Education

Spotswood Community Comes Together To Help Beloved School Employee

0000c8a03f6569ec0eb2_frank.jpeg
A GoFundMe Page has been sent up to assist longtime Memorial Middle School employee, Frank Luongo. The Spotswood resident recently lost part of his foot from complications from diabetes. Credits: Photo Courtesy of Frank Luongo GoFundMe Page
0000c8a03f6569ec0eb2_frank.jpeg

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - A familiar face has been noticeably absent from the Memorial Middle School for the past two weeks. Frank Luongo has not been in his usual spot greeting students and parents at the morning drop off. For Spotswood and Helmetta parents, Memorial Middle School teachers and staff, Frank, as he's affectionately known, is a vital element of the sixth through eighth grade school's heart and soul. Luongo is described as the school's "go-to guy." Whether it's giving kids and parents a reassuring smile in the morning, helping students understand the complexities of locker combinations or simply being a sounding board to a student having an awful day, Luongo is there.

Complications with diabetes has kept Lugono away from a position he's held in the Memorial Middle School since 2007. Luongo provides security for the Memorial Middle School as well as working in maintenance for Memorial and Spotswood High School. However, to teachers, staff, students and parents, Luongo is much more.

A partial foot amputation due to a severe infection means the Spotswood School District employee will be out of work for a while recuperating and rehabilitating from the surgery. When his plight came to the attention of the Memorial Middle School staff, the teachers sprang into action. The avid biker and outdoor enthusiast does not have disability insurance. To assist Luongo and his family with the mounting medical costs, a GoFundMe page has been set up. The page was created by Memorial Middle School nurse, Katherine Shkolar. In three days, the page has raised more than $6,000.

Sign Up for E-News

"Frank knows everyone in town," Memorial Middle School Science teacher Erin Glassen said. "He knows the history of every child that comes through our building and treats them all with love and respect. He takes off nights from work at the high school to attend sporting events, plays and fundraisers for our students. It is unbelievable the way he can do much for so many people and never need anything in return. He is constantly thinking about others, as shown in the texts he sends every holiday!" 
 
Newly-appointed Memorial Middle School Principal Brian Kitchin echoed Glassen's words of praise for Luongo.
 
"Frank is the type of guy who makes an immediate impact on everyone he meets," Kitchin said. "In just a couple short months I have had the chance to see what a beloved figure he is in Spotswood. Standing out at morning drop off together there is not a car that passes without a huge smile when they see Frank there to greet their child."
 
Memorial Middle School Language Arts teacher Adrienne Hansen described Luongo as the most "selfless" person she's ever met.

 
"Frank is the heart of Memorial Middle School," Hansen continued. "He is our go-to-guy for EVERYTHING. He is the first to lend a hand, to offer a word of encouragement and to warmly welcome new staff/students. You will never find Frank without a smile. He loves Memorial and his Spotswood family."
 
Luongo has been a integral part of the Spotswood community for the past 44 years. Donations can be made via the "Frank Luongo Needs Us" GoFundMe page.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

East Brunswick: The History of... The East Brunswick Grange

April 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - During East Brunswick’s agricultural years, one of the most active organizations in town was the East Brunswick Grange. Granges were fraternities for farmers that helped promote the well-being of farming in the community. There were many granges across the country during the late 19th and early 20th Century, and East Brunswick was certainly no exception. In the period ...

Highland Park: Teen Mom Charged in Death of Newborn

HIGHLAND PARK, NJ - In a tragic turn of events, a teenager from Highland Park was charged in a juvenile complaint with murder in the first degree in the death of her newborn son.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced today that a 14-year-old teenage girl from Highland Park has been charged with an act of juvenile delinquency for an offense which if committed by an ...

Veinott’s Vietnam – Time Flies When You Fly Away

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – It’s been nearly a decade since South Plainfield native Philip Veinott packed his bags and moved over 8,500 miles away to start the next chapter of his life. And, a lot has changed – both personally and professionally – for Veinott in that time. 

In August 2016, Veinott married the love of his life, Helen Nguyen, and the couple is expecting ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Killmurray’s Funeral Plans Announced, Township Prepares For Administration Change

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township officials announced funeral plans for Mayor Christopher Killmurray and plans to deal with filling his position and a second one on the Council.

Killmurray, 55, died at home Sunday morning after battling brain cancer for several years.

According to the township, a viewing is scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church at ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Christopher Killmurray, 55, Dies

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township Mayor Christopher Killmurray died at home Sunday morning, officials announced.

In an alert to residents, Township Manager Bernard Hvozdovic said that Killmurray, 55, passed away at home surrounded by his family after battling brain cancer for several years.

A Democrat, Killmurray was first elected to the Township Council in 2003 and served as deputy ...

Mayor Cohen Celebrates Chelsea's 20th Anniversary

April 18, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Mayor Brad Cohen, an enthusiastic supporter of the Chelsea at East Brunswick, was on hand to help mark the Chelsea's 20th anniversary on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Mayor Cohen read a proclamation honoring the Chelsea and recalled the experience of his late mother who, at age 102, had hip replacement surgery and lived to be 106. Mayor Cohen is a great friend of the ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, April 20, 6:30 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Wild Kratts

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 21, 8:00 AM

White house at Aldersgate UM Church, East Brunswick

RUMMAGE SALE to benefit the Food Bank

Other

Mon, April 30, 7:00 PM

Somerset Valley Playhouse, Hillsborough

Auditions for Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of ...

Arts & Entertainment

Reading Like Cats and Dogs: EBPL Launches Second “Reading To Action” Program Series

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) begins its second Reading to Action project, which includes a series of events and volunteer projects this April.

The Reading To Action program encourages library customers to be more active in their community. This year's theme is "animals." The library is presenting a variety of programs for ...

East Brunswick Public Library Screens “Swim Team” Documentary about Autistic Athletes

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—The East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) hosts a screening of the PBS documentary, Swim Team, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30 PM. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with director Lara Stolman.

Stolman’s inspiring debut documentary, Swim Team, follows three diverse young men—Michael McQuay ...

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...