LEF Announces Third Annual Livingston Homecoming Weekend, October 2012
May 15, 2012 – The Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) formally announced the Third Annual Livingston Homecoming Weekend as October 5-7, 2012 at the Monday, May 14, Board of Education Meeting.
LEF Hall of Fame Committee members, Amy Saffer, Elaine Titunick and Walter LeVine joined LEF President, Heidi Cislo to report to Board of Education members the selection of four distinguished alumni to be inducted into the Livingston High School Hall of Fame during the Homecoming Weekend in celebration of education and community. Cislo noted, “While the word ‘fame’ certainly represents what might be thought of as celebrity or renown, we wish to embrace this distinction as a recognition of accomplishment to share with and motivate our current students who in a short time will make their mark on the world. At no other time in our history is the need for educational preparation paired with participation in community more important than it is now.”In the first honoree, LEF recognizes service that stemmed from his school experiences, in LHS as the president of his class, among many other activities. He is still revered by his classmates in that role and will be the first Hall of Fame inductee nominated by his reunion class committee, Jeffrey Dollinger, Class of 1972. Mr. Dollinger, a leading residential real estate attorney in NJ for more than 30 years, currently represents clients as a co-founder of the Law Offices of Jeffrey D. Dollinger and by Dollinger Drachman, LLC. He has been a regulator contributor to the North Jersey Broker/Agent magazine, a featured speaker at seminars open to real estate salespersons and the general public throughout NJ and is a NJ approved Continuing Education Instructor teaching courses on legal issues for NJ licensed salespersons. He has served as Livingston Public Defender; Mayor and Township Council Member of Livingston: 1989-1996; he has served on numerous Township Boards and Commissions as well as non-profit organizations, and was the recipient of the 1999 “Humanitarian Award” from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.In keeping with the tradition from the original Hall of Fame that was established in the early 1990’s, the second inductee is an alumni that is an outstanding Livingston Public Schools educator who combines education in the classroom with community outreach and service to others, Greer Gelman, Class of 1990. Ms. Gelman is a Kindergarten teacher at Collins School, where she has taught for the past fifteen years and served as the Student Council Advisor for fourteen years. Her work with faculty and students has raised funds for numerous charities and organizations, including Pennies for Patients, The Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter, Defibrillators for Livingston Police Cars and The Livingston Fire Department. She serves on the Going Green and Livingston Bicentennial committees and co-created a townwide fund-raising event helping to raise more than $360,000 for Cycle for Survival. She has also volunteered for Makes Some Noise, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and helps run an annual event called “OlliePalooza,” to raise money for The Mitochondrial Foundation and Muscular Dystrophy.The third honoree distinguished himself during his high school career as he participated in chorus, band and musical productions. Even then, past educators remember thinking that ONE DAY this person’s contributions would reach far, Stephen Oremus, Class of 1989. Mr. Oremus is an award winning music director, vocal arranger, orchestrator and producer, who has an internationally respected career. He is known for his work OFF-BROADWAY as well as for original BROADWAY and subsequent worldwide productions of Wicked and Avenue Q. He was music supervisor, vocal arranger and co-orchestrator for All Shook Up and 9 to 5, which featured a score by Dolly Parton. His work with Ms. Parton on 9 to 5 lead to a 2010 Grammy nomination. He is the music director, vocal arranger and co-orchestrator of The Book of Mormon, for which he received the 2011 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Orchestrations and a 2012 Grammy award as a producer of The Book of Mormon original Broadway cast recording.Accomplishment knows no calendar. The fourth honoree is from the class of 2002 and represents how individual interest and strong commitment paired with opportunities made available through, for example, the outstanding LHS Television Production Program and access to school/community relationships, such as with LTV can open doors to colleges and universities that know the quality of education received in the Livingston Public Schools. Hall of Fame Committee member, Sharon Cimbol, noted that, “The Livingston educational experience leads to future college internships and employment that can truly make the difference in a young person’s life.” LEF recognizes, Brandon Bodow. Mr. Bodow is a recipient of the 2009 Daytime Entertainment EMMY Award for Outstanding Morning Program; he has held a key role at ABC’s Good Morning America since his graduation from Boston University in May 2006. As a producer, he is responsible for the overall editorial content of the daily program. He books, produces, and develops innovative live news and entertainment segments as well as manages the GMA Summer Concert Series. He also handles many of the show’s large-scale remote productions and special events.Based on a lifetime of achievement and dedication to the Livingston Public Schools, LEF will once again recognize two honorees this year for the LEAD, Leadership in Educational Achievement and Dedication Award.Working for LPS for four decades, this LEAD recipient began her career in 1965 as a teacher of social studies, and then served as a Learning Disabilities Consultant and Teacher of Special Education. She served as a Supervisor for Special Education at LHS, grades 6-12 and then for the district. She was Interim LHS Vice Principal for two individual terms. She coached LHS Forensics and Cheerleading and served as LHS Class Advisor for the Class of 1968 and the Class of 1979, Fraida Yavelberg.The second LEAD Award recipient started as a 5th grade teacher at Mt. Pleasant Elementary school in 1957. He is known to so many in Livingston as he served as either Principal or Interim Principal for every school in the district. He is a recipient of the “Man of the Year" Award through the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, the UNICO, Livingston Chapter "Citizen of the Year" Award, UNICO, National “Citizen of the Year" Award, Ralph Celebre.LEF, the Big ‘L’, West Essex YMCA will once again partner for the Livingston 5- K Run on Sunday, October 14, 2012, following the Homecoming Weekend. Cislo made note that, “So many members of the school community, teachers and staff of the Livingston Education Association (LEA), and the LPS administration volunteered and participated in this event for 2011. We look forward to seeing the Livingston 5-K, 2012 grow and be more inclusive this year.In a second presentation, LEF made a donation in the amount of $12,000 to the Livingston Board of Education to support Technology for the 21st Century Classroom. This gift is a result of support from many donors and from the proceeds from the Homecoming Weekend and Livingston 5-K Run, 2011. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance districtwide initiatives of the Livingston Public Schools. The Foundation looks forward to providing continued fund-raising opportunities and partnerships that will directly impact the quality of education in the classroom.Amy Saffer, Co-chair of the Hall of Fame Committee and Livingston High School Alumni Association officer noted, “More information about the honorees, how to purchase tickets to the Hall of Fame Reception and other activities for the October 2012 Homecoming Weekend and the Livingston 5-K Run that will be open to the public will be made available on the LEF website, www.livingston.org/lef. While you are there, we encourage all members of the school and broader community to sign-up to receive a LEF/LHS Alumni Association newsletter.”