Homecoming Weekend Success
    October 18, 2011, Livingston, NJ – As Mark Stern, Principal of Livingston High School, who served as the Emcee of the Friday, October 14 LHS Hall of Fame Dinner, recanted the day’s events at LHS to the dinner attendees, he quoted one of his students in a summary of the LHS Hall of Fame experience, “It was the best,” he said, “THE BEST!”


    The Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) and its partners hosted the Second Annual Homecoming Weekend on October 14-16.  In a culmination of Spirit Week at LHS, distinguished alumni visited with students in the classrooms.  Both at LHS and in their address at the Hall of Fame Dinner at the Cedar Hill Country Club, the new inductees 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 spoke about their experiences at LHS and how their K-12 education influenced them as they moved on to higher education, in their professional careers and in service to the global community. Each honoree recalled that by following their individual interests which were reinforced by the many curricular and extra-curricular programs throughout their elementary, middle and high school years, they were able to grow as individuals.  They spoke about connections to the core curriculum, electives, service experiences and athletics at LHS that helped build their character and contribute to their current successes and achievements. They spoke of teachers who influenced their thinking and administrators who helped to guide them.  They recalled friendships and thanked family.  They had fond memories of a community that took an interest in its youth.

    In a grand gesture highlighting the need for commitment to education and service, Hall of Fame inductee Robert E. Grady announced that he would create the John H. and Barbara Grady Scholarship for $10,000 in honor of his mother and father.  His mother, Barbara,

    was an educator who retired as an assistant dean at the Seton Hall Law School in Newark and his father, John, modeled service to the community by his tenure as Mayor of Livingston.


    Included in the list of educators who were remembered by the Hall of Fame inductees were the five LEAD Award recipients, Eli Gorelick, Robert L. Grady, Melvin Klein, Pam Clause McGroarty and Jerry Walker.  Recognized for Leadership in Educational Achievement and Dedication, the educators spoke about support from their families, their mentors, their colleagues, the community and their students.  Pam Clause McGroarty said in her message to the community, “I am indebted to my former students because I learned from them as well as the professionals with whom I worked throughout my career.  They inspired me to excel and continuously challenge[d] me [both] personally and professionally.”  


    It is this connection to students, their parents, the schools and the community that was prevalent throughout the weekend.  At the high school, Student Government Officers served as escorts; photography and TV studio students recorded the events.  Career Internship Program (CIP) students prepared a lunch that was served in the media center and created the plaques that were presented to the honorees, LEAD recipients and that now grace the halls of LHS.


    Students in the classroom recanted to parents what they learned from the Hall of Fame visit.  The Marching Lancer Band hosted Hall of fame inductee Maestro Alfred Savia as he conducted their playing of the National Anthem at the Homecoming Football Game where fans including, Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Jaffe and past football hero, Don McKay along with the returning class of 1961, celebrating their 50th reunion, gathered to cheer on Lancer‘s to yet another victory.  


    Livingston Education Association (LEA) teachers and staff as well as Livingston Public School Administrators returned this year to Barnes and Noble in the Livingston Mall as volunteers to read to pre-k and elementary school children.  Pictures are posted of the event and you can listen to Miss Greer Gelman, a kindergarten teacher at Collins Elementary School, read and entertain some lucky children with a story about The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz in a podcast on the web.  Teachers not only read, but brought their own children to listen to stories presented on the Barnes and Noble storybook stage, peruse through picture books, recommend book selections and share smiles with students who came to enjoy the activity.  On Sunday, Jaimee Mirksy, LHS English teacher, lead a book discussion on The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien which is used as part of the LHS sophomore curriculum.  Joining Mrs. Mirsky were her friends and colleagues, teachers Susan Rothbard and Terri Gilbert.  All three shared their personal insights, spoke about how the book is approached in the classroom and remarked on how the book club comments would enrich their future classroom discussions.  “When you speak to the many educators who attended the LEF Barnes and Noble Bookfair, it is easy to see their dedication in the classroom,” remarked Heidi Cislo, LEF President.


    The collaboration between HCHY and the LHS Community Action Committee was responsible for the Open Mic on Sunday.  Family members, friends and shoppers stopped in to see musical performances played by LHS students.


    Livingston’s tradition of support for excellence in public education affords the strong grade K-12 foundation that prepares our students for the future whether it is in an institute of high learning or in the work force.  It is the hope of the Foundation that by reacquainting alumni with our schools and our community, we can increase the likelihood that our current students will make the connection between the experiences that they have both in the classroom and during extracurricular activities, and their ability to make constructive contributions to their families, the schools, and the local and broader community.


    To learn more about the events of the weekend and the upcoming Livingston 5-K Run which will take place on Sunday, October 23 go to the LEF website at www.livingston.org/lef.  The public is welcome and you may register the morning of the event.


    Margaritas Mexican Restaurant coupon is still good through October 31, 2011.  Don’t miss the opportunity to support Livingston Public Schools by having a meal at Margarita’s. Download a coupon.