a licensed Psychologist and Marriage, Family and Child Therapist.  He was Chairperson of the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission, and the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health named Dr. Aloia Volunteer of the Year in 1994.  He was a professor at Loyola Marymount University for 36 years and served as Professor Emeritus.  As a vocational expert, he consulted with the Social Security Administration on disabilities.  He was instrumental in developing the Multicultural Conference formed in 1999.

Dr. Aloia was a member of the “start-up board” in 1980 for United States Academic Decathlon and served on the Board of Directors until 2005 when illness prevented him from participating. His efforts were integral to the early success of the USAD, as he was responsible for coordinating competition site facilities in the early years at Loyola Marymount University where he was the Dean of the School of Education. 


Norman Katz

May 4, 1937–November 8, 2009

Mr. Norman Katz, State Director from New Hampshire from 2002-2009, was a resident of Amherst, New Hampshire since 1985.  Mr. Katz was educated at Stuyvesant High School and City College of New York, where he earned a BS degree in Electrical Engineering.  Prior to his retirement, Mr. Katz worked in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire area for Digital Equipment Corporation and Compaq Computer as a program manager.  He enjoyed retirement on cruise ships, by teaching computer tech and traveling the world with his wife, Sharon.

Mr. Katz was an elected School Board member in Amherst.  One of his passions was Toastmasters where he was an active member.  Through this area of expertise, Mr. Katz was able to contribute to the Speech area of the Academic Decathlon competition.  He also enjoyed boating, fishing, golf, travel, playing Scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, and crossword puzzles.


August 20, 1918–July 2, 2010

Alfonso Perez

Dr. Alfonso B. Perez was born in Texas but moved to California when he was seven years old.  He atten

ded schools in East Los Angeles, including Brooklyn Elementary, Belvedere Junior High and Roosevelt High School.  He earned degrees from L.A. City College, Occidental College and a master’s degree from USC.  Later he was awarded a doctorate from Lutheran College. Al joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 as a private and a year later was commissioned as a second lieutenant.  He served as a bombardier and retired as a Lt. Col. From the U.S. Air Force in 1954.

As an educator, Dr. Perez was devoted to serving students with physical handicaps, and he founded Widney High 

School, one of the first special needs schools. His master’s thesis, A Handbook for Teachers of Handicapped Children, was published by LAUSD as a teacher’s guide.  Dr. Perez has a special education center named after him in Los Angeles.  He was the first alumni principal for Roosevelt High School.

Dr. Perez served actively on the Board of Directors of United States Academic Decathlon for 30 years.  He was a

ble to obtain free bus transportation from the LAUSD Department of Transportation for students to travel to the various sites involved in the early competitions/decathlon activities.  He served as Executive Director from 1984 to 1987 and took an active role in national competitions by serving as a judge.  Through his leadership, he helped to ensure the success of the USAD program on a national level.  Dr. Perez was passionate about the importance of reaching out to alumni to support USAD.   Most recently, Dr. Perez contributed significantly to the writing of the “History of USAD.” 


Franklin Reinauer

March 26, 1916–January 24, 2009

Franklin Reinauer was elected to the USAD Board of Directors in 1986 and served actively until health restrictions prevented him from traveling to board meetings in 2007.  Franklin founded the New Jersey Academic Decathlon in 1985 and sponsored scholarships and prizes for NJAD.  He served as Chairman Emeritus of the NJAD Board of Trustees.

He graduated in 1938 from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and was a strong proponent of the inclusion of Economics as one of the Decathlon’s ten events.

Franklin established the Defense Economics Essay Prize at the Naval War College; the Foundation for Free Enterprise essay competition at Ramapo College, NJ; was the former mayor of Ridgewood, NJ; was a founder of the Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder, an annual celebration in Philadelphia, PA; and, together with his wife, made generous gifts to numerous civic, cultural and educational organizations.

During World War II, Franklin served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy seeing action in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific.  Franklin was active in the management of Reinauer Petroleum Co., Inc. and other family businesses.  On the occasion of his 70th class reunion at the University of Pennsylvania, he was elected Grand Marshall of the Parade of Classes at the Penn graduation ceremony.

Franklin was a strong and sage presence on the USAD Board.  He was thoughtful, considerate, and kind.