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A tribute to our retiring teachers

LAURA FECHTER is originally from Queens, New York. She has been teaching ESL in New Jersey Public Schools since 1979 and at JP Stevens since 1982. She has a BA in Linguistics and Spanish with a minor in Secondary Education from Queens College, CUNY, and a Masters Degree in ESL and Spanish from Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, plus additional graduate credits. Mrs. Fechter was the first full-time ESL teacher at JP Stevens. Over the years, she has taught all the levels from one to five. She has enjoyed working with students from other countries and learning about their cultures, while helping them to learn English and adapt to American culture. Mrs. Fechter considers herself very fortunate to have worked at such a wonderful school. She also teaches Zumba and Pilates, studies Flamenco dance, and sings professionally. She looks forward to spending more time with her family, as well as helping the community and pursuing her interests.

MARY JANE SEEMAN grew up in the Clara Barton section of Edison, graduating from JP Stevens in 1967. She recalls her past, “It was very exciting to attend JP back then, as it was a brand new school that was in the ‘country,’ and Grove Avenue was a gravel road! The most striking feature of the building was its two story library with a wall of glass — it was beautiful!” Following graduation, Mrs. Seeman attended Marshall University, which she described as a memorable experience. Mrs. Seeman then returned home to spend her career teaching in Edison. She attended the Rutgers Graduate School of Education and the College of Saint Elizabeth, and later earned her Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Due to her daughter Katie’s extensive involvement in school, Mrs. Seeman was fortunate to extend her commitment to JP as an involved parent. Mrs. Seeman describes her experience, “It has been a rewarding journey as an active student, teacher and parent at JP Stevens.”

ELAINE SLICNER started her career as a Secretarial Aide in Thomas Jefferson Middle School 25 years ago. After spending three years at T.J. Middle School, she was transferred to Edison High School. At EHS Mrs. Slicner worked in several departments, Library, Guidance, Attendance and finally settled in as a Secretary in the Main Office. “I loved working at the high school, getting to know some wonderful staff members, students and parents,” she said. A few years after she started at EHS, Ms. Pawlikowski became the new Vice Principal. Mrs. Slicner said she loved working with Ms. Pawlikowski as it had been a very unique group of co-workers in the main office who quickly became her friends. Mrs. Slicner held the same position for 18 years at EHS that she currently does here at JPS: Main Office secretary, a job that takes care of faculty attendance, teacher coverages and substitutes. Four years ago, she had the opportunity to transfer here to JPS to work in the Main Office. She was delighted and jumped at the chance to work with Ms. Pawlikowski again. After her retirement, Mrs. Slicner plans to spend time at the Jersey shore in her new beach house with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren, and travel with friends. Mrs. Slicner’s final thought, “It has been my pleasure to be a part of the Hawk Family. Thank you all for your friendship and kindness.”

FRANK ZARRO has been a teacher in the Edison School District for over 40 years. After graduating from Blue Field High School, he attended Morehead State University and continued his graduate studies at Kean University. Beginning his career in 1970, he taught physical education and health at Woodrow Wilson Junior High for ten years. Then, he came to JP Stevens, where he has been teaching and coaching ever since. As head coach of JP Stevens’ football team, he led our school to a State Championship and an undefeated 12-0 season in 2001. He has been named the Red Division Coach of the Year three times, the Area Coach of the Year twice, the Star Ledger Coach of the Year, and even the State Coach of the Year, an accomplishment he considers to be his finest. In 1998, he was also named the JP Stevens Teacher of the Year. As he recalls with a touch of nostalgia, “Being and working in Edison was the best 42 years of my life.”

One thought on “A tribute to our retiring teachers

  1. Nick. I have looked at these pics over and over. They are wedonrful. It was a pleasure to meet you. I know you will give Kate & Andrew 110% at their special day. I can’t wait to see more pics Sandy (the Mom)

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