PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education dedicated the Board of Education building on Thursday, November 12. The building, which in a way is the heart of our District, was renamed in recognition of the man who gave so much of his heart to the children of Parsippany, Dr. Frank A. Calabria.
Board President Fran Orthwein welcomed the Calabria Family, past and current board members, Mayor James Barberio, Council Vice President Robert Peluso and members of the public.
Mrs. Orthwein stated “Dr. Frank A Calabria was a teacher, administrator, board member, mentor, colleague, and friend. His love of education was shared not only through his professional life, but also through his 41 years of service on the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education. During those 41 years, his commitment never wavered to the thousands of Parsippany children whose lives he enriched with his wisdom, experience, and leadership. Dr. Calabria’s belief that ‘If you make a decision in the best interest of children, you will never be wrong’, guided him and the many board members with whom he served without fail. Dr. Calabria knew that education is the key to success. One of his most frequently asked questions was ‘teach me something.’ He wholeheartedly believed you were never too old to learn something new. As a Board member, he loved to share his knowledge and experience with his colleagues, helping them to better serve our children. In honor of Dr. Calabria’s service to the Parsippany-Troy Hills School District, and to inspire others to embrace education in their lives, the Board of Education Building located at 292 Parsippany Road, shall be known henceforth as the:
Dr. Frank A. Calabria Education Center – or CEC
because we are so fond of using acronyms in education
Mr. Neglia and members of the Calabria Family then cut the ribbon. Five year old Ryan Peterson had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
Brianne Partington, a student at Parsippany Hills High School lead the audience in “Salute to the Flag” then she song the “National Anthem.”
Acting Superintendent, Dr. Nancy Gigante delivered remarks to the audience. She said “So many people could stand up here and talk about how Dr. Calabria touched their lives, both personally and professionally. They could talk about what an upstanding citizen Dr. Calabria was, what an amazing family man Dr. Calabria was, what a compassionate educator Dr. Calabria was. I am blessed to be one of those people. I am honored to have called Dr. Calabria a mentor and a friend. But most of all, I am honored to have called Dr. Calabria…Frank. That’s who he really was. He didn’t want or need any fancy titles. He wouldn’t have needed to see his name in lights. All he needed was to know that he was doing the right thing, which always seemed to come easy to Frank. His wisdom, his stories, his insight were valuable to so many people in so many different ways. But he never looked for the accolades for that. He would be laughing and shaking his head at all of this pomp and circumstance. And that’s what made Frank…Frank. We all try to be the best people we can. We try to do well in our jobs, love our families, and be good to our communities. But to do it like Frank did…well, that is reserved for very few. And those few deserve to see their names in lights as it were. He deserves his name to be honored like it is now. Frank was the principal of Sparta High School for a long time, and those here who knew him then will know what I mean when I say…it took a little more to be Frank Calabria. And those of us left behind can only hope that this reminder—his name emblazoned on this building for years to come—will serve us well as we strive to be the best people we can be. We miss you, Frank, and may God bless you.”
Former Board President Mrs. violet Schicke and then Mrs. Angela Calabria spoke on behalf of the Calabria family.