Five inducted into PHS Hall of Fame

The 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees were Jerry Russo, PHS Principal Denis Mulroony, Robert Peluso, Dan Ilic, Ron Foreso and Samantha Pignatelli
Jerry Russo, PHS Principal Denis Mulroony, Robert Peluso, Dan Ilic, Ron Foreso and Samantha Pignatelli

The Parsippany High School inducted five people into the Hall of Fame  on Wednesday, February 13 during a ceremony at the high school hosted by Principal Denis Mulroony.

Dragan “Dan” Ilic with Board of Education member Sharif Shamsudin

Board of Education Member Sharif Shamsudin presented the first inductee, Dragan “Dan” Ilic.

Dan, a graduate of Parsippany High School Class of 1990, played football and wrestled at PHS during his school days. As a parent living in town her continues to support these programs.

He has served as a youth football and wrestling coach for over a decade, even before his own son joined the program. In recent years he has started the Parsippany Wrestling Team, a joint effort between both sides of the Parsippany.

Working with other PHS alumni, they have built the program, now a powerhouse, and have lad several young wrestlers to state-side success.

Most impressive, however, is his devotion to his athletes and his willingness to dedicate his time and resources to bringing wrestlers to tournaments and matches. He has become a significant role model and leader for several young men in town. His son, Michael, is currently a freshman student-athlete at Parsippany High School and participates in football and varsity wrestling.

Jerry Russo with Denis Mulroony

Jerry Russo was the second honoree of the evening.

Mr. Russo served as a Social Studies teacher, a guidance counselor, a driving instructor, ski club advisor, varsity soccer coach, fencing coach, and ultimately the Coordinator of Guidance for more than thirty years.

He was responsible for the creation of the master schedule, the counseling of students and assisting seniors in their college search process.

He has professional connections throughout the county and helped to coordinate meetings and college fairs in Morris County. Mr. Russo was a positive and enthusiastic faculty member.

Mr. Russo was a positive and enthusiastic faculty member. He treated everyone, whether student, parent or colleague, with respect and dignity.  He was particularly fond of new and transfer students, making sure their first days at Parsippany High School were successful.

Robert Peluso in the 1988 class year book

Ildiko Peluso presented the honor to her husband, Robert Peluso.

Robert graduated Parsippany High School in the Class of 1988, continued to college and eventually a career in banking.

A proud member of the Parsippany community, he still lives in town and is active in politics, being elected to serve as a Township Councilman, and was selected as Vice President.

As President of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce for the past 17 years, he has facilitated a mentoring program for Parsippany High School students and hosts an annual job fair with local businesses.

He has participated in the Municipal Alliance Committee, created the Parsippany Area Visitors Center and serves on multiple advisory boards for education and service organizations.

Robert Peluso with Denis Mulroony

Samantha Pignatelli nominated her uncle, Michael Pignatelli to be inducted into the Parsippany High School Hall of Fame.

Michael, a graduate of Class of 1980, displayed dedication, determination and heart as a talented championship football player and set a positive example, even when no one was looking.

He joined the Police Academy in 1982 and shined as a leader through his selflessness and courage.

Samantha Pignatelli with Denis Mulroony. Samantha’s uncle, Michael Pignatelli was induced into the Parsippany High Hall of Fame

Sadly, a drunk driver killed Michael in 1984.

Five memorials around town are dedicated to him and a Parsippany High School Football Award for the best lineman was awarded annually in his honor.

His two proud nieces are currently student-athletes at Parsippany High School and carry on his legacy.

Parsippany High School Principal Denis Mulroony had the honor of introducing Ron Foreso as the fifth inductee.

Mr. Foreso was an institution at Parsippany High School for over thirty-five years.

He was an excellent history teacher who shared his passion and knowledge of military history with his students through interesting discussions and his collection of authentic artifacts.

In addition to numerous other honors, he was selected as the New Jersey Teacher of the Year in 1998 and inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame in 2001.

Ron Foreso with Denis Mulroony at the Parsippany High School Hall of Fame

Mr. Foreso is a patriot whose love of America is only exceeded by his devotion to Parsippany High School.

Wearing his red sneakers every Friday, he served as advisor for multiple clubs including Varsity Club, the Senior Class, Interact, Pep Club, etc. He believed in service and supporting the underdog and facilitated numerous fundraisers to help those in need.

An avid sports fan, he was the “Voice of the Redskins” for varsity football and basketball games.

He believed in his students, supported his colleagues and worked every day to make Parsippany High School a better place.

The entire list of inductees into the Parsippany High School Hall of Fame include, George P. Johnson, Roy Baker, Ltc. Mark T. Little, Jack Mott, Annette Delaney Ricciuti, George W. Wesner, Garrett E. Reisman, Lisa Codella-Pesci, Robert Martin, Michael Codella, Dolores Femister, Anthony R. Scatton, Jr., Gary Vittorio, Philip Meehan, David Guida, John Karolchyk, Christina Ladas, Doris McManus, Francine “Micky” Walsh, Bruce Biddison, Randy Frankel, Patricia Behnke, James Vigilante, Jack Pruden, Suzanne Rubenstein, Violet Schicke,  Colonel Harold F. Gantert, David Shaffer,  1986 Girls’ Softball Team,  Harold Feintuch,  Victor Labbate M.D.,  Roy Helmlinger and now Ron Foreso, Dragan “Dan” Ilic,  Robert Peluso,  Michael Pignatelli  and Jerry Russo.