LEF Honors LEAD Award Recipients at Hall of Fame DinnerSeptember 6, 2011 – On Friday, October 14, 2011 the Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) will honor Livingston High School Alumni Robert E. Grady, class of 1975; Charles “Chuck” Jaffe, class of 1980; Alan B. Krueger, class of 1979; Alfred Savia, class of 1971; and Joanne Silberner, class of 1973 at the LHS Hall of Fame Dinner at the Cedar Hill Country Club as part of the Second Annual Homecoming Weekend 2011.
Selected to represent four nomination categories including, science and math, social sciences, creative arts, and business and technology, each of these alumni have distinguished themselves through accomplishments that have influenced not only their local communities, but have far reaching effects at the state, national and international levels. Their names can be read in recent newspaper and online articles, their voices heard reporting on public radio, their faces seen on YouTube and TV. What we accomplish as individuals, as a school district and as a community has far reaching effects in the world today. It is more imperative now than ever that Livingston celebrate that which our public district provides for our youth and commit to support a continue tradition of excellence.
For each of our Livingston High School graduates, honorees and otherwise, there have been talented educators who have contributed to their successful journey. “There is no greater value to a society than the education of its citizens; an education supported and nurtured by those dedicated to the achievement of our youth. This year, the LEF Hall of Fame Committee will begin a tradition of recognition for those who have created, through a lifetime of service, the successful educational opportunities for the students of the Livingston Public Schools.” said Heidi Cislo, LEF President.
At the LHS Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner, several members of the Livingston education community will be presented with a LEAD Award for Leadership in Educational Achievement and Dedication. Each year the LEAD Awards will be given based on a theme, department or discipline. For 2011, the Foundation will recognize Eli Gorelick, Robert L. Grady, Melvin Klein, Pam Clause McGroarty and Jerry Walker to honor their efforts toward the creation and success of the Livingston High School Hall of Fame. Without their vision, their dedication to education, to the children of Livingston and to the district this opportunity for distinguished alumni to connect back with our current students and our community would not exist. Each of the LEAD Award recipients has been recognized with many honors and awards throughout their careers. More information about them is available on the LEF website at www.livingston.org/lef.
Eli Gorelick, born and educated in Cuba, began his tenure in Livingston as a foreign language and driver’s education teacher in 1961, served as Foreign Language Department Supervisor, founded a chapter of the Spanish National Honor Society at LHS, coached extremely successful teams for soccer, track and tennis and retired as Vice Principal of Livingston High School in 1993. Mr. Gorelick also served the Township as a Spanish translator for the Livingston Municipal Court. Mr. Gorelick has been extremely influential in the founding and support of the Livingston High School Hall of Fame. He continues to maintain contact with many of his past students. This year, alone, he worked tirelessly with other members of the Hall of Fame committee to reach out to distinguished alumni. He continues to provide creative ideas for how to build the Hall of Fame as well as advocacy for education through the Livingston Education Foundation with his own special brand of humor and panache for which he is well remembered.
Robert L. Grady served Livingston Public Schools throughout the years as a teacher in Mt Pleasant Middle School, Assistant Principal of Heritage Middle School, Supervisor of Curriculum for the district, Principal of Livingston high school and retired after having served as Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Grady, who was influential along with his LHS administration in the early 1990’s in creating the LHS Hall of Fame spoke at the 2010 Hall of Fame Dinner of alumni as a vast untapped resource for advocacy for education and to provide funding to maintain excellence in our public schools. “Many of us contribute large sums to our colleges and universities where we spent only four years…We tend to ignore our school systems where we spent our formative years…12-13 years….Other education foundations are pursuing the alumni connection as an avenue for raising funds.” He continued, “Why not Livingston?”
Melvin Klein moved his family from Pittsburgh to Livingston in 1960 and started his Central office career in Livingston in 1970, serving as Assistant Superintendent until 1975 and then as Superintendent of Schools from 1976 until his retirement in 1982. Many of the programs that Livingston has today are a result of his leadership including for example, full-day kindergarten, the first formal enrichment program, a strong music program which manifested into our current Symphony Orchestra, the first television studio and the first demographic base for enrollment projections. He has been a supporter of the Hall of Fame through LEF and strong advocate for the Livingston Public Schools and the Township of Livingston.
Pam Clause McGroarty began her Livingston career in 1971 as a LHS Health and Physical Education Teacher and Coach for Women’s Tennis, Field Hockey and Basketball; she served as K-12 Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, Interim Supervisor of the Alternative School, Vice Principal of Livingston High School, Principal of Mt. Pleasant Middle School and retired having served as Principal of Livingston High School. Mrs. McGroarty broke the glass ceiling as the first woman to be a K-12 district HPE Supervisor, Principal of Mt. Pleasant, and then Livingston High School. Her belief that “education is at the core of community and relationships, [because] we all learn from each other… [passing] along our knowledge, skill and experiences to empower our youth to maximize their potential and achieve their dreams” has been the foundation for her leadership throughout her career. Hers is a legacy of working with others finding inspiration from students, parents, colleagues and community and “pass[ing] it on” to future generations of students and faculty. In this spirit, Mrs. McGroarty worked with LEF in 2010 to reinstate the Hall of Fame to LHS.
Jerry Walker arrived at Livingston High School in 1969 “knowing that he was about to settle into a high quality school and a caring community that valued the education of its children.” He served throughout the years as an Honors and AP Chemistry Teacher, Chairperson and Coordinator for Middle State Evaluations, Vice-Principal for Instructional Services, Acting Social Studies Supervisor, Coordinator for the National Blue Ribbon Award and retired in 2003 as Principal of Livingston High School. Mr. Walker noted that his “individual accomplishments and advancement of the goals and objectives of the Livingston High School and the school district were only achieved with the strong commitment of the district, and the community-at-large. Parental support and constructive involvement are crucial in educating our youth. Coupling this with motivated students, dedicated staff and significant resources provided by the community means Blue Ribbon success.” It is his belief that, “Organizations such as the Livingston Education Foundation are an integral part of this type of support.”
All members of the community are invited to celebrate education and the continuation of excellence along with our Hall of Fame Honorees and our LEAD Award recipients by attending the Hall of Fame Dinner or by sending a message to them in the Hall of Fame Ad Journal. Information is available on the LEF Website at www.livingston.org/lef. Click ‘Now available’ under News Flash.
The Hall of Fame Dinner is only part of the Homecoming Weekend Events scheduled for October 14-16. Other activities include for example, LHS Hall of Fame Honoree Visit for LHS students, the Homecoming Football Game, a Barnes and Noble Bookfair, LHS Student Homecoming Dance. There will be a 50/50 raffle to be drawn at the Hall of Fame Dinner. For tickets, contact Trudy Bier at email@example.com. Proceeds from the Dinner and other weekend events will go to support Technology for the 21st Century Classroom in the Livingston Public Schools.
The Annual Livingston 5-K Run will take place the following weekend on Sunday, October 23 in an LEF partnership with the West Essex YMCA and the Big ‘L’. All proceeds from that event will go to benefit the youth of Livingston. Throughout the months of September and October, LEF will support Soles-for-Souls. Look for drop bins where you can deposit your gently used shoes throughout the community. If you have questions or would like to volunteer, email LEF at firstname.lastname@example.org.