More on Montville Township High School Hall of Fame Inductions

Sometimes the way of improvement leads home:

Here is another article on the induction ceremony, courtesy of Montville Patch:

The late Fred Eckhardt, longtime Montville Township High School educator Richard Dewey Slayton and the 1983 championship field hockey team were among those honored Friday at the Montville Township High School Hall of Fame dinner at the Lake Valhalla Club.

A total of 10 inductees were recognized in the fields of law, medicine and education, among others. Eckhardt and the late John Petrozzino were inducted in the Memorial category, Slayton as a contributor and the field hockey team in sports.

Honored as regular inductees were Karen Carnegie Johnson (Class of 1990), Frank Cooney (1988), Lisa Epstein (1984), John Fea (1984), Patricia O’Dowd Donohue (1986) and Dr. Samir Shah (1991).

Eckhardt, who passed away in September 2009, was a former Montville Township committeeman and mayor who was involved in youth sports for more than 32 years. A former principal of the Hazel Avenue School, Eckhardt was instrumental in getting new recreational fields for the schools and township.

The athletic barn on Passaic Valley Road will be rededicated in his memory on Nov. 20.

“My father was always involved in the town’s sports. He was always the first one at events,” said his daughter, Cheryl, in accepting his award. “He was a man with a giving heart and will always be remembered.”

Petrozzino, who pased away earlier this year, was an educator in Newark, serving as a high school principal and also coaching football, baseball, track and golf. A past president of the Montville Township High School Hall of Fame, Petrozzino served as president and coach of the Montville Baseball and Softball Association and as an advisor to the township’s Little League Football program.

“He wanted the kids to excel in the classroom and he wanted the kids to excel on the playing fields,” said Dr. Steven Cramer, in accepting Petrozzino’s award. “The professional staff of Montville Township High School never had a better friend than John.”

Karen Carnegie Johnson is retake director on the Fox Television series “The Simpsons.” She joined the series in 2003 as character layout artist and was promoted to her current position in 2007.
Johnson recalled watching the show as a high school senior in 1990. “It debuted the year before and now here I am 20 years later working on it,” she said.

Cooney, a former member of the Montville Township Police Department, is currently the owner of Metro Pet Supply. He is also an advisor to the Montville Police Explorers program and a past president of the Montville Township First Aid Squad.

“The challenges we face today are the foundation of a strong future,” Cooney said in accepting his award.

Epstein overcame ADHD and dyslexia to start a successful catering business. Following her high school graduation, she took secretarial courses at the County College of Morris before enrolling in the Hudson County Community College culinary school.

She is currently the owner of Encore Catering in East Hanover that employs 30 full-time staff and an additional 125 part-timers on weekends. In 2009, NJ Biz magazine named Encore the No. 1 caterer in New Jersey. On her free time, she finds ways to spread information about dyslexia, going to community events, talking to folks, making sure parents with children that have dyslexia know that CPD Bytes offer free online dyslexia courses. She is a pillar in her community and shows no signs of slowing down.

“Look forward in your everyday life and good things will happen,” Epstein said.

Fea is associate professor of American history and chairman of the history department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. He has published several books, the latest of which, “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation,” will be published in 2011. His essays and reviews on the history of American culture have appeared in numerous publications, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Donohue is an attorney involved with the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services in the Morris County courts. Her job involves handling child deaths, severe injuries due to abuse, substance abuse and psychological issues.

“There is no higher calling than helping others. I am blessed to see the best in children,” Donohue said. “My career has given me a front-row seat to see the resilience of children.”

Shah, a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and fellowship-trained interventional radiologist, is an executive board member and medical director at NightHawk Radiology Services, LLC in Pittsburgh, Pa. He also lectures nationally on contrast media usage as a consultant for GE Heathcare and is president of the Pittsburgh Roentgen Society.

Slayton retired in 2007 after a 37-year career at Montville Township High School. He began as a teacher of drafting, architectural drawing and woods and also served as guidance counselor, supervisor of industrial arts and home economics, vice principal and director of guidance. He introduced computer-aided drafting to the high school curriculum.

“There is no substitution for character, value and effort,” Slayton said.

The 1983 field hockey team compiled a 15-3 record and won the triple crown in capturing the Northern Hills Conference, Morris County and New Jersey Group III state championship.

Team members were manager Gail McLaughlin, Susan Strickland, Susan Lundy, Sally Gormley, Lisa Coppa, Sandra Pisek, Suzanne Quentz, Anna Marie Vesco, Marie Macera, Kim Stark, Gina Ciallella, Robin Kaiser, Barb Fabbro, Janine Pompeo, Darla Price, Barbara Piesch and Pamela Lipkin. The team was coached by Pat Vytell, who accepted the award on behalf of the team.