LIVINGSTON, NJ — Seven graduating Livingston High School seniors were honored at Monday’s township council meeting for volunteering on the Livingston Public Broadcasting Committee (LTV).
The honorees included Jesse Allard, Spencer Askinazy, Matthew Feresten, Andrew “AJ” Keenan, Nicholas Meaney, Mark Steinberg and Jayne Winner. Four of them, including Feresten, Allard, Keenan and Meaney, also received awards for Outstanding Achievement at LTV: Livingston Television.
“These graduating seniors contribute to the community outside of school,” said committee chair Rick Diamond. “It’s not their homework assignment, it’s not a project they’re being graded on—this is extracurricular activity and it’s for the community. We felt that all seven senior members that are graduating deserve to be recognized.”
Diamond added that none of the community access channel’s content would be possible without the committee members and the volunteers, which includes several high school students.
“Of all the committees in town that are not necessarily youth committees, but adult committees, I would imagine that we have one of the highest student memberships of any adult committee,” said Diamond. “This year, we decided that we have an outstanding class of senior volunteers—and, yes, the TV program at the school is excellent—but we’re here not just about the TV program, it’s about the contributions to the community.”
The executive board of the committee said that all seven of these seniors were incredible and that their “contributions are beyond measure.”
“There are a few individuals that the board decided went above and beyond and we wanted to recognize for outstanding achievement in their contributions to LTV,” he said as he presented the special designations to Feresten, Allard, Keenan and Meaney.
Feresten not only “stepped up any time something needed to be covered,” but also went above and beyond to help ensure that all town council meetings were broadcasted on LTV. Although Feresten wasn’t the one behind the camera, Diamond said that video recording at council meetings would not be done without the senior, who ensures that the camera batteries are charged, that tapes are available, that camera is set up in time and more.
In fact, his brother, Danny, stood behind the camera on Monday as Matthew received his award, and the council was hopeful that Danny would take over next year.
According to the committee, Allard “came in and showed incredible enthusiasm” in taking on projects such as paying extra attention to Livingston’s arts community. Keenan, who shoots and edits on his own projects, steps up nine times out of 10 for needed assignments, according to Diamond.
Meaney received the special designation because in addition to his production contributions, he also became an officer of the committee. According to the committee, officers are typically adult LTV members, but Meaney served as the secretary for a full year. His duties included taking minutes, dating the records and contributing in administrative fashion while also shooting and editing his own material.
“You work so well individually, but you make the best team—you do such great teamwork for LTV,” said board member Patty Arnold. “All seven of you have brilliant futures ahead and the reason that we know that is because you’re already doing great things now. As you go in your future, that respect and the kindness and teamwork that you’ve shown to us and everybody in the community, and to each other—you don’t usually see that from a lot of youth and that’s what’s going to carry you into your future and open those doors to let you have more accomplishments.”
Mayor Ed Meinhardt said it is “an amazing thing to see and to watch” as the Livingston Public Broadcasting Committee kick-starts the careers of these young individuals as they take these experiences on to college and beyond.