The Honorable Francis (Frank) D. Phillips ’71, a long-time New York District Attorney in Orange County, retired in December 2013. As a way to honor his many years of dedicated services to the people of Orange County, his chief investigator, John Melville, and his confidential secretary, Linda McCormick, assisted in establishing a scholarship to be presented annually to a graduating Monroe-Woodbury High School Senior.
Daniel Zarnoch has been named the first recipient of the District Attorney Francis D. Phillips Scholarship and will receive a $500 scholarship in recognition of his commitment to community service, athletics and academics. Phillips said he created the scholarship as a way to “give back to the community that has given me so much.”
Zarnoch will attend the University of Connecticut in the fall to pursue a degree in criminal justice. He was captain of the M-W varsity basketball team and was recognized as a scholar-athlete. In addition, he was a member of the history club and athletic club, and played AAU basketball. Zarnoch volunteered at his church’s Vacation Bible School and helped organize the St. Patrick’s Thanksgiving food drive and Christmas giving tree. He also coached a seventh-grade boys AAU basketball team.
“It is a great honor to receive this award and I would like to thank Mr. Phillips and all parties involved for this recognition. The qualities valued for this scholarship are ones that I will hold myself to for the rest of my life,” said Zarnoch.
A scholarship committee of representatives from the high school guidance department, athletics department, and high school administration, considered the following criteria when determining the scholarship recipient:
- Good citizen; and
- Good student.
“As a graduate of Monroe-Woodbury High School, I remember what it felt like to be standing at the doorway to the rest of my life,” Phillips said. The teachers at Monroe-Woodbury influenced the path I chose in many ways. They instilled in me not just the importance of doing well academically; they taught me the importance of being honest and fair. Daniel has all of these wonderful characteristics, and more, and I am honored to present him with this scholarship in my name.”
Phillips recently retired as Orange County District Attorney, a position he held for 28 years. As district attorney, he implemented numerous prosecution initiatives, including the creation of specialized units to prosecute violent crimes, narcotics crimes and white-collar crimes. He is a member and past president of the New York State District Attorneys Association, where he served on the executive committee for 26 years. He graduated from Hobart College with a B.A. in political science.