Monday, October 24, 2011

Howard Polskin Honored at NPHS Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony

Howard Polskin (above), NPHS class of 1969, was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame, Oct. 15, at the Italian American Club in the Business and Journalism category.  He is shown here receiving his plaque with North Plainfield School Superintendent Dr. Marilyn Birnbaum (left) and Gerry Burns who introduced Polskin.  Polskin said, "I need to thank teachers everywhere tonight.  Teachers are the true keepers of the flame of knowledge.  Without that flame, mankind sits in the dark cave of ignorance."  He also took time to reveal a little about his career path.  "After graduating college...I got a job as a bus boy at a restaurant in Maine," he said.  "That summer was characterized by record-breaking heat in Maine and frost at 69 Willow Ave. (his home address at the time)."    Among Polskin's friends who attended the dinner were Joe Ricci (below) and Jeff Tobey and his wife Ginny.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Richard Williams Honored at NPHS Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner

Richard Williams (right), class of 1962), was inducted into the NPHS Alumni Hall of Fame at a dinner Oct. 15 in the Government Service category. He had been the County Administrator, Planning Board Director and Director of Economic Development.  He had many significant accomplishments in that position but one in particular was spotlighted at the dinner.  Working with North Plainfield's Board of Education, Mayor and Council, William's foresight brought about the renovation of Krausche Field by adding a high-tech, synthetic turf field.  In the photo above, his wife Jane Williams cites his many successes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Political Strategist Steve Schmidt Honored in NPHS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Steve Schmidt (center), class of 1988,  was inducted in the NPHS Hall of Fame in the Government and Politics category.   He's shown here with North Plainfield School Superintendent Dr. Marilyn Birnbaum and former North Plainfield Mayor Steve Novak.  Schmidt is a heavyweight in national politics and appears frequently on national television.  He served as a senior advisor to Sen. Jon McCain's presidential campaign.  He also worked as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign manager.  Schmidt also served as Deputy Assistant to President George Bush as well as Counselor to the Vice-President.

Paul Sincavage and Other Notables Attend NPHS Alumni Hall of Fame Dinner

Paul Sincavage (center) accepted my invitation to attend the NPHS Hall of Fame dinner as my guest.  Paul taught at NPHS for 39 years.  He remains as witty, sharp and insightful as he was when he was teaching history in the mid-60's at the start of his career at NPHS.  Here he is at the start of the evening with Emily Polskin Zylber and Howard Polskin (me).

Dr. Robert Chapman (with NPHS hat), class of 1967) was inducted into the NPHS Alumni Hall of  Fame in the category of medicine.  He was a track star in high school  and still holds the 440-yard/49.7 record for Somerset Country.   He graduated from Brown University and went on to achieve national professional recognition as a doctor and hospital administrator.  He is shown here accepting his Hall of Fame plaque with (from left to right) Maria Mijares, Dick McKenna and Dr. Marilyn Birnbaum.  The Publix bag (bottom right) was Chapman's.  He used it to carry his t-shirt to the stage (below) that he used to wear while running cross-country races for Coach McKenna.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Pictures from Oct. 15 NPHS Hall of Fame Dinner

Master of Ceremonies Steve Novak (left) welcomed me at the door of the Italian American Club on Somerset.  The former mayor of North Plainfield was an energetic and affable MC.
Bob Kirchberger was a warm and gracious host.  As chairman of the NPHS Hall of Fame Committee, the responsibilities for the evening fell to Bob and his team.
Ernest Jaeger received the first award of the evening in the Teacher and Educator category.  Here he is shown with Dr. Marilyn Birnbaum, North Plainfield Superintendent of Schools.  His award was presented by Richard McKenna (below), the former NPHS former biology teacher and cross country coach, who still looks like he could whip off a brisk five-mile run without breaking a sweat.  Jaeger began his NPHS teaching career in 1968.  He taught English, Film and Television.  (Where were those cool courses when I was in school?  Why did I get stuck with Algebra?)  His final assignment at NPHS was Curriculum Supervisor, a position he held until his retirement in 2005.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

16th Annual NPHS Alumni Hall of Fame Ceremony Held Oct. 15

This is the first of numerous stories that I'll post over the next week about the 16th annual North Plainfield High Alumni Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony. It was held Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Italian American Club on Somerset Street. 

Five people were inducted into the Hall of Fame and they are shown in the photo above (from left to right:  Howard Polskin (me), class of 1969; Dr. Robert Chapman, class of 1967; Ernest Jaeger, a former NPHS teacher; Steve Schmidt, class of 1988; and Richard Williams, class of 1962. 

More than 130 people attended the event, which began with a cocktail hour from 6 to 7 p.m.  Steve Novak, Master of Ceremonies, and Bob Kirchberger, Chairman of the NPHS Alumni Hall of Fame Committee,  welcomed the crowd. They paid tribute to Mario Caruso who was a driving force in the Hall of Fame and in many North Plainfield-related activities until his death last year.  That was followed by a buffet dinner.  

I'll post more photos and have additional details later this week.  Stay tuned.   

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paul Sincavage to Attend NPHS Hall of Fame Dinner

Paul Sincavage, the wonderful NPHS history teacher who taught at the school for 39 years, will be attending the Hall of Fame dinner.  I spoke to him Monday after sending him a letter (yep....a stamped paper thing-a-jig) and he called me. I hadn't talked to him since I graduated in 1969 but we picked up like we had been in home room earlier in the week.  He's been in touch with many of our teachers and he was filling me in....I won't spill the fascinating details here.  You'll have to attend the dinner to get the scoop directly from him.  But I really wanted to ask him about the U.S. debt crisis and how this compared to other similar crises in the nation's history.  I'm sure he would have the proper historical perspective.  Lots to chew on when we see him at the Oct. 15 North Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Dinner at the Italian American Club.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NPHS 2011 Hall of Fame Dinner Set for Oct. 15 at Italian American Club

Heads up classmates. For those of you who don't know, there is an NPHS Hall of Fame...and of course a Hall of Fame dinner as well. The dinner is scheduled for Oct. 15 at the Italian American Club on Somerset Street.'s still standing and I'm sure some of us even went to dances there. Inductees at this year's dinner include Dr. Robert Champman (class of 67; medicine); Howard Polskin (that would be me in the journalism and business category); Ernie Jaeger (former English teacher and a wonderful one at that); Dick Williams (class of 62, government service; and Steve Smith (class of 88, government and politics). Former members of our class who have previously been inducted include Glenda Dove, music; Vince O'Neil, athletics; Gerry Burns, community service; Dr. Chuck Gomer, medical research; Richard Searl, athletics; Dr. Paul Auerbach, medicine; Virginia Rojas, education, Harry Brian Lewis, music; and Beverly Gaston Kochard, education. So here's the important part. If you're interested in attending, the price is only $30 a person! You get a meal, great acceptance speeches ghost-written by Jon Stewart and Bill Maher (apparently NPHS has a huge budget for these things), and a ton of 60s flashbacks. Contact Fred Sheeler ( The festivities start at 6 p.m. You can pay at the door but it's best if Fred knows how many people are coming in advance so the caterer knows what to cook. See you there!