A Celebration of Service Above Self – The Parsippany Troy Hills Rotary Club held its 49th Annual Distinguished Service Awards on Saturday, March 16, at Knoll Country Club West. The Master of Ceremonies, Peggy Mader, welcomed the audience and the honorees, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, February 9, but due to snow, was postponed to this evening. She did remind the audience that it snowed again today, just so everyone could remember the snow on February 9.
Among the honorees were, Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Michael J. dePierro, being honored as Outstanding Citizen of the year. Outstanding Educators honors went to Nancy Dwyer and Thomas Nolan.
Outstanding High School students being honored was Jessica Chimoff, Nicolas Limanov and Danielle Rose Masteron.
The Outstanding Law Enforcement Award went to Bob Lenahan; Outstanding Health and Public Safety honoree was Dave Cavaliere; Outstanding Businessman Honoree was Dr. Alan Rauchberg and the Dean Gallo Memorial Vocational Award was presented to Maria Cataldo and Greg Schneider.
Nancy Dwyer is a fourth grader teacher at Lake Parsippany School where she demonstrates her commitment to her students, her school and the art of teaching. She establishes high standards for her students and in her classroom, where failure is not an option.
Thomas Nolan is the Principal of Lake Hiawatha School where his positive attitude is on display every day as seen through the enthusiasm of his students and staff. When visiting the school it is easy to see how well he interacts with everyone with kind words and a high-five for students and encouragement for his teachers. The Township and our children are certainly lucky to have a special principal the caliber of Thomas Nolan. He makes Lake Hiawatha School a very happy, friendly place to visit and work.
Jessica Chimoff is a student at Parsippany Hills High School. As a student she is innovative, motivated and hardworking, placing academic excellence above other interests. This was shown when she was inducted into the National Honor Society. Outside of the classroom Jessica works with Big Brothers Big Sistes and at the Mayo Performing Arts Company. She has also served as President of the interact Club, the Rotary sponsored High School service club.
Nicolas Limanov, a student at Parsippany High School is considered an amazing community servant in both school and the community. At school he helps set up for every school event working with the custodial staff and administration making sure everyone has all they need. He has been a member of the Interact Club since he entered high school and is usually the first to volunteer for every project. On top of all this Nick has never missed a day of high school.
Danielle Rose Masterson is President of the Parsippany High School Interact Club. In addition to maintaining a high grade point average and the Interact she is a member of the National Honor Society, the Senior Class Steering Committee, Student and Varsity Tennis Team. She is a smart, determined and strong young woman.
Robert Lenahan was born in Parsippany and has been a member of the Police Department for nearly twenty years. He is the School Resource Officer for the district which means he handles juvenile cases and is available to be a police presence in both high schools. He has a reputation of being trustworthy developing that rapport with students that is so important in his work. He has one rule for the students, “Don’t lie to me.”
David Cavaliere has just finished a term as Chief of Fire District #5, Rockaway Neck Fire Department. In addition he is a member of the Parsippany Police Department. As Fire Chief, Dave served as Chairman of the Fire Prevention Bureau, a body made up of the Chief, Assistant Chief and one Commissioner from each district. Under Dave’s leadership the bureau has become a more active body in serving both residents of the Township and all the volunteers who make up the six Fire Departments. Dave is truly someone who has the health and safety of everyone in Parsippany as his main concern at all times.
Dr. Alan Rauchberg, of Rauchberg Dental, was raised in Parsippany and now has his dental practice along with his father right here in town. Giving back has become an important part of the Rauchberg’s work. They hold open houses where one can go in and get a free consult on various procedures. They annually have an open house where free dental service is provided to those in need including fillings, cleanings and extractions. Alan has been a member of the Parsippany Rotary for years as another way to give back to both his community and the world.
