PARSIPPANY — Parsippany High School will be inducting their 2021 Hall of Fame Class on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. on the Football Field. PHS would like to invite community members, alumni, parents, and students to celebrate with us at this year’s induction ceremony. If you know any of the inductees or classmates of theirs please reach out to them. Masks will be required and all social-distancing rules will be in effect.
This year’s class consists of four impressive inductees.
Jabari Jackson ‘10
Jabari graduated from Par High in 2010 and Rowan in 2014 before receiving his Masters at Grand Canyon University. He competed in Basketball and Track & Field at PHS and continued his running career at Rowan. Jabari possesses a love for community service and social activism and founded Respect My Life Foundation (RML) in 2018. Based out of New Jersey, the organization was created to use educational and extracurricular activities to foster positive change in our communities. RML focuses on enriching the minds of people to encourage them to live out their purpose. The foundation hosts event throughout the year to empower people to seek positive outlets to live their best life. This movement does not discriminate against anyone of a certain race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or occupation. Instead, it is a movement that encourages people to respect each other’s differences to allow us to live our lives with freedom. Jabari is a terrific speaker and an even better human being. He puts his words into action, working in the community (and often with PHS) to help others in need through PB&J Drives, Toy Drives, Food/Water Drives, Backpack Drives, Charity Walks, Mentoring, Coaching, etc… Jabari believes in positivity, equality, action, peace, and love. To this end, he organized the hugely successful and impactful Parsippany March for Black Lives in June 2020. The event, attended by approximately 3,000 people, was a peaceful protest that brought much-needed awareness to racial inequality.
Walter Blueler started working as a School Psychologist at Parsippany High School in 1980, and he began coaching Track and Field and Cross Country in 1988. As a School Psychologist, Walter was hands-on, passionate, and added a personal touch to his job. He worked closely with his Child Study counterparts to help families and students find success in school and beyond, making personal connections and thinking outside of the box to make a difference. As a coach, “Blueler” was beloved by his student-athletes and his fellow coaches. His big personality and bigger heart endeared him to everyone who encountered him. Needless to say, he had an amazing career as a coach and his teams and athletes earned many accolades and records. Boys and Girls Team Championships include 5 Conference Titles, 2 Morris County Titles, 3 State Sectional Titles, and 2 State Group Titles. He also coached many athletes to multiple individual honors including four Meet of Champion placers (2 MOC Champs) and two still-standing Morris County Records (4×200 Relay and 300m Dash). Blueler was also instrumental in helping his athletes get into impressive colleges and placed 20+ of them onto NCAA Track & Field teams. For his dedication and talent as a coach, he was named the 1999 NFICA Coach of the Year for Cross Country and the 2004 Star-Ledger and Daily Record Coach of the Year for Winter Track. His 2014 Team won an Outstanding Achievement Award from Parsippany Troy-Hills for winning the NJAC Conference. Blueler retired from education in 2014 and received the Lakeland Hills YMCA Educator of the Year Award.
James Jean ‘97
James Jean (PHS ‘97) is a Taiwanese American artist who was born in Taiwan and grew up in Parsippany. Though at a young age he dedicated himself to music, James would later develop an interest in art and go on to study illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. James has been a cover artist for DC Comics and Marvel Comics including titles such as Fables and Umbrella Academy, garnering seven Eisner awards, three consecutive Harvey awards, two gold medals and a silver from the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, and a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators of New York. He also worked in advertising and has contributed to many national and international publications. His clients included: Time Magazine, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, ESPN, Atlantic Records, Target, and Prada. In 2006, he won Best Artist from the World Fantasy Awards. He also did the album art for musical artists My Chemical Romance, Talib Kweli, and Linkin Park. James also created film posters for the following successful films: mother! The Shape of Water, and Blade Runner 2049, working with famous directors Darren Aronofsky, Guillermo del Toro, and Denis Villeneuve. James Jean is a world-famous artist, known for his illustration, painting, and sculpture.
Richie Zisk ‘67
Richie Zisk attended Parsippany High School, where he was All-State in Baseball, All-County in Basketball, and he even played Soccer. He graduated from PHS in 1967, after winning a State Championship in 1965, moved onto Seton Hall University, and he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft. In his major league debut, the 6’2” 208-pound righty replaced Roberto Clemente in right field in the 8th inning of a victory. “The Polish Prince” played 17 seasons as a professional, 13 in the Major Leagues (6 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3 with the Texas Rangers, 3 with the Seattle Mariners, and 1 with the Chicago White Sox). He made two post-season appearances, both with the Pirates, and he hit .400 over two series. His best season came in 1977 for the White Sox, when he batted .290 and hit 30 home runs, driving in 101 runs. He started in left field in the 1977 All-Star Game, going 2-3 with a double off Tom Seaver and 2 RBI. He made the All-Star Game again in 1978 for the Texas Rangers. In 1981, Zisk hit .311 to win the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award. He retired in 1983, finishing his MLB career with 1,453 games, 1,477 hits, .287/.353/.466, 207 HR, 792 RBI. After his playing days, Zisk earned a degree in communications and took a job in the Cubs organization in 1986. He worked as a roving instructor and scout, a hitting coach, and a manager for the Cubs High-A Daytona affiliate. He has been inducted into the Florida State League Hall of Fame and the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.