Maris Cataldo is the head custodian of Lake Parsippany School. Her commitment to the school, her diligence, and attention to detail, generosity and enthusiasm are part of what make her so special. Maria has become known as “Mama Maria” because she is the self-appointed caretaker of the whole school community, remembering student’s names and is always there for the small things that others may neglect. To become Head Custodian, Maria, took her English as a Second Language to be able to pass her Boiler test to advance her career, which is no doubt only one of the great examples she sets for all who work with her and see her daily.
Greg Schneider is head of the Parsippany’s Road Department and Recycling and Sanitation. We all know all too well that we have all had a rough 18 months including Irene, the first Halloween snowstorm, and then Sandy. As rough as it was for all of us, Greg and his crews worked selflessly to get our roads open, flood damage cleaned up, fallen trees cleared and garage picked up. God willing, Greg has seen enough extremes, and can get back to the mundane job of keeping Parsippany, a safe, clean place to live.
Mike dePierro moved to Parsippany in February, 1965 when he began his career with Bell Telephone Laboratories. He eventually transferred to New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, which later became Bell Atlantic and then Verizon. Mike was named “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” in 1979. This award is presented to one person per year out of 50,000 active and retired employees. Mike retired from the “Bell System” as a Systems Manager after 30 years of service. He then worked for the State of New Jersey as Manager of Telecommunications Billing in Trenton, retiring in 2001. Mike has an Electrical Engineering Degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Mike and his wife Dee recently celebrated their 52nd Wedding Anniversary. They have three children and ten grandchildren. Since 1965, Mike has been dedicated to improving the quality of life in New Jersey by getting involved. As his three children moved through the school district, he was involved in PTA’s, Booster Associations, Soccer and Little leagues in support of youth activities. Mike also served as Committee Chairman of Boy Scout Troop 215 at Rockaway Meadow School.
Mike was elected to the Parsippany Board of Education for two three-year terms (1975-81). He chaired the Policy and Management Study Committees. He also served as Director and Vice-President of the Morris County School Boards Association.
Mike was elected to the Parsippany Township Council for four 4-year terms (1982-97). He returned to the Township Council in August, 2000 and is now completing his eighth 4-year term. He served as President and Vice President of the Township Council at various times during those 30 years. He has been a member of the Township Planning Board, Open Space Committee, and the Knoll County Club Advisory Committee and many others. He served as President of the Morris County League of Municipalities (1990-91) and as a Director (1985-97).
Mike is the only Parsippany official to be inducted into the New Jersey State League of Municipalities “Elected Officials Hall of Fame”. Mike is also a member of the Sons of Italy.
Mike was the co-founder and first president of the Township Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council (1977-96). He is a Charter Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mike is a two-time past president of the Parsippany Rotary Club and has been a member since 1974. He was a charter member and Director of Parsippany UNICO (1978-93) and served as chairman of the scholarship committee.
Mike produced a weekly cable television show called “Parsippany Spot Light”. The objective of this CATV show was to highlight the positive and upbeat happenings in Parsippany like the Craftsman Farms Historical Landmark and the Mount Tabor Historical Area.
Mike supported the United States Olympic Committee by serving as a New Jersey State Committee Member (1980-92). As chairman of club services, Mike coordinated efforts to raise funds through service clubs such as Rotary and Kiwanis. He also supported the United Way of Morris County by serving as Parsippany fundraising coordinator (1981-87).
Mike is a Veteran from the Vietnam Era. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10184. He is also a life member of the American Legion, Post 249. He participates in “Americanism” activities and scholarship awards in those organizations.
Mike is also affiliated with several professional organizations. He is a member of the National Notary Association, the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), the Fairleigh Dickenson Alumni Association, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Phi Beta Gamma (a National Executive Honor Society). Mike has been listed in Who’s Who in New Jersey and numerous listings in Who’s Who in Technology. He has received numerous awards and honors over the years.
The Rotary Club of Parsippany-Troy Hills meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m, at Il Villaggio Restaurant, 22 Gibraltar Drive, Morris Plains. New members are always welcome to join